The ABCs of Living the Christian Life  
Copyright 2003 by William Meisheid (8-28-03 present) Currently in process.

Abstinence does not make you holy but when applied to sex outside of marriage cures all public ills related to sexual conduct, yet it is impossible to sustain even within the believing Christian community.  (Matthew 5:28, Colossians 2:20-23)

Believing is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Christian experience and a long obedience in the same direction is the hardest thing in the Christian life. See also Faith, Perseverance. (Luke 8:13, Romans 3:22, Ephesians 1:13, Hebrews 10:39, 1 John 5:5)

Confession is the balm of Gilead for the soul of the sinner. (Psalm 32:5, Proverbs 28:13, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9)

Doubt like a snare always lurks on the edge of our journey, but it is giving into doubts that injures the soul. (Mark 9:24, Luke 24:38, James 1:6, Jude 1:22)

Evangelism is telling someone the good news, not just any old good news, but the significant good news of Jesus Christ's sacrifice that freed us from the debt and corruption of sin. Go, tell it on the mountain; let your voice ring out in the valleys; let it roll across the plains; Jesus Christ is risen and there is healing in his act of sacrifice.

Faith - A word pregnant with meanings, many of which go to the root of our relationship with God. At its heart it is trust, but a trust that is both founded in belief and nurtured by hope. We are saved by it, advanced in our Christian sanctification by it, and sustained by it, especially when all else fails. It also applies to the codification given to its expression as doctrine and belief over the history of the Christian Church. As Jude aptly says it is "the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints." See also Believing, Perseverance (Jude 1:3, Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 18:25, Psalm 37:28, Matthew 25:23, Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians !3:5, Ephesians 2:8, Ephesians 6:16, 2 Timothy 2:13, Hebrews 11:1, James 1:3

Grace is at the center of our Christian experience, emphasizing God's free gift of salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord and His continuing empowerment to live into the fullness of that gift. (Ephesians 2:7-9, 2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, John 1:16-17, James 4:6-7)

Hope is pivotal. Everything else depends on it. It is the belief that the next moment matters, that tomorrow, next week, next year, eternity all have meaning. Without it, hell has already overtaken you. (Job 11:18, Proverbs 23:18, Micah 7:7 Romans 5:3-5, Romans 15:13, 1 Corinthians 13:13, 2 Corinthians 2:10, Ephesians 1:18, Hebrews 10:23)

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Joy is God's wonderful gift to those hearts redeemed from sin by the love of God. (Nehemiah 8:10, Job 8:21, Psalm 5:11, Proverbs 10:28, Isaiah 12:3, Isaiah 55:12, Habakkuk 3:18, John 15:11, Acts 2:28, Acts 16:34, Romans 14:17, Galatians 5:22, 1 Thessalonians 5:16, James 1:2, Jude 1:24)

Kindness -  Rather than the warm, friendly, tenderheartedness of the common definition that finds its genesis in the humanity of the kind person, biblical kindness is rooted in the love of God and the loyal piety of those who in holiness act on that love.  (Genesis 39:21, Nehemiah 9:17b, Psalm 51:1, Psalm 92:2, Isaiah 54:10, Hosea 2:19, Galatians 5:22, Colossians 3:12, 2 Peter 1:5-8)

Love - Not the feelings-driven experience of post Victorian western civilization, but the sacrificially-driven commitment of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, which is eternally reliable. (Genesis 22:2, Exodus 15:13, Deuteronomy 7:9, Proverbs 3:2, Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16, John 15:13, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:35-37, 1 Corinthians 13:3-8, Hebrews 12:6, 1 John 4:10-16, Revelation 3:19)

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Perseverance is the golden virtue. It carries us through when all else fails, and at the end offers the crown of life. See also Believing, Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7-8, James 1:12, James 5:10-11, Hebrews 10:36)

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Will - The center of the decision-making process; the agency by which we choose or decide on a specific course of action; what makes us responsible for our actions before God. It is also at root of sin or sainthood, since it is the will that must submit to God for salvation and sanctification to be real. (Psalm 40:8, Psalm 143:10, 1 Kings 18:21, Ezekiel 22:14, Luke 22:42, Revelation 2:26)

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