It is imperative to us, especially in this day of disappearing moral absolutes, that God’s Word, the Bible determines not only our doctrinal beliefs, but also our total lifestyle.
The apostle Paul admonished the young minister Timothy saying “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ” ( II Timothy 3:14-15).
The only sure foundation for the Christian in this constantly changing world is to be rooted, grounded and be directed by the unchanging Word of God.
Therefore, our Practical Commitments are based upon the teachings and principles of the Word of God to enhance holiness and fruitful life for God’s children.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole SPIRIT and SOUL and BODY be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thess 5:23).
I. SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE
Our Lord promised an abundant life to all who believe on Him (John 10:10). Yet those who enjoy the abundant and fruitful life are those who tap into the only unlimited source of life which is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. In Him there is an endless well of living water (John 7:37-39). In order to enjoy this fuller and rich life, we will practice the following disciplines:
We will commit ourselves to prayer and fasting. Prayer is talking to God. It brings one into a closer relationship and fellowship with God, realizing one’s need for Him and one’s utter dependence upon Him.
Hence, prayer is a sign of depending on God.
Good communication strengthens a relationship.
It is said, the more time one spends with God, the less time one spends with the devil.
Prayer then becomes our life line to God.
God said to the Prophet Jeremiah “Call unto me and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3). All through scripture, we are exhorted to pray to God (Matthew 7:7; Ephesians 3:20; Luke 18:1-8; I Thess. 5:17).
Prayer must also be done with fasting to develop faith (Matthew 17:21).
b) Study & Meditation of the Word of God:
We will commit ourselves to reading, studying, meditating and memorizing God’s Holy Word. God in His infinite wisdom has shown us the way to prosperity and fruitfulness.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of my mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success ( Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19).
We will commit ourselves not to be readers and hearers only, but also doers of the Word, thus, implementing what the Word of God demands of us. Someone has said concerning the Word of God:
Read it to be wise!
Believe it to be safe!
Practice it to be right!
c) Commitment to the Church:
As true disciples, we will daily recognize Christ as the head of the Church, and be willing to perform our duties to the body of Christ.
We will, therefore, not forsake the assembling to ourselves together, but unite with other members of the church for the purpose of praising and worshipping God, and hearing His Holy Scriptures which is able to make us wise unto salvation (Matthew 28:20; Acts 2:42, 46,47; Hebrews 10:25; II Timothy 3:14).
We will accept and respect our leaders whom Christ has placed over us in the church by submitting to their authority (John 2:5; I Thess. 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:7).
As true disciples committed to Christ and His Church, we will support the church financially with our tithes and offering (Malachi 3:10; Leviticus 27:20, Deut. 14:22-23; Matthew 23:23; Gal 6:6; Luke 2:38; Proverbs 3:9-10).
We will demonstrate ourselves as good stewards by using our money , time and all resources given to us by God wisely (Is 55:2; Matthew 6:1-23; 7:11; Eph 5:16; Col 4:5; James 1:17).
We will abstain from any cultic movement or secret societies that are contrary to the Christian faith in practice (John 18:20; II Cor. 6:14-18; Deut.18:9-12).
II. MORAL PURITY
God declares in His Word: “Be ye holy for I am holy” ( I Peter 1:16). God is a holy God and expects His children to walk worthy of acceptation.
To grow in Christ and have moral purity, we will learn to say NO to the flesh which is the old man, and say Yes to the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
The Scripture declares “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lust, which war against the soul” (I Peter 2:11).
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” (Ephesians 4:24).
We will also bear in mind that our body is the temple of The Holy Spirit and that we are to glorify God in our body.
“What, Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye are of God, and ye are not of your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and your spirit which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:19).
The body must be free from sin as a temple of God (I Cor. 3:16; Romans 12:1-2).
We will abstain from all impure books, magazine, literature, movies pictures, songs and anything which tend to inflame and debauch the mind ( Romans 6:19-23; 13:14; Philippians 4:8).
Detestable practices condemned by God in His Word must also be abhorred. Such as homosexuality, idolatry, adultery, fornication, stealing, murder, witchcraft, drunkenness, and other worldly attitudes (Romans 1:24-27; Galatians 5:19-25).
We will therefore, pursue moral purity by denying ourselves, like the Apostle Paul who said “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
III. PERSONAL HONESTY
Honesty is defined as upright conduct or disposition.
As children of God, we will deal with our fellow human beings fairly, justly, faithfully, and free from fraud.
We need to be trustworthy and dependable.
We must understand that credibility is very essential in building strong personal relationships.
The Bible indicates, how can two walk together unless they are in agreement? Agreement means believing in each other to develop a common trust.
“But we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” ( II Cor. 4:2).
We are encouraged to have an honest ministry (Col 3:9; II Cor. 8:21; Proverbs 11:1,3; 12:13, 17). Our honesty and credibility will point sinners to Christ (Matthew 5:16; Acts 11:26; I Cor, 11:1).
We will commit ourselves to living in the Spirit in order to produce the Fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23). When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, our attitudes and actions towards others will be acceptable before God (Ephesians 5:18; II Timothy 1:7; II Cor. 3:18; Galatians 5:25-26).
We will walk among men as Christ walked showing true love, patience, respect, compassion and humility to all (Matthew 5:44; John 13:34; I John 4:7-11; Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34).
IV. FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY
The bible tells us that the Family is a divine institution of God. Therefore, we will give priority to marinating the family by fulfilling our family responsibility. God commanded His people to maintain godly disciplines and virtues in the home by giving duties to parents to teach their children and also be a living example to them (Deut. 6:6-7).
We will hold marriage in high esteem since marriage is a divine institution “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one” (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:7).
Homosexuality and lesbianism are condemned by Scripture, and therefore is not acceptable. (Romans 1:21-28).Biblical marriage is between a man and a woman. It is a life long journey of partnership, and there is no room for divorce, except in case of fornication, as pointed out by Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:32; 19:9).
God hates divorce. Sexual involvement outside marriage is strictly forbidden by God. “Thou shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Neither is God pleased with pre-martial sex (I Cor. 6:15-18; Hebrews 13:3). God will judge fornicators.
We will respect others’ decision to remain single if they live according to biblical prescription (I Corinthians 7:8, 32-34).
We will also uphold the divine order in the home, the husband being the head of the home (Ephesians 5:22, Col. 3:18-19). Husbands are to love their wives; wives are to submit to their husband (Ephesians 5:22-25). Children are to be nurtured in the fear of God and are to obey and honor their parents (Eph 6:1-4; Col. 3:21; Exodus 20:12; Colossians 3:20).
V. MODEST APPEARANCE
We will always remind ourselves that we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-16). Therefore, we will live up to the scriptural standard of modesty, by appearing and dressing in a manner that will enhance our Christian testimony. It is said that action speaks louder than words; so does appearance.
The way we dress will determine who we are. We are admonished not to be conformed to this world in its way of apparel and mode of dressing, but to abstain from all appearance of evil (Romans 12:2; I Thess. 5:22).
While God is pleased with physical grooming and cleanliness, we will also pursue spiritual beauty, which is the inner man.
To wives: “Whose adoring let it not be that outward adoring of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God a great price” ( I Peter 3:3-4).
VI. SOCIAL OBLIGATION
We will not divorce ourselves from social obligations. In His prayer for believers, Jesus prayed: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but thou shouldest keep them from evil” (John 17:15).
Until we are raptured to heaven, we are to fulfill our obligations to society by being good citizens.
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:13-17). We are to obey human governments and civil rulers (Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-17).
We will exercise our voting rights and support community and government activities.
We will respect and pray for our leaders (I Timothy 2:1-2). We will uphold and obey the laws of the land, bearing in mind that God’s law is supreme and therefore overrides any law that will contradict it (Acts 5:29).
We will show our love to all mankind and be sensitive to their needs. Jesus said our neighbor is not necessarily our next door friend, but anyone who is in need and whom we have the opportunity to help (Luke 10:30-37).
We will guard against racial, color, sex and economic discrimination (Matthew 22:39; John 3:17; Romans 13:8-10).
We will uphold the dignity of life. God alone gives life, and therefore, we cannot take life in any circumstance. For that reason, we are against abortion, euthanasia of the aged, the killing of the terminally ill, and mentally incompetent and such like (Genesis 1:1-31; Psalm 31:14-15; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41).
VII. THE FINAL CALL
God has better things in store for His children, and that is to be with Him eternally in heaven.
Jesus comforted His disciples by promising this eternal bliss. He said “Let not your hearts be troubled.
Ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that were I am there ye may be also (John 14:1-3).
Since we do not know the day and the hour of His glorious return, we will endeavor to set a proper perspective in our daily living as we await His coming.
“Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
Jesus is surely coming back (Philippians 3:20; Col. 3:4-5; I John 3: 2-3; I Thess. 4:14-17; I Cor. 15;52). Even so come now Lord Jesus!.