THE CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE SOCIETY
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1.1 Background of the study
The Christian life begins with receiving our Lord Jesus Christ, the gift of God’s love and forgiveness by faith. It results in a triple commitment to a person, the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a commitment to Him of your intellect, emotions, and will.The Christian life is a personal intimate relationship between one and Christ. This life begins in faith according to Ephesians 2:8-9 and can only be lived by faith. Faith is another word for trust. We trust our lives to Christ’s keeping because He has proven Himself trustworthy by His life, His death, His resurrection, and His abiding presence, His unconditional love.The Christian life from onset is meant to be a life lived by faith. It is by faith that we enter into the Christian life and it is by faith that we live it out. Once we begin the Christian life by coming to Christ for forgiveness of sin, we understand that what we seek cannot be obtained by any other means than by faith. We cannot work our way to heaven, because nothing we could ever do would be sufficient. Those who believe they can attain eternal life by keeping rules and regulations, a list of do’s and don’ts deny what the Bible clearly teaches. “But that no one is justified by the Law in the sight of God is clear, for, ‘The just shall live by faith’” (Galatians 3:11). The Pharisees of Jesus’ day rejected Christ because He told them this very truth that all their righteous deeds were worthless and that only faith in their Messiah would save them.
In Romans 1, Paul says that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power that saves us, the gospel being the good news that all who believe in Him will have eternal life. When we enter into the Christian life by faith in this good news, we see our faith grow as we come to know more and more about the God who saved us. The gospel of Christ actually reveals God to us as we live to grow closer to Him each day. Romans 1:17 says, “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” So part of the Christian life is diligent reading and study of the Word, accompanied by prayer for understanding and wisdom and for a closer, more intimate relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
The Christian life is also supposed to be one of death to self in order to live a life by faith. Paul told the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Being crucified with Christ means that our old nature has been nailed to the cross and has been replaced by a new nature which is Christ’s (2 Corinthians 5:17). He who loved us and died for us now lives in us, and the life we live is by faith in Him. It means sacrificing our own desires, ambitions, and glories and replacing them with those of Christ. We can only do this by His power through the faith that He gives us by His grace. Part of the Christian life is praying to that end.
The Christian life is also supposed to persevere to the end. Hebrews 10:38-39 addresses this issue by quoting from the Old Testament prophet Habukkuk: “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” God is not pleased with one who “draws back” from Him after making a commitment, but those who live by faith will never draw back, because they are kept by the Holy Spirit who assures us that we will continue with Christ until the end (Ephesians 1:13-14). The writer of Hebrews goes on to verify this truth in verse 39: “But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” The true believer is one who believes to the end.
So the Christian life is one lived by faith in the God who saved us, empowers us, seals us for heaven, and by whose power we are kept forever. The day-to-day life of faith is one that grows and strengthens as we seek God in His Word and through prayer and as we unite with other Christians whose goal of Christlikeness is similar to our own.
The Christian Life society is amanifestation of the Spirit in the Church.This means, among other things, that CLSdoes not exist only by the will of a few whodecide to associate, but rather because of aspecial grace of the Spirit which created it sothat the Church can grow. In the life of theChurch, all Christians receive, discern, andidentify the action of the Spirit and becauseof that we are free to associate and to takeinitiatives. But a necessary task and duty ofthe hierarchy is to discern beyond theindividual motions and particularcircumstances and recognize the morepermanent manifestations of the Spirit whichweave together a more consistent andunfolding ecclesial design. It can then pointto these manifestations as clear possibleways of participating in the life and missionof the Church. For Ignatius, discernmentdoes not end with a reading of one’s ownmotions and the formulation of one’s owndecisions. It must include the ecclesialconfirmation.
CLS exists not merely by the will of themembers to carry out a common project, orby the will of a charismatic priest in aparticular place, time, or circumstance. Itexists by the explicit will of the hierarchicalChurch for the good of the whole Church andits mission. In this sense it is a public not private association of the faithful in theChurch. It is an international association, aworld community. In it, priests and religioushave an approved, genuine way of sharingwith the laity. This calls them togetherbeyond any particular group or personalcharisma to form a part of an ecclesial trendwhich does not exist merely as a spontaneouscreation but also as part of the Church’s ownprogram.In a Christian community in which bybaptism we all participate equally in themission and are equally called to holiness,the old models of the “states of perfection,”or those which define the apostolate of thelaity as the “long arm” of the hierarchicalapostolate, or as “collaborators” of religiouscongregations, do not help much. The fallinto disuse of these concepts is a result of aredefining and an enriching of therelationship between the laity, the hierarchy,and priests and religious present in theassociation. Many laypeople may be calledto collaborate and even receive a mandatefrom the hierarchy or a religiouscongregation, but their vocation and missioncannot be perceived as an extension or afunctional and efficient asset of the latter.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The Scriptures instruct us to “love not the world.” We also learn from Scripture that to be a friend of the world is to be an “enemy of God” (1 John 2:15, James 4:4). It is well to understand just what is meant in Scripture by ‘the world’ regarding which Jesus warned. The ‘world’ is that whole value-system which dominates whatever form of society may be our lot to experience, and it is contrary to the ways of God. The term “the world” is used in the Bible in several ways. It sometimes speaks of the created world–the rugged mountains, the surging ocean waves, and the beauty of a sunset. These in themselves are not a threat to our spiritual welfare, and thus we would not consider the created world to be our spiritual enemy.
The word ‘world’ is also used with reference to the world of people who make up our society. God loves that ‘world’, as assured in John 3:16, and we are exhorted to follow God’s example of love for that world. The ‘world’ which we are not to love is the self-centered way of human life which ignores God, and operates by selfish principles and lives by ungodly standards. The philosophy of the world says that the only important thing is “this life.”
The principles of the world are force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure. The ‘world,’ in the Greek, kosmos, is a system that comprises a way of life which, according to fleshly human values, is seen as exciting and colorful and seductive and sweet and wonderful. As a result, Christians are constantly in danger of getting involved and entangled in it to a degree that spiritual values could be given second place. The Apostle John enabled believers to more clearly identify worldliness by explaining that it has three parts. Worldliness includes the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.–1 John 2:16,17.
The “lust of the flesh” might be termed sensualism. This is a craving for anything that gratifies the senses. There is of course a legitimate satisfaction of body needs, but when we glut our senses, it becomes animal-like self-indulgence. For instance, when we satisfy an excessive appetite for food, or when we permit the exercise of sexual relationships to control our lives, we do not withstand the tendencies or allurements described as “the lust of the flesh.” The “lust of the eyes” may be termed materialism. This is a covetous itching to own what we see. It is the selfish desire that rises when we see things which we really don’t need, but for which a want develops. It is the longing to possess, the desire to get, the eagerness to acquire. The “lust of the eyes” is dreaming about that new “something” which we someday hope to get.
The “pride of life” might be called egotism. This is the desire to enhance one’s own prestige and to push ourselves up. It is the hankering to inflate our own reputations. It is an attempt to get the spotlight shining on ourselves. The “pride of life” is putting on an air of “being somebody”–a vain display of who we are–perhaps by the way we talk, or how much money we spend in being hospitable, or how we dress.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The following are the objectives of the study:
To know the impact of the Christian life on the society.
To exalt heterosexual monogamous love, this would provide the basis for a lasting and exclusive relationship between husband and wife, oriented toward the rearing of children.
To promote Bible literacy in the societyand to make Christians leaders in education.
To encourage the influence of Jesus on art, music, and literature.
1.4 Research questions
1. How can one live a Christian life?
2. How can Christians promote Bible literacy in the society?
3. What are the impacts of the Christian life on the society?
1.5 Research hypotheses
Ho: there is no significant relationship between the Christian life on the society.
Hi:there is no significant relationship between the Christian life on the society.
1.6 Significance of the study
Christianity is responsible for the way our society is organized and for the way we currently live. So extensive is the Christian contribution to our laws, our economics, our politics, our arts, our calendar, our holidays, and our moral and cultural priorities. We could none of us today be what we are if a handful of Jews nearly two thousand years ago had not believed that they had known a great teacher, seen him crucified, dead, and buried, and then rise again.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the study
This study centers on the Christian life and society.
Limitations of study
1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of terms
a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.
the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
The Christian life is a personal intimate relationship between one and Christ.