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"The End of Your Faith"

"The End of Your Faith"

By Paul R. Blake

             “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls” (1Peter 1:7-9).

            What a precious, beautiful truth; that the trying of our faith produces the end of our faith! What madness is this? Not madness at all, rather a profound spiritual truth that supersedes the reasoning of men.

            For some, the sore testing of their faith brings about an end to belief in Almighty God, His great wisdom, and His deep love for humankind. But, that's not "the end of... faith" that Peter was talking about. The impulsive apostle was inspired to write that our trials bring about the logical conclusion and proper fulfillment of our faith, not its demise. The effects God purposes with the temptations He allows us to face (1Cor. 10:13) are manifold. He designed faith to be the regulator that permits us to properly channel our tests, suffering, and burdens into spiritually productive results.

            Faith is the means through which God's power preserves us in a righteous condition until the end. Peter said, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (vs. 5). By faith, we apprehend the will of God in obeying the Gospel (Acts 8:36-37). By faith, we are moved to do the works of righteousness for which we have been created (Eph. 2:10).

            Through faith, Jesus paid for our sins. Faith becomes the means through which it becomes possible that atonement could be made. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Rom. 3:23-25).

            Faith is the avenue through which it becomes possible to obtain salvation. (Eph. 2:8; Rom. 4:13-25; James 2:14-26) Paul told Timothy, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2Tim. 3:15).

            In addition, faith gives us access to the promises God has given to the righteous. “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 3:12). “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:14).

            Without faith, we would have no idea where we came from... “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” (Heb. 11:3); or where we are going when this world is folded up... “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Peter 1:5).

            Our faith is crucial. Without faith, our works become pointless, our lives become useless, and life beyond the grave becomes hopeless. Because of the vital nature of our faith, God desires that it should wax stronger so that it will not succumb to trials in this life, but end by being fulfilled in the hereafter when faith becomes sight. Therefore, while our faith must not end while breath exists in our bodies, at the same time we anticipate the end of our faith, the eternal salvation of our souls in heaven.

            Now, how can we prevent our faith from ending while waiting for the end result of our faith? Peter gave us the answer: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 1:6-7).

            The trying of our faith is the God-given way of determining the genuineness of our faith. The testing of our faith is the Divine plan for strengthening our faith. Though briefly in heaviness of heart, we can take joy in the fact that our faith, so crucial to our eternal salvation, is being looked after by God. He must truly love us to see that our faith gets tested regularly. He must care a great deal for us to allow us carefully measured trials to make our faith and hope more sure.  Indeed we can rejoice that the burdens we bear will serve to prevent our faith from ending while we wait to see "the end of our faith... the salvation of our souls."

            “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

 

Burdens and Bridges

            “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

            “Going down some old cement steps, I noticed an ant carrying a leaf on its back. The leaf was many times bigger than the ant. Then the ant came to a big crack in the cement that it couldn't cross. The ant stopped a moment. I wondered if the ant would turn back or proceed into the crack without the leaf. Instead, the ant put the leaf across the crack and then crossed the crack by walking across the leaf. On the other side, the ant picked up the leaf and continued on its journey. It made me think that the burdens of today will be the bridges by which we will be able to cross the hard places in life in the future” (Bernabe Spivey). There is no school that teaches us better than the school of hard-knocks.

A Moments Wisdom

--I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

--You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now.

--The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitudes.

--Never look down on anybody, unless you are going to help them up.

--Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.

--A pessimist, confronted with two bad choices, chooses both.

--We all find ourselves in situations that at times seem hopeless. And, we all have the choice to do nothing or take action.

--Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. It’s always your choice in whatever has to be done.

--Courage is knowing what not to fear. (Plato)

Upcoming Sermons:

8/21/22 AM & PM - What Does the Bible Teach About Predestination?

8/28/22 AM & PM - Understanding and Answering Calvinism

9/4/22 AM - The Jesus You Never Knew; PM - Singing Service: Congregational Choice of Songs

9/11/22 AM - The “Christians Meet Here” Church; PM - Euphemisms: Dirty Talk in Disguise

9/18/22 AM - Getting Grudges Gone; PM - Othniel: The Lion of God

9/25/22 AM - Baptism: How to Become New; PM - Trustworthiness: Christian Integrity

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    11/27/22 09:30am
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    11/30/22 07:00pm
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