Sunday, May 7, 2017


Apostasy - to abandon, denounce, turn away from one's faith.  Rare to see this.

Practical Apostasy - to slip away from the practice of the faith.  Practically have abandoned the faith.  No practice in one's life.

Primary reference = Hebrews because the WHOLE book addresses staying in the faith.
Heb. 2:1 = summary verse.

Today = Opposite of Apostasy:  ie:  Perseverance

Definition:  to persist or continue in a state or understanding - IN SPITE OF counter influences, opposition, resistance, hindrances.

On the one hand, we have heavy words to describe this:
Perseverance - steadfastness - endurance - long-suffering

However, scripture uses simple, everyday terms:

Example:  Opposite of drift, slip, turn, fall away?   =
stay.... in, with, upon
hold ... on, to, fast, tight
keep .... on, after
continue ... on, in, doing
stand ... fast, firm
wait ... for, upon
bear ... up, with, under

Hebrews can seem very confusing at first readings, but use of common terms makes it much more understandable.

Simple terms we all understand!!!

HOLD - John 8:31, Titus 1:9 - (speaking of elders)  1 Thess. 5:21 - (hold to good)  Rev. 3:11 - (Jesus to one of the 7 churches)

KEEP - 2 Tim. 1:13,   2 Tim. 4:5 -to Timothy speaking of people who are going to slip away fall away.

CONTINUE - 2 Tim. 3:13, Col. 2:6, Phil. 2:12 - old English equivalent = "stay" - Isa. 50:10 in KJV

STAND - (spiritual warfare) - Eph. 6:10-14, 1 Pet. 5:9 (speaking of Satan and his realm), 1 Cor. 15:58, 16:13

And a word we don't often associate with faithfulness, perseverance = Patience.
We think "calm, collected, composed in the face of annoyances".  In scripture it = far more!!!

Patience (scripturally) = 1)  steadiness .... unruffled, unperturbed, composed
PLUS:                           2)  stamina ... persistence, staying power
PLUS:                           3)  expectation ... anticipation of change, of development, improvement, resolution!!

Ex:  James 5:7-8, 10 - waits in anticipation of positive outcome and the Lord resolving the situation

So.... Rom. 12:12 - patient when suffering
          Rev. 13:9-10 - or when persecuted

#1.  Perseverance is cited as evidence of salvation throughout the Scriptures
Heb. 3:14 - if we hold firmly.  Perseverance is characteristic of saints.

#2.  Perseverance does not mean never "falling down"... it means always getting back up.  
Examples:  Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, David, Jeremiah, Thomas, Peter - these fell hard, wandered far away, but always came back!

#3.  Perseverance is not only preferable ... but also beneficial.  James 5:10-11 - not for His benefit, but wholly for our benefit.
(Perseverance incurs God's favor, leads to God's blessings, which leads to Lord's benefits!
People benefit when we persevere.

So, where does this "perseverance" come from?  how acquired?

 Perseverance is: 

#1.  partly a gift from God - God gives us the ability to persevere, strength to endure
1 Cor. 1:8, 11 Cor. 1:21
Example:  Fruit of the Spirit - Gal. 5:22-23
But also
#2.  partly a result of decision and personal effort 
Col. 3:12  Heb. 6:12 - don't be lazy
Example:  scholarship - is granted and free but must be earned to keep the benefits

#3.  partly an acquired trait:  James 1:2-4 - don't develop perseverance in comfort.  Comes with time and experience and exposure.

Conclusion:  2 Cor. 13:5 
Get in the faith
Get rooted (established) - by studying, developing
Grow - (develop, mature)
Walk - (practice)
Reap - results, rewards

Closing Scripture:  1 Pet. 5:8-11

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