The Christian Life
September 23, 2022, 1:39 PM

The Christian Life

The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)

It was “in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:26b). The Church in Antioch was what might be considered Paul’s home church. The term Christian was used by non-believers as a derogatory name reserved for those who were seen to follow Jesus, otherwise known as followers of the Way (Acts 9:2). Therefore, if you consider yourself to be a Christian, you are a follower of the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, namely Jesus (John 14:6).

A follower of Jesus is a citizen of the Kingdom, and life in the Kingdom was taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). In this great text, Jesus taught disciples the behavioral characteristics of living as a citizen of the Kingdom. The lifestyle taught is not for some future time. It is meant for now. Clearly, it seems impossible. Christ is the only one who lived it. He described the life lived by those who have been born again, those who have the regenerated desire to live in submission to God, by His Spirit, and for His glory. The Sermon’s ethic was intended to drive a believer to his knees in dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit, relying upon the perfect righteousness of Christ!

According to Luke’s record, Acts 11:26, Christians are disciples. A disciple is a learner and a follower of a master. Therefore, a Christian is a learner and follower of Jesus Christ our Master. Further, living the Christian life is namely the life a learner and follower of Jesus lives.

There is a road that must be taken at this point. The Bible teaches that followers and learners of Jesus Christ are made not born. In other words, God makes Christians. No one is born a Christian. The Bible declares that no one is righteous, no one even seeks God. The Bible describes all mankind as naturally children of God’s wrath.

The Christian life is informed by the biblical definition of salvation which is to be delivered by God from God for God. Christians live for God by having God-centered lives. Paul exhorted the Christians in Corinth to hold every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The Christian life, or otherwise called Kingdom Life, was taught by Jesus using parables. Through them He gave a comprehensive view of the Kingdom. They teach us about the sovereignty and steadfast love of the King. They teach the necessity of living each day before the King expecting His return at any time.

As we read through the parables in Matthew’s gospel, we see them as cumulative. Each one builds toward a climax. The climax is the King’s final judgment revealed in the parable of the sheep and the goats.

Immediately preceding Jesus’ teaching on the final judgment, He taught about living in the Kingdom— how Christians are to live under the Lordship of Christ. In the parable of the talents, the Christian life can be summarized by the word “investment.” I’m sure you are familiar with the story. In summary, Jesus compared the Kingdom of heaven to an owner who went on a journey and gave his property to three of his servants. They were given a specified sum of money, “according to his ability” (Matthew 25:15). The master then left on his journey, returned after a time, and sought to settle accounts.

Two servants invested the master’s money and presented him with a return on investment. They heard the master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant … Enter into the joy of your master.” Unfortunately, the third servant hid the master’s money and had no increase to give to the master. This servant did not hear comforting words. He heard words of judgment.

The two faithful servants were Kingdom Citizens and represent the Christian life. Jesus owns everything. He is the Lord of lords and King of kings. He has entrusted His people with gifts and talents and yes, money. God’s call to Christians is to invest what God has given for His glory.

The parable of the talents confronts and informs Christians. It confronts by causing us to examine our lives. We are asked if we are living for God. It informs by giving us a practical means by which we can live for God. If you are a Christian, you have a desire to live for God by investing what He has given for His glory.