Summary: A funeral message for a faithful servant of Christ whose life reflected His undying loyalty and absoulte faith in Christ.
A Life of Faith
As we gather in tribute to our brother in Christ at his home-going and consider his life and influence the one thing that rings out so laudably is that he was a man of faith whose life was characterized by his faith. He was saved through faith, lived by faith, and died in faith.”
I. He began his pilgrimage through faith
A. As a young man, he realized that nothing he did could satisfy the demands of a holy God.
B. Through God’s Holy Spirit working in his life he saw the truths of Scripture
1. We’ve all sinned. We’ve all failed God. That sin separates us from God. (Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Isaiah 59:1-2 - Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.)
2. God in His love for sent Jesus to die for our sins and rose from the dead to provide a way for us to be reconciled with God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 - For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures)
3. No one can earn his way to Heaven, but each in order to be saved must put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.)
C. As Ephesians declares, he came humbly to Christ through faith receiving Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
D. Putting his faith in Christ, he became, as all who place their trust in Christ, a new creature traveling in a new direction (2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.)
II. He traveled his life’s journey by faith
A. Hebrews 10:38 tells us that “the just shall live by faith.”
B. His life was a walk of faith. Many times he had no idea what tomorrow held, but he never lost faith in Him Who holds tomorrow.
C. Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible. Faith trusts God even in the darkest moments and patiently waits for the light to pierce the night.
D. He also knew that being a new creature meant living a different life throughout his pilgrimage.
E. 1 Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
F. He realized a walk of faith meant not seeking his will or way but striving to please Him (Jesus) in all that he did. It meant loving God’s Word; singing God’s praises; attending God’s house; fellowshipping with the family of God; spending time alone with God; and sharing the good news of Christ with everyone he came in contact with.
G. He realized that walking by faith is far more than just words; than just saying “I believe.” It meant living a faith that is evidenced by actions and deeds.
H. James 2:18-20 “...someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead.”
III. He finished his course dying in faith
A. Hebrews 11:13 “These all died in faith…”
B. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
C. Not only did he run well but he finished well and died in faith believing the promises of God.
D. There are numerous individuals who begin following Christ, intent on faithfulness and fruitfulness, and yet do not finish well. The bulk of the people who failed to finish well in Scripture, failed in the last half of their lives. The reasons vary, but at the core, something caused a lack of zeal, resolve and love for Christ.