“God demonstrated [showed by action] His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Our Christianity is only worthless sentiment if it doesn’t lovingly attend to the physical, felt or touchable needs of people, including nonbelievers, however this must not be in a meddling or pushy way. When we live out our faith by meeting the present, real and pressing needs of people, they will often be drawn to Christ and accept salvation. We should be involved in people’s lives, as Good Samaritans who “Go and do likewise” – meeting the needs which they are unable to address themselves and pointing them to Jesus, the great burden bearer (Lk 10:30-37; 1 Pet 5:7). In this way, our beliefs are backed up with tangible evidence, actions that show we are genuine in ministering to the spirit, the physical body and the soul, having a balanced, holistic approach (Jas 2:14-25). ‘The world’ normally focuses solely on the body and mind, catering to the fleshly, human desires with no understanding of the spiritual dimension. Unfortunately, the church has often failed to respond to the very real felt needs of the unsaved and so has lost a valid opportunity to show the love of Christ in action.
Real Christianity is practical – whether meeting the needs of spirt, soul or body
Bible instructs us to love our neighbour as ourselves, to crucify the fleshly desires, to put off the old nature and put on the new (Lk 6:31,37,38; 10:27; Rom 6:6; Gal 5:24; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-10). We are told not to not just give mental assent to the teachings of the Bible, instead live it out in action by doing what it says (Mt 7:24-27; Jas 1:22-25). God challenges us to put Him to a practical and provable test by tithing (Mal 3:10-12).
All Christian instruction should have a practical application – helping us to grow more into the image of Christ and outwork our faith so others come to believe in Him too. Practical theology encourages interaction between the Bible and daily life; it considers how its teachings should be outworked in the way I live.
See also: actions/activity, application, outworking, reality, theory, useful.