Charles Spurgeon said of John Bunyan, “Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture…. Prick him anywhere—his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved.” This is so true of Bunyan’s short treatise Christian Behavior.
Bunyan wanted Christians to behave like, well, Christians! He wrote, “They which have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.” He was quick to point out that good works don’t purchase salvation, but that Christian good works should be evidence of a person’s salvation.
His main text for this book comes from Titus 3:7-8. Of this passage he says,
“From this Scripture, therefore, I do gather these things observable: First, that good works do to flow from faith. Second, that everyone that believeth should be careful that their works be good. Third, that every believer should not only be careful that their works be good, and for the present do them, but should also be careful to maintain them. That is, they should carefully study to keep in a constant course of good works. Fourth, and lastly, that the best way to provoke both ourselves and others to this work, is to be often affirming to others the doctrine of justification by grace, and to believe it ourselves.”
Bunyan talks to husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, children, employers and employees, to challenge them to maintain those good works that would show others the admirable qualities of the Christian life. Even though Christian Behavior was written over 300 years ago, it’s message is as timeless as the Bible on which all of Bunyan’s thoughts were based.