Orthodoxy is having the right religious doctrines; Orthopraxy is having the right religious practices.
We need both; the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy to take care with both his teaching and also his life so that he would save himself and those who heard him. He also wrote to Timothy to keep faith and a good conscience. Good doctrine produces faith; a good life produces a good conscience.
Herein lies the challenge—how do we line up our behaviors with our beliefs? This is a lifelong challenge with ever changing landscapes.
New friends, new churches, and new stages of life all require a reassessment of our beliefs and a new commitment to put them into practice. Our relationships—both inside and outside of church—are in constant flux, and they continually remind us of the challenge to keep short accounts with our maker. Are we being faithful to Jesus? Are our lives bringing pleasure to Our Father? Only we ourselves can answer those questions; nobody can do it for us.
The secret to a life of integrity is to maintain our “devotion to Christ.” That means that he is the umpire, that he is calling the balls and strikes. When he says proceed, we proceed; when he says stop, we stop. This sort of life is both an art and a science. We have both his sure Word to keep us inside correct boundaries and also his Holy Spirit inside us to inspire us to keep in step with him. We must be practiced in the Word and in the Spirit.
The correct combination of these two aspects of spirituality will bring success every time. An incorrect combination will bring legalism (obeying certain laws without love) or licentiousness (proclaiming our freedom even as we live outside the limits of the Word.) Praise be to the Father, the Son, and to the Holy Spirit who alone know the paths that we take and how to negotiate all obstacles to our progress!
— Brad Heilhecker