- Text: Rev. 2:10.
- Christ's promise is: "Be faithful until (unto) death, and I will give you the crown of life."
- We must not only be saved from sin, but we must stay saved.
- We must not only believe in Christ, but we must keep on believing.
- Faith, like other important things, must be maintained -- or it will be lost.
- The life of faith begun is virtually worthless if it is not completed - Hb. 6:11,12. Cf. Col. 2:5.
- What happens to our faith is crucial.
- What, then, is involved in having a lifelong faith?
I. Growth of Faith
- Even after experience should have matured our faith considerably, it may still be small - Mt. 8:25,26. Cf. 14:31.
- It is possible for faith to grow "exceedingly" (2 Thess. 1:3).
- Desire for greater faith must characterize us - Lk. 17:5. Cf. Mk. 9:24.
II. Testing of Faith
- We should not regret circumstances that strengthen our faith - Jas. 1:2,3; 1 Pt. 1:6,7.
- 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.
- 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
- Our definition of "faith" is sometimes quite limited -- a mature faith involves far more than intellectual assent to the facts of the gospel.
- "Faith without works is dead" (Jas. 2:26).
- 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
- It is possible to have believed "in vain" (1 Cor. 15:1,2).
- We are exhorted to "stand fast in the faith" (1 Cor. 16:13).
- We can't control circumstances, but one thing we can control: our decision to stand firm.
- Faith itself is essentially forward-looking -- it has to do with future realities - 2 Cor. 5:6,7. Cf. Rom. 8:24.
- 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.
- Salvation -- the "end" (goal, outcome) of our faith -- awaits those who have remained faithful - 1 Pt. 1:5,9.
Gary Henry - WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com