The late Dr. Stephen Olford was known as the "prince of preachers." He was a man small in stature, but a giant in the pulpit. Dr. Olford was best known for his love for, and practice of, expository preaching.
He wrote concerning having a daily relationship with Christ: "It is one thing to start right, but quite another matter to walk right." And I would add, it is even more difficult to finish right. In Colossians 2:6, Paul encourages believers: "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.
The difficulty in the Christian life is not becoming a Christian. The difficulty is walking daily with Christ. The pressures from problems, work, friends, schedules and other commitments pull us away from the essentials of the Christian walk, i.e. - prayer, Bible Study and hanging out with other Christians.
The late Dr. Olford believes there are six rights that will help us in our daily walk with Christ.
The Right Christianity - Colossians 2:6 - "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him." There is a real temptation to look to other people for our faith, beliefs and example, however, when we do this, there is a real chance we will be disappointed and misguided. Paul encourages us to look to Jesus, the one who perfects our faith. In Christ, you will not be disappointed, or led astray
The Right Assurance - Hebrews 12:2 - "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." If we walk with God for any length of time, there will be times when our faith is rocked, our confidence is low, and we feel like a failure. For assurance of your salvation and progress in your Christian life always rely on the Bible, rather than on your fluctuating feelings, people's opinions or the devil's doubts. Our faith grows by hearing the voice of God through reading and obeying His Word.
The Right Witness - Luke 19:10 - "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Jesus came so that people could enter into a personal relationship with God. Our privilege is that we get to be the voice that tells them the way to God. It is imperative that we share our faith with others as often as we can. Matthew 28:19-20 commands us to go and tell. A secret Christian is never very effective. It is important to remember from Romans 10:9-10 that the belief in our heart that Jesus rose from the dead is to be matched with a confession from our mouth stating He is Lord.
The Right Source - I Timothy 2:8 - "I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer." II Timothy 3:16-17 - "All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be equipped for every good work." We all have to fight the temptation to seek understanding from books and people. God wants us to seek Him through prayer and His Word. A daily fellowship with God through prayer and the Word is essential for growth in your Christian life.
The Right Cleansing - Proverbs 28:13 - "He who conceals his sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." I John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Never ignore sin, or excuse it. When we do sin, we must tell God about it at once and believe that through confession He has forgiven us.
The Right Direction - When we are faced with choosing a direction for our life, we should test it by asking two questions: Can I ask God's blessing upon it? I Corinthians 10:31 - "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Will it help me grow in my relationship with Christ? I Corinthians 6:12 - "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me - but I will not be mastered by anything."
At one point in his life, Dr. Olford was facing a crisis of belief. His father, a strong follower of Christ, encouraged him with these words - "Only one life twill soon be past and only what is done for Christ will last."
True life is lived for Christ and by Christ. Christ has come to set the captives free. We are the captives, and through Christ, we can live a life that is pleasing to God.
The Rev. Chris Reynolds is pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Christian Academy in Jonesboro.