Summary: How to grow in Christlike Faith
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Faith…Takes A Licking And Keeps On Ticking!
Pastor Jerry C. Vargo
Years ago, Timex had a slogan about their watches:
“Timex…takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”
The idea was simply that no matter what you did to a Timex watch, it would keep working. If I remember correctly, they even had a commercial that showed a barren wasteland after a nuclear explosion. Lying on the ground was a Timex watch…ticking away!
A. Faith is a lot like that…it takes a licking and keeps on ticking! So many things try to disrupt our faith. But it seems that we as the church just keep ticking away.
B. Satan hates our faith. Why? Because foundational to his fall from heaven is the idea that he lost faith in his creator.
What amazes me is this: He pushes us…and often tries our faith…and most often pushes us right into the arms of God. He can’t seem to be able to control himself…and the result is that we grow in faith.
C. This is the catch: Even though our faith is shaken at times, even though our faith is disrupted…we must understand that behind it all…God is at work.
D. Now, before I get to the heart of this message, let me say this about faith …Foundational to faith is belief, trust, and most importantly…relationship.
E. So how do we grow in true faith? How do we increase our trust in God?
A. One of the answers to this question is that we must add something to our faith. I don’t care how good a Timex watch is…it is worthless if we don’t add batteries!
B. Go to 2 Peter 1:1-9. Time won’t allow me to expound upon every verse here, but take notice of four things in verses1-4.
1. Peter was writing to those who had obtained faith – vs. 1
2. Grace and peace is multiplied when we know God – vs. 2
3. God’s power has given us everything we need pertaining to life – vs. 3
4. He has given us great and precious promises to help us partake of His nature and to help us overcome worldly lusts – vs. 4.
C. Now, because of these things, God tells us in verse 5 to apply diligence to our walk with Him.
D. He starts a parade. Faith leads the band…and love brings up the rear. And it is here that I want to focus today…on verses 5-7.
E. In the same way, faith without certain spiritual batteries is dead. Faith without the spiritual batteries listed in these verses is dead.
F. We could summarize verses 1-9 like this…Jerry Vargo translation:
“You have faith! Your knowledge of God increases grace and peace. The power of God helps you to live your life in victory. His promises help you to become like Him and to steer clear of worldly ways. Now, because of these things…be diligent! Since you have faith…add the following ingredients…
If these seven things are in you and they are increasing…you will be fruitful…not barren. If you lack these qualities, you’re blind and you have left your first love…forgetting the forgiveness that you received at the beginning of your walk with God.”
G. I want to structure the remainder of this message in a very simple format:
Since you have faith…add…
1. Moral Excellence.
A. Since you have a relationship with God…be a person of character.
B. Character is the reality of who you really are and what you really do.
C. Many of you have heard the old quote that goes like this:
“Your ideal is what you wish you were.
Your reputation is what people say you are.
Your character is what you really are.”
“If we sow a thought, we reap an act.
If we sow an act, we reap a habit.
If we sow a habit, we reap character.
If we sow character, we reap a destiny.”
A. It is notable that character precedes knowledge. The Bible says, “…the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” - 2 Corinthians 3:6
B. This is not to say that knowledge isn’t good. But, knowledge without character doesn’t impress God.
C. Here’s the rub…Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
D. If you want to “keep on ticking” for God…you must add knowledge of God to your faith.
E. Please don’t tell me that you want to grow in God…love God…serve God…and then not show up or avail yourself to every training opportunity that you can possibly attend in this church. This includes: