The Faith (1 Corinthians #57)

Text: 1 Corinthians 16:13

When God gives instruction it is to move against the course of this world.  So when Paul says stand fast in the faith, you can be sure that the most popular things to do are going to be to make fun of the faith.

Enemy will do anything to make you fall from your stand in the faith

  • Paul says stand fast in the faith because in this battle there will be real shots fired.  Those shots are meant to destroy your stand in the faith.  The enemies attack the faith because the devil is looking for mass casualties in his war with God Almighty.
  • The world will say the faith is stupid.
    • “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is either ignorant, stupid, or insane.” – Richard Dawkins
    • “A Christian telling an atheist they’re going to hell is as scary as a child telling an adult they’re not getting any presents from Santa.” – Ricky Gervais
  • The world will say the faith is old and ignorant.
    • (Former megachurch pastor and bestselling author of “Love Wins”) Rob Bell’s answer said it all: “Absolutely … I think culture is already there, and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense. When you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other, and they just want to go through life with someone.”
  • The world will say the faith is judgmental and arrogant
  • The world will say the faith is blind
  • Enemy within will say to the faith, “I don’t want to”
  • Enemy within will say to the faith, “I don’t have time to”
  • Enemy within will say to the faith, “Did you see what he did?!”
  • Enemy within will say to the faith, “Did you hear what she said?!”
  • Enemy within will say to the faith, “Can you believe he’s making that decision?!”
  • Enemy within will say to the faith, “Can you believe how they raise their children?!”
  • The enemies are guilty of their own accusations.  John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The faith is the only firm foundation to stand on

  • I don’t always know where the attacks are coming from, but if I know where I’m suppose to be standing, then that will be enough.  Remember, all of these attacks have one purpose and that is to remove you from the faith.
    • If I’ve got a target, I at least know where I’m suppose to be.
    • Fast like fastened in place.  Where are you standing?  In the faith.
    • And if you stand, that means you’re not falling.
  • Dogmatically ignorant world – Common to people who don’t believe the Bible is their dogmatic ignorance.  They say, “I don’t know how it started, no one does.”  They say, “I don’t know what happens when I die, no one does.”  They are so confident in their ignorance, then get mad at believers for being sure.
    • “I don’t know how it all began, no one does. But I am pretty sure it’s not that God had a son. You know he’s this orb of perfect energy, this powerful beyond imagination, but he’s got kids… So you know we don’t know the answers but the answer to that is not to make up stories. If you don’t know something, just say, I don’t know. That’s your gospel right there. The gospel of “I don’t know.” I combined apathy and atheist, and I came up with apatheist. I don’t know what happens when I die, and I don’t care.” – Bill Maher
  • Blind faith is not a Bible believer’s problem – Common to enemies of the faith is their hypocritical blind faith.  Never seen a Big Bang, but believe it.  Never seen an orange turn into an apple, but believe it.   Never seen life produced from mud, but believe it.  Never seen an ape shave off all his hair, put on a coat and tie and go to work, but believe it.  Never seen nothing turn into something, but believe it.
  • Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
    • Everyone has to deal with the fact that everything came into existence from something you can’t observe.
    • The world’s position against the faith has to be supported by government policy, federal funding, political correctness, artist renderings, plaster of paris, and censorship.
  • Hypercritical and loveless faith is also not a Bible believer’s problem – Common to enemies of the faith is their hatred for anything resembling godliness.
    • The world is the one that justifies putting the predator with the children.
    • The world is one that takes the side of the murderer against the victim and family.
    • The world beats up on hard working people in order to support the lazy.
    • The world is the one that sacrifices generations of innocence in the womb so the fornicaters can continue to enjoy their lifestyle.
  • Quit blaming Christians for not changing the culture.  Not even the Lord Jesus Christ changed the culture, but he did change individuals.
  • What is the target that is where we are to stand?
    • Stand in the scriptures (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
      • So you can be sure that anything that says the scriptures are wrong is wrong.
      • These cultural Christian books can be of some help sometimes, but I try to stay away from interpreting a verse of scripture “back in that day” or “in that culture” because it marginalizes scripture and makes you think it’s irrelevant.  And I see in scripture a very up to date assessment of life, not some history that I have to make relevant to you.
      • Bullseye is the scripture.  That’s where to stand.
    • Stand in liberty so you’re not entangled with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1)
      • Justified by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9)
      • Say no to Judaism rules (Messianic Christianity), baptismal salvation – covenant theology – infant baptism.
      • The bullseye here is the blood atonement.  That’s where to stand.
    • Stand as a church in one spirit (Philippians 1:27)
      • As the church grows folks have their own friends and people are cliquish.  I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or how you’d remedy it.
      • What I’m saying is there is natural tendency to separate into people you’re comfortable with and that’s fine, but remember, none of us would be here or even be friends if it weren’t for the gospel and what Jesus Christ has done for us.
      • The basis of the existence of our church is the fellowship of the gospel in the word of God.
      • Striving together means when you see someone pulling more weight than you are, instead of criticizing or waiting for them to quit, jump in and start pulling your own weight.
      • The bullseye here is the being yoked together in the work.
    • Stand in the Lord (1 Thessalonians 3:8)
      • Trust Him when you don’t know what He’s doing.
      • Tough to stand in the Lord when you get mad at Him.
      • Remember that’s how the enemy works to get you away from the faith.

Hit those marks and you’ll be on the only firm foundation which is the faith.

Make sure the people around you know where you stand.  Not that you need to be mean about it, but also not that you need to be afraid of letting them know.