The Bible has a lot to say about a Christian’s responsibility in life. As followers of Christ, Christians are called to live according to God’s standards and commands as revealed in Scripture. Here is an overview of some of the key responsibilities the Bible outlines for believers:
Love God and Others
The most fundamental calling for Christians is to love God and love others. When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). Showing love to God includes pursuing a relationship with Him through prayer, Bible study, worship, and obedience. Showing love to others includes compassion, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, and service to those in need.
Known as the Great Commission, Jesus commanded His followers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Christians have a duty to share the gospel message with unbelievers, lead them to faith in Christ, and disciple new believers in the teachings of Scripture.
Care for Widows and Orphans
Throughout the Bible, God calls on His people to provide and care for those vulnerable in society – namely widows, orphans, poor, oppressed, and needy. James 1:27 states that pure religion is to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Christians must be willing to give generously, defend, and speak up for these groups.
Be Good Stewards
A core Christian responsibility is stewardship – the careful and responsible management of resources God has entrusted to us. This includes our time, talents, spiritual gifts, wealth, possessions, and all of creation. 1 Peter 4:10 reminds us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Obey Government Authorities
Within lawful limits, Christians are instructed to live as model citizens and obey governing rulers and authorities which are instituted by God. Romans 13:1 states, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” However, when man’s laws conflict with God’s commands, “we must obey God rather than human beings” (Acts 5:29).
Flee from Sin
Christians have a duty to pursue holiness and resist temptation by removing sin from their lives. Paul writes, “Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18) and “put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Colossians 3:5). Staying away from environments, influences, and exposures to sin is key.
Gather for Church
Regular church attendance and participation is important for believers. “Let us not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:25). The early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship” (Acts 2:42). God designed us for community, worship, Bible teaching, communion, and fellowship with other Christians.
Practice Spiritual Disciplines
To grow in godliness and faith, Christians must be diligent to practice spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting, Scripture reading, Biblical meditation, worship, solitude, service, etc. Jesus modeled the priority of spiritual disciplines. Mark 1:35 notes, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Share Your Faith
Christians have a duty to be witnesses for Christ and share the truth of the gospel with unbelievers. 1 Peter 3:15 states, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” This includes living out our faith as a testimony and verbally explaining the good news of salvation through Christ.
Use Gifts to Serve
According to 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” God has given each Christian spiritual gifts and talents to be used in service for the edification of the church. We are responsible to know our gifts and use them well.
Submit to Authorities in the Church
God has ordained authorities in the church who are to lead, teach, and guide believers. Hebrews 13:17 states, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.” Christians have a duty to submit to the authority of pastors, elders, and other appointed leaders in the church in matters of doctrine and direction.
Be a Witness for Truth and Justice
The Bible calls Christians to promote truth, righteousness, and justice in the world. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Christians must speak up against lies, corruption, oppression, racism, and injustice in society.
Defend and Protect Life
As image-bearers of God, humans have inherent dignity and worth. Thus Christians must defend and protect human life from conception to natural death. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before we are even formed in the womb. Followers of Christ are therefore responsible to oppose evils like abortion and euthanasia.
Set a Godly Example
Christians have a duty to lead lives that set a positive example and reflect the character of Christ. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Our example should point people to God, not cause others to stumble.
Be Generous and Help the Poor
Throughout Scripture, caring for the poor and needy through generous giving is commanded. “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17). “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Pursue Unity in Christ
While contending for truth, Christians must also prioritize unity within the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:3 instructs believers to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Our common faith in Christ transcends earthly divisions, so we must avoid contentions over disputable matters.
Honor Your Parents
The command to “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12) applies at every age. Adult children have a lifelong duty to respect, care for, and maintain relationship with aging parents. As Proverbs 23:22 says, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
Jesus taught that Christians should freely forgive those who sin against them. When Peter asked how many times he must forgive, Jesus replied, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:21-22). We are to forgive others just as God has forgiven our sins through Christ.
Manage Anger and Resolve Conflict
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26). Christians must control anger and seek to quickly resolve interpersonal conflicts. We are called to be peacemakers who restore broken relationships (Matthew 5:9).
Love and Submit to Your Spouse
For married Christians, the Bible outlines marital duties to a spouse. Husbands must sacrificially love and lead their wives (Ephesians 5:25). Wives must submit respectfully to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). And both must remain sexually faithful (Hebrews 13:4) and prioritize the marriage above all other earthly relationships.
Raise Children in the Faith
Christian parents are responsible for the spiritual instruction and discipleship of their children. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). This includes exemplifying and teaching Christian values in the home.
Be a Good Employee or Employer
Christians must work with excellence, integrity, honesty, and respect in their jobs – whether as employees or employers. Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” And masters must treat servants justly and fairly (Colossians 4:1).
Care for God’s Creation
God appointed mankind to steward and care for His creation, including the environment and animals (Genesis 1:28). Though now fallen, the earth still belongs to God. Christians must be wise managers of natural resources and avoid pollution and destruction of God’s world.
The Bible condemns drunkenness and addiction to alcohol. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). While moderate alcohol use may not be prohibited, Christians must avoid intoxication and dependence on substances.
Practice Biblical Morality
Christians are called to pursue purity and flee from sexual sin. 1 Corinthians 6:18 instructs believers to “flee from sexual immorality.” And Hebrews 13:4 commands, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.” Practicing biblical morality in an immoral culture is key.
Seek First God’s Kingdom
Jesus taught that life must be oriented around eternal priorities. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). The supremacy of God’s kingdom is to shape all aspects of a Christian’s life and responsibilities.
In summary, being a faithful follower of Christ involves obeying God’s word, pursuing Christ-likeness, living out biblical values, prioritizing spiritual growth, loving others, making disciples, stewarding resources, and seeking to advance God’s kingdom above all else until Christ returns. Our fundamental identity and calling is to glorify God in all things.