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holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

9 Crucial Practices for Building Up a Vital Christian Life

Believing into Christ to be born anew and an effective baptism  are only the beginning of a vital Christian life.

9 Crucial Practices for Building Up a Vital Christian Life

Whether you flourish in your Christian life after receiving the Lord Jesus, really depends on whether you build up certain vital practices in your daily living.

By giving careful attention to these points you will be helped to progressively grow in Christ. You will also be equipped to help others who are new in their faith or lacking the foundation for a vital Christian life. So let’s consider nine of these crucial practices.

9 crucial practices for building up a vital Christian life

1. Knowing the two spirits and exercising your spirit—1 Cor. 15:45 and Rom. 8:16

After being saved, the first thing we need to learn is that Christ is the life-giving Spirit and that we, as His believers have a regenerated spirit (John 3:6).

First Corinthians 15:45 tells us clearly that Christ, who was the “last Adam” in the flesh, died and resurrected to become a “life-giving Spirit.” It is only by His becoming such a Spirit that Christ can indwell our spirit to make Himself one spirit with us (1 Cor. 6:17).

Paul says in Romans 8:16 that,

also  The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.

His Spirit is now witnessing with our human spirit that we are children of God. Experiencing such a mingled spirit is the secret to our experience of Christ.

If you want to experience the Spirit’s witnessing with your spirit, take some time this week to tell someone you know how glad you are to have received Jesus Christ. I believe your simple speaking will cause you to realize the Spirit’s witnessing with your spirit.

Practice to turn to your mingled spirit and exercise your spirit in everything (1 Tim. 4:7). Here is a hymn to encourage you to exercise your spirit. Be sure to click view lyrics.

Also, to know how your spirit is different from your soul, you may want to read my post on the subject. The following point is also a big help in exercising your spirit.

2. Calling on the Name of the Lord Jesus

After discovering your human spirit (John 3:6) you need to practice to use your spirit to contact the Lord (John 4:24). Calling on the Lord’s name is the secret to daily enjoying Christ’s riches. Romans 10:12-13 says,

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him; For “whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

It is not sufficient to know that you have these two spirits—the Spirit mingled with your human spirit. Begin a daily practice to exercise your spirit by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus.

The best time to start calling is first thing each morning.   Start your day by taking two to three minutes to call on the Lord Jesus from deep within. This is the best spiritual breathing and drinking. Try it and see how rich the Lord Jesus becomes to you!

Christ as the life-giving Spirit is now with your spirit, His Spirit is the “living water” (John 7:39) and your spirit is the “drinking fountain.” But the switch to turn on this fountain is your calling on the Lord.

Try it right now. Just open your mouth and from your deep within call,

“Lord Jesus! Oh Lord Jesus!”

By your calling on the name of the Lord, you’ll exercise your spirit and enjoy the Lord becoming rich to you as your moment by moment supply.

3. Reading the Bible daily

Along with your spiritual drink, you need spiritual food. The food is in God’s word (Matt. 4:4) . To be healthy, you need to build up the daily practice of reading the Bible. This will give you the spiritual milk and spiritual food you need to grow in Christ (1 Peter 2:2).

Build up the vital practice of reading through the Bible sequentially, book by book, every day.  Set aside a regular time to read through the Bible, preferably a little in the morning and in the evening.

I encourage you to set up two 10-15 minute times daily–one in the morning to read through the New Testament prayerfully, then a second time in the evening for the same amount of time to read through the Old Testament. It is not a matter of speed but of consistency.

Acts 17:11 confirms this noble practice,

Now these people [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

God’s word in the Bible is the language of prayer and the equipment we need to preach the gospel and feed younger believers. Reading the Bible is most worthwhile.

My post with tips on Bible reading will encourage your practice and the chapter on “Reading the Bible” from Lessons for New Believers by Witness Lee gives a lot of practical help for beginning such a habit. You can read it online at ministrybooks.org.

As far as Bible versions to read from, here is a post that shares why I prefer the Recovery Version for my reading and study.

4. Praying and pray-reading God’s Word 

Yet, Bible reading without prayer can become very dry and degrade into merely a mental exercise. So your reading the Bible needs to be matched by prayer.  To get started in this vital matter of prayer, here is a post with 10 short morning prayers you can pray to the Lord.

For a more thorough presentation on prayer, you may want to check out my posts referenced on the prayer life page of this blog.

On the one hand, you need to pray to prepare your heart to read the Bible. On the other hand, you need to match your reading of God’s Word with prayer in order to assimilate what you read.

You can even turn the words of the Bible you are reading  into your prayer to the Lord. We call this vital practice pray-reading the word.

Ephesians 6:17-18 points to this vital practice when it says,

And receive…the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints.

These verses indicate that the way to receive God’s word is by means of all kinds of prayer. This can also include thanksgiving, praise and worship.

Remember to use your spirit. Verse 18 says “praying at every time in spirit.” Build up the habit of using your spirit whenever you pray.

For help on how to pray-read the word, here is a post with 12 tips on how to pray-read the word to be spiritually nourished.

5. Following the sense of life, the sense of the spirit

As a believer who has Christ indwelling you, you also need to learn to follow the inner sense of His Spirit in your spirit. His indwelling Spirit gives us a sense of life, an inner feeling, or inner sense that we did not have before we were saved.

Romans 8:6 says,

The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.

This sense of life has both a positive and negative aspect. When your words, thoughts and actions are according to Christ in your spirit, you spontaneously have a sense of life positively. You have a sense of rest, peace, comfort, brightness, strength and liveliness. Having such a feeling you can proceed with confidence.

However, when your words, thoughts and actions are not according to Christ in your spirit, you have a sense of restlessness, uneasiness, darkness, weakness and pain. These symptoms are like the warning lights in your car telling you to stop what you’re doing and turn back to the Lord.

Learn to check with the Lord in everything. That is, practice to live, to do things, to deal with people and matters according to this inner feeling–the sense of the spirit, or the sense of God’s life.

6. Building up a morning time with the Lord

After you have learned to exercise your spirit, to call on Lord, and to pray and pray-read His word, you need to build up a daily practice of spending time with the Lord each morning.

Just as the children of Israel gathered the manna, the heavenly bread, every morning (Exo. 16:21)  to receive God’s supply, you need to come to the Lord each morning by calling on Him, praying to Him and prayerfully reading His word for nourishment.

The God-seeking psalmist testified to this practice in Psalm 119:147 where he said,

I anticipated the dawn and cried out; I hoped in Your words.

Build up a time that you can keep, whether 5-10 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour. It may depend on your circumstances and your spiritual capacity. The main thing is to be regular and then allow the Lord to grow and expand.

One helpful tip is to learn to go to bed earlier, so you will not find it difficult to rise up a little earlier for your set time with the Lord.

For more help on spending a time with the Lord, here is a post on How to Spend Time with Jesus in the Morning.

7. Participating in proper Christian meetings

If you’ve enjoyed the Lord in the morning, you’ll surely sense the need to fellowship with other believers. The Lord refers to the believers as His sheep forming His one flock. In John 10:16 He says,

And I have other sheep…and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd.

None of us can live the Christian life well by ourselves. We need to be “flocked together,” that is, to meet together with other believers, the more the better.  This was the practice of the early church and it should be the same with us today (Acts 2:46-47).

Hebrews 10:24-25 even tells us that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. This is necessary not only for your personal spiritual growth but to fulfill God’s purpose to build up the Body of Christ, the church (Eph. 4:15-16).

Ask the Lord to lead you into the proper church practice that matches His hearts desire and that is according to New Testament pattern as revealed in His word.

For a deeper appreciation of the church according to the desire of God’s heart, I’d recommend a prayerful reading of The Glorious Church by Watchman Nee. You can freely read it online at ministrybooks.org download a free PDF here.

8. Preaching the gospel to others

By the above practices you will be richly supplied, but the Lord’s desire is that you also would go and tell others of the great salvation that you have received.

Tell your relatives, friends, neighbors, classmates and colleagues concerning the wonderful Christ you are enjoying. If you don’t know what to say, you can simply give them a tract or share a gospel video with them.

Grasp the opportunity to bring the good news of Christ to others. As Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:2,

Proclaim the word; be ready in season and out of season.

This kind of practice keeps your Christian experience fresh.  Luke 15 says there is joy in heaven over one sinner repenting.  When you lead someone to Christ, you share in this heavenly joy!

9. Speaking for the Lord with other believers

Learn to be a speaking believer. In 2 Corinthians 4:13 it says,

And having the same spirit of faith according to that which is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak.

It’s best to begin speaking the Lord from the day that you are saved (John 4:28-29). Then practice to speak for the Lord at every opportunity.

The proper Christian meetings, as revealed in the Bible are for all the believers to speak the word of the Lord to one another and to listen to others speak the word of the Lord.

Colossians 3:16 says,

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.

I hope that these nine crucial practices mentioned in this post would not be overwhelming, but a path for progress, not only for you, but also for those whom you would help to grow in the Lord.

If you’ve been impressed by any point in this post, please take a moment to confirm it with a short comment. If you would like further fellowship on any of these points, feel free to contact me via the Contact page.

References and further reading:

This post was inspired by Chapter 17 of The Exercise & Practice of the God-Ordained Way, by Witness Lee and also by portions of The Scriptural Way to meet and to Serve for the Building Up of the Body of Christ, by the same author. You can read freely read both titles at ministrybooks.org

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

9 Replies

  1. Melissa Cartwright

    Thank you, brother Tom, for putting this together! These are the life practices that have helped me and many others to pursue Christ, to love His Body, and to be stable in the Christian life and church life. Hallelujah!

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. They have also been a real help to me. And even if we’ve been in the Lord for many years, we still need a refresher concerning these basic life practices. This is not only for our own sake–to strengthen our foundation, but also to equip us with some steps to help younger and less experienced believers to have a practical path for progress. Thank you for your confirming comment.

  2. gloria ines vera ramirez

    Por favor publicarlo en Español!!

    1. Tom Smith

      Lo siento, no hablo español. Gracias por su interés en nuestros mensajes ti. (via Google Translate)

    2. En las referencias arriba, hermano Tom dijo, “This post was inspired by Chapter 17 of The Exercise & Practice of the God-Ordained Way, by Witness Lee.” Este libro está tambien disponible en español. En el sito de web http://www.librosdelministerio.org/witness-lee-books.cfm selecto numero 52. En la nueva pagina, en “Contenido” (arriba, a la derecha), selecto numero 17. Este capitulo contiene 4 de los 9 puntos arriba.

  3. Jeremiah Palomar

    Thank you for sharing this brother Tom. Can I translate the points into our native Tagalog dialect so that I may share this to the saints who do not know English. Thank you.

    1. Tom Smith

      Jeremiah, thanks for asking. Yes, you may translate these points into Tagalog for the dear believers who don’t speak English. I do ask that you would provide proper reference/citation to the original blog post.

  4. Joni L

    Amen. Thank you.

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. May these crucial practices build you up in a vital Christian life. Thanks for sharing your appreciation.

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