A Steadfast Faith
Charles Spurgeon once preached a sermon he called, “The Kind of Revival We Need”. In this sermon one of his points is that Personal Godliness is absolutely necessary for a church to be alive. He says, “ Urgently do we need a revival of personal godliness. This is, indeed, the secret of church prosperity. When individuals fall from their steadfastness, the church is tossed to and fro; when personal faith is steadfast, the church abides true to her Lord.
It is upon the truly godly and spiritual that the future of religion depends in the hand of God. Oh, for more truly holy men, quickened and filled with the Holy Spirit, consecrated to the Lord and sanctified by His truth.
Brethren, we must each one live if the church is to be alive.
It does not matter whether today you believe this church is need of a revival.
However, I believe that we are in all in agreement that at the very least we want to see this church to prosper, and we want to see each other grow strong in the faith.
One place that we may start is by cultivating a personal faith that is steadfast.
Colossians 1:15 - 2:1 15 He (talking about Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.
In this passage we learn how truly awesome our Lord Jesus Christ is. We discover that all things were created by him and for him, and that only in him can the whole world be held together. We indeed know as the children’s song says, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”
Not only is he so big and awesome to have the world in his hands, but friends our God loves us.
He loves us more than we even love ourselves. This passage says that he is so pleased to have all fullness dwell in him that he reconciled himself to all things by shedding his blood for us. In other words he died so that we might have life in him.
With God being so big and awesome, one might think it would be easy to continue in our faith.
R.C. Sproul wrote a book called, “The Invisible Hand”. The book talks about how God is in control of the whole world, and that in all things great and small God works everything out according to His good plan.
I know this, not because I have read the book, but because I own the book
and I read the introduction and the little blurb on the back, which tells what the book is about.
Many times I have sat down to read the book and I make it part way through the first chapter.
Sproul begins in the first chapter telling the story of his family gathering together to spend a little bit of time with his beloved grand child, a still born baby.
This is where I begin tear up.
Even as a wrote about this last night, thinking about the hurt and pain they must of felt, I began to cry.
Then Sproul goes on to explain how that was part of God’s good plan, and how they never failed to trust God during that time. They indeed had a steadfast faith, a faith established and firm.
However, I am not quite so sure my faith is nearly that steadfast. I am not certain that my faith is that established and firm.
Rather, My faith I believe is somewhat weak, it is still young and untested.
Maybe some of you today, have a faith that is more like mine, if that is so today’s sermon is for you. It is for all of us, who need our faith strengthened.
Even though I am one who is weak in faith, I find it amazing that as big and awesome as our God is, and as much as he loves us and takes care of us, we so often find it within ourselves to lose our faith just a little bit.
Nevertheless it happens. I sometimes find myself doubting, even though God has never given me a reason to lose faith.
So if you are like me, and you have a somewhat less strong faith, I want you to know that we are in the same boat as the disciples were.
Peter had enough faith in our Lord to step out of the boat and walk on the water, but his faith remained for only second then he took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink.
In another story we find Peter and some of the other disciples with Jesus when a storm comes. The disciples freak out because Jesus is sound a sleep. When they wake Jesus up,
he says do you not know who I am? He is basically saying don’t you know guys, I got the whole world in my hands.
All things are created by me and for me, and if I want the storms to come they will come, but if I want the storms to calm they will be silent.
When we read these stories in Sunday School and Bible Studies we say, yeah these guys should have had more faith, after all they were with God, however when you face your real life situations will your faith hold up. Will your faith prove to be established and firm.
I would like to be able to stand here before you and say absolutely, I know that God is control, my faith will remain strong no matter what God brings my way, but that would not be very honest of me.
The truth is I don’t know, I don’t know how I would truly respond, I don’t really know how established and firm my faith is, because it is still young and largely untested.
What advice then can I give? What advice might help those of us who are young in the faith to face the storms, trials, and problems that are sure to come. I cannot give any advice, except for what this passage tells us.
This passage says that if we continue in our faith that we will be presented holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation, but how do we continue in faith?
Continuing on reading, this verse says, if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.
It is here that we find that sweet kernel of truth and hope.
This verse is saying that this steadfast faith is a faith that is not moved from the hope hold out in the gospel.
In other words in order to keep the faith, we must always remind ourselves of the gospel by which we were first saved.
In Jerry Bridges book, “The Gospel for Real Life”, he points out much more clearly that all of us, old and young Christians, need to preach the gospel to ourselves everyday. This is what this passage recommends for us.
We need to always remind ourselves of the truths of the gospel. The more we hear the gospel in good times, the more we will be ready to face those times of hardship.
The beginning of this passage gives everything we need to remind ourselves of everyday.
It reminds that God has the whole world in his hands,. Even though the world has been pretty messed up because of our sin, through his blood all things will be reconcile to Him., and all of us can be reconciled to Him because of His blood.
To over simplify this truth:
God is in control, and in the big scheme of things everything is going to be alright, and if you believe in Him everything will end up great for you to.
Today I want you to remember, storms come in many ways. Sometimes we are hurt, simply because life can be hard, while other times we might find ourselves faced with a problem and we just don’t know the answer.
Whatever the situation is remember this letter as if it were written to you.
I am the Lord your God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFJTD (something for Jesus to do) box. It will be addressed in MY time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution. Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest my child. If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away.
Lord let us all go. Remembering your great love and mercy that you have poured out on us, and the blood that you shed for us so that we might be forgiven and have life.