Summary: I don’t know about you, but I find it a lot easier to start projects than it is to finish them. Many of us have unfinished projects around the house to prove it. The Christian life can be that way too.
How To Finish What We’ve Started For Christ
Purpose: To explain how a Christian can be faithful.
Aim: I want the listener to be inspired so he won’t give up serving Christ.
1:1-2:13I. How Should a Christian React to Stress?
2:14-26 II. How Should a Christian Relate to Fellow Believers?
3:1-17 III. How Can a Christian Reside in a Hostile Culture?
4:1-22 IV. How Can a Christian Remain Faithful to Christ?
INTRODUCTION: I don’t know about you, but I find it a lot easier to start projects than it is to finish them. Many of us have unfinished projects around the house to prove it. The Christian life can be that way too. It a lot easier to say “I’m going to follow Christ, no matter what” than it is to do it consistently. Paul just finished telling us, in three chapters, what the Christian life looks like. Now he is going to show us how to live that life.
Much of the problem lies in the depth of our faith. For example, many people say that God is holy and all powerful, but only those who live pure lives when no one is watching really believe it. ✔ What you do proves what you believe. We may say that the Gospel has the power to change lives, but if we aren’t sharing the Gospel with others then we must not really believe it. If we care about people and if Jesus is the only One with a cure for the cancer in our souls, then we will share Christ with those around us.
Faithfulness begins when we learn to,
Vs.1-5 A. Put First Things First
Paul is going to show us four things that are necessary if we are going to know how to put first things first.
Vs.1 1. The seriousness of the commands “solemnly charge you”
SOLEMNLY CHARGE means “to earnestly testify.” Serving Christ is serious business. Paul made this point many times in his letters. All Christians who have served the Lord well also understood how serious serving Christ was. John Knox was such a man. He said, “Lord, give me Scotland or I die” and the Lord greatly used him to bring thousands to Christ.
George Matheson was only fifteen when he was told he was losing what little eyesight he had. Not to be denied, Matheson continued with his plans to enroll in the University of Glasgow, and his determination led to his graduating at age nineteen. But as he pursued graduate studies in theology for Christian ministry he did become blind. His sisters helped him by learning Greek and Hebrew to assist him in his studies. He pressed faithfully on.
But his spirit collapsed when his fiancée, unwilling to be married to a blind man, broke their engagement and returned his ring. He never married, and the pain of that rejection never totally left him. Years later, as a well-loved pastor in Scotland, his sister came to him, announcing her engagement. He rejoiced with her, but his mind went back to his own heartache. He consoled himself in thinking of God’s love which is never limited, never conditional, never withdrawn, and never uncertain. Out of this experience he wrote the hymn, O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go.
O love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths it flow
May richer, fuller be.
[Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (356). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.]
How determined are we as we serve Christ? Why is serving Christ serious business? Serving Christ is serious for three reasons.
a. God sees us “in the presence of God”
1 Timothy 5:21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. (NAU)
1 Timothy 6:13-14 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, (NAU)
2 Timothy 2:14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. (NAU)
Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden
from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (NAU)
✔ Every time we sin we do it in full view of our loving Savior who died for that sin.