(2nd Century Christians persevering for their faith even unto death worshipping and praising the Lord)
“Whoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:6-7).
This is where things become a bit serious. We often find it easy to say things and claim that we believe them. But there is a difference between someone who hears and says things; with someone who hears; says; and does. Both James and Paul exhort us to be ‘doers of the Word’ ‘not just hearers’. It must be mentioned that Christianity is holy living done through the power of God. For one of the marks of a true believer is that they are constantly (not always because of our natural frailty to make faults or sins) following, obeying, exercising the ways of Christ. In other words; they are persevering in Holiness. This is the very mark of God’s elect children: their constant exercise of holy living.
After conversion, the result of God’s powerful work in the heart, will be a desire to run after holy things. Godly affections which are driven by godly desires from within. They are new and fresh in the mind; perhaps after listening to a sermon; or reading Scripture; or prayer with God; either way; at the end of day, they have something new in them which they can identify from within. Now evidently, these desires will be manifested into actions. Hence the sinner lives and walks through the power of God by faith as a Christian in consistency. Some people; who come to church, pass by; with excitment and then they are out because of other interests. Thus leading them to walk away from Christ. Jesus mentions them in the parable of the sower as receive immediately the word with gladness, but who stay just for a short time. When the the trials, temptations and pressures of life come their way; they walk away and never come back (Mark 4:16-17).
Those we call ‘tourist Christians’. They are rooted without the foundation of the Gospel of Christ. They come for a certain product of Christianity such as ‘happiness’ ‘joy’ ‘love’ ‘community’ ‘friendships’ etc. They are self seeking and are trying to fill their hearts with something other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Those are the false converts. In constrast, the Christian will be constant and will persevere. And he does so by the power of God by faith. His is trusting in this life under the umbrella of God’s promises found in the Bible. His faith is not by sight by by the promise of God’s word (2 Cor 5:7). Believing that the Spirit and power that lives in Him is the same Spirit that raised in power Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11). This is why they endure and go on running the race.
This mark is accompanied with a character of humility. Though Christians may admit that they are not walking perfectly in the Lord, nevertheless, in fact, in the eyes of others, they are speeding up their feet and running the race. And as time goes by they will bear fruit and more fruits. How is it that they produces fruits of the Spirit and they are constant? It is this: their meekness does not allow them to trust in their own performance for God. Rather, their meekness leads them to trust in what God has already promised and what He has already given them and what He will accomplish in them! It is according to 1 Peter 1:4-5, they have “an inheritance incorruptable, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven”, eternal assurance of salvation, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith”, assurance of God’s protection of their lives and walk in holiness til the end, where they will meet Him face to face. Because God will complete what He has faithfully promised to them. It is like Paul’s expression to the Philippian’s: ‘he (God) that began a good work in you will complete it’ (Philippians 1:6). What a blessed hope! What a loving God. A reason to be happy and joyful in the Lord. Praise the Lord. So just to summarise it: perseverance is proven through our consistancy and exercise of living holy lives from the Lord. By which He not only promises us to strengthen us; but to bring us through til the end. Let us trust in them. As we are exhorted by God’s truth, I am thankful, that as i am writting and reading these truths, that i am encouraged again and again of the love of God for me a wretched sinner.
Question: Do you hold on to your mere profession of faith? Or do you emphasize to live out what you say you believe for the glory of Christ?
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer (take courage); I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).