Balancing The Christian Life Revision2

Christianity is more than just a religion that one gets into. Rather, it is a relationship between God and the believer. And as Charles Ryrie has pointed out in his book, “Balancing the Christian Life,” that like all relationships, the Christian life of a person grows, develops, and matures from one that was less spiritual to one that is spiritually genuine and wholesome. But the Christian life is a journey until one achieves genuine and wholesome spirituality.

And Ryrie intended to reach Christians become better Christians by presenting biblical concepts such as spirituality, man, the old and the new life, and the unity with Christ. He goes on to discuss the personal responsibilities of Christians, and a third part which deals with some practical problems faced by Christians such as being filled with the Spirit, temptation and the Devil, forgiveness and confession, being legalistic, tongues, and Christ’s seat and lordship over one’s life.

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To me, every chapter of the book was interesting only that I wish more life applications and examples could have been incorporated by the author. Without such applications and examples, the book struck me more of a mere discussion or lecture material about biblical concepts, the Christian’s responsibilities, and the problems every Christian is bound to encounter later in his or her Christian life. The life applications and examples could help readers of the book relate more to what is being discussed by the author, and this could help readers grasp and gain a deeper understanding of the texts.
In addition, the topics of the book could have been written more extensively with less biblical jargon for the benefit of new Christians. This is because the topics and the discussions of the book are very good sources of information, especially for the new Christian to be renewed and strike a balance between spirituality and life in this world. Moreover, the book can help Christians become more established in the faith, in the Word and in the Church.
If new believers are not properly and promptly established, they might not make it in their Christian life. Had the topics been discussed at length and with practical life applications and examples, most readers would be edified for the topics were designed to minister, edify, and equip the believer and strengthen his faith by applying the concepts and properly taking hold of the responsibilities cited by the author. In essence, however, the book was okay.
I particularly liked the author’s discussion about understanding man’s salvation: man’s original sin, the results of sin, and God’s solution for sin. His initial message moves readers about sin and redemption. Basically, the author pointed out that, before we can understand salvation and appreciate the fact that Jesus is our Savior, we must first understand why man needs a savior and what it is that men need to be saved from. In short Ryrie tells us that we must understand the seriousness of sin and its eternal consequences.
He goes on to tell us that all sin is rebellion against the holy nature of God, hence, because of sin, man is separated from God and doomed to an eternity away from His presence. Because God is holy and just, he cannot let sin go unpunished. But because He is love, He desires to redeem His creation. So in order to be just and justifier at the same time, God sent His son to earth to pay the penalty for man’s sin. Hence, because of the blood of Jesus, we have been justified. Justified means “just-as-if-I’d” never sinned.
In other words, God not only forgives sin, he lets us start all over with a clean slate, just as if we’d never sinned. This new start is not because of our good works but because of the blood of His son. I also liked the discussions regarding spiritual gifts and how we must use them; the wiles of the Devil; and the power of confession and of forgiving. I think Ryrie’s book may be a very helpful reading material, although a new version may be written to make the texts more significant and applicable especially for those who’ve just begun their Christian walk.

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