Are you steadfast in your faith?
Why and how are we to be steadfast in our life as a Christian? When we find answers to those questions, we will then be able to test ourselves (as we are told to do in 2 Corinthians. 13:5) to see if we are really steadfast, luke warm or not steadfast at all.
What does it mean to be spiritually steadfast? It is to be unmovable and spiritually grounded. A steadfast person knows what they believe and cannot be “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching” (Ephesians 4:14). An unmovable (steadfast) person can hear false teaching, engage doubters, and defend truth without their own faith being shaken.
Why should we be steadfast? Because as believers in Christ we are called to be obedient to His Word and because it is for our benefit.
How will we know that we are steadfast in our faith? When:
* Our labor for the Lord is not in vain, 1 Corinthians. 15:58.
*We will not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9.
* We are blessed when we are under trial and stay steadfast. James 1:12.
* We can have a clean heart and a renewed spirit. Psalm 51:10.
* We will be able to resist temptation. Galatians 5:16
* We will be able to expose false teachers Ephesians. 5:11.
Being steadfast is mentioned numerous times in scripture. Eve was not steadfast in her commitment and devotion to God and consider what happened! She was deceived and led astray. Paul reminded the Christians in Corinth of this when he observed some of them drifting away from Jesus’ teachings (2 Corinthians).
Even Christians can be duped by smooth-sounding heresy if they do not have solid grounding (are steadfast) in the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). There are many prominent Christian pastors and lay persons who were once grounded in their faith but did not remain steadfast in their faith and have drifted away. If you are grounded in Scripture, then you know that there “will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1-3) and you will recognize them, if you genuinely look.
One last point I would like to make as to why being and staying steadfast is so important. I believe being and staying steadfast is a salvation issue. And scripture points that out.
First, scripture tells us in Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” This means that some people who think they are saved, are not!
Second, scripture tells us that we must admit we sin and ask for forgiveness; 1 John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” This means there are no liars in Heaven.
Third, yes we are saved by grace and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9), but as an obedient Christ-follower we must have works in our life. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” And James 2:26 says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.”
Fourth, we must (from Mark 12:30-31) “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” This means do not put any earthly thing above loving the Lord, and then loving your neighbor as yourself. Loving others does not mean you must accept, approve or agree with everything they do, think or say or not hold them accountable for their wrongdoings. But, we must love them.
Fifth, (and this can be difficult to do) we must forgive. Mt. 6:15 tells us “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Example, when I was living in Austin, TX. In the early 90’s two young men tortured, sexually assaulted and did unspeakable things to three teenage girls (two were sisters) and then murdered them. The young men were caught, convicted and sentenced to death. Many years later I happened to see a talk show where the mothers of the young girls who were murdered were discussing their own trauma and lives after their children’s death. One mother said her life was in ruin. She was so full of hate, anger, bitterness you could see it in her eyes, facial expressions, tone and the words that came out of her mouth. She stated that she could never forgive the boys who killed her daughter and wanted to see their execution. You could see that life had drained out of her body. The other mother (of the two sisters) was composed and her physical and facial appearance was good. When she discussed what had happened she was calm. To my astonishment she stated she was a Christian and had talked with the two young men and told them she forgave them (what they did was wrong and they would have to face the consequences) and prayed that they would seek forgiveness from God! At the time I could not believe what I was hearing and wondered how she could say such a thing. What I later realized was that she had the peace only God can provide (that is beyond our understanding), forgiveness in her heart and a true and unwavering steadfastness in her faith in the Lord. What a testimony on how our faith can help us in all circumstances, no matter how heartbreaking or difficult.
To put this all together, scripture tells us what Jesus requires of us when we say we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. He gives us many details as to how we should live so that we will/can obtain the inheritance He offers. He even tells us to test ourselves so we can be sure to pass the test (in a way it is an open book test). Consider 2 Corinthians 13:5-6. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test?”
One way to make sure you pass the test is to be steadfast in your faith!