How to live a Christian life to the FULLEST:  Four keys that will CHANGE your life

By Pastor José David Mercado

Have you ever wondered how to live a Christian life that reflects God’s love and helps you grow in your faith? In this article, we present you four concepts that can help you: communion, communal life, community, and commitment. These concepts, which are sometimes confused, have unique meanings and applications that are essential for your spiritual and ecclesial life. Below, we explain what they are, what the Bible says about them, how John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, understood them, and how you can put them into practice in your daily life. In the end, we hope you will feel inspired and challenged to live a more fulfilling and committed life with Christ.

Communion: an intimate and continuous relationship with God and with others

Communion is the deep and constant relationship that we have with God and with other believers. Communion involves an intimate and united connection, based on faith and shared life in Christ.

The Bible teaches us that communion is expressed in a special way in the Lord’s Supper, where we unite in the blood and body of Christ, symbolizing our joint participation in his sacrifice. It also reminds us that, although we are many, by eating from the same bread, we demonstrate our unity as one body in Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).

John Wesley emphasized the importance of constant communion with God and with other believers. For him, communion was essential for spiritual growth and personal sanctification. He believed that participation in the Lord’s Supper was a means of grace that strengthened faith, renewed the spirit, and united believers in a common experience of Christ’s presence. Wesley also saw communion as a daily practice that encompassed prayer, Bible study, and Christian fellowship.

To live in communion with God and with others, it is essential to participate regularly in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper. We must also foster prayer and Bible study, dedicating daily time to these practices that strengthen our communion with God and help us grow in faith. Participating in Bible study and prayer groups in the church enriches our spiritual life and connects us with other believers. Living in community involves investing in meaningful relationships within the church, participating in community activities and small groups where we can share our life and faith with others. Communion is a daily practice that goes beyond religious rituals, it is a life lived in continuous connection with God and in loving relationship with others.

Communal life: sharing our life and resources with others

Communal life is the practice of sharing our life and resources with others, following the example of the first Christians. Communal life promotes equality and solidarity, ensuring that everyone’s needs are met through sharing and mutual care.

The Bible shows us that the first Christians lived in a deep unity and shared all their goods. They considered that their goods were not their own, so they shared everything they had (Acts 4:32).

John Wesley vigorously promoted communal life in the early Methodist societies. Wesley believed that living in community and sharing resources was essential for spiritual growth and the practice of Christian love. He organized the Methodist societies into classes and bands, small groups where members could support each other, share their spiritual struggles and victories, and be accountable to each other.

To live communally in the church and the community today, we can start by actively participating in the small groups and ministries of our congregation. These spaces allow us to share our lives and resources, supporting each other in times of need. Fostering a culture of sharing and giving within the church is essential; this can include anything from contributing food and clothing for the needy to offering our time and skills to serve others. In addition, it is important to practice hospitality, opening our homes to members of the community and creating a welcoming environment where everyone feels valued and loved. Communal life also involves getting involved in community projects that benefit the community as a whole, working together to improve our environment and be a light of Christ in the world.

Community: a group of people united in love and peace

Community is a group of people who share common interests, values, and goals, and who are interconnected through mutual relationships and responsibilities. Community reminds us of the importance of unity and mutual support within the body of Christ.

The Bible calls us to be humble and kind, patient with each other and tolerant for love. It urges us to do everything possible to stay united in the Spirit and bound by peace. It reminds us that, although we are many, we are united in one body, with one Lord and one faith (Ephesians 4:2-6).

John Wesley saw community as essential for spiritual growth. For him, the Christian community was a place where believers could support each other, be accountable, and grow in holiness. Wesley organized the Methodist societies into small groups, where members met regularly to study the Bible, pray, and share their lives.

To foster a united and loving community in the church, it is essential to promote a culture of humility, kindness, and patience. Getting involved in activities and ministries that promote interaction and fellowship among church members is essential. Organizing Bible studies, prayer groups, and social activities can help strengthen ties within the community. In addition, it is important to practice forgiveness and reconciliation, creating an environment where differences are resolved with love and respect. Serving together in community projects and missions also strengthens unity, as working towards a common goal unites believers in a shared purpose.

Commitment: a total surrender of our life to God and his work

Commitment is the promise or agreement that we make with God to dedicate ourselves fully to Him and his work, living a life of holiness and service. Commitment involves a responsibility and a dedication on the part of the believers, responding to God’s love and mercy with a total surrender of our lives.

The Bible challenges us to present our bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice, the kind of sacrifice that pleases Him. It calls us to live a life of holiness and service, dedicating ourselves completely to God’s will (Romans 12:1).

John Wesley often spoke of Christian commitment as a complete dedication to God and the principles of Christian life. In his sermons and writings, Wesley emphasized the need to live a life of holiness and service, responding to God’s call with all our being. Wesley saw Christian commitment not as a momentary decision, but as a continuous lifestyle that manifested itself in daily actions of devotion, love, and service.

To live committed to God and his community, Christians must begin by dedicating daily time to prayer and Bible study, seeking continuously God’s will in their lives. Getting actively involved in the ministries and activities of the church is essential, offering our time, talents, and resources for the service of others. Practicing humility and service, following Christ’s example, is a key manifestation of Christian commitment. In addition, it is essential to maintain an attitude of obedience and willingness to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, allowing God to transform our lives and use us for his glory. Commitment also involves a willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others, demonstrating God’s love in a tangible way in our communities and beyond.

Conclusion: living a full Christian life

In this article, we have presented you four concepts that can help you live a full Christian life: communion, communal life, community, and commitment. These concepts are related to each other and complement each other, forming a comprehensive vision of Christian life. Communion, which involves an intimate and continuous relationship with God and with others, helps us grow in our faith and in our relationship with God. Communal life, which calls us to share our life and resources, helps us practice Christian love and meet the needs of others. Community, united in love and peace, provides us with the support we need to live a genuine and continuous commitment to God. Commitment, which motivates us to dedicate ourselves fully to God and his work, helps us maintain a constant communion, live communally, and nurture our community.

To apply these concepts in our daily lives, we must start by examining our relationship with God. Are we dedicating daily time to prayer and Bible study, seeking to deepen our communion with Him? Get involved actively in the sacraments and in the spiritual practices that strengthen your faith. Then, look for opportunities to live communally, sharing your resources and supporting others in your church and community. Participate in small groups, ministries, and community projects that promote unity and mutual support. Finally, reflect on your level of commitment to God. Are you willing to live a life of holiness and service, responding to God’s call with all your being? Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and transform you, so that you can live a life that reflects God’s love and grace in every aspect. By applying these concepts, we will not only strengthen our faith and our community, but we will also be a living testimony of Christ’s love to the world. Are you ready to accept this challenge and live in a way that honors God and benefits your community?

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References

Bible Verses:

– 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NLT) – Acts 4:32 (NLT)
– Ephesians 4:2-6 (NLT)
– Romans 12:1 (NLT)

Works and Sermons by John Wesley:

– Wesley, John. “The Duty of Constant Communion.” Sermons, Volume IV.
– Wesley, John. Writings on Communal Life in the Early Methodist Societies, Volume V. Etimological

Sources Consulted:

– “Communion.” Online Etymology Dictionary, www.etymonline.com/word/communion

– “Communal.” Online Etymology Dictionary, www.etymonline.com/word/communal

– “Community.” Online Etymology Dictionary, www.etymonline.com/word/community

– “Compromise.” Online Etymology Dictionary, www.etymonline.com/word/compromise