So you're a Christian. You've accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you are ready to start representing Him as an Ambassador for Heaven here on Earth. That is awesome! Deciding to follow Jesus is the single most important decision you will ever make. You are a new creation with the righteousness of Christ all over you and the Holy Spirit deep within you (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:13-14).
But if you have been a Christian for more than a couple days, you know that the story doesn't end at the bottom of a rainbow. Being a Christian is not always filled with sugar cookies, sunshine, and puppies. In fact, Jesus was sure to point out that life will be tough if you choose to follow Him, but He also said that this was no reason to despair because He's on your side (John 16:33).
When we're talking about what a Christian is "supposed to do," we want to make it clear that there is no list of rules and regulations or to-dos or not-to-dos that we can check off in order to gain favor or salvation from God. The only way we can be saved or be deemed righteous by God is by having faith that Jesus Christ is our Savior from the punishment of sin (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9). Galatians 3:11 says that "no one is justified by the Law in the sight of God...for, 'The just shall live by faith.'"
So our faith is the only thing that saves us. Our faith is the only thing that grants us anything at all. Yet we are still expected to be Ambassadors for Christ, right? What does the Bible say about how we should live our lives?
According to Jesus' teachings, God's greatest commandments boil down to two things: love God and love people (Matthew 22:36-40). Let's look find some biblical principles that will help us understand how to live out this "love God, love people" thing.
When you love someone, you try to maintain a healthy relationship that person. In order to maintain a healthy relationship with God, we should: talk to Him constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), read His Word in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:17), talk about Him and what He is doing in our lives (Galatians 6:9; Psalm 96:3). Make God a part of your daily life so that you do not forget who made you, who forgave you, and who will give you strength to persevere (Hebrews 10:38-39).
Being obedient to God is another part of loving Him. Because He loves you dearly and knows what is best for you (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3; Psalm 119:30), you can be assured that He will never lead you in the wrong direction (Proverbs 3:6; Romans 8:28; Proverbs 3:5).
Psalm 37:4-6 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday."
Even though not everyone is lovable, it is important for us to love them the way God loves us (1 John 4:19). Think about it: we aren't always loveable either, but that doesn't change the way God feels about us. We are to be kind, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, patient, and gentle to the people around us—no matter what their beliefs, lifestyles, race, or social status (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). God loves all people unconditionally, sacrificially, and absolutely (Romans 5:8; John 3:16). We should aim to do the same.
Once we have decided to live by faith in Christ, we aren't allowed to be selfish anymore (Galatians 2:20). Thanks to Jesus, we are brand new creations who no longer have to choose sin (1 Corinthians 5:17). Because of His sacrifice, we sacrifice our own desires and ambitions, replacing them with a desire to do as God wills for our lives. It sounds hard, but God has a lot of grace for us and will provide the power you need to live your life for Him.
Yes, I know how all of this sounds very nice and sweet and perfect, but then you still have to get up in the morning and face your troubles. It can be hard to always love God when He allows bad things to happen sometimes. It can be a serious challenge to always love people when people can be so unlovable. On top of that, we're dealing with things like stress, hormones, school, parents, coaches, teachers, and everything else that life throws at us.
But God promises that He will not allow more temptations than He knows we can resist with the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 10:13), and He will give us the strength we need to get through life's trials. Isaiah 40:30-31 says, "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
We hope that this has given you a good place to start. The Bible is full of great advice on life (biblical principles) that can help you in just about any situation you can think of. And if you need some help finding those verses or principles that would apply to your situation, please feel free to search our site, check GotQuestions.org, or ask a real person through our Q&A System. We're here to help!
As Ambassadors on Earth for Christ, we should live our lives according to Jesus' teachings. God's greatest commandments boil down to two things: love God and love people (Matthew 22:36-40). Loving God means talking to Him, reading His Word, and obeying Him. Loving others means being kind, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, patient, and gentle to the people around us—no matter what their beliefs, lifestyles, race, or social status (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Romans 5:8; John 3:16). It isn't always going to be easy, but remember that God will never give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13), and He will give us the strength we need to get through life's trials (Isaiah 40:30-31).
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two teenage kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.