Vol.XVI No.XII Pg.6
February 1980

The Christian Life

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Ben F. Taylor, now 101 years old, wrote the material from which the following is condensed. We took excerpts from the full text, as published in Way of Life bulletin; and offer this as a tribute to bro. Taylor's long life of Preaching Christ.


I feel deeply my responsibility as I stand in defense of that way of life which is ridiculed and scorned by the skeptic, mocked by the ignorant, disregarded by multitudes; and within its own ranks is forsaken and besmirched by the carnally minded.

Christianity may be said to be the sum total of the principles of life as given by our Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian Life is the translation of those principles into the activities of life. Christianity is a life to be lived. It is not an empty profession to enhance our social standing. It is not a dress-suit to be worn on Sundays in which to parade our surface piety. Neither is it a storm-shelter to be disregarded when the sun shines again. Nor is it an asbestos suit to be put on at our exit, as a protection against the fire of the world to come. It is not an insurance policy which pays its dividends only after death.

The Christian Life is the highest type of life known to man and he who conforms to it reaches the highest possible attainment in this world. Christ opens to us an abundant life of purpose and service. If man were wholly mortal and death made him no more than brother to the insensible rock and clay, the Christian Life would pay the highest possible returns for the moral investment made. But we should have a fuller conception of the Christian Life. It is an index of faith, an index of our belief of divine testimony. And it is the means by which the world reads our faith. It is sheer folly to make a loud profession of faith and then live an indifferent, careless, or foul life and expect the world to respect revealed Christianity.

The Christian Life is a mold of our eternal destiny. I do not mean to discredit the love and mercy of God, nor the redemptive power of the blood of Christ. Without these no man can be saved. But the choice of these and a faithful service to the Deity of heaven lies within the volition of man. We must be judged according to things done in the body (2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12). In the great day of judgment we must meet the life we have lived, the character we have built.

And the Christian Life is one of self-denial. Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Lu. 9:23). Beware of that way of religious life which offers the crown without the cross. In the Christian Life we surrender our will to that of the Lord, in personal life, in obedience, in worship, and in work. As the muddy Missouri, the Beautiful Ohio, and the winding Cumberland blend into the Father of Waters and we see only the Mississippi; so we must become one in Him, and let the world see Christ in us — the divine will, in what we are and do.