Photo of a person wearing red shoes climbing blue color steps.


Different people have different ideas about what the Christian life is all about. The politicians see us as “the religious right” to be courted or ridiculed. The liberals see us as “fanatic fundamentalists” who take a good thing to extremes. Even among ourselves, there are people with differing attitudes as to what is involved in living the Christian life. I believe the normal Christian life goes through four phases. [A sermon by Dr. Arnold Lastinger. Used with permission.]

1. Salvation

I. Every Journey has a first stop. In this case, it’s called salvation. It’s as simple as ABC:

A. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, lost without God. This is the first step and a must, (Romans 3:10)

B. Believe that He loves you and that Jesus died for your sin. This is the second step and a must, (John 3:16)

C. Confess Jesus to be the Lord of your life. This is the third step and a must, (Romans 10:9)

II. True salvation is marked by a transformed life. One cannot claim to be saved unless his lifestyle has changed:

A. Jesus forgave and rescued the woman who was caught in adultery. But he also charged her to sin no more, (John 8:11)

B. He does not forgive us to remain in our sin. He forgives us to take us out of our sin, (Romans 6:1-23)

C. God certainly loves the homosexual but not homosexuality itself. The trouble is homosexuals don’t believe homosexuality is a sin, (Leviticus 18:22)

III. Gradual improvement is not God’s way. One cannot bring the baggage of his old life into the new life:

A. When it comes to sin, some folks think that improvement satisfies God. “I don’t drink as much as I used to!” (Luke 9:62)

B. Guess what! Sooner or later there has to be a last time. Why not make that decision right now? (Psalm 37:5)

C. The first step in the Christian walk is turning away from sin and turning toward God. Have you made that step? (Acts 3:19)

2. Learning

I. Christian Discipleship takes several forms. Self-learning through personal Bible study is just one:

A. Time spent in personal Bible study helps to treasure God’s Word and not sin against him, (Psalms 119:11)

B. Important: Personal Bible study should be both regular and systematic. It must be your top priority in life, (Matthew 6:24)

C. The Holy Bible is God’s inspired word. It is the primary way he speaks to our hearts, (2 Timothy 3:16)

II. Regular church attendance is vital to Christian life. It serves at least three purposes:

A. Sermons give insights we may have missed. Fellowship with others lets us surround ourselves with godly influences, (Proverbs 4:20-22; 15:22)

B. One must worship at home. But Corporate Worship also matters. It gives the opportunity to joyfully worship God with others, (Ephesians 5:19)

C. Gives us an outlet to minister to others. In fact, it’s not an option. It’s a commandment, (1 Timothy 4:13)

III. Becoming a part of a Small Group, Cell Group, Care Cell, Home Cell, or a Group Bible Study:

A. Each church may call them differently. But the purpose is the same while building relationships with other Christians is primary, (Leviticus 19:9-18)

B. If you are new to the faith, you must rise to the spiritual level of those who began ahead of you, (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

C. Participation in a group allows sharing your struggles and burdens. You will learn to love and be loved, (Galatians 6:2; John 13:34-35)

3. Yearning

Deep inside every human being is the yearning and hunger for intimacy with God:

A. Strange phenomenon: the closer we come to God, the closer we want to become, (Psalm 42:1)

B. The more we have of Him, the hungrier we get for more! Some may call it renewal, some revival, I call it Spiritual Maturity! (Galatians 5:22-23)

C. Move from “phileo” love to agape love for Christ. The love that forsakes everything to pursue God,  (Deuteronomy 6:5)

4. Burning

To burn is to give ourselves in service to God. The greatest joy in the Christian life comes in service to God:

A. Cannot be a contrived burning; without the three previous steps any attempts at burning will eventually fizzle out, (2 Timothy 4:10)

B. Burnout? Comes when people try to do God’s work in their own strength. Cannot effectively be done, (John 15:5)

C. When you do God’s work, God’s way, in God’s time, he gives more than enough fuel for the burning. Wait upon him! (Isaiah 40:31)


Where are you on this journey today? How many here are aflame, burning for service for God? How many are in the yearning stage, hungry for more of Him? How many are in the learning stage, you love him, but you’re just learning how to live for Him. How many are here and you are ready to turn to Him?

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