Practical Christianity

There appear to be people, even in this forum, who. think that theory and or Biblical knowledge is what makes a person a Christian. If we take Chirst’s summary of the Law…
To love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbour as yourself,
and then insert 1 Cor 13 definition of Love as follows (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Any person who claims to be a Christian must, surely, abide by these guidelines.

If this is so, how can a Christian be derisive or insulting of another’s faith? Or take pride in causing distress or upsetting?


Dear Richard,
I agree you and I always attempt to keep the discussion Christ-like, standing up against any claim of superiority. I would add to your list Matt 5:44-48 as a reminder of the expectation of Jesus. Loving our enemies is easiest for me to imagine through the parable of the Prodigal son. I can imagine everyone around me at various points on the journey described herein. All of us have the same goal and are on the same path. This allows me to love everyone with my mind and heart.
Best Regards,

It takes a while but the ego can be killed (still at work somewhat with me still on certain issues lol :slight_smile:) It is the Christian end goal to be Christ-like and live in the manner that God has called for us to live. The biggest commands of a Christian is to love the LORD God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. And to love their neighbor as themselves.


I think this thread is a contradiction in terms. Being these things does not equal talking about it.

The point is that talking about it does not mean that you do, do it, unfortunately.


And you can do it without talking about it, fortunately for some. :slightly_smiling_face:




It is what you do in public that really matters. And that includes posting on Forums.



Actually, some of the best deeds and that may matter most are done in private. (Pharisees looked good in public.)

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It’s not the good deeds I was talking about…
(We are not credited with good deeds)

Dear Richard,
How do you reconcile your belief with the bible?

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matt 5:44)
If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (1 Cor 3:14)

Best Wishes, Shawn

Luke 17: 10
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty .’”

Plus of course Paul’s views on faith not works. James says faith without works is dead, but only inasmuch as faith without works is false. The works are proofs, not qualifiers.

We do not do good for profit. We do it because it is right.



Providentially, I was reading the section on Good Works in the Westminster Confession last night before bed. The first half of section 16.5 reads:

We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them [our good works], we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins, (Rom. 3:20, Rom. 4:2, 4, 6, Eph. 2:8–9, Tit. 3:5–7, Rom. 8:18, Ps. 16:2, Job 22:2–3, Job 35:7–8) but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants (Luke 17:10)…

Certainly, as per the Confession, our good works do not merit salvation as a reward since one is not rewarded for doing what is expected of them. As @RichardG pointed out, we do it because it is right and it is expected of us. In a similar way, one pays one’s taxes because it is the right thing to do and the expected thing to do, not because one seeks to be rewarded for it.

That said, the is a sense in which the scripture tells us to expect a reward too. I don’t have time to pass much comment on that now, so I’ll simply drop the hand grenade and run…


Dear Richard,
Thank you also @LM77 for your note. This is a common issue that I run into. Yes, the Bible is unclear as to whether we get credit for our good deeds, but I hope all should agree that you get demerits for not doing them. So, doing good deeds is just checking the box. Without devotion to Jesus, thy are worthless. But devotion to Jesus is not enough, if you have not checked the box.

I think that the ideas of reward or punishment are very human. The reason for caution is that we cannot possibly live up to the standards of God so in that sense anything we do is inadequate so why expect a reward? However, clearly Christ used the ideas of rewards to promote God so there will be benefits, and, if we read Him correctly they will be more than we can hope for because, once again, we do not view on God’s scale and cannot conceive what He can.
At the end of the day we rely on God’s mercy and providence rather than Led Zepplin’s “Buying a stairway to Heaven”.


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Once we have been adopted into Father’s family, we do not need to fear punishment, but he can withhold his smile or bless us with additional grace. Yes, there is reward. Jesus speaks of it and so does Paul. To deny it is to deny scripture.

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I am denying nothing. I am just stating that it is not the reason for behaving, nor is it something to dwell on. It is what it is.


Why couldn’t it simply be that they disagree with Dale?


Maybe because the words are there? Read for yourselves:

    Reward; prize


If any of you have read C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, you may recall Sarah Smith, who she was and how she was rewarded, and especially why.

Paul was very conscious of it!

Oh, and I had not looked at @LM77’s link until now – it is much more comprehensive than what I referenced!