OceanSide church of Christ
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BELIEF: SURETY AMIDST CONFUSION (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Post-modern thinking is deeply infiltrating our society.
1. One of the elements of this thinking is relativism.
a. Relativism is a theory that states that knowledge is limited to the individual.
b. In the religious world it comes wrapped in the phrase: “You have your beliefs and I have mine.”
c. Under the theory of relativism, truth becomes whatever one believes it to be.
2. Another tenet of post-modern thinking is tolerance. Each individual’s beliefs are to be tolerated and no one is to be condemned.
B. This is the confused state of the world in which we live.
1. There do not appear to be any standards.
2. Absolutes are viewed as harsh and intolerant.
C. However, surety of belief is exactly what mankind needs in our world. Fortunately, Christianity provides certainty, security, and absolute truth.
1. John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
2. John 17:17
Sanctity them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
3. Romans 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
4. Ephesians 4:5
There is…one faith.
5. II Corinthians 5:7
(For we walk by faith, not by sight).
D. Two Sundays ago, we began a lesson entitled: “Belief: Surety Amidst Confusion.”
1. We noted that we must first “produce” a belief.
2. We much then “personalize” that belief.
3. When that is done, we must “practice” our belief.
E. Let’s continue this lesson about belief this morning.
I. WE MUST PROMOTE OUR BELIEF
A. Once we have obtained our belief and are faithfully practicing it, then we must promote it.
B. The example of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:20-22).
he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that hear him were amazed, and
said, Is not this he which destroyed them which call on his name in Jerusalem,
and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief
priests? But Saul increased
the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at
C. We, as Saul, should be out promoting our belief.
1. Matthew 28:19a
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…
2. Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
3. Romans 10:14
How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
D. Many of us are not passionate in this area. Some of us are fearful to spread our beliefs. And, some have been convinced that religious beliefs are too personal to be discussed with others.
E. Brethren, we have absolute truth. We have the authoritative oracles of God. We have that which is certain and steadfast. Surely, others have a right to hear the message. What they do with it is up to them.
II. WE MUST PROTECT OUR BELIEF
A. Truth does not have many friends, but it has a galaxy of enemies. The Bible gives many warnings about those who stand in opposition to the truth.
1. There are those who pervert the gospel (Gal. 1:6-7).
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
2. Some exist who are enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18).
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ.
3. Some turn the grace of God into lasciviousness and deny the Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 4).
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
B. Because there are enemies of truth in the world, we must be ready to protect it (Phil. 1:17).
But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.
1. This is not a fun job.
2. This is not a task that is looked upon with great respect.
3. Yet, it is a necessary job. It is necessary so the truth of the gospel can continue to have a positive influence and permeate and save lives (Gal. 2:4-5).
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
C. There are many important truths that need to be protected today.
1. The necessity of baptism in the plan of salvation.
2. The one true church as oppose to man-made denominations.
3. The worship of God that conforms to truth and is in the right spirit.
4. The proper roles of men and women in the church and in the home.
5. The sanctity of the marriage relationship.
III. WE MUST PERSEVERE IN OUR BELIEF
A. Once we have believed and obeyed the truth, we must continue in our belief every day until death.
1. If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed (John 8:31).
2. …speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43).
3. Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith… (Acts 14:22).
4. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shall be cut off (Rom. 11:22).
5. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister (Col. 1:23).
6. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee (I Tim. 4:16).
7. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of them thou hast learned them (II Tim. 3:15).
B. Our belief is not to be on again, off again. It is not a life of starting and stopping. It is not faithful today and unfaithful tomorrow.
C. Faithfulness is to be continual in our lives. It is a day-by-day effort.
1. We will grow discouraged, but we keep going.
2. We will pass through the fires of tribulation, but we do not give up.
3. We will be done wrong, but we keep serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. We will sin, but we repent and ask forgiveness and keep living a life of holiness.
D. Mark 13:13
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.
A. Many people, including members of the church, are drifting in a sea of confusion when it comes to faith.
1. They are not certain and definite in their beliefs.
2. This shows in their practice of Christianity.
B. Christianity is a religion of definite truth. If we don’t produce, practice, promote, and persevere therein, we can’t be pleasing to God (Heb. 11:6).
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, that that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.