BL - 19 Christian Life



Purpose of the Course

  Every Christian must know how to live a life in this world, successfully and gracefully, in order to glorify God through his life.

Who is Christian?

These days people hold various interpretations to the word “Christian”. The general meaning is ‘one who belongs to the Christian Religion’. There are more interpretations to this word like ’Followers of Christ’, ‘Disciple of Christ’ or ‘Slave of Christ’. However, it is important to know how the Word of God esp. the New Testament of the Bible talks about a Christian.

The disciples were known as ‘Christians’, first in Antioch (Acts:11:26).  Who were the people that were called as Christians in Antioch? The answers for this lies in verses of Acts:11:19-26. Those who were scattered after the persecution following Stephen’s martyrdom, preached about Jesus in Antioch(v:20). So in Antioch, many people became believers and turned to the Lord (v:21). These new disciples, who became believers, were first called as Christians in the city of Antioch, by the people of Antioch.

Likewise in Acts:26, Paul reveals his faith and his true confession in front of King Agrippa, when he was presented before him for judgement. While he was being interrogated, he asked, “Do you believe in Prophets? I do trust that you believe” (26:27).King Agrippa answered this by saying, “You are almost persuading me to become a Christian” (v:28).When we keenly observe the conversation between these two, we understand that if one wants to become a Christian, he should believe in the name of Jesus Christ. The fact to be noticed here is that King Agrippa believed on the prophets, but was hesitant to believe on Jesus.Thatwaswhy he said that Paul was coming nearest to persuade him to become a Christian. To become a Christian one should believe on Jesus as his Saviour; it is not sufficient that one believes on prophets alone. One should believe on Christ, who has been prophesied and witnessed by the prophets themselves. So King Agrippa, who believed on the prophets, but was unwilling to believe Christ, could not become a Christian.

From these scriptural readings we know that those who believe on Jesus Christ are known as ‘Christians’. Only those who believe on Jesus Christ are ‘Christians’. The Greek word ‘Christ’ means “the anointed”. So Christian means an anointed person. This anointing is inward.

 The different names of a Christian


  There are varied names and terms in use to refer to people who have accepted Jesus as Saviour.

  • Nazarene: Jesus was called ‘Nazarene’ (Matt:2:23), because He was brought up (or grew) in Nazareth. When He was crucified, Pilate wrote” Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jews” (Jn:19:19). Since Jesus was referred as ‘Nazarene’ in the name of His nativity, those who followed Him were also called as Nazarenes (Acts:24:5).
  • Believers: In the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles, those who followed Jesus were referred to as ‘Believers’ (Acts:10:46).
  • Disciples: This word, referred to the early apostles, is also used in many places (Acts:20:17).  Thus those who followed Jesus were known with different special names such as disciple, Christian, Nazarene, Believer etc. in the New Testament.
  • In some parts of the epistles, Christians are specified as saints (Eph:1:1).

Having Born Again and Becoming the Child of God

  Though those who believed on Jesus are called Believers, the scripture specifies the believers as Children of God. “Whosoever believed on Him and accepted Him, to them He gave power to become Children of God” (Jn:1:12). Hence, when a person believes that Jesus died for his sins and accepts Him as his Savior, he is saved. So, the Bible calls a person ‘”a child of God”, only when he believes on Jesus as his saviour. Thus, when he becomes a Child of God, he is Born Again. (Jn:3:3-7). By believing on Jesus and having born again, the Holy Spirit bears witness to a believer as the Child of God.

The Stages in the Spiritual Growth of a Person

 One who believes in Jesus and who is born again (newly saved) is a spiritual child (Jn:1:12). This Child of God, who is still a Babe, should grow as a new man. (Eph:4:24). This process of a spiritually born again person, becoming a matured man spiritually is referred to as Christian Spiritual Growth. This is briefly called as Christian Life. There are five stages of spiritual growth, right from spiritual birth to attaining the image of Jesus.

  1. The Birth (Jn:3:3-7, :1:!2)
  2. The Babe (Child) (1 Pet: 2:1-2)
  • The Spiritual Man (Eph:4:24)
  1. The Perfect (Complete) Man (Heb:5:14, Eph:4:11, Heb:6:2)
  2. The Image of Jesus (Rom:8:29)

  Note:   The Biblical views regarding Christian Life is given in our lessons systematically, from spiritual birth to spiritual maturity, in stages.

 Christian Life   –      From Spiritual Birth to attaining the Image of Christ

 Christian Spiritual Birth

 Birth is the prime source of all life. In the same way, for a spiritual life in Christ, ‘spiritual birth’ is the source. This ‘spiritual birth’ is explained in earlier – Being born again and becoming a Child of God. ( Jn:1:12, 3:3-7, 2 Cor: 5:17, Eph: 4:24, Titus:3:5). There are more such phrases or words used in the Bible to denote the spiritual birth (regeneration).

  • Redemption (Eph:1:8)
  • Being saved (Eph: 2:8, Rom: 8:24)
  • New Creation (2 Cor:5:17, Eph:2:10,15, Gal:6:15)
  • New Man (Eph:5:24)
  • Eternal Life (Gal:6:8)
  • The Inner Man (Eph: 3:16)

   He who received salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is the ‘Child of God’. It is the prime concern of God to bring a man to salvation and make him a child of God (1Tim:2:4)

 The Food for Spiritual Growth

A new born believer is a spiritual child. Just like a new born child is growing slowly, the spiritual child should also be growing right from the day of salvation. Food is necessary for physical growth. In the same way, spiritual food is necessary for spiritual growth. The ‘Word of God’ is the true food which helps our spiritual growth.  The Bible compares the Word of God as spiritual food in the following ways.

  • Sincere milk (1 Pet:2:2) –   Food is the basis for growth; mother’s milk is a perfect food.
  • Honey (19:10,11) –  It has many medicinal values


  Both these food are used by children as well as elder people. Like wise, every Christian must use God’s Word in his daily life and throughout his life.

The Importance of the Word of God and its Usefulness (2 Tim:3:16 -17)


The Bible verses make a Christian strong

  • Helps him matured
  • Makes him eligible for good works
  • Teaches
  • Admonishes
  • Reforms
  • Teaches righteousness

  When a saved man reads Bible regularly, and submits himself to the ‘Word of God’, Christian growth begins in his life and he progresses gradually.Thus the Word of God becomes useful to him.

 Factors Helping Spiritual Growth


Bible verses (Word of God) are the basic food for spiritual growth. God has prepared some plans, along with the Word of God, for Christian growth.

  • Prayer Life (Eph:6:18, Phil:4:6, 1 Thes:5:17)
  • The Fellowship of Believers (Acts:2:42, Heb:10:25)
  • Faith ( Rom:1:17, 2 Cor:5:7, Heb:11:1,6, 12: 1-2)

   A Christian should be praying regularly (himself). Simlarly, he should be praying in groups or alongwith the other church people. Moreover, Christians should observe the coming together of the church regularly. As far as possible, at least once in a week, as a church or as a group, he should come together with believers to worship God. He should be trusting on God in all phases of his life (should be firm in faith). – (Hab:3:17-19).

     When a Christian reads the Bible regularly, and through prayer and fellowship of other believers and by being strong in faith, he grows in spiritual life, step by step.

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Spiritual Growth

Many Christians, when they are born again, are very regular in spiritual activities, by reading the Bible regularly, participating in church fellowship, Prayer fellowship, continuing in Faith etc. However, even after many years of salvation, some cannot find sufficient or expected growth in their spiritual life. These Christians who are born spiritual, are inclined to temporal and carnal interests, like the Galatians (Gal: 3:3-5).So the Christian should fully submit himself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for proper Christian growth to be manifested in him. Only then, carnal things will be removed from him and spiritual growth be found in him (Gal:5:16)

 Even after so many years, if the believer is not growing spiritually, they are babes depending on milk (Heb:5:12-14). These Christians are babes since they are not able to distinguish good and evil spiritually. They should be guided by the Word of God, so that they could distinguish the spiritual good and evil in a proper balanced way.

  • The Holy Spirit shall teach and remind us  the Words of Jesus (Jn:14:26)
  • They should be guided by the Holy Spirit (Gal:5:18)
  • They should be spiritual minded (Rom:8:5)
  • They should be controlled by the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Eph: 5:18)

  When a Christian is guided continuously by the Holy Spirit, he can lead a victorious Christian life.

The Goodness following the Christian for his Obedience to the Guidance of the Holy Spirit


  1. Practical Goodness
    • Strengthened in the inner man (Eph:3:16)
    • Life and Peace (Rom:8:6)
    • The Holy Spirit helps in his infirmities (8:26)
    • Gives Fruits (Gal:5:22-24, 2 Pet:1:8)
  1. Positional Goodness
    • No Judgement or condemnation in hell (Rom:8:1)
    • Freedom from sin and death (Rom:8:2,3)
    • The Holy Spirit abides in the Christian Believer (Rom:8:11, Gal:4:6, 1 Cor::6:19)
    • He becomes the Child of God (Gal:4:6,7  Rom:8:14-17)


 The good Christian who grows by the guidance of the Holy Spirit attains the spiritual status of a ‘Perfect man’. (Eph:4:11)

The Goodness caused by the Spiritual Growth of Christian to Others

One of the important intention of God when He saves a man and makes him a new creation is to see him grow as a Child of God. The other interest of God is that he (saved man) should do good to others.(Eph:2:10).

  • Do good to the Nation  (Rom:13:1,  1 Tim:2:1-3)
  • Do good to others (Gal:6:9,10)
  • Specially, he should do good to his fellow Christians (Gal:6:10)

    A good Christian will be patriotic with Godliness (Matt:22:21). He shall reject all sorts of disorderliness and terrorism. He shall not support any such activities. He will prove to be the best citizen of any country in which he is placed.

Christian Life and Spiritual Gifts

The Holy Spirit, according to His Great Will, gives atleast one gift, to every saved Christian (1 Cor:12:11). As a Christian grows according to the Word of God (Bible), the gifts given by God also manifests and starts working powerfully, in a proper way. When he applies these gifts in the church and in the ministry, the name of God will be glorified. It helps him also to grow in Christ and His Love.

The Struggles in a Christian Life


What is meant by Christian struggle? It does not necessarily mean “to fight with those in Power or to fight those who speak ill of Christians”. (Eph:6:11-12). By contrast it means that a Christian fights spiritually those things which are hurdles to his spiritual growth, and he comes out victorious.

There are three spiritual enemies to a Christian:

  1. Satan and other Evil Spirits : These evil spirits work against the Christian right from the day of his salvation (born again). (Eph:6:10:12, 1 Pet:5:8)

        How to fight the Satan:   If we fight the devil with the help of the WORD, he will run away (Eph:6:13-18, James:4:7,8,   1 Pet:5:9). Jesus fought the devil who tempted Him, with the help of the WORD (Matt:4:4, 7,10).

  1. The World: The reason that the world fights the Christian is due to the  devil’s inducement; he is the world’s current master (Jn:12:31, 15:18-21, 1Jn:5:19). Because the world opposes Christ, it opposes the Christian too (1 Jn:3:13).

             Some Christians, when they are very attached to the worldly things, show indifference to godly things (James:4:4).Thus, either the world fights the Christians or because the Christian loves the world too much, he is unable to grow spiritually. So, to fight against the world and to grow spiritually, the Christian should fight a spiritual fight against his worldly attachment.(1 Jn:1:15,17).

The Spiritual Way to Win the World


  • Be strong in Jesus (Jn:16:33)
  • Believe in Jesus (Have faith in Jesus) – ( Jn:15:5, 1 Jn:5:4-5)

Note:    God will bring all opposition to victory and do good for us (Rom:8:28, 12:18-21)

  • The Flesh: Many Christians fight the devil and the world, in the spiritual way (method) and come out victorious. In the same way, they should fight their carnal desires and other lusts and come out successful. The flesh works against the spiritual thinking (Gal:5:17).These are all against one another. (Rom:7:14-24).

 The Way to defeat Flesh

  • To depend on Jesus only (Rom:7:25, Jn:15:5)
  • To exercise control over body (1 Cor: 9:25-27)
  • To walk according to the Spirit (Gal:5:16)


Counselling to the one who failed in Christian Life (1 Jn:1:9, 2:12)


  When one is defeated or becomes a failure in Christian life, it is not the end of hope of a Christian life. If he confesses his failures to Christ, God forgives him and lifts him again.

Knowing the Will of God

 It is every Christian’s duty that he should do everything by knowing the Will of God. God has revealed His will in the Bible. However, before taking some decisions in matters concerning the temporal living, it is better if a Christian knows the Will of God and does accordingly (Eph:5:17).

  1. The Basic method to know the Will of God

               The Bible reveals the Love of God.. So first one should know what the Bible tells about the temporal affairs or matters in which one wants to take decision.

  1. What to do to know the Will of God

         That which is not given openly (clearly) in the Bible and if we want to know the Will of God for them, we should follow some principles with the help of the verses from the Bible (Eg:Will of God concerning business / higher studies)

Prayer:  Before starting any work, we should let it known to God through prayer (Psalm:37:5).

Wait in Patience:  When we let things known to God through prayer, God, many times answers through the Bible verses (Ps:27:14, Heb:12:1,2, Rom:1:12).

Counsel:   When we are praying over certain things, we should seek the word of God to know whether there is any idea or counsel available regarding our work. If the Bible verses are not pointing clearly what we are seeking for, we can ask counseling from spiritually matured persons.

        If it is business or some other professional matter we are concerned with, we can counsel with those who are experienced in that capacity. After listening to counsel from them, we should surrender those matters to the guidance of God in prayer.

(Eg: Moses takes advice from his father-in-law – Ex:18:13-27)

 Peace of Mind:   When we wait on God, peacefully, with the help of the verses from the Bible, prayer, counseling etc., what we seek for will be made clear to us and we will be guided by the Will of God, without any doubt or conflict and in perfect peace. In those situations, we will enjoy the peace of mind (Phil:4:6,7; Col:3:15).

Guidance by Circumstances / Providential Guidance:  When we wait on God with prayer, for the guidance of God, God guides us through circumstances and favorable happenings, according to His will, for our good.

 (Eg: The servant of Abraham finds a suitable bride for his master’s son, Isaac – Gen: 24).


We should not only be depending on circumstances for knowing the Will of God. If we do not observe proper prayer life and guidance of the Word of God, sometimes circumstantial happenings may mislead and bring failures. So we are to guard against such things.

 Public Life

  Can we read books other than the Bible?


      We should avoid books which do not help in improving knowledge. While reading knowledge giving books also, if we find anything in it against the truths revealed in the Bible, it is advised to reject such things. Because Biblical facts are not destroyed by time and they are giving life and goodness to men throughout (always).

Daniel and Moses, even when they were learned and highly educated in arts and literature of all the religions known to the palaces, where they were placed, they were not disturbed or moved away from the faith on the God who created the world and from the words revealed by Him. In the same way, even if we read many books, it is important that we remain strong in the faith on the Word of God, which is the Bible. It is also necessary that we should reject books which are contrary to the Word of God (1 Tim:4: 7-10).


  1. Smoking, Drinking, Taking Bribes – Write and compile the Bible facts, truths regarding these evil practices.
  1. Write on the social evils caused by films.

Believer’s Life (Summary)

  1. The condition of man before becoming a believer: (Eph: 2:1-3, Rom:3:23)
  2. How one becomes a believer – 1 Cor:15:1-4   (By accepting the Gospel)
  • The relation between the believer and his God – Father and Child relationship    

                                                                                             – Jn:1:12, Rom:8:14-17

  1. The different names of a believer (Acts:10:46)
  • Disciple (Acts:20:1,7)
  • The Righteous man – The Just  –  (Rom:1:16,17)
  • The Christian – (Acts: 11:26) (CHRIST   =     The Anointed)
  • The New Man (Acts: 2:15, 4:24)  
  • The Spiritual (1 Cor:2:15)
  • Nazarene (Acts: 24:5)
  • The Saints (Eph:1:1)
  • A Royal Priesthood (1 Pet:2:9)
  • Brethren (1 Tim:4:6)
  1. The stages of Spiritual Growth of a believer
  • Birth (Jn:3:3-7, 1:12)
  • Babe, Child (1 Pet:2:2-3)
  • Spiritual Man (Eph:4:24)
  • Perfect Man (Heb:5:14, 6:2, Eph:4:11)
  • The Image of Jesus (Rom: 8:29)
  1. The most important food for a believer’s growth (Word of God)
  • Milk (1 Pet:2:2-3)
  • Honey (Psalms:19:10,11, 119:103)
  • The connection between the believer and the Scriptures – to be strengthened

                                                       (2 Tim:3:16,17)   

  • The factors helping believer’s growth
  • Prayer (Phil:4:6, 1 Thes:5:17)
  • Fellowship (Acts:2:42, Heb:10:25)
  1. The Enemies of a Believer –
  • The Devil – (Eph:6:10-12, 1 Pet:5:8 ——   James:4:7,8, Eph:6:13-18
  •   The Flesh  –  Gal:5:17, Rom:7:14-24   —-   Rom:7:25,  1 Cor: 9:25-27, Gal:5:16
  • TheWorld – 1Jn:3:13,5:19,Jn:12:31,15:18-21——          Jn:16:33, 1 Jn:5:4-5
  1. The Believer’s Safety (protection) – Eph:6:10-18 (The Arms of Roman soldiers –   Armour of God)
  1. The only weapon of a Believer –  Eph:6:17 (Word of God)

Example –  Jesus  –     Matt:4:4,7,10 (Deut: 8:3, 6:16, 6:13, 10:20)

   xii.  Believer’s Life Principle    –    Rom:8:29, 1 Cor:10:31

 xiii. The Faith of a Believer       –     1 Thes:4:13-18. 1 Cor:15