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The Christian Life and recent history

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  • The Christian Life and recent history

    As strange as this may sound the most written about topic since the early church has been the Christian life, and how it is lived. Most often the Christian life only addresses modern issues concerning the devotional aspects, society, and worship. However, as used in this article it pertains to salvation and how the Christian life can be lived. All the other debated doctrines put together would not cover as many pages as what has been recorded and preached about the Christian life. Why?

    First, the doctrines on the work of Christ have many views as to when the benefits are available to the saints. Bible scholars disagree on what is the position of the Bible.

    Second, the biographies of famous saints inspire us to “arrive” as they did.

    Third, the how to books on the “deeper life” have always been attractive to those who desire a closer relationship with the LORD.

    Fourth, observed are enormous extremes from failure to success in living the Christian life.

    Fifth, The Christian life is the one biblical principle which matters to every saint because it is one which affects us in this life.

    Sixth: Much of the New Testament addresses these doctrines.

    This is not a Bible study, but let me explain why by returning to the first reason the subject of the Christian life has so much written about it. The first reason is about doctrines. In this article there will not be any attempt to explain these doctrines biblically, but it will be necessary to furnish how the term has been used. Here are some doctrines about the Christian life: conversion, salvation, atonement, redemption, propitiation, justification, reconciliation, regeneration, obedience, imputation, sanctification, and transformation. Those are some of the ones but the list avoided predestination, election, perseverance, free will, and assurance which are essential about salvation. This article limits or avoids using all these terms. To use them one must define them.

    Additionally, “the work of Christ” is measured from creation to the eternity after the final judgment. His works of interest herein are his sinless life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, reign, and judgment as they apply to the Christian life. Published material on the theological significance of each one of these terms would fill sections of large libraries. For this article, the term “the work of Christ” includes the specific works named above as of interest. In discussing the Christian life the application of any one single work of Christ cannot be isolated to accomplish a specific aspect of the believer’s salvation, as in the often said, “He died for my sins” or “His blood covered my sins.” It was not enough for Christ to die, he also had to be sinless, resurrect, ascend, reign, and judge to accomplish a salvation that saved the sinner from sin into eternity. Therefore, the work of Christ is everything He did in accomplishing the restoration of man with the LORD.

    Now, about the history of the Christian life. Because Christians are often not very Christ like writers, preachers, and theologians have sought to explain why. What is it that has failed in the saving of the sinner? Also, they have addressed how to remedy this issue.
    In the most basic terms it is about what happens spiritually if the believer is to live a holy life. The solution has historically been limited to one of two general categories separated by either as an event at salvation or a second blessing. In either belief the purpose is to obtain holy living.

    First view: Being genuinely saved includes making the Lord Jesus your Lord, submitting to Him as owner and master of ones life. Unless a person is willing to acknowledge and accept the Lordship of Christ over their life, they cannot be a Christian. With the Lord Jesus in control of the believer, living the Christian life is affected by the Lord Jesus. Lordship claims that the righteousness of Christ’s is inputted to the believer (the believer is made righteous) rather than imputed (credited to the believers account). This is known as Lordship salvation and has been part of the Christian message from its earliest days. Reformed theology adopted Lordship as the solution for living the holy life. John MacArthur provides the Lordship Salvation Series:
    Sermon 1 - "The Lordship Of Christ"
    Sermon 2 - "The Nature Of Saving Faith"
    Sermon 3 - "The Call To Repentance"
    Sermon 4 - "The Cost Of Discipleship"

    Second view: A second blessing from Christ besides the grace sufficient to be saved provides the power to live the faithful Christian life. The second blessing may occur at the time one is saved or at any time thereafter.

    The second blessing view includes two more general categories:

    A. Complete sanctification: Here sanctification means sinless, therefore completely without sin. Sanctification is progressive in that it is appropriated by faith, but is available when one is saved. This was taught by John Wesley and is believed by those of the holiness movement including some Pentecostals. Some view complete sanctification differently than John Wesley in that sanctification is a separate event from being saved. Sometimes this second blessing is accompanied by speaking in tongues.

    B. Baptism in the Holy Ghost: From the earliest days of the Jerusalem Church, Luke recorded in the Book of Acts incidents that have provided support for being baptized in the Holy Ghost. There are recorded events in much of Church history describing what is understood to be this same blessing. Today, Pentecostals and charismatics seek the baptism in the Holy Ghost. It gains much support from those who, when empowered by their faith, read the New Testament. Speaking in tongues is seen as confirmation of the baptism in the Holy Ghost.

    All three of these views are about holy living. Baptism in the Holy Ghost, complete sanctification, and Lordship salvation are doctrines based on Bible interpretations to provide doctrine on how the Christian life is empowered to be successfully lived.

    If you don’t know which of these to believe, don’t be confused just be undecided. There is not enough information provided herein to make a decision to believe one or the other. It is not a Bible study or a prayer meeting. The information is provided to allow those who struggle with living the Christian life to know their struggle and that of the Church has been going on since the commencement of the new covenant.

    Also be aware there are additional views of sanctification besides the Reformed View (lordship salvation), the Wesleyan View (complete sanctification), and the Pentecostal View (baptism in the Holy Ghost). For instance, there are the Keswick View and the Augustinian-Dispensational View. To read more on this idea of sanctification see this site: