Secrets to Successful Christian Living

1. Dependent on practicing principles of discipleship.

Definition of disciple.

2. Characteristics of a disciple

A. Believes His doctrine

B. Rests on His sacrifices

C. Imbibes His spirit

D. Imitates His example

3. How each characteristic influences your life.

1. Believes His doctrine:

John 8:30

John 15:7

2 Tim. 4:14-15

Mt. 4:4

Joshua 1:7-9

2. Rests on His sacrifice:

John 3:3

1 Peter 1;23

John 5:26

2 Cor. 5:17

Ep. 1:3

Heb. 10:17

3. Imbibes His spirit:

Luke 14:26

Deut. 6:5

Mt. 5:44

John 15:12

Romans 13:8-10

2 Tim. 2:19-22

Titus 2:11

2 Cor. 6:14

Mt. 5:13-16

John 15:19

Romans 6:15-15

3. Imbibes His spirit: (cont.)

James 4:6

Romans 6:6

Gal 5:24

Romans 14:14-23

John 8:12

Ephesians 5:8-11

4. Imitates His example:

2 Thess. 2:13-15

Walking in love:

Ephesians 5:1-2

Romans 5:5

Col 2:2

Mt. 5:44

Luke 6:27

Keeping His commandments:

John 13:34-35

Obedience:

Luke 6:46

Obedience in giving:

Luke 6:37-38

Mt. 22:21

Gen. 14:20

Heb. 7: 6

Gen. 28:22

Lev. 27:30

Numbers 18:21,24

Deut. 12:11-12

Deut. 14:22

Mal. 3:10-11

1 Cor. 9:13-14

2 Cor. 9:7

Romans 8:32

1 Tim. 6:17-18

Gen. 22:5,13

1 Chron. 29:9

1. Cor. 9:14

4. Imitates His example:

1 Cor. 16: 1-2

2 Cor. 6:17

Mt. 5:16

Ep. 2:10

1Tim. 6:16

Life of Prayer

Luke 18:1

Mt. 7:7

Luke 6:12-13

John 6:11

Mt.14:23

John 11:41

Mt. 26:36-44

Romans 8:15

Jeremiah 33:3

1 Thess. 5:17

Phil. 4:6-7

James 1:5

Isaiah 40:31

Heb. 11:6

James 1:6-7

James 4:3

Psalms 66:18

James 4:2

James 4:6

2 Chron. 7:14

1 Cor. 14:15

Final Thoughts:

Col. 4:2

James 5:15

Proverbs 15:8

Psalm 55:17

James 5: 13-16

 

Secrets to Successful Christian Living

Successful Christian living is dependent on practicing the principles of discipleship.

A disciple is a person who believes in and helps disseminate or spread the teaching of a master.

In biblical times it was sometimes used to refer to the followers of John the Baptist or certain Pharisee. Primarily it was and still is used to describe followers of Christ.

A disciple of Christ:

A. Believes his doctrines.

B. Rests in his sacrifices

C. Imbibes his spirit.

D. Imitates His example

Letís look at how each of these characteristics are important in your daily Christian life.

Believes His Doctrine:

-- King James

John 8:30-32 As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

- King James

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Abide - dwell in , endure, be present in, remain

-- American Standard

1 Timothy 4:15 Be diligent in these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy progress may be manifest unto all.

-- King James

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

There is nothing more important for the development of your spiritual growth than regular systematic Bible study. Just as your physical body needs food everyday, your spiritual body needs the "bread of life," the Word of God!

-- King James

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Bible study is God Talking to us.

We need to listen!

The Bible is Godís word, it is Godís will for you.

-- King James

Joshua 1:7-8: Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

We need to stay in the Word everyday, meditate on it, dwell in it.

How to study the Bible:

1. Pick a specific time every day, dedicate that time to Bible study.

Donít get bogged down with doing it at a time someone else tells you, but pray about it, pick a time that you can be uninterrupted and can truly dedicate to study and meditation.

2. Start each study period with prayer.

-- Living Bible

James 1:5-6: If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind;

Ask God to show you His Word. To open your understanding.

Mark specific scriptures, date them

Write them down, hang them in your house so you can study them over and over.

Meditate on them, so that you can get the full meaning.

Believe it, appropriate the promises, write them down, claim them, stand in them.

Memorize scriptures and where they are in the Bible, so you can always have them ready.

3. Study it systematically, donít just open it and start reading. One suggested method is to read Gospel of John first, then read it again and maybe a third time, then do the same for the

Gospel of Luke. Next read Matthew and Mark, Acts, 1 Thessalonians, 1 John, Romans, and finally Ephesians. It is also helpful to start and end the day with a Psalm or Proverb.

Rest in His sacrifice:

What Jesus sacrificed, He did for us. This is the reality of the New Birth.

-- King James

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

-- King James

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

When we accepted Jesus, we accepted Godís life - Zoë - in us. It is the most life God has.

-- Revised Standard

John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself,

Our spirit is eternal:

- Revised Standard

1 John 1:2 the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us--

We are a new creature.

-- King James

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We are already Blessed!

-- Revised Standard

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

We are redeemed!

We have eternal life!

-- Revised Standard

We are reconciled to God.

Ephesians 1:18 -19: having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might.

Our sins are remembered no more!

-- King James

Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Imbibes His spirit:

-- Revised Standard

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

We have the spirit of a new creation, we are born again , we have eternal life.

When we have Godís spirit in us, we have Godís love in us. We are to love God with all our hearts!

-- Living Bible

Luke 14:26 ``Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters--yes, more than his own life--otherwise he cannot be my disciple.

-- Revised Standard

Deuteronomy 6:5 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Loving God and having his love in us, leads us to love one another. Jesus loved all men, even those who persecuted Him.

-- King James

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

-- King James

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

-- American Standard

Romans 13:8 -10 Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.

This love for each other leads to fellowship with each other.

There are many types of fellowship, fellowship with friends, family, associates at work, other Christians. The most important one is fellowship with other believers.

One proven successful method is church membership.

As a believer we need to belong to a fellowship of believers, a church.

Belonging to an organized body helps you in so many ways:

It keeps you from drifting.

It helps you develop as a Christian.

Gives a support system in happy time, such as weddings, births and sad times, such as illness and death.

You need to belong to a church that is scriptural, grounded in the Word. Believes in the trinity of God, the Birth, death and resurrection of Christ, the baptism in the Holy spirit and the functioning of the Gifts of the spirit.

Be an active member, join the choir, help in the childrenís ministry, or nursery, teach classed, help in the benevolence ministries. Get involved, this will help you socialize with other Christians.

We also need to be guided in our other social relationships.

- Living Bible

2 Timothy 2:19 But God's truth stands firm like a great rock, and nothing can shake it. It is a foundation stone with these words written on it: ``The Lord knows those who are really his,'' and ``A person who calls himself a Christian should not be doing things that are wrong.''

We are called to be separate and holy.

-- Living Bible

Titus 2:11 For the free gift of eternal salvation is now being offered to everyone;

-- Living Bible

2 Corinthians 6:14 Don't be teamed with those who do not love the Lord, for what do the people of God have in common with the people of sin? How can light live with darkness?

We cannot escape the company of unbelievers, but we do not have to constantly seek their company.

-- Living Bible

Matthew 5:13-16 ``You are the world's seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the world's light--a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.

Don't hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.

We are to savor the world, not the world flavor us! We should be witness to Godís mercy and love for everyone!

 

-- Living Bible

Titus 2:11 For the free gift of eternal salvation is now being offered to everyone; and along with this gift comes the realization that God wants us to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures and to live good, God-fearing lives day after day, looking forward to that wonderful time we've been expecting, when his glory shall be seen--the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He died under God's judgment against our sins, so that he could rescue us from constant falling into sin and make us his very own people, with cleansed hearts and real enthusiasm for doing kind things for others.

We are to be separate, live separate, we are in the world not of the world.

-- Living Bible

John 15:19 The world would love you if you belonged to it; but you don't--for I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you.

-- Living Bible

Romans 6:14-15 Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God's favor and mercy. Does this mean that now we can go ahead and sin and not worry about it? (For our salvation does not depend on keeping the law, but on receiving God's grace!) Of course not!

There is a balance between grace and holiness.

We are not under the law and therefore are not under bondage to a list of rules and regulations but we donít have a license to go out and do whatever we want and get away with it.

-- Revised Standard

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God--

GRACE - Godís Riches at Christís Expense

Grace is the enabling force that causes you to overcome!

We overcome: death with life

Evil with goodness

Sickness with health

Poverty with prosperity.

-- Revised Standard

James 4:5-8 Or do you suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.

We need to make a choice, where we are going to live - in the world - or in Christ.

You canít do both. A double minded man is tossed about and never stable- and will not grow in Christ.

American Standard

Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin;

-- American Standard

Galatians 5:24-25 And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof. If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.

We are dead to worldly things.

Walking in love and in the spirit means not being stumbling block to another Christian or to as unbeliever.

-- Living Bible

Romans 14:13-23 So don't criticize each other any more. Try instead to live in such a way that you will never make your brother stumble by letting him see you doing something he thinks is wrong. As for myself, I am perfectly sure on the authority of the Lord Jesus that there is nothing really wrong with eating meat that has been offered to idols. But if someone believes it is wrong, then he shouldn't do it because for him it is wrong. And if your brother is bothered by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you go ahead and eat it. Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Don't do anything that will cause criticism against yourself even though you know that what you do is right. For, after all, the important thing for us as Christians is not what we eat or drink but stirring up goodness and peace and joy from the Holy Spirit. If you let Christ be Lord in these affairs, God will be glad; and so will others. In this way aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

Don't undo the work of God for a chunk of meat. Remember, there is nothing wrong with the meat, but it is wrong to eat it if it makes another stumble. The right thing to do is to quit eating meat or drinking wine or doing anything else that offends your brother or makes him sin. You may know that there is nothing wrong with what you do, even from God's point of view, but keep it to yourself; don't flaunt your faith in front of others who might be hurt by it. In this situation, happy is the man who does not sin by doing what he knows is right.

But anyone who believes that something he wants to do is wrong shouldn't do it. He sins if he does, for he thinks it is wrong, and so for him it is wrong. Anything that is done apart from what he feels is right is sin.

This includes any action we choose. We canít live our lives by what people think of us, but when we walk in love toward all, then we do want to set a good example and live a Godly life. So consider carefully what you wear, where you go, what movies or books you watch.

Etc. R. A. Torrey said it, long before it was a catch phrase. What would Jesus do in that situation.

-- Revised Standard

John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

 

-- Living Bible

Ephesians 5:8 ,11,15 For though once your heart was full of darkness, now it is full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! Take no part in the worthless pleasures of evil and darkness, but instead, rebuke and expose them. So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don't be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.

Remember you are the light of the world , you are the worldís view of Christ.

Imitates His Example:

-- American Standard

Matthew 10:24 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord.

-- American Standard

2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you through our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.

Jesus Christ set many examples for us to follow.

He walked in love toward all, His love was poured out to us by the Holy Spirit.

-- Living Bible

Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God's example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father. and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell.

-- Revised Standard

Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

-- King James

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

When we love God, we Keep His commandments.

-- King James

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

One of the key areas we are to be obedient in , is giving,

Giving of our money, time and energy.

-- American Standard

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

-- King James

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

-- American Standard

Matthew 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's.Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

What belongs to God is the tithe and offerings.

The tithe is the dedicated tenth of your first fruit., it is consecrated. Set apart.

It was recognized before the time of Moses.

-- American Standard

Genesis 14:20 And blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him a tenth of all.

-- American Standard

Hebrews 7:6 but he whose genealogy is not counted from them hath taken tithes of Abraham, and hath blessed him that hath the promises.

Jacob paid tithe before the time of Moses.

American Standard

Genesis 28:22 then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house. And of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

 

Tithing was given as a law to Moses.

-- Living Bible

Leviticus 27:30 ``A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lord's, and is holy.

- Living Bible

Numbers 18:21 As for the tribe of Levi, your relatives, they shall be paid for their service with the tithes from the entire land of Israel.

-- Living Bible

Numbers 18:24 for the people's tithes, offered to the Lord by the gesture of waving before the altar, shall belong to the Levites; these are their inheritance, and so they have no need for property.''

-- Living Bible

Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so that there will be food enough in my Temple; if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you won't have room enough to take it in!``Try it! Let me prove it to you!

I for one do not want to shut off this blessing.

The Jews had to pay tithe for 3 reasons. To support the Levites, to support the temple and to support the poor.

The Lord tells us to be a cheerful giver.

-- Living Bible

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every one must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don't force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes.

The Bible tells us to give an tenth, in the old testament, I feel that is what God wants us to do, Jesus said give to God what is God. The tenth is Godís.

However, in the New Testament , Paul tells us to purpose in your heart, so get with God and decide what to give and then be faithful to give it.

Tithing is a form of worship, Worship is the way we express our love and gratitude to God.

When we tithe we are saying to god, we love him, adore him and acknowledge that he is the owner of all things.

-- American Standard

Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come again to you.

-- American Standard

1 Chronicles 29:9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to Jehovah: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.

- American Standard

1 Corinthians 9:14 Even so did the Lord ordain that they that proclaim the gospel should live of the gospel.

People who live by the gospel should, be supported by it. We need to support our local church, the pastor and other ministries as well.

- Living Bible

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now here are the directions about the money you are collecting to send to the Christians in Jerusalem; (and, by the way, these are the same directions I gave to the churches in Galatia). On every Lord's Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn. Don't wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.

We give because we donít to shut up the windows of heaven, , we want to give generously, we want to help care for the poor and needy and we want to give to support the gospel.

 

Jesus set us an example by leading a life of prayer.

Failure in your Christian walk always comes from a neglect of your prayer life.

- American Standard

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to the end that they ought always to pray, and not to faint;

- American Standard

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Any decision Jesus made was made after time spent in prayer.

Choosing the disciples Luke 6:12-13

Before feeding the 5,000 John 6:11

Before calming the sea Mt. 14:23

Before His trial and being crucified.

-- American Standard

Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go yonder and pray.

 

 

 

Characteristics of Prayer:

It is a reverent or devout petition to god.

It is a cry -- American Standard

Romans 8:15 For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

It is a call -- American Standard

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and will show thee great things, and difficult, which thou knowest not.

It is direct communion with God the Father.

We should pray without ceasing - King James

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Prayer leads to a joyous life: American Standard

Philippians 4:6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Aspects of Prayer:

It should be specific, ask for certain things

- American Standard

James 1:5 But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Or strength

- Living Bible

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Should be done in faith.

-- Revised Standard

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

-- Living Bible

James 1:6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind;

Should be intelligent. Composed of several parts, adoration or worship

Confession, thanksgiving and supplication or asking.

-- American Standard

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures.

- Living Bible

Psalms 66:18 He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins.

Unconfessed sin will stop prayer in its tracts!

You can pray anytime -anywhere. But you should pick a time that is good for you and God and stick with it.

Pray humbly -- American Standard

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore the scripture saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.

Pray in the spirit: -- Living Bible

1 Corinthians 14:15 Well, then, what shall I do? I will do both. I will pray in unknown tongues and also in ordinary language that everyone understands. I will sing in unknown tongues and also in ordinary language, so that I can understand the praise I am giving;

Let me leave you with a few scriptures:

- Living Bible

Colossians 4:2 Don't be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God's answers and remember to be thankful when they come.

-- Living Bible

James 5:15 And their prayer, if offered in faith, will heal him, for the Lord will make him well; and if his sickness was caused by some sin, the Lord will forgive him.

- Living Bible

Proverbs 15:8 The Lord hates the gifts of the wicked, but delights in the prayers of his people.

-- Living Bible

Psalms 55:17 I will pray morning, noon, and night, pleading aloud with God; and he will hear and answer.

-- American Standard

James 5:13 Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise.

American Standard

James 5:14 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: