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Introduction

Christianity is more than just a way of life or a set of ideals. It is life itself as we follow Him who is life and gives life. It is not only a belief in God nor is it knowledge of His existence and nature, but it is a life that exists in God.

There is a unique relationship between Our Lord and the believer, for it is a life shared. In baptism we die and rise again new with Christ.

So the Christian life is not the task of living a good life in the hope that it will earn us the Kingdom of Heaven. Instead, it is a life with Christ that starts on earth; His act of salvation on the Cross insured our freedom from sin and death but it does not stop there for He continues to save us in our daily lives. He transforms us and personally leads us into His Kingdom.

When Christ called the Apostles His words were simple “follow me”. So our calling is just as simple we do not follow a set of rules but Christ Himself. This may sound simple but sadly this call is often not understood. Many who claim to follow Christ actually remain firmly fixed in following there own lives. Many Christians will live out there lives following there own set of ideas, desires and ambitions while at the same time attend church, teach Sunday school and follow all the church fasts. It is only on closer examination that we realise that these people have two distinct and separate lives. When the ideas, desires or ambitions of that person come into conflict with a life following Christ it is easy to pursue them without any hesitation or realisation that they are compromising the spiritual life as these two lives are in separate existence.

It therefore requires great focus determination and self examination to ensure that it is Christ that we follow instead of following our own lives where all we are doing is trying to drag Him along with us and fit Him into our lives. If you are getting frustrated with your life or getting angry with God for things not turning out how you hoped, it is often good at these moments just to pause and reflect “is it my life I am living or did I not promise to follow Christ” remembering St Paul’s words “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” Gal 2:20

With this in mind our existence on earth is with Our Lord and Creator so our life reflects the presence of God within us. Prayer and reading His Word in the Bible therefore are essential to building this bond and without them all our efforts to live a good life are limited to our own abilities and we fall short of Gods calling which is to “be perfect”. For this reason on the main menu prayer and bible study are found separate to the section on life in Christ as they form the foundation of our daily life with Christ.

The relationship between man and God requires a true understanding of who God is and who we are in relation to Him. It is through Holy Scripture and the teachings of the church fathers that we develop this faith. Without a proper faith built on the truth we will not fully understand the nature of God as the Holy Trinity we will never truly appreciate His intention for us, the extent of His love in saving us from death and never grasp how intense His desire is to be reunited with us. Nor will we be witnesses of Christ if we do not fully understand His way. For these reasons the creed is recited daily by the believer. Also most crucially our faith and practices remain firmly within the church. In Orthodox tradition the Church is viewed as the Bride of Christ for there is a loving bond between us all collectively and God. Our Lord talks of us as being one body and He is the head. Without the church this would not be possible as we would be vulnerable to misunderstanding scripture or diluting the faith or even ignoring sins that lead to death. We would not be able to get together to pray with one voice and share in the Body and Blood of Christ that truly unites us all in Him. As such to live in Christ requires regular participation in the sacraments and a bond with your parish and priest.

God willing you will find some benefit and spiritual refreshment to your daily life and your own personal striving for a life in Christ in this section.


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