Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: How faith sustains a person in their relationship with God

The Keeping Power of Biblical Faith

Steve Hanchett, pastor

Berry Road Baptist Church

It was a mild October afternoon in 1982 and Badger Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin was packed. Over 60,000 die-hard University of Wisconsin fans were watching their beloved football team take a beating by Michigan State. What seemed odd was that as the score became more and more lopsided bursts of cheers and applause kept being heard in the stands. It was only natural that some people began to wonder who these strange people were who were cheering while their team was being pummeled.

As it turns out seventy miles away from Badger stadium the Milwaukee Brewers were beating the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the World Series. Many of the Badger fans in the stands were listening to portable radios and responding to something else besides what was happening right in front of their eyes.

In many ways that is a fairly accurate description of what the Christian life is like. We might be in the midst of horrible circumstances in this world and yet we have something to cheer about. We are see by faith the victory that is ours in Christ. This victory is not seen by most people because they are blinded by sin and unable see beyond the world which lies in front of them. The Christian is responding to something beyond what is seen by human eyes. As we continue to see what the Scriptures say about the security of the believer we are looking beyond what we see with human eyes into the very heart of spiritual life.

We began our series dealing with the question, “Can the Saved be Lost Again,” by establishing some basic principles. We have learned that the person who knows Jesus Christ as Savior and has entered into a personal relationship with Him, can never loose that relationship. We saw last week that main reason we can say that is because of the trinitarian work of God. He keeps us by His power, he seals us by the presence of the Holy Spirit and He secures us through the prayers of Jesus Christ.

I want to build on those foundational principles today and I hope to show the Christian is also secure because of the nature of saving faith. I would like to concede something to those who believe that a person can be saved and then lost again. I would agree with them if they could demonstrate one thing. If they could show me that becoming a Christian only entails believing certain facts about Jesus Christ I might agree with them. In other words, if a person only has to intellectually agree with the fact that Jesus is the Savior, or that He rose from the dead, or that He died on the cross and in agreeing with those facts he is saved then I will concede that salvation can be lost.

If nothing happens to a person other than a change of mind then without question the mind can be changed back. So if that is all that is involved in becoming a Christian then I suppose it doesn’t take a great imagination to figure out that a Christian can become a non-Christian. But saving faith involves more than just our intellect, it involves our heart, or our will as it is directed by what we love. Becoming a Christian is a miraculous work of the Spirit of God.

My point is that saving faith, while it unquestionably includes belief in the facts about Jesus, it also involves the commitment of our whole person to Him as Lord and Savior as well. It is because of the nature of saving faith that I believe that the person who is truly saved will always be saved and that they will persevere in their walk with God.

What I mean by perseverance that the will never finally, and ultimately abandon the faith either in doctrine or in practice. This doesn’t mean that they will live a perfect life. It doesn’t mean there won’t be dark valleys. It doesn’t mean there won’t be times of sin and unbelief. It does not mean there will never be days of doubting. What it does mean is that the Christian man or woman will not persist on the path of sin and unbelief. It means that they will return to the Lord and be restored.

What I have been endeavoring to demonstrate is why it is that a real Christian perseveres. And what we saw last week was that a real Christian perseveres because the Triune God is keeping them by His power, marking them with His presence, and protecting them by His prayers. Today I hope to encourage your faith by showing how saving faith has a power to help the believer persevere in their in Christ.

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