Have you ever tried to live the Christian life as a “good Christian” should live it but ended up confused, anxious or disappointed? Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I know if what I do pleases God? Now that I am a Christian, how should I live?
How does God want us to live?
From the first pages of the Bible, we can see that God wants us to live by His life and not by a moral code, an ethical standard, or our own idea of how a Christian should live. In Genesis God did not put the man He created in a school or a seminary to learn how to please God, but He put him in a garden with the tree of life.
The tree of life represents God’s eternal and divine life. God desired that man should eat of this tree, receive His life, and live for this life.
We received eternal life the moment we believed in Jesus Christ.
Christ accomplished redemption for us in such a way that when we believed in God, we were saved from God’s judgment. However, that was not the only thing that happened when we believed, but we were also returned to God in order to be born again with His eternal life.
Now as believers, apart from our human life, we have the divine life of Christ. This eternal life is for us to enjoy not only in the future but in the present. This is how God wants us to live our lives. He wants us to live each day for this new life, and not live by a moral code or by our own ideas of how we should live as Christians. Then, when we live for this new life, the divine life of God in us, we will spontaneously live the highest moral life.
However, how do we do this? how do we know whether or not we are living by the life of God?
A Person lives in us.
Christ, through His death and resurrection now lives in our spirit as the life-giving Spirit. This wonderful Person who lives in us has His own tastes, desires, intentions, and thoughts. Because of this, He cares very much about everything that has to do with our lives: how we spend our time, what we wear, how we spend our money, where we go, what we say, think, and feel.
Most of the time and in many matters we do not agree with God. However, how can we know this? How can we know what the Lord Jesus approves or disapproves of? How can we know if what we do pleases him?
The sense of life or death
Before we were saved, we were cut off from God’s life and dead in our sins. Just as a lifeless body does not feel because it is dead, so we did not have a spiritual feeling. However, by being born again, we were revived in Christ. The life in our being gives us that feeling, that sense. Now we know whether or not we live according to the life of Christ in our being through the feeling or sentiment that His presence in our spirit gives us.
“Death” and “life and peace” in this verse are feelings that are present, for we can feel them within us. And these two are different from each other. We can feel life or death. If what we do is according to the Spirit that lives in our spirit, we have the feeling of life and peace. If what we do does not please the Lord, we have the sense of death.
The symptoms of death and the signs of life
How can we tell them apart? Each one has signs that reveal and symptoms that indicate where we are. The feeling of death tells us that what we are doing, saying or thinking is not according to the Spirit that lives in us. These are the symptoms we will experience:
- depression, oppression, suppression
Although these are all negative, they have the positive purpose of letting us know that we are not living according to Christ’s life in us. It can be said that they are like a great sign of STOP for us.
On the contrary, the sense of life tells us when we are living according to the Lord in our spirit. We will experience these signs:
The practice of following the sense of life in our spirit
We can apply following the feeling of life in every action or decision we make in our lives. In matters great or small, we can ask the Lord, “Lord, is it You who is saying this now? Is it You who is wearing these clothes? Lord, are You glad that I am coming to this place? Certainly, He will give us the feeling of either life or death regarding that matter.
Of course, the more we have fellowship with the Lord, read His Word, and are nourished by His Word, the stronger and finer will be our inner sense of the life of God. As we follow the sense of life, Christ will have the way to grow in us, and we will live a life that will be much higher than a merely moral or ethical life. We will live the divine life in us and express God.