Teleios and other authors have shown Christian belief actually can improve personal wellbeing! Therefore, we are examining the Christian life in more detail to uncover some of the potential underlying causes of the improved wellbeing. We have spent the past few weeks discussing the convincing biblical truths which explain why your salvation is forever secure. Today we begin to discuss what scripture teaches about our Christian lifestyle.
As a biblical basis for the Christian life we are using 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7.
Let’s now consider verse 6:
1Th 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
Let’s take the 2nd half of the verse first, the importance of accepting God's word in our lives.
In Paul's informative prayer in Colossians1:9-14, he indicates the importance of approaching our Christian walk in a knowledgeable way (verse 9). Accordingly, to act correctly (verse 10) we first must know how to think. We do this first by knowing God's Word, especially the Epistles in the New Testament (Romans to Revelation 3). This is the section meant specifically to provide directions for the church age.
How do we come to understand the importance of the New Testament epistles in our lives? There is a process by which it develops:
· Jesus Christ - He came and spoke to us in the Gospels so people would believe in Him as Messiah. Upon the rejection of His message (Matthew 12), He taught the disciples about the coming age (Matthew 13-18, Matthew24-25, John 14-17) and later the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).
· The Apostles – To the apostles it was given to teach God's truth to the church (Matthew 28:19-20, apostolic authority). It was the listener's duty to obey what they heard from the apostles, not yet having the written Scriptures. Importantly, the authority of the Scriptures themselves are established not by just direct statements that they are Scripture (2 Peter 1:21, 2 Peter 3:16, 2Timothy 3:16) but also by verses that indicate the authority of the apostles (2Thessalonians 3:4-6, Colossians 1:25). To them God gave the charge to teach His truth and later to write the epistles, because they were taught by Christ Himself.
· Second generation Christians - These received the Word from the apostles and taught new believers under their authority (e.g., Timothy in the Pastoral Epistles).
· The Biblical canon - The true Word of God was written down as Epistles with guidance by the Holy Spirit. These letters were circulated probably in the early church period when apparently an informal canon of Scriptures was formed. A generally accepted canon existed in the 2nd century. The New Testament in its current form was finalized at the Synod of Hippo in 393 AD. The late finalization occurred probably due to Christians could not openly meet until Constantine legalized Christianity after he became the Roman emperor in 313 AD.
· Biblical authority for the Christian walk - The Bible speaks of accepting God's Word and using it as a basis for how we live our lives. Consequently, we receive not only the will of God and the benefits of the Spirit but also a healthy mind and good wellbeing through the Christian life as outlined in the Bible.
Far from being restrictive, the Bible liberates us by teaching us wisdom and what is true … with very few commands! It allows us to live a life of faith without being deceived by damaging practices in the world.
That's all for today; thank you for joining me. Next week we'll begin a series of blogs on how to apply this Word to our lives to receive its benefits.
The following site contributed to this blog: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity
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