Introduction

  1. Text: Rev. 2:10.
  2. Christ’s promise is: “Be faithful until (unto) death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
  3. We must not only be saved from sin, but we must stay saved.
  4. We must not only believe in Christ, but we must keep on believing.
    1. Faith, like other important things, must be maintained — or it will be lost.
    2. The life of faith begun is virtually worthless if it is not completed – Hb. 6:11,12. Cf. Col. 2:5.
  5. What happens to our faith is crucial.
  6. What, then, is involved in having a lifelong faith?

I. Growth of Faith

  1. Even after experience should have matured our faith considerably, it may still be small – Mt. 8:25,26. Cf. 14:31.
  2. It is possible for faith to grow “exceedingly” (2 Thess. 1:3).
  3. Desire for greater faith must characterize us – Lk. 17:5. Cf. Mk. 9:24.

II. Testing of Faith

  1. We should not regret circumstances that strengthen our faith – Jas. 1:2,3; 1 Pt. 1:6,7.
  2. We should not be foolhardy and overestimate the strength of our faith — but neither should we shrink from any hardship that it is our responsibility to face.
  3. It is not easy in the sudden moment of a crisis to acquire the faith we need at that moment — we must prepare for the “big” tests by daily triumphing in the “small” tests of our faith.

III. Addition to Faith

  1. Our definition of “faith” is sometimes quite limited — a mature faith involves far more than intellectual assent to the facts of the gospel.
  2. “Faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:26).
  3. Faith must be also complemented by other qualities in our inner character, like virtue, knowledge, etc. – 2 Pt. 1:5-11.

IV. Standing Fast in the Faith

  1. It is possible to have believed “in vain” (1 Cor. 15:1,2).
  2. We are exhorted to “stand fast in the faith” (1 Cor. 16:13).
  3. We can’t control circumstances, but one thing we can control: our decision to stand firm.

Conclusion

  1. Faith itself is essentially forward-looking — it has to do with future realities – 2 Cor. 5:6,7. Cf. Rom. 8:24.
  2. If we are so preoccupied with the past (or even the present) that we can’t look ahead, we may lose our salvation – Hb. 3:6. Cf. 3:14; 10:22,23,35.
  3. Salvation — the “end” (goal, outcome) of our faith — awaits those who have remained faithful – 1 Pt. 1:5,9.

Gary Henry – WordPoints.com

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