Goals of the Christian Life

Best we can figure out, sometime back in the late 1970’s, the leaders of our church came up with a long answer to the simple question, “I just became a Christian, now what do I do?”  They searched through the Scriptures and came up with a comprehensive list of the top priorities that every Christian should have as his or her goal in life. Interestingly enough, there’s not one item on their list that isn’t still relevant today.
 
We believe that the Scriptures establish basic principles to guide the actions and attitudes of a Christian and that it is the responsibility of each Christian, through consistent submission to Christ, to glorify God through application of these principles (Ex 20;  Mt 5:16, 6:33; Lk 11:28; Acts 5:29).
 
We affirm the Scriptures as the Christian’s final source of teaching and training for all of life’s activities.  Consistent reading and study of the Word of God is essential for growth in the Christian life (2 Tm 2:15, 3:16).
 
We believe that the life of a Christian, empowered by the Holy Spirit, should be characterized by love for and dependence upon God, and love toward all people (Phil 1:9-11; Jn 13:34, 35; Rom 12:9,10, 13:8; 1 Cor 13:1; Eph 5:1,2; 1 Thes 4:9; 1 Pt 4:8).
 
A Christian demonstrates his or her love for God by worshipping him (Phil 2:9-11; Mt 4:10), giving thanks for all he has done (Col 3:17; 1 Chr 16:34; 1 Thes 5:18; Eph 5:20), obeying him (1 Jn 2:3-6), and making him known to others (Mk 16:15; Rom 1:16).
 
A Christian demonstrates his or her love for others by sharing their burdens (Gal 6:2), not minimizing their sin (Rom 13:14; Eph 4:17; Lk 17:3,4; Gal 6:1,10), seeking to restore them to fellowship with the Lord (Mt 18:21,22; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13; Lk 6:27, 28, 32-35; Rom 12:17-21; 1 Pt 3:9), and exemplifying the fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:17-23), and loving others as themselves (Rom 13:9).
 
We believe that the Scriptures call a Christian to be joyful (Neh 8:10; Psa 5:11; Jn 15:11), to trust in God (2 Chr 20:20; Isa 26:4; Heb 2:13), to live a life of holiness in the world (Rom 12:1; Eph 1:4; 1 Jn 2:15-17), to exhibit humility and honesty (Col 3:8-12; Rom 12:16; Eph 4:1-5; Phil 2:3-4), to deny self in submission to the sovereignty of Christ (Mt 16:24), and to be a faithful steward of things God has given:  mind, body, time, abilities, funds, and opportunities (1 Pt 4:10; Eph 5:15-16; Mt 6:19-21; Rom 12:1; 1 Cor 6:19-20).
 
We believe that a Christian should be increasingly sensitive to the sin of his own heart, and should, moment-by-moment, yield to Christ as Lord of his or her life for victory over pride, self-seeking, jealousy, a critical spirit, bitterness, and all other fruits of the old nature.  As the Spirit indicates to the believer, any practices that hinder his or her relationship to Christ, should, regardless of the standards of others, be discontinued.  Moreover, a Christian should forego anything that causes a brother or sister to stumble (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 4:31; 1 Cor 8:9-15).