1998-04-06 - Standing Firm in the Rock of Our Salvation
Colossians 1:23 "If indeed you continue on in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not constantly shifting from the hope of the gospel that you have heard …"
"… the trying of your faith produces steadfastness/approval." (James 1:3) If you are standing fast in the faith this is cool verse. If your walk with Christ is growing and you are living more and more with a kingdom of God mindset, these are words of comfort and encouragement. But what if you are not?
I have in mind two days on this topic. Today is aimed at those individuals who might be struggling with their walk with God and at all the rest of us who know, all to well, that while today might be a day of walking in victory, at any time we might find ourselves in the depths of despair. Tuesday, we will look at encouragements to continue to walk the victorious life.
Living in Christ is difficult. Let no one pretend that being steadfast in Christ comes naturally. Quite the contrary, we are at war with ourselves. (Romans 7:14-25) However, the Scripture tells us that being steadfast in our faith shows it to be true faith, and that desertion from our faith shows it to be false.
Lets take the example of the soldier who enlists in the army. Once he signs for a three year hitch, he can't, after 15 months, take four months off, come back and then re-enlist. He is in the service the entire time he is enlisted and to leave his agreed upon duty is to be charged with desertion. Christian, your hitch is for life. You can not take time out from your Christian calling and then re-enlist later. The New Testament speaks of being born again, but not of being born again and again and again and again.
There is such a thing as backsliding or falling away for a time, but one thing is always true of backsliders, they eventually return to Christ. Failing to return to Christ signifies that the seed of faith was sown on unfruitful ground. (Mark 4:1-25)
The great encouragement for anyone who has fallen away from the army of God is that you may pick up your sword again. To do so shows your faith to be of the lasting kind, but not to return to the Lord is frightful evidence that your hope is not in Christ and therefore is misplaced. "For you were continually wandering away like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." (1 Peter 2:25)
What a blessing it is that we have such a merciful and gracious God that we may come to Him at anytime in faith and repentance, regardless of what we have done, thought, planned, or plotted against Him or our neighbors, and He has promised to forgive us upon the merits of Christs' work of atonement. (1 John 1:6-9) Salvation belongs to the Lord. (Psalm 3:8)
Soli Deo Gloria,