A Call to Walk in Christ
This year we combined 5 studies to form one study which we named "Walking in Christ, Expecting His Return". I have loved it and I hope the class members have as well. We know we are living in a world that is becoming increasingly God-less and seems to be on the fast track to destruction. So the question is, how do we live our lives today as if we would be called to stand before Almighty God tomorrow and account for what we have done. Are we living our lives in such a way that others take notice and want to believe the Gospel is true? We began with Amos and learned that God takes sin seriously, especially sin in the lives of His own people. Colossians reminded us who Christ is, what He did for us and then what should be our proper response to Him. Colossians 2:6 tells us, "Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him". Malachi jolted us as we were reminded that what Stephen Hawking and many prominent scientists see as a coming cataclysmic and destructive event is what the Bible calls "the Day of the Lord". Malachi addressed people who could not see God at work among them because even though they were back in the land following their exile, nothing was the same. The priests were only half hearted and the people slipped into spiritual malaise just going through the motions of religion and dead orthodoxy. Another warning was that when we become frustrated by the toxic climate in this nation and the rest of the world it is easy to spend more time expressing that frustration at the expense of our call to be salt and light. Frustration gives way to anger and a sense that God has simply wiped His hands of this world. Sides are drawn and churches become liberal or conservative, each taking sides against the other. While feelings are strong, spiritual malaise sets in because 'things aren't the way they used to be'. Malachi made us examine ourselves and ask if our present attitude was the attitude of one who is "walking in Christ" or that of raging against the present world systems.
1 John is where we are now learning what it actually looks like to "walk in Christ, expecting His return”. We are learning that walking in Christ is based on right doctrine (that Jesus is the divine Son of God and the propitiation for our sin). Walking in Christ is evidenced by right living - with changed lives as children of God. Walking in Christ is also expressed by right loving - loving even those with whom we disagree - and this is possible because His Spirit and His word abides in us. We will end the year with Thessalonians which will prepare us to 'expect His return'. I hope we will finish these studies understanding that it is IMPORTANT how we live our lives. Walking in Christ is intentional. It can't be done until we realize our own vulnerabilities and sinful tendencies while at the same time understanding what it means to be a child of God and how that knowledge should shape our perspective. Do we waste the time that we have left hating the world and avoiding those who have a different world view or do we remember that Christ came to seek and to save the lost and He has entrusted us with the responsibility to be salt and light even among people with whom we disagree. He IS returning (possibly sooner rather than later). How am I living my life? Am I raging against the world or am I walking in Christ as He is still about the business of seeking and saving the lost? I have loved this study of these 5 books. I do hope the others have as well! I hope you have seen that these 5 books make a wonderful study of "Walking in Christ, Expecting His Return".
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I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.