The Christian Understanding of One's Conduct
This is the tenth of an ongoing series of articles exploring Calvary Grace's Congregational Confession of Faith.
X. Christian Conduct
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.
As the old catechism put it, the chief end of man is to “glorify God and enjoy him forever.” In an age where “it’s all about me!” it is vital for Christians to understand that God’s main objective in saving each of us wasn’t to give us a ticket out of hell, but actually to bring himself glory and honor and praise.
If God saved us first and foremost for himself and his own reasons, not us and ours, this means that not only are we are saved for a purpose, but that our now-saved lives don’t actually belong to us anymore. As believers, we are not our own anymore; the eternal life we now possess is now to be lived for him. Accordingly, this tenth article of our Congregational Confession of Faith lays out some broad categories in which our salvation should be displayed in our lives.
Part of how we display God’s love for us is by loving our neighbour. We were bought at a price, but if not for the grace of God that saves us, we would deserve as bad as or worse than our neighbour. So there is no room in the Christian life for selfishness or pride or a smug superiority regarding our neighbour; rather, we are to treat others as better than ourselves.
Part of this Christian conduct is striving to be blameless in how we live, fighting the indwelling sin in our own lives. We are a display, a billboard, for Christ in a fallen world. Sinless perfection may not be possible in this life, but that is no excuse for not rooting out and attacking the sins that cling to our hearts. The pursuit of holiness is not only not an option for a believer, but is one of the most obvious evidences that our salvation is genuine in the first place.
We are to be faithful stewards of our possessions, recognizing we have nothing that we were not given by God’s gracious providence. Our time, our money, our very bodies are not our own, but have been entrusted to us to be used on God’s behalf for God’s purposes. This entails we be generous and sacrificial with our possessions—and, their time. At Calvary Grace Church, one way we call everyone to be generous is with their time in helping others “realize the full stature of maturity in Christ.” This means being a regular part of the church’s fellowship. This means pouring yourself into others, mentoring younger and newer believers, and learning from those who are more mature. This means encouraging, exhorting, rebuking, and bearing the burdens of all.
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