Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reasons to Persevere in the Faith

2 weeks ago = Phil. 3:10-16
Paul's goal - "to become all Christ saved me to be"
Paul's method - "I press on" - persevere
Paul's conclusion - "all Christians should share this view"

OK for Paul ..... but for me?  Why bother?
1.)  I'll never be an apostle, church planter, scripture writer, church leader like Paul!!!
2.)  Perseverance is HARD WORK!!!

Statement once made in a Sunday school class - why do all this?  When get to heaven it's all a gravy train anyway.

So, here's some Reasons to Persevere in the Faith.

#1.  Persevere because it's the right thing to do.
Note:   A) the call is NOT to simply Persevere, but to Persevere in Righteousness!!! - within the faith.
Heb. 12:1 - "course MARKED for us" - (not YOUR choosing!!!)
           B) - always right do right
                - never right to do wrong!! - Phil. 3:15

#2.  Persevere because righteous actions result in righteous outcomes.
Classic reference:  Gal. 6:7-8
Point:  don't produce good by doing bad.  - example:  Adam and Eve - tempted to "fall up".  (all temptation follows this reasoning
Doesn't mean "do good today and have a good day" - (maybe, maybe not).  "God doesn't settle all accounts in October".  BUT, He does settle all accounts!!
So, ultimately and finally - righteous acts will result in righteous outcome.  Gal. 6:9

#3.  Persevere for Assurance of Salvation
There are two schools of thought:
1)  IF you persevere, you'll be saved.
2)  IF you are saved, you'll persevere
Either way = without Perseverance = question of salvation!!!
Jesus - John 8:31 - "If  you continue in my Word"
Paul - Col. 1:22-23 - "if you continue in the faith"
Peter - 2 Pet. 1:10 
John - 1 John 2:19 - walking away from the faith
On one hand, don't have a 'Christometer' to tell who is saved and who is not, But, one mark of true faith is Perseverance.

#4.  Persevere for Growth in Salvation
Example:  tomato plants with a free will - decide whether or not to stay planted in the fertile, nourishing soil, or take off to West Texas, Las Vegas, etc. for a period of time.  The fruit will be cut back considerably if not consistently hooked up to the nourishment of the garden spot. 
Cannot produce good fruit when on and off, up and down, etc.

#5.  Persevere that Christians be encouraged.
Contrast:  discouragement - seeing Christians quit and walk away from the faith
               ENcouragement - observing the faithful
A)  We FEED on one another.   And,
B.  You are to give as well as Receive.  Heb. 10:23-25 - We are obligated to feed others as well.

#6.  Persevere that people be Saved.
2 Tim. 2:8-10 - "for the sake of the elect, I'm suffering for the gospel"
On one hand, we are not ultimately responsible for their decision, but my actions do bear on their decisions.  It shouldn't be that way, BUT it IS that way. 

#7.  Persevere for the Rewards Promised.
2 Tim. 4:6-8 - "for those that endure", "for those who overcome"
Challenge:  1)  get in the faith, if not already there
                2)  examine self - are you in THE faith - walking in HIS faith.
                3)  Continue in the faith.

Closing:  Heb. 10:35-39

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