Contending for The Faith
Living TRUTH Radion Broadcast May 29, 1998
Greetings in Christ. In the past few weeks on Living Truth, we have been discussing issues concerning the Kingdom or reign of God on the earth. Our hope is that many of you are becoming increasingly aware of that heavenly dimension wherein we are seated together with Christ. We have also passionately attempted to emphasize the need for this heavenly life to be lived out in our earthly experience.
Perhaps many of you will agree that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is as absolutely relevant today as it was nearly 2000 years ago! In fact, it is becoming increasingly relevant as we approach the close of this age. We the people of God must come to know our place in the purposes of God, who we are as His people, and most of all -- Who Jesus Christ is, to us, for us and IN US!
Colossians 1:9-19: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
If we are successful in any of our preaching and teaching efforts here on Living Truth, I would that it would be in the area of our exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ! We are absolutely convinced that no one has ever made too much of Him! We are here in the business of lifting up the Name of Jesus, and pray that you all will catch this fever as well!
Col 1:20-29: And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
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;
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; ----
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
How relevant a principle, and how needful we are in this hour for a people who have come to know the reality of Christ in them! Here is a people that has forsaken their effort to live the Christian life as a set of do's and don't's. They know of a higher way! They have seen the utter failure of their own attempts to be like Jesus. They have discovered the mystery that has been hidden from ages and generations, but is now made manifest to the saints!
Christ IN YOU! The hope of glory!
Will you, my brothers and sisters -- give up your old way of trying to be good, and trusting in your own abilities? Will you contend for the Faith that was once delivered unto the saints? This Faith was centered and focussed on the Lordship of Jesus Christ -- His glory -- His power -- His ultimate and universal triumph!
Look around yourself and what do you see? Do you see the failure of sinful humanity? Do you see the decaying of society? Do you see the instability, the disunity, the folly of modern Christianity?
Or do you see the overcoming power of the Lord Jesus Christ over all?
The Word of God is here to cleanse our thinking, and deliver us from those pessimistic views that keep us bound. He is here to build faith in us -- the Faith that was once delivered unto the Saints! But this is not a psyched up, positive confession kind of faith!
This faith is based on a relationship, the most important relationship that you will ever know! It is a personal trust in a personal God -- One who knows you intimately, and One Who desires for you to also know Him intimately!
None of this comes to us on our own terms. It is He Who has made us and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His Pasture. We are bought with a price, and we are not our own!
If we could set aside our hopes, dreams and desires for a moment - just until we get a clearer picture of God's great purpose. When we can see and learn to appreciate the desires of His Heart, I am quite certain that we will then begin to see how our needs will be fulfilled and our hopes will find satisfaction -- as they all fit into the wonderful and marvelous plan of our Lord!
Are you weak in faith? Turn your heart towards Him! Are you riddled with doubts? Surrender them to Him! Is your life without meaning and purpose? Find direction in Him! Are you lonely and in despair? Find friendship, love and hope in Him!
These are days to flee the dark clouds of doom and gloom and fear to find refuge, hope and joy in the presence of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! These are times to walk in fellowship with others in the Light of His countenance, beholding only His life within them and among them!
But beware! The very moment that you begin to respond to these words of Life there is another, who immediately and subtly begins his whispering! He will plant more seeds of doubt and dissention that you can imagine, testing your resolve to live in the Light of Christ alone.
Be on guard! Be sober! Be vigilant! But most importantly -- be of good cheer! Jesus has overcome! He has broken the chains of deceit, sin and death! By His Grace you are free to give and love and faithfully serve one another in Him!
You can pay any price, make any sacrifice -- and joyfully so -- because Christ Himself is in you to do it all! You can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! You can learn the disciplines of the Christian life, becoming a living example of His character and nature -- but not on your own!
He has so purposed that your salvation, your increase of wisdom and knowledge, your growth in the grace in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, all be accomplished as you are joined to others in His Body! Christian life is a family affair!
The fulfillment of His purpose and the expanse of His Kingdom require our mutual participation and support for one another.
Eph 4:11-16: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
The picture here is of not only a restored faith, but also of a maturing one. This man Paul, was indeed a visionary, and he could see the church as few today think it possible.
What about you and me? Can we view the Word of God above our outward circumstances? Is our relationship with Jesus Christ such that we can see His fulfilled purpose -- to have a people, a community of believers, a glorious church, a perfect body, those whom He foreknew, to be conformed unto His image, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren?
Is not Jesus Christ Lord of all? Is He not able to triumph in all things? Has He spoken a thing and can He not perform it?
At this very moment His apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor/teachers are equipping the saints for service unto Him. Believe it! Receive it! Prayerfully find your place in His economy, and give yourself to it.
But most of all acknowledge His Lordship in all things, and His living presence at work in you, to fill all things with His glory!
This is the Living, Holy Faith that was once and for all delivered unto the saints of God!
We come before you today in great humility, knowing that we often fall short of your desires for us. But today we are receiving courage from your Word. In the anointing of your Holy Spirit and in your grace we stand with you. Our trust is in your power alone, and by that power we confess that we are more than conquerors through your love.
In Jesus Name we pray,