Number 3 in the Questions series. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, November 1, 2009.
Sermon Notes »
Do you ever struggle with your faith? I don’t mean that you are crippled by the feeling that you’re not a Christian or that you are somehow beyond salvation. I mean that you believe, you’ve turned from your sin and trusted in Christ but you are constantly frustrated by your lack of spiritual development or growth. Do you ever think, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I witness more? Why don’t I speak up? How come I can read my Bible faithfully and yet not see what others see?” Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and think, “You are one spiritual pigmy?” I sometimes feel like the dimwitted member of the family that everyone loves and yet pities. I’m often frustrated by my repeated failures in certain areas of sin. I frequently need a kick in the spiritual pants to move me from inaction to action. Why is that? I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. What are we to do with those feelings of spiritual inadequacy and stunted spiritual growth? Do we ignore them and press on? Do we assume them to be indicators that there are serious issues with our faith? Are they a warnings that we are about to “run aground” spiritually? Or, is it just part of the ebb and flow of sanctification?
These are questions that are deserving of answers. Left unanswered by will lead to spiritual depression and have the potential to cast you adrift in your faith.
I dealing with these questions we must begin by understanding that the Christian life is not difficult…it’s down right impossible! You cannot live the faith, and you were never intended to. The Christian life is well beyond your abilities. The secret is Christ in you the hope, the assurance of glory. There is only one who has ever lived the Christian life and He lives it again and again in the lives of His people. Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” What does God expect from you? Nothing! He is the vine we are the branches. It is only when we are connected to Him, the life-giving force, that any fruit will be produced.
The second thing, and the one I want to focus on this evening, is that you must understand that God is at work in you. Do you belong to Christ? Have you put your faith and trust in Him? Are you believing, are you trusting Him today? If you are take heart. Be encouraged. God is at work in you.
The Scriptures make it clear God has always been at work in His people. That was true in the days of the Old Testament, the New Testament and it is true today. God has never left it up to His people to become spiritual or holy. Rather He has been active in them to make them habitually godly. He is forever at work in them conforming them to His image and likeness. And He never fails. Be encouraged.
- Listen to Psalm 1:
- Consider Psalm 15:
Don’t lose sight of God’s promise about the coming of Christ.
Let’s consider some of God’s promises.
- Philippians 2:12-13
- Philippians 1:6
- Ephesians 2:8-9
But that is not the end of Paul’s thought. We stop there – Paul did not!
- Ephesians 2:10 – key = “created in Christ Jesus…”
The life of the Christian is characterized by righteousness but marred by sin.
One last thing – 2 Peter 2:22
The point of all of this is Christian – take heart. Be encouraged. God is at work in you!