A difficult question

by MW Cook

I was recently asked to fill one page with ‘The Essentials of my Christian Life’. That’s a tough question, eh? For a few days I just stared at a blank screen and couldn’t figure out what to write. I mean, the essentials of my Christian life? It reminds me of the philosophy paper back at KLBC that PK made us do. How do I write something like that? Eventually I did get it done. I reproduce it here for you all. Enjoy:

It is difficult to put down in words the essentials of my Christian life, but I suppose I could try by breaking it down into three categories of faith, hope and love.

I have confident faith that…

– there is one God, holy, infinite, just and loving. He is the source of all things good in the universe. He created man in a perfect environment, happy and holy and in perfect communion with Himself. Through Adam’s sin the perfect fellowship was broken, Adam and his offspring were corrupted in all their faculties and mankind was put under judgment. God sent His Son, who was true God Himself, to mankind in human form. He lived a perfect life and died a substitutionary death for the sin of the world. Those who believe in Him are justified, sanctified and, ultimately glorified. This salvation is by grace through faith alone.
– once a believer embraces Christ he is sealed by the Holy Spirit and kept from ultimately falling away. The Holy Spirit also enters his life and causes radical changes in all his faculties. He is a new creation. Though he still must struggle with sin his entire life the Spirit enables him to progress from faith to faith.
– those who die without embracing Christ and placing their faith in Him are eternally lost.
– all believers should be baptized.
– The Bible is the Word of God, given to man.
– Christ will return at any time to judge, reward and rule.
– it is every believer’s duty and privilege to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, making disciples of every nation.
– to live is Christ and to die is gain.

I have assured hope that…

– if I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness my needs will always be met.
– there is no greater joy to be found this life or the next than communion with God, as He is the source of all happiness.
– a believer can seek the presence of God and his guidance through the means of grace which include prayer, the Bible, service, discipleship, fellowship with believers, the Lord’s Supper, etc. While these things are not meritorious, God has given us these conduits of grace as a means to draw closer to him.
– the Christian life is not meant to be a dry system, but an active relationship with the creator of the universe.
– one day I, and all others who are in Christ, will stand around the throne of God and of the Lamb and rejoice in His glory for days without end. At that point I know not what I will be but I know that I will be like Him for I shall see Him as He is.

Concerning love…

– The greatest charge to a Christian is to love God. This love is shown through desire for presence, pleasure, and glory and action leading to that end. A man who does not love God cannot possibly know Him as He is.
– The second greatest charge to a Christian is to love man. This love is shown through desire for man’s good and action leading to man’s good. This includes things like evangelism, humanitarian aid, kindness, gentleness, hospitality, patience, meekness, boldness, courage, etc.
– The love of God causes a believer to hate all sin.
– All ‘Christian’ virtues, practices and traditions are null and made useless if they are without love. Without love faith becomes opinion and hope becomes mere expectance.