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Last updated Sat Nov 28 10:46 AM EDT 2020



OceanSide church of Christ

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STEADFASTNESS

Victor M. Eskew

 

            There are many needs within the church today.  One of them is the need for greater steadfastness by her members.  The Greeks had several words that are translated “steadfast” in our English Bibles.  The basic meaning for each word, however, is “firm, immoveable, solid, settled, and sure.”  One word carries a slightly different meaning.  It means “to adhere to, to give unrelenting care to a thing, and to persevere and not to faint.”  In the remainder of this article, we will look at four verses that teach us about steadfastness.

            One of the early occurrences of steadfastness in the New Testament is in Acts 2:42.  The church had just been established in Jerusalem.  This verse reveals the infant church’s approach toward the worship of God.  “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  These new converts to Christianity were regular, faithful, and dedicated to the worship of God.  They persevered and refused to faint from the assembly of the saints on the Lord’s Day.  We have some who need to follow the example of these diligent worshippers.  For some Christians, Sunday is “their” day, not the Lord’s Day.  If they choose to give a little bit of time to the Lord, that is fine.  If they choose to forsake the assembly, that is fine, too.  The early church gave unremitting care to their worship.  Their praise sprang from their love and gratitude to God. 

            I Corinthians 15:58 is another verse that deals with steadfastness.  Paul’s discussion within the chapter deals with the “fact” of resurrection.  Verse 58 is Paul’s conclusion to this subject.  He concludes that our hope of resurrection should encourage us to be steadfast in good works.  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”  Performing good works usually involves an investment of time.  Time is a precious commodity for every person.  Most people do a few good works here and there, as time permits.  They start off within a program of the church well, only to fade as time progresses.  The Lord does not want haphazard service.  He desires for us to be steady and firm in the production of good works.  This is one of the reasons that He died (Tit. 2:14).

            A third verse dealing with steadfastness is I Peter 5:9.  We will back up to verse 8 to establish the context of this verse.  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”  Satan’s temptations are to be resisted steadfastly.  Our resistance is to take place by using the faith.  The faith is the system of faith, the complete body of truth, or the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 6:7; Eph. 4:5; Jude 3).  Satan can be overcome on a continual basis when one uses God’s Word against him.  The words, “It is written,” are a powerful weapon against our enemy. Ignorance of God’s Word and a love for sin enable the devil to overcome the child of God.  This should not be the practice of the Christian who has “crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24).  His desire is to conquer the enemy.  Regardless of how many times the enemy confronts him, he resists using “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).

            A final verse for our study is Hebrews 3:14.  “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”  One who initially obeys the gospel evidences many positive traits:  a strong faith, an eager willingness to obey God, a desire to be separate from the world, a love for truth, an affection for the people of God, and an eagerness to share the glad tidings with others.  This confidence needs to remain firm throughout the life of the Christian.  Bouts of hot and cold service do not please Jesus.  Lukewarmness makes our Master sick.  Forsaking one’s confidence put him at odds with his Lord.  Holding his confidence firm day in and day out is God’s desire.  Those who do this will be made partakers of Christ.

            The Lord appreciates steadfast servants in the family of God.  They are always at their post.  They accomplish the tasks He has assigned for them to do.  They are before His throne with praise and thanksgiving regularly.  They do not bow to Satan’s will.  They fight him with the words of their Savior.  These individuals spread the gospel with both their mouths and manner of living.  It is the steadfast that will populate heaven.  They will hear the words:  “Well done thou good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21, 23).