Summary: It is important to KNOW that God promises assurance of our salvation, but it is also important to SEE how it works in real life. In our text today we are reminded to imitate those who show “diligent patience” in their walk with Christ.
Finding Spiritual Safety
Purpose: To prove that we can know that salvation is permanent.
Aim: I want the listener to flee to Christ and trust Him completely for salvation and rejoice in its assurance.
INTRODUCTION: Little Milly had gone to bed, and her father was downstairs watching TV. A terrible thunderstorm came up, with lightning and thunder and driving wind. Milly shouted down to her father: “Daddy, I’m scared. Come up and help me.” Milly’s father, who didn’t want to interrupt his TV show, shouted back, “Don’t worry, Milly, you’ll be all right. You know God loves you.” “I know God loves me,” cried Milly, “but I need something with skin on.” [Eric W. Johnson, A Treasury of Humor II Streiker, L. D. (2000). Nelson’s big book of laughter : Thousands of smiles from A to Z (electronic ed.) (54). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.]
God does love us, but it’s a great help when we can get close to someone who lives like that is true so we can see what it looks like.
5:10-6:8 I. A Warning to Those Who Claim to Know Christ
Vs.10-14 A. Beware of acting like an unbeliever [Claims without change]
6:1-3 B. Beware of religion without Christ [Shadows over substance]
Vs.4-5 C. Beware of missing the message about Christ [Words over reality]
Vs.6 D. Beware of belittling the Cross [i.e. the Cross isn’t enough]
Vs.7-8 E. Beware of fruitless religion [Religion that doesn’t’ change the heart is worthless]
Vs.9-12 II. Assurance to Those Who Do Know Christ
Vs.9 A. Christ’s work saves us “things that accompany salvation”
Vs.10-12 B. Our effort assures us “your work and the love”
Vs.10 1. Christians show love for Christ by loving Christians “ministering to the saints”
Vs.11-12 2. Christians show hope and faith in Christ by being diligent “the same diligence”
✔Vs.11-12 C. The path to assurance
It is important to KNOW that God promises assurance of our salvation, but it is also important to SEE how it works in real life. In our text today we are reminded to imitate those who show “diligent patience” in their walk with Christ.
✔Vs.11 1. Focus on those who focus on God “through faith”
✔We either believe what God says, or we believe what we feel. The key to being a confident Christian is to believe what God says instead of what we think or feel. Unbelief is at the root of all of our problems.
Notice: When doubts creep in discover again what God is like. Isaiah 40:25-26 25 “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. (NAU)
Isaiah 40:29-31 29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. 30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. (NAU)
✔Doubts will evaporate in the presence of God.
Godly people understand that it is foolish to trust in themselves. Hebrews 11:1-2 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. (NAU)
Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God. - William Ward.[Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 1810,000 sermon illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Dallas: Biblical Studies Press.]
✔Vs.12 2. Follow those who follow God “and patience”
Do the people you admire live a consistent Christian life? Who do you want to be like? One of the “American Idols” on TV? A good looking actor or actress?
Following godly people will become a natural thing if we are involved in obeying the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; . . . .” (NAU)
This is why Paul said, 1 Corinthians 4:16-17 16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. (NAU) Timothy imitated Paul so that learning from Timothy was pretty much the same thing as learning from Paul.