Introduction: This part of our website is devoted to teaching others the nature of the Christian life, what it means to be saved, what it means to truly know God, to follow Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior, and to live for His glory. Most of my preaching and teaching is directed to this end, to help Christians grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ that they might not only have the assurance of grace and salvation but be better equipped to serve the Lord in their lives. To this end, I have preached thousands of sermons over the years on every aspect of the Christian life, have counseled many Christians on how to grow in grace and their love for God, as I have also read every important book that has been written on the subject in the history of the Church. I hope to make my sermons and work on the Christian life available on the internet as I have the opportunity: in particular my works on 1. Loving God and Knowing that You are Loved (130 sermons). 2. Learning Christ and Living for His Glory (150 sermons). 3. The Cost of Discipleship: An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (80 sermons). 4. The Law of God in the Christian Life (30 sermons). 4. Spiritual Discernment in the Christian Life (20 sermons). 5. The Fruits of the Holy Spirit (20 sermons). 6. The Saint’s Spiritual Warfare (20 sermons). 7. A Life of Joy and Godliness (40 sermons). There are actually many other sermon series on the subject of the Christian life that I have done, but these are I believe the most significant for a believer’s growth and sanctification in Christ that I could easily put into book form.
Over the years, many people have asked me to summarize for them the main aspects of the Christian life in a single sermon…. but in descriptive terms; not by expounding to them the theological virtues (faith, hope, and love), or the spiritual disciplines (prayer, worship, fasting, giving, reading, etc..) or explaining to them the Ten Commandments. I have done all of these, and they can be found in my series on Learning Christ and Living for His Glory explained in great detail. So here “in descriptive terms” are what I call the Hallmarks of the Christian Life. You can find the whole sermon to listen to if you would like. Here is a simple and abbreviated summary:
Basics: Here are some of the basics about the Christian life that Christians should know as they learn to follow Christ and to live for the glory of God.
1. The Christian Life is a Spiritual Blessing. The Christian life is a gift and blessing of God’s grace. Everything that we enjoy in our life and communion with God through Jesus Christ is a blessing of His grace. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. And so, we who were once dead in trespasses and sins are through Christ, made alive together with Him. And so we have been chosen by God’s grace to inherit a blessing. There is throughout Scripture a rich theology and teaching about the Christian life as being a blessing. This is the foundation of our faith and life and what it means to follow Christ and to learn from Him. The Christian life begins and ends with the knowledge of God’s sovereign grace and blessing upon us through Jesus Christ. What is that blessing? It is the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is the promise of the Father that Christ gives to His people. We have been chosen by God. We have been redeemed by Christ, and are a new creation in Him. We live by grace. We do not live unto ourselves or by ourselves. We live for God’s glory in and under the blessing of His favor and love to us in Christ. The Christian life is a spiritual blessing. And we live in and under God’s grace and favor in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Gen.12:1-3; Jn.15:16; Gal.2:20; Eph.1:3-14, 2:8-9; 1 Peter 3:9.
*Thomas Manton said, “In calling us to take up the cross and to follow Him, the Lord Jesus Christ calls us at the same time to inherit His blessing, which includes redemption, the forgiveness of sins, God’s fatherly care, and the promise of eternal life. But we must be willing to answer Him in faith, and to serve Him in thankfulness all our lives for such marvelous grace and blessing.”
2. The Christian Life is a Spiritual Calling. The Christian life is a spiritual calling. It is a divine calling. It is a spiritual trade and vocation, a holy profession. In Christ, we are called to be saints. We are called out of a life of sin and darkness to live for Him, to work for Him, and to love Him. As believers, we are the called of God. We may all have vocations and callings different in the world of course. There are businessmen, salesmen, grocers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, ministers. There are students also, as well as housewives, nurses, clerks, and merchants. There are all different kinds of vocations in the world by which we may serve God, lawfully. But in knowing and following Jesus Christ, we have first a high and holy calling. The Christian life is a spiritual calling and vocation that should sanctify our vocations. We are the called of Jesus Christ. Jesus loved us and died for us, and further called us by His word and Spirit, and in calling us, names us as his friends. We are now to serve Him in whatever we do. We are called by Him to do so. The Christian life is a spiritual calling. It is an effectual calling, a high and holy calling, a heavenly calling. Following Christ is our great spiritual work and business, and it should define our lives as well as the integrity of our work and labor. Exo.3; 1 Sam.3; Jn.15:13; 1 Cor.1:26; Eph.1:15-18, 4:1-2; Phil.3:14; Heb.3:1; 2 Pet.1:10; 2 Tim.1.
*Matthew Henry said, “The great calling and business of our lives is, for the sake of Christ, to glorify God; and with the time and resources that He has given us to please Him. Our calling and service in the world is to be consecrated to Christ knowing that our calling and service to Him is first. In all things He is to have the preeminence.”
*John Chrysostom said, “There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes. We are to devote our work and callings to Christ and make it our business to glorify Him.”
3. The Christian Life is a Spiritual Communion. We have fellowship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He chose us for His love, and now loves us for His choice. The Christian life is, therefore, a communion and fellowship in God’s grace, a fellowship in His love, a fellowship in His righteousness, and a fellowship in His church and family through Jesus Christ. It is a communion in His word, in His truth, and in His holiness. You see, we have been redeemed from the world, adopted into the family of God, and made His beloved children. The life we live as Christians is a life of communion, of worship and fellowship in the presence of God. It is a relationship with the true and living God in which we need to keep up and strengthen; by prayer and worship, by repentance and confession of sin, and by devoting ourselves to the word of God, and growing in our knowledge and love for Him. It is for this reason that in serving and celebrating the Lord’s Supper, we are partaking of Communion. We are not only proclaiming Christ’s death until He comes, but we are partaking of the benefits of His death by visible signs to our spiritual nourishment and growth in grace. And so the more we devote ourselves to God’s worship, we deepen our communion with God and the knowledge of His saving love for us. Deut.6; Song of Solomon; Mt.11:28-30; Jn. 1 Cor.1:9; Eph.2:13, 18; Phil.3;8-11; 1 Jn.1:1-4; Rev.3:20.
*John Owen said, “Communion with God is the Christian’s great treasure and joy; and to keep that communion is the Christian’s great duty and privilege.”
*Augustine said, “God is the country of the soul. It is in Him that we find our greatest desires fulfilled.”
4. The Christian Life is a Spiritual Service. Life is all about service, and the Christian life is a service to God. Jesus Christ in the days of His humiliation was the servant of God. He came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many. As believers then, it is fitting that we live as the servants of God through Jesus Christ. We are called to serve, redeemed to serve, blessed and empowered to serve. Everything that we have and own in gifts or graces, of talents or resources, are to be used in the service of Christ. And this service begins with the services of God’s worship. We are redeemed by Christ to live a life of worship glorifying God and enjoying Him in prayer, praise, reading Scripture, listening to sermons, studying the Bible, and consecrating our lives and our families to His name and glory. To this end, we ought to make the public worship of God on the Lord’s Day, as well as family worship and private devotion during the week the first priority of our lives. our chief delight, In doing so, God will bless us and shine the light of His countenance upon us and give us peace and joy and every spiritual blessing Exo.3:12; Mt.4:10; Jn.4:23-24; 12:26; Rom.12:1-2, 11; Gal.5:13; Heb.12:28.
*Richard Baxter said, “When Christ calls us by His grace, He calls us at the same time to a life in His service.”
*Augustine said, “To serve God is to reign with God.”
5. The Christian Life is a Spiritual Journey. Life itself is a journey. For some, it is tragically short; while for others it may be indeed very long. But in Christ, we are on a spiritual journey. Every believer is a Pilgrim making Progress. The life of faith in which we are to grow in grace and sanctification is a journey. We are travelers on the road to glory. And so the Bible often uses such imagery to describe the Christian life. It speaks of the path of the righteous, the road to glory, and the narrow way that leads to life. Believers are spoken of moreover as walking, journeying, traveling, and making progress to heaven. The life of faith and sanctification in Christ is a spiritual journey. And we are to keep on the King’s highway and not diverge off the path into places of sin or idolatry. And Christ is to be our light, our compass, and our road-map to lead us onward. This should be especially vivid and precious to those who happen to do a lot of traveling. God has a destination for us. He has set the itinerary. He is the Captain and Pilot of our souls. He leads us to the Promised Land with the pillar of cloud by day and the flaming fire by night. And He directs our steps through trials and tribulations, tests and temptations, storms and crosses, as well as joys and victories until we are brought to glory by Christ. Numbers; Ps.1, 119; Prov.3:5-6; Jn.8:12; Eph.4:17, 5:1-2, 8; 1 Jn.2:6.
*William Cowper wrote in his poem, “O for a closer walk with God, a calm and heavenly frame; A light to shine upon the road that leads me to the Lamb! He shall my guide and Master be, the road I walk each day. His word My only compass see, His law my only way.”
6. The Christian Life is a Spiritual Warfare. We are soldiers in the army of God and are enlisted by Christ to fight the good fight of faith. We are to battle against the enemies of God, the remnants of indwelling sin, the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the works of the Devil. Jesus Christ is the Captain of our salvation who leads us in the fight and battle! He supplies us with all the needed supplies of grace by the Holy Spirit. He arms us with defenses, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the boots of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. And we are to arm ourselves, we are to put on the whole armor of God, and have the courage to fight valiantly against the opposition of sin and the world for the glory of God, knowing full well that our family and friends are depending upon us. Joshua; Ps.144; Song 3:8; Mt.4:1-11; Eph.6:10-20; 1 Pet.5:8.
*George Whitefield said, “We are soldiers armed for the battle; and while we must certainly fight with faith and courage, it is our privilege to know that Christ Jesus has won the battle and He now assures us of success and victory.”
7. The Christian Life is a Spiritual Mission. We need to remember that the Christian life is also a spiritual mission. We are all in some way or another missionaries and ambassadors of Christ by virtue of our lives and our words. Christ has redeemed us from sin and idolatry so that we may bear witness in the world of the glory of His name by a life of true worship, godly conduct, Christain love, good works, and speaking the truth. We are ambassadors of God who are called to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel. And so we are to be faithful witnesses of Christ and the Gospel. Our lives, as well as our words, are to reflect the glory of Christ. Through Christ, we have been renewed in the image of God, and are made the temples of the Holy Spirit. We are therefore by our very lives to be the bearers of Christ’s truth and grace. We have a solemn and holy mission in the world to show forth the praises and glories of Jesus Christ. We are to follow Him and live for His glory. That is our mission in the Christian life. Exo.3; Mt.5:3-16, 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor.10:31; Phil.2:14-16; Col.3:17, 4:1; Pet.3:15-16; Jude 20-25.
*John Calvin has said, “Christians are by the dignity of their life and calling to be conspicuous in the world as burning lamps and as shining lights, to show forth the glories of Jesus Christ their Savior.”
*Bernard of Clairvaux said, “My mission in life is to serve the Savior who redeemed me, love the Lord who rules me, and glorify the King who promises me eternal life and glory in His presence when He at the end comes for me.”
8. The Christian Life is a Spiritual Devotion. Christ has redeemed us from sin that we might by His grace live for His glory and honor. The Christian life is all about bringing glory and honor to God by following Jesus Christ and learning to obey God’s commandments. We are therefore to live a life of devotion to God, a life of consecration to His name and glory. God sent His Son into the word, that we might live for Him, and that we might devote our lives to Him. This is the chief end of man, and so also the chief end of the Christian life. The Christian life may be full of trials, troubles, sorrows, and temptations. But through them we are to love God, be thankful to Him and content, reconcile our hearts to His providence and learn to magnify Him in everything. Jesus glorified the Father all throughout His life and ministry, even in His suffering and death on the cross. In John 17, Jesus says to the Father “I have glorified Thee on the earth. I have finished the work that Thou gavest Me to do. And now O Father glorify Me together with Thyself, with the glory which I had with Thee before the foundation of the world.” Christ glorified the Father in His life and in His death, and now we are to live through Christ to glorify God the Father. In our work and labor, in our prayers and worship, or even in our sports and leisure, we are to glorify and enjoy God. That is our great end and goal in life, to be devoted to God, and to glorifying Him. 1 Cor.10:31.; 2 Cor.5:15; Col.3:17; 2 Peter 3:17-18.
*Isaac Watts said, “There is nothing in life more satisfying than to be through Jesus Christ devoted to God.”
*Thomas Goodwin said, “Life is an excellency that is to be enjoyed, and all the much more when it is spent with Christ in His service and for the glory of God.”
1. What is the Christian life? The Christian Life is a Spiritual Blessing, a Spiritual Calling, a Spiritual Communion, a Spiritual Service, a Spiritual Journey, a Spiritual Warfare, a Spiritual Mission, and a Spiritual Devotion wherein we follow the Lord Jesus Christ in faith, we serve Him in love, we pray in hope, and we serve Him with joy in the confident expectation that God is being glorified in our lives as we take up the cross and obey His word and Commandments. We live for Christ. We serve Christ. We proclaim Christ, that God may be glorified in us.
2. How can we know that we are really living the Christian life and that we will, in fact, be successful? We must take God as our Father to rule us, Christ as our Lord and Savior to direct us, Scripture as our light to guide us, prayer and worship as our work to encourage us, the Law of God to command us, the Holy Spirit as our Comforter to sanctify us, and the promise of glory to inspire us.
Book List: Now here is a list of some of the many books that I have read and studied and have found helpful in learning the Christian life, how to follow Christ and to live for the glory of God. You may want to obtain any number of them for your benefit and sanctification, to help you along in your Christian life.
To be sure, the foundation of the Christian life is the knowledge of God and sound doctrine. And so the doctrine of the Christian life should be learned from a devotional study of Scripture and the best works on Systematic Theology that are written in the Puritan style, that are designed for a believer’s growth and sanctification, as much as their learning Theology. To really make progress in the Christian life though, Christians need to learn sound doctrine.
- Milk for Babes: A Children’s Catechism (in 52 brief Questions) is a good place to start for children as well as new believers.
- Food for Families: A Family Catechism (in 200 brief Questions) is an excellent tool for children and students as well as growing Christians.
- The Westminster Shorter Catechism (in 108 Questions) is an excellent tool, and I would argue one of the very essentials to living a godly Christian life.
- The Westminster Larger Catechism (in 196 Questions) is the best-advanced tool of instruction in Christian doctrine and the Christian life ever written. The exposition of the Ten Commandments and a Life of Faith is incomparable.
- The Heidelberg Catechism is also a useful tool of instruction in the Christian life, especially in the revised version that I completed recently,
- The Reformed Confessions are also of great value for the Christian life, as sound doctrine is foundational to knowing God and living for Christ. This includes 1. The Geneva Confession. 2. The French Confession. 3. The Belgic Confession. 4. The Scottish Confession. 5. The Second Helvetic Confession. 6. The Irish Articles. 7. The Westminster Confession.
- John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion are foundational to the study of Theology as well as the Christian life.
- William Perkins – The Golden Chain of Theology is a great Puritan work that has much to teach about the godly Christian life. So does his book on Cases of Conscience for pastors and theologians.
- William Ames – The Marrow of Theology is masterly, and has a very large section on the Christian life. His work on Cases of Conscience is also of great value for pastors and theologians.
- Thomas Watson – A Body of Divinity in 3 volumes are brilliant Puritan sermons in outlining with great depth and clarity a theology of the Christian life.
- Thomas Boston – A Body of Divinity in two volumes are a treasure of Puritan divinity on the Christain Life in the form of sermons.
- Wilhelm a Brakel – A Body of Divinity in 4 Volumes called the Christian’s Reasonable Service is also of great spiritual benefit.
- Francis Turretin – Institutes of Elenctic Theology in 3 Volumes is also brilliant in its defense of Reformed Theology laying down a foundation for the Christian life.
There are many books, written by pastors and theologians throughout the history of the Church, that are specifically about the Christain life. Many of these are of great value to believers. I break them into time periods from the earliest to the most recent.
1. The Early Church and the Middle Ages: There are not many good books written about the Christian life during these years, for obvious reasons. But there are three that are very good, that certainly every pastor and Christian leader should read.
- Augustine – Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount is one of the most foundational works on the Christian life. It is the classic treatise from the early church fathers.
- Gerard Groote – Following of Christ is an excellent devotional classic, and in many ways as good as any of the best Puritan works on the Christian life.
- Thomas Kempis – The Imitation of Christ is a great work of devotion, also a devotional classic on following Christ from the medieval era.
2. The Reformation: There are a number of good books written on the Christian life during the Reformation, especially as refutations of the Papacy, the superstition of monastic vows, and the corruptions of the Roman Catholic Church; all of which are still very applicable for the Christian life today. But keep in mind, the Reformers primarily focused on the preaching of Christ, the doctrines of grace, justification by faith alone, and foundational truths of the Christian life. For this reason, they are always great to read and learn from.
- Martin Luther – Commentary on Galatians is excellent on living by faith in Jesus Christ in opposition to idolatry and superstition.
- John Calvin – On the Christian Life from the Institutes of the Christian Religion is the best work on the subject from the Reformation period. It is published as the Golden Booklet of the True Christian life. His sermons on the Ten Commandments from his series on Deuteronomy is also very good, as are his sermons on the Beatitudes, and Psalm 119, and Ephesians. Truly, everything that Calvin wrote or preached on is superb with respect to the Christian life. This includes his Commentaries.
- Henry Bullinger – Exposition of the Ten Commandments in his Decades is very good.
- William Tyndale – The Obedience of a Christian Man is a fine work intended for magistrates, but applicable for all Christian men. His book on the Law of God is also very powerful. Tyndale is a Puritan, but he writes like Luther.
3. The Puritan Revolution: There are hundreds of Puritan works that are of exceptional in quality, and cover every aspect of the Christian life. Even when they are writing on Theology, they are dealing with the Christian life. They are by far the best. Spurgeon once said, “The Puritans deliver gold and the most precious of gems, while others deal in silver, bronze, and that which is less precious for the building of a spiritual house.” This is true. It would take me too long to list all of the Puritan works on the Christian life. But there are many that are essential to mention. Keep in mind, from this list, are the best works ever written on the Christain life.
- John Bunyan – His classic book Pilgrim’s Progress. It is a Puritan allegory on the Christian life written for every age and level that every Christian should read at least once in their life.
- John Bunyan – The Holy War, is as good as Pilgrim’s Progress. Children and adults should read this. In fact, parents should read this to their children, after Pilgrim’s Progress!
- Matthew Henry – The Secret of Communion with God, is a great devotional work on the Christian Life, as are many of his other works, including his Commentary. Every Christian should study the Bible using Matthew Henry’s Commentary. It is a theological and devotional classic!
- Robert Asty – Rejoicing in Christ Jesus, is a wonderful book on the importance of joy in the Christian life. One of my favorite books all around. I highly recommend this book, especially to Christians who find it difficult to be cheerful.
- Henry Scudder – The Christian’s Daily Walk, is a superb book that deals with every aspect of daily Christian living.
- Richard Rogers – Holy Helps to a Godly Life. This is a great little book for all to read, even though it is actually just 1 part of a seven-part work on the Christian Life.
- Walter Marshall – The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification is superb.
- Thomas Watson – A Body of Divinity in 3 volumes. I mention this again. There is nothing like it or to compare with it. Watson also wrote many others that are helpful to the Christain Life; The Doctrine of Repentance, Self-Denial, The Art of Divine Contentment, The Godly Man’s Picture is a masterpiece on the Christian life directed to men. There is no one better on the Christian life than Thomas Watson.
- Andrew Gray – A Door Opening into Everlasting Life is a wonderful book on the Christian Life.
- Thomas Manton – The Life of Faith and his Treatise on Self-Denial are excellent, as well as his brilliant commentary on the book of James on the Obedience of True Faith.
- John Owen has written many small but useful works on the Christian life, including Communion with God, the Glory of Christ, The Spirit and the Church, The Mortification of Sin, Apostasy from the Gospel, The Grace and Duty of being Spiritually Minded, and his Rules for Walking in Fellowship.
- Ralph Venning – Learning in Christ’s School, is a good Puritan book, and was actually the inspiration behind my series of 150 sermons, Learning Christ and Living for His Glory.
- John Flavel – The Method of Grace, Keeping the Heart, and the Touchstone of Christian Sincerity are excellent works on the Work of the Holy Spirit and the Christian life.
- Richard Baxter – A Body of Practical Divinity together with his treatises on The Divine Life, The Life of Faith and Self-Denial, is the most extensive and definitive work on the Christian Life from a Puritan. Baxter is the most practical and convicting of them all.
- Willem Teellinck – The Path of True Godliness, is a good book written by one of the leading men of the Dutch Second Reformation.
- Jonathan Edwards – Religious Affections is a brilliant and profound work on true sanctifying grace in a believer’s life. Many of his other works are also very good, like Charity and its Fruits. Pastors and Christian leaders should read both of these works.,
- I would recommend many of Puritan works expounding on the Ten Commandments; Thomas Watson, Thomas Boston, Ezekiel Hopkins, John Dod, Richard Greenham, and many others.
- Also important are Reformed and Puritan sermons and commentaries on Mt.5-7 and Jesus Sermon on the Mount. It is in many ways a Guide and Charter for the Christian Life. And so, William Perkins, David Dickson, Matthew Henry, and others are very good.
After the Puritans: There are other lesser quality works on the Christian life after the Puritans, in the 18-19th century.
- Charles Hodge – The Way of Life is a very useful guide to the Christian life, and along with his Exposition of the Ten Commandments (found in his Systematic Theology) is comprehensive work on the Christian life.
- Gardiner Spring – Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character is also very useful.
- William Swan Plumer – Practical Godliness is a superb book on all the various aspects of the Christian life. Plumer is one of the most under-rated and forgotten preacher and theologian.
- William Swan Plumer – The Christian is a shorter version of the previous book and written primarily for new believers or as a summary of the Christian life.
- J.C. Ryle – Practical Religion is an insightful book on many aspects of the Christian life together with his book on Holiness.
There are also several modern 20th-century works on the Christian Life, that are in many ways profitable to read, in order to grow in Christ and the Christian life; or just to have as a reference. None are of the quality of the Puritans, but they are of importance to know what pastors and theologians are writing about today. These are the only ones I would recommend, and to be honest somewhat grudgingly.
- John MacArthur – Keys to Spiritual Growth is a wonderful little book. Though John is a dispensationalist, this book is one the best modern devotional books on the Christian life for new believers, for Christian youth, and for adults who want to read a short but very edifying book on the Christian life. There are only 13 chapters and less than 200 pages. When I read it as a youth, it had a profound impact on my life.
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The Sermon on the Mount is certainly one of the best modern works on the Christian life from a Biblical and expositional perspective. It is a series of 60 sermons on Matthew 5-7 put into book form with 700 pages. I read it as a college student and greatly profited.
- Sinclair Ferguson – The Christian Life, a doctrinal introduction is a nice book, as are three other books he has written: Devoted to God, A Heart for God, and his small book on the Sermon on the Mount. Together, they present a guide for the Christian life that is solidly Reformed and devotional, but somewhat dry and boring at times.
- J.I. Packer – Quest for Godliness: A Puritan Vision for of the Christian Life is also profitable. The book is mainly a historical overview of the Puritan doctrine of the Christian life. Packer is not a Puritan himself, (he’s an Anglican) but his book is very good and edifying throughout. Two other books of his, Knowing God and Growing in Christ are also profitable on the Christian life. Packer’s toleration of false doctrine and many forms of modern idolatry take away from the value of his books. But he writes very well and is often worth reading.
- Joel Beeke – Living for God’s Glory is a great book. It is a historical, theological, and practical overview of Reformed doctrine and practice. There is a lot to learn from it about Reformed theology and the implication for the Christian life. He also wrote a small book How to Live as a Christian that is useful for teens. Joel’s Puritan teaching on the family is of value, though it is Dutch, and not Puritan.
- Jochem Douma – The Ten Commandments is a fine exposition of the Law of God with many helpful observations.
- There has also been recently published a series of books on historical theology devoted to the Christian life. There are about 15 of them in all. Augustine’s doctrine of the Christian life, Luther’s doctrine of the Christian life, Calvin’s doctrine of the Christian life, John Owen’s doctrine of the Christian life, Jonathan Edwards doctrine of the Christian life, Benjamin Warfield’s doctrine of the Christian life, James Packer’s doctrine of the Christian life. Some of them are actually pretty good, but they are all too general in their explanation and application and they are mainly works of historical theology.
- John Frame – The Christian Life is a good book. It is 1000 pages long, basically an exposition of the Ten Commandments and Christian Ethics in contrast to other Liberal and philosophical views. Frame’s book is part of his theological works on God’s Lordship. The book is actually superb as a work of theology, but it is not at all devotional or readable for the average Christian. It is primarily for academics, for educated pastors, well educated Christian leaders, and students of Theology. John was my professor of Theology at Westminster, and his work is always profound, but not always on the mark when it comes to a life of Christian devotion. His book is very good though, the best modern work on the Ten Commandments from a Reformed viewpoint. But it is not really a work on the Christian Life at all. It is a theological apologetic in defense of Christian ethics.
- Also important for the Christian life is the use of hymnals and psalters, such as the Trinity hymnal and Psalter, Gadsby’s Hymns. The greatest joy that we can experience in knowing and following Christ often comes from learning the Psalms, learning hymns, and poetry, and singing to God’s glory.
*John 17:3. “This is life eternal, to know thee the true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”
Brett Woody, Pastor-Teacher