There are many things which the Christian individual must do in his individual relationship in living the Christian life that is separate and apart from church. I do not write of denominational, so-called Christians. I speak to those who have obeyed the gospel of Christ. I speak to those who know the truth (1 Jn 2:21). Some people among us have a mistaken idea of what Christianity is. They have the idea that Christianity is exclusively tied to what goes on at the church building. However, Christianity is not merely attending the worship services, although it obviously involves this (Heb. 10:25). Christianity is not merely subscribing to a system of doctrine, although correct belief is essential to salvation from sin (Jn. 8:32 f; Mk. 16:16). Christianity is not simply believing; faith alone is insufficient to save (Jam. 2:24-26 f; Gal. 5:6). Christianity is not merely being a member of the church, although church membership is essential to salvation (Acts 2:47).
Christianity is total submission to the will of God. Christianity is obedience to the word of God and conformity to the whole will of God. James wrote that the one who pleases God is the one who hears the word of God and obeys it, not the one who hears the will of God and does nothing about it (Jam. 1:22-27). The obedient children of God must fashion themselves after holiness in every aspect of life (1 Pet. 1:13-16). Consequently, Christianity embraces every relationship which one has in life. To demonstrate this, let us consider some of the relationships which one has in life to see how Christianity affects it:
Christianity should make every man a better husband and father, every woman a better wife and mother, and every child a better son or daughter. The word of God governs how the husband-wife relationship should function (Eph. 5:22-33 ff; 1 Pet. 3:1-7; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Cor. 7:1-5). The Bible governs the parent-child relationship as well (Eph. 6:1-4 f; Col. 3:20). The person who is a Christian is morally obligated to order his life in reference to the home to be like the revealed word of God commands.
The Bible regulates one’s conduct in reference to his business affairs. The Christian laborer must be a good worker, not a lazy sloth (Col. 3:22-4:1); the Christian employer must pay his laborers what they are worth, not withholding what they have earned (Jam. 5:3-4). The business in which a man labors must be honorable (Eph. 4:28 -that which is good). The Christian is morally obligated in the sight of God to provide for his family (1 Thess. 4:11-12 f; 1 Tim. 5:8). Furthermore, the Christian must pay his debts (Rom. 13:8 f; 1 Thess. 4:12). No man who refuses to live by what God has revealed in these matters is a faithful Christian.
The word of God also regulates one’s conduct with reference to his government. The Christian must submit to the laws of his government (Rom. 13:1-7 ff; 1 Pet. 2:13-17; Tit. 3:1), so long as those laws do not conflict with what God’s word requires of him (Acts 5:29). The Christian has an obligation to pay his taxes which are imposed on him by civil government and not evade them (Rom. 13:6-7). “Render therefore to Caesar (IRS) the things that are Caesar’s (IRS) , and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21). Those who cheat on their taxes are disobeying not only man’s law but also God’s law. The Christian recognizes the legislation of God in these matters and abides by them.
A Christian also has obligations to the community in which he lives. He must conduct himself in such a manner before his neighbors that his life is an example to them which would cause them to glorify God (1 Pet. 2:12 ff; Col. 4:5; Matt. 5:13-16). He has an obligation to help the sick and needy of the world, whether they be Christian or not (Gal. 6:10 f; Lk. 10:25-37). It is not the obligation of the Christian to determine if the person is lazy, an alcoholic, a drug addict, or an all round terrible person. No! Christians are to be like the good Samaritan (Lk 10:30-37). We are to help someone who needs help without question of who they are in life. They could be our friend, our enemy, or someone we loathe (Mt 5:44). We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves (Gal 5:14), and we must love fellow to Christians even as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us (Jn 13:34 f; Tit 2:13,14). Ours is not to question why, ours is to prove the perfect Will of God by doing the Will of God (Rom 12:2 f; Mt 7:21).
The Christian also has obligations to the church. He must support the church by his attendance at the worship services (Heb. 10:25), his financial support (1 Cor. 16:1-2 f; 2 Cor. 9:6-7), and by his personal labor in whatever scriptural activities the church may choose to be engaged.
Hence, Christianity involves every relationship in one’s life. Christianity makes a man a better citizen, a better family member, a better business man, and a better member of the community because the word of God regulates more than one’s activities at the services of the local church. Every relationship in one’s life is governed by the word of God.
Conclusion: The church itself has responsibilities to teach it’s members, to preach the word to the world, and to help the needy saints. The individual also has its responsibilities to their family, to their work life, to the government, to the community, and to the church itself. Christians: attend services, read your bible, teach the word to whom you were commanded to teach, obey the laws of the land, and do GOOD unto ALL PEOPLE, CHRISTIAN and SINNER alike. Don’t JUDGE them, HELP them one!
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jn 4:7-8)