After believing the gospel and receiving the Lord Jesus, every normal Christian begins to wonder how to live the Christian life. This is a healthy inquiry and a natural progression from eternal salvation. Since you have received Christ as your new life, you should now also have a new living.
How to live the Christian life?
There are four basic practices that bolster and sustain our Christian life- praying, reading the Bible, meeting with other believers, and preaching the gospel. Right at the inception of your Christian life you must lay these four practices as a foundation. Especially as a Christian on a college campus these will determine your spiritual life pulse and walk with God.
The most important thing for a new born baby is breathing. Breathing is the most vital requirement of life. In like manner, prayer is our spiritual breathing and the most vital necessity for us to maintain our spiritual life. The real significance of prayer is not merely asking God for various needs but contacting God in our spirit to receive His supply. We received the Lord initially through prayer and calling on His name and after salvation we should continue to pray and call on His name. Calling on the Lord is the simplest, shortest, and most supplying prayer.
To continue steadfastly in our Christian life we must first of all develop a prayer life, just as in the early days of the church “they continued steadfastly in… prayers (Acts 2:46).” The first way to continue as a Christian is prayer. The whole world and almost all aspects of campus life are against our prayers.Not only the sinful things but even the stress, anxiety, and business of academic life quench our praying spirit. Thus we must continually fight to preserve our time in prayer to contact God.
I called upon Your name, O Jehovah, From the lowest pit. You have heard my voice; do not hide Your ear at my breathing, at my cry.
Reading the Bible
Reading the Bible is the second basic habit we must build up to live the Christian life. Prayer is our spiritual breathing and reading the Bible is our spiritual eating.
Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart…
If we desire to know God and His eternal purpose and grow spiritually then prayer is not adequate. We must also read God’s word.
God’s word is constituted with two main aspects- truth and life (John 17:17, 6:63). The truth of the Bible conveys to us the reality of what it speaks about. Also God’s word is spirit and life, so that when we read it properly we receive a divine and spiritual supply of life. Both truth and life are Christ (John 14:6, 11:25) thus when we come to read the Bible we must do so with the realization that we are coming to a living Person. We read the Bible to contact and feed on Christ in His word. Don’t separate your reading the Bible with your coming to Christ (John 5:39-40)!
Points of truth however interesting, scriptural knowledge however profound and extensive, Biblical criticism however accurate and valuable, may all leave the heart barren and the affections cold. We want to find Christ in the Word; and, having found Him, to feed on Him by faith.
-C. H. Mackintosh, (1820-1896)
Meeting with other Christians
Prayer and reading the Bible are primarily personal habits. Meeting with other believers recognizes the importance of the corporate aspect of the Christian life. Meeting together is God’s ordination, the characteristic of the divine life, and a source of spiritual blessing.
Just as birds live in the air and fish live in the water, Christians maintain their spiritual existence and living in the meetings. This is because the life we have received is a member life. We are all members of the one Body of Christ and depend on the other members for growth, supply, and care.
And let us consider one another so as to incite one another to love and good works, not abandoning our own assembling together, as the custom with some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more as you see the day drawing near.
A Christian can pray and read the Bible alone, but no one can meet alone! The minimum number required for a meeting is 2 or 3 (Matthew 18:20). Even to such a small gathering the Lord commits His presence. When we meet together, we enjoy the Lord’s presence in a special way that is not possible to enjoy alone.
Preaching the Gospel
Prayer and reading the Bible relate to oneself, meeting relates to other believers, and preaching the gospel or witnessing relates to the unbelievers around us. As soon as a person believes in the Lord Jesus and receives salvation he should tell others about it. The most unhappy Christian is the one who is a Christian secretly.
And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, that this One is the Son of God.
Immediately after Saul of Tarsus was saved he proclaimed Jesus as the gospel. If we never tell others about our salvation we will always be susceptible to temptation around our friends. They will consider us no different from them and will continue to invite us to sinful and improper activities. The only way to resolve the resulting unrest in our conscience is to speak to them about our salvation. Our main concern initially should not even be their conversion but our testimony. This will make us distinct from those around us and cause others to see the worth what we have received.
The best person to preach the gospel is a newly saved person. Gospel preaching is neither a profession nor an outward behavior. It is related to the divine life with us. This is why the Bible describes it as fruit bearing (John 15:4-5). Every life has its own ability. Birds can fly and fish can swim naturally. In the same way, every Christians can preach the gospel and must preach the gospel. It is a natural manifestation of the characteristic of the life we have received.