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Principles of Christian Living


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Title: Principles of Christian Living

Principles of Christian Living
Lesson 9
Lesson TextHebrews 61-3
Hebrews 61-3 1 Therefore leaving the principles
of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto
perfection not laying again the foundation of
repentance from dead works, and of faith toward
Lesson TextHebrews 61-3
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on
of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of
eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God
Lesson TextHebrews 67-10
Hebrews 67-10 7 For the earth which drinketh
in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth
forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed,
receiveth blessing from God 8 But that which
beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is
nigh unto cursing whose end is to be burned.
Lesson TextHebrews 67-10
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of
you, and things that accompany salvation, though
we thus speak. 10 For God is not unrighteous to
forget your work and labour of love, which ye
have shewed toward his name, in that ye have
ministered to the saints, and do
Lesson TextHebrews 611-15
Hebrews 611-15 11 And we desire that every one
of you do shew the same diligence to the full
assurance of hope unto the end 12 That ye be not
slothful, but followers of them who through faith
and patience inherit the promises.
Lesson TextHebrews 611-15
13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because
he could swear by no greater, he sware by
himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless
thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15
And so, after he had patiently endured, he
obtained the promise.
Lesson TextHebrews 616-19
Hebrews 616-19 16 For men verily swear by the
greater and an oath for confirmation is to them
an end of all strife. 17 Wherein God, willing
more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise
the immutability of his counsel, confirmed
it by an oath
Lesson TextHebrews 616-19
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was
impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong
consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold
upon the hope set before us
Lesson TextHebrews 616-19
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into
that within the veil.
Focus VerseColossians 26
Colossians 26 As ye therefore received Christ
Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.
Focus Thought
Truth and direction in life are in Jesus Christ.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Many voices in our day claim they have the
answers to life. However, individuals must come
to their own realization of what life is all
about. Lifes joys and problems are rooted in
each persons answers to three important
questions. 1. Who am I? 2. Where did I come
from? 3. Where am I going?
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Philosophies and suppositions abound regarding
the origin of the human race. Some would like to
believe mankind is just one stage of an
evolutionary progression. They erroneously teach
that man evolved from the animal kingdom or some
lower species. Others wrongly believe we are
human forms of some spiritual beings that have
existed for all eternity.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
All of these voices make it necessary that people
establish who they are in order to gain a proper
perspective of the purpose of their existence and
where that purpose is leading them. An animal
exists only in this life with no eternal destiny
in view. Sadly, people who do not understand
their origin tend to adopt this attitude. Even
though they enjoy the best of the earths bounty
and resources, they still fall into foolish and
hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction
and perdition (I Timothy 69).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
They live as if there were no reckoning day and
no eternity, ignoring that they are created in
the image of God. Many individuals believe life
is merely an existence, a time to amass wealth
and possessions and satisfy carnal appetites.
This mindset is nothing new. Like the foolish
rich man in Luke 12, they say to their soul,
Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many
years take thine ease, eat, drink, and be
merry (Luke 1219).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Since they do not believe in a God who will
require accountability, they do not fear eternal
punishment consequently, they indulge in the
pleasures of sin. The joy of knowing that God
created mankind puts to rest the notion that man
can live like an animal. When individuals realize
God has a specific purpose for every human, they
see a God who loves them.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
They then base their lifes purpose on the will
of God. Jesus becomes the truth, and this
vantage point reveals all errors, allowing
believers to establish deep roots of faith in the
Lord Jesus.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
  • Assurance of Understanding

When one views life from a strictly human
perspective, it seems complex and futile. Hope is
not an innate human trait.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
The result of mankinds reasoning is a futile way
that Scripture warns will end in death (Proverbs
1625). On the other hand, knowing that Jesus is
the way of life and the eternal truth assures
believers that their lives and the lives of
others are part of a planned destiny. When
believers understand they belong to God their
creator, life acquires meaning that fills them
with purpose.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Not only did He create the human race, He
redeemed them by the death of the Son of
GodJesus Christ, in whom dwelled all the
fullness of God. In this sense, God can claim
double ownership. When viewing the outcome of
godless mankind, the psalmist complained to God
about their seemingly prosperous ways.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
However, the psalmists understanding changed
when he viewed the situation from a different
vantage pointhe moved to the place where God
dwells I went into the sanctuary of God then
understood I their end (Psalm 7317). When
viewed from Gods vantage point, one is able to
see truth. No wonder there is fullness of joy in
His presence!
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Not only did He create the human race, He
redeemed them by the death of the Son of
GodJesus Christ, in whom dwelled all the
fullness of God. In this sense, God can claim
double ownership. When viewing the outcome of
godless mankind, the psalmist complained to God
about their seemingly prosperous ways.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
However, the psalmists understanding changed
when he viewed the situation from a different
vantage pointhe moved to the place where God
dwells I went into the sanctuary of God then
understood I their end (Psalm 7317). When
viewed from Gods vantage point, one is able to
see truth. No wonder there is fullness of joy in
His presence!
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
In 1873, Fanny Crosby, the blind writer of
hymns, visited Phoebe P. Knapp, a friend who was
having a new pipe organ installed. Phoebe had
composed the music for a piece she called
Assurance. She played the tune for her friend
and asked, What do you think the song says?
Fanny replied, Blessed assurance, Jesus is
mine! Fanny wrote the words of Blessed
Assurance to Phoebes melody.
Blessed Assurance
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a
foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation,
purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in
His blood. This is my story, this is my
song, Praising my Savior all the day long This
is my story, this is my song, Praising my
Savior all the day long. Fanny Crosby
B. Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge
  1. Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge

Colossians 2 contains an interesting passage
concerning the Godhead. The apostle Paul
addressed the churches at Colossae and Laodicea
about the mystery of God, and of the Father, and
of Christ (Colossians 22). The Gnostics of that
day thought they alone had access to superior
knowledge they believed knowledge remained
shrouded in mystery to others.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Because the Colossians knew of this philosophy,
Paul drew from it to teach them about a mystery
that had been hidden from the ages and
generations (Colossians 126). However, he made
it clear that all believers now could understand
the mystery the fullness of the Godhead dwelled
bodily in Jesus Christ. Paul wanted them to know
Jesus, the source of all the treasures of wisdom
and knowledge (Colossians 23).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
In understanding who Jesus is, we can understand
where we came from, our purpose, and where we are
A. Enticing Words
Errors Answered in Jesus Christ
  1. Enticing Words

Paul admonished the church to understand that
Gnostic philosophy was not the source of all
wisdom and knowledge. The source of wisdom and
knowledge is Jesus Christ. The apostle warned
that deceitful individuals would try to change
this truth with enticing words or human
reasoning. How true this has been!
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
When mankind believes only what he can devise, he
is very limited. However, if one seeks God he
will find Him and receive an understanding beyond
human words and thought. Paul expressed it well
in Ephesians 317-19.
Ephesians 317-19
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may
be able to comprehend with all saints what is the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height and
to know the love of Christ, which passeth
knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the
fulness of God (Ephesians 317-19).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Oh, to understand the love of God! Although the
full force of it is beyond human knowledge, God
opens our understanding of His love to the extent
we can comprehend and He fills us with His
fullness. On the coastal road to Caesarea
Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples, Whom say ye
that I am? Suddenly, Peter blurted out, Thou
art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Jesus answered, Flesh and blood hath not
revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in
heaven. . . . and upon this rock I will build my
church (Matthew 1615-18). Jesus Christ has
built His church upon the truth of His identity,
which the Holy Spirit will reveal to all
B. False Philosophy
  1. False Philosophy

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged
Dictionary, philosophy is a love or pursuit of
wisdom a search for the underlying causes and
principles of reality. . . . a quest for truth
through logical reasoning rather than factual
observation. . . . a critical examination of the
grounds for fundamental beliefs and an analysis
of the basic concepts employed in the
expression of such beliefs.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Philosophy contains the core values from which
all other human thought flows. One of the avenues
of thought, humanism, is the belief that man is
the center and essence of this whole world.
Because it is what one could call false
philosophy, it deceives many people as to their
true purpose in life. The Scriptures plainly
state that all things were created by Jesus
Christ, and for him (Colossians 116).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
It is important for mankind to place the Creator
at the center of life, and then all other things
will fall into their proper place. A
Christocentric philosophy is essential to true
wisdom and a persons ability to experience full
life in its pure and original purpose as designed
by God. A father felt too tired to play with
his son, but the boys persistent asking led the
father to tear up a newspaper sheet with a
picture of the world and tell the lad to put
the world back together.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
The boy finished the task in record time. His
father asked, How did you do that so quickly?
The boy replied, There was a picture of a man on
the other side. When I put the man back together,
the world was in place. How true in our lives.
Putting ourselves together also puts the world
in its proper place.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Throughout his writings, Paul taught believers
about the greatness of God. Paul likened it to
inexhaustible riches of wisdom and knowledge
(Romans 1133). All things are of Him, through
Him, and to Him (Romans 1136).
C. Traditions
  1. Traditions

From one generation to the next, individuals,
families, and cultures hand down many traditions.
Some traditions we receive from former
generations are viable, but others we need to
discard. Some traditions have no real meaning or
benefit in the present however, others are vital
to the present and we should never discard them.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
It has been wisely stated that a person should
not remove an old fence until first he has
determined the reason for its existence and
location. Ancient landmarks are there for a
purpose. We must understand that purpose,
appreciate what we have received, and defend it
faithfully. The transition from carriage to car
did not happen overnight. From the late 1890s to
the 1920s, carriages vied with automobiles for
the right-of-way on city streets.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Most people regarded early cars as unreliable
novelties rather than as a serious means of
transportation. But by 1910 innovations in mass
production and engine technology had created a
vehicle that was both more reliable and more
affordable it soon became clear the automobile
was here to stay. By 1929 the number of wagon
companies operating in the United States had
dwindled to fewer than ninety.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Eventually, for the most part, horse-drawn
vehicles were no longer needed the automobile
had phased out a traditional mode of
transportation. One must evaluate existing
traditions in the light of Gods Word. I
Chronicles noted that the men of Issachar
understood their times, and this understanding
gave them insight as to what Israel ought to do.
(See I Chronicles 1232.) Some have supposed
these insights derived from astronomy or
other venues.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
However, others conclude God had given the men of
Issachar sensitivity to the time in which they
lived and to what God wanted Israel to do. Time
has a way of changing the actors, the stage, and
the script however, the Word of God provides
continuity and wisdom in every generation amidst
changing times.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Like the men of Issachar, godly leaders today
monitor the pulse of the times in which they
live. They know where we have been and are
sensitive to the guidance of God so they will
know how we are to proceed. They understand what
traditions are timeless and what traditions we
should lay aside.
D. Legalism
  1. Legalism

Legalism is the improper usage of traditional
guidelines. Its antithesis is antinomianism, the
belief that there are no binding guidelines. When
people gravitate to one extreme or the other,
they lose spiritual balance and they hinder the
communication and work of the gospel. Holding to
and presenting the truth in balance is vital to
every believer in Christ Jesus.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Paul warned the church at Colossae of legalists
who wanted to bind them to the observance of
Jewish traditions. Let no man therefore judge
you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an
holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath
days (Colossians 216). On the one hand,
legalists would have upbraided the Colossians for
failing to keep every Jewish tradition regardless
of its origin. Antinomians, on the other hand,
would have insisted there was no need at all
for any Sabbath. There was danger in
falling prey to either extreme
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Long before Constantine instituted Sunday as a
day on which Christians should worship, the
disciples of Jesus met on the first day of the
week. Paul preached on the first day of the week.
Saints met and collected offerings on this day. A
proper understanding of the command of the
Sabbath leads us to the fulfillment of the
Sabbath as the rest that we receive through the
Holy Ghost. Therefore, the Sabbath is not
completely done away with rather, the New
Testament experience fulfills its
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Legalism binds people in rigid bands, just as
the Jews were securely bound to their traditions.
Legalism distracts people, causing them to focus
on the rules instead of the Savior and the
greater purpose of the church. It fosters a
holier-than-thou attitude not only toward people
who live in sin, but also toward people of God
who do not subscribe to their particular set of
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Antinomianism leads to a freedom from all
restraints. People who believe this throw
timeless traditions by the wayside and pity the
people who stay on the traditional paths. Their
so-called freedom becomes to them a perceived
license to sin. However, in the final analysis
they will discover too late that their perceived
license to sin was a forged document of
deception. They will face the Judge of the earth
with the guilt of sin in their lives.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Therefore, it is wise to balance our traditions,
our beliefs, and our lives on the fulcrum of
wisdom and temperance.
E. Mysticism
  1. Mysticism

Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary reports
mysticism as meaning a theory of mystical
knowledge the doctrine or belief that direct
knowledge of God, of spiritual truth, of ultimate
reality, or comparable matters is attainable
through immediate intuition, insight, or
illumination and in a way differing from ordinary
sense perception or ratiocination.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
One could say that mysticism defines God through
human imagination. In his letter to the Romans,
Paul cautioned believers not to indulge in vain
imaginations. Unregenerate human imagination has
the capacity to skew perception and darken the
heart. People with vain imaginations tend to
think of God as an ethereal first cause, a
transcendent, remote being who is uninterested in
earthly events. However, those who know God
personally are fully aware of His intimate
connection and interaction with mankind.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Ultimately, mysticism ends with humanismworship
of the creature rather than worship of the
Creator. Humanists believe individuals do not
have to subscribe to any certain dogma to connect
with God instead, they are free to follow their
own paths toward spirituality. However, the Word
of God explicitly states there is a way that
seems right to mankind, but it only leads to
death and destruction. Only righteous paths
will lead a person to the right
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Individuals who seek salvation through any source
other than through Jesus Christ follow a path of
futility. They are full of human pride and resist
the idea of submission to Gods plan of salvation
as explained in Scripture.
A. All the Fullness of the Godhead in Christ
Rooted in Jesus Christ
  1. All the Fullness of the Godhead in Christ

Jesus asked His disciples, Whom do men say that
I am? (See Matthew 1613.) When Peter said Jesus
was the Christ, our Lord revealed He would build
the church on this foundational truth. Since
people are the building blocks of the church,
they need to understand that Jesus is the
churchs vital foundation and that He
is God manifested in flesh.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
God longed for an intimate relationship with His
creation. To achieve this, He manifested Himself
to mankind through the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
In him dwelled all the fulness of the Godhead
bodily (Colossians 29). It is incomprehensible
to suggest that God, as a Father, loved us so
much that He sent another in His place. Rather,
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto
himself (II Corinthians 519). He came
Himself! Jesus Christ was Truth in
living human flesh.
B. Complete in Christ
  1. Complete in Christ

We are incomplete without Christ in our lives.
Christ awakens our spiritual senses and gives us
the root of life, reviving us from death in
trespasses and sins. When we submit to the inner
working of the Spirit, Christ is formed in us
(Galatians 419). We are complete in Him. The
Greek word for complete is pleroo, meaning to
make full, to fill, to fill up (Thayers
Greek Lexicon).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ fills us to capacity and positions
us to participate fully in all the rich gifts of
God and communion within the body of Christ. No
matter where we are on our spiritual journey, we
are complete only in Him. From the newborn babe
in Christ who has just stepped onto the pathway
of righteousness to the spiritually mature
believer who has walked with Him for fifty
yearsall believers are complete through Jesus
C. Buried in Christ
  1. Buried in Christ

When individuals are buried with Christ in
baptism (Colossians 212), they are baptized in
the name of the Lord for the remission of sins.
They die to sin, having been buried with him by
baptism into death (Romans 64). Those who are
dead to sin bury the carnal nature with its evil
imaginations, desires, and deeds, and they put on
the nature of Christ.
D. Risen with Christ
  1. Risen with Christ

For if we have been planted together in the
likeness of his death, we shall be also in the
likeness of his resurrection (Romans 65).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Paul compared rising out of the waters of
baptism to the resurrection of our Lord. We
receive the Holy Ghost with the evidence of
speaking in other tongues and begin to walk in
newness of life. For he that is dead is freed
from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we
believe that we shall also live with him (Romans
67-8). We are dead indeed unto sin, but alive
unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans
611). Through water baptism we bury our
old nature.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Cleansed from our iniquities, we experience the
resurrecting power of the Holy Spirit with the
nature of Christ Himself abiding within. We begin
to hate what God hates and love what He loves.
Life has new meaning and purpose and goals. We
are risen with Christ to a higher purpose in life
and have the hope of living forever with Him.
E. Quickened Together with Christ
  1. Quickened Together with Christ

The word quickened means to reanimate
(Strongs Concordance). As Christ was raised from
the dead, so can we be raised from our dead state
in sins. He has quickened us, who were dead in
trespasses and sins. . . . He hath quickened us
together with Christ . . . and hath raised us up
together, and made us sit together in
heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians
21, 5-6).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
When we are born again, God reconciles us to
Himself, restores our communion with Him, and
infuses us with eternal life.
A. Following Instructions
Established in the Faith
  1. Following Instructions

The term established denotes stability. A
plant becomes established when it has had time to
settle in an environment that is conducive to its
health and growth. It pushes down roots to anchor
itself firmly, and its roots begin to ingest
nutrients and water from the soil.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Paul wrote, Rooted and built up in him, and
stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught,
abounding therein with thanksgiving (Colossians
27). The New Living Translation says, Let your
roots grow down into him, and let your lives be
built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in
the truth you were taught (Colossians 27).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Being established in the faith is essential for
a successful, settled, and consistent Christian
life. Becoming established in a spiritually
healthy environment enables believers to develop
a vigorous, spiritual root system that pushes
deep into a relationship with Jesus Christ and
His Word, the foundation of all spiritual
fruitfulness. Jesus is the bedrock of strength
that supports our human weakness and deficiency.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
He strengthens us during storms or drought and
fortifies our resistance to disease and damage
caused by evil pests. The strength of this
bedrock never wanes it sustains us through all
of lifes struggles, temptations, and setbacks.
Reading and meditating on the Word of God and
hearing the preached Word provide an environment
in which our Christian life can become firmly
established, healthy, and fruitful.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
A consistent prayer life is as life-giving and
refreshing to the believer as a spring shower to
a plant. However, no matter how ideal the
spiritual environment, the Christian will grow
only in proportion to his submission and
obedience to biblical instruction.
B. Overflowing with Thanksgiving
  1. Overflowing with Thanksgiving

God wants us to give thanks in everything, good
and bad. (See I Thessalonians 518.) Thanksgiving
spills over easily when good things come our way.
However, when bad things loom, thanksgiving often
leaks out. While we may not be thankful for
something difficult in our lives, certainly we
can be thankful in that circumstance,
whatever it may be.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Colossians 27 contains one of the ways to
develop a thankful attitude. First, believers
should establish an intimate relationship with
Jesus Christ and build their lives on Him. Then
His feeding, watering, and pruning encourage
their spiritual growth. When they follow the
leading of the Spirit and the teaching of the
Word, they grow strong in the truth. Obeying the
truth they have been taught results in a good
conscience (I Peter 316).
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
John wrote, And hereby we know that we are of
the truth, and shall assure our hearts before
him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater
than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved,
if our heart condemn us not, then have we
confidence toward God (I John 319-21). Oh the
joy of a clear conscience! When a Christian knows
he has obeyed the instructions to the best of his
ability, he loses all trepidation. He can rejoice
with a heart full of thankfulness.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Internalizing the Message
Living in truth requires that believers found
their lives on Christ Jesus, establish themselves
in His Word, and grow in knowledge of the truth,
grace, and faith. Understanding His love and who
He is causes them to ignore the siren songs of
vain philosophy, useless traditions, legalism,
and mysticism that try to uproot believers from
their position in Christ.
I. Truth Is in Jesus Christ
Believers push their roots deep in Him by obeying
the Spirit and the Word. Established in the
faith, they discover the previously unknown
spiritual treasures of wisdom, knowledge,
abundant life, communion with God, and fellowship
with people of like precious faith.