Yesterday I had the great opportunity to preach at our Oak Hill Campus. I shared about Peter’s story in Luke 22 and how he fell away, but then would later return to lead the early Church. It is a great story that should encourage us to not fall away but stay in Christ.
As part of the message, I gave seven things that we should remember to do in order to be faithful to Christ. I figured I should share them here as well. The last two are arguably the most important. It is vital that we remain in community so that we might be encouraged by others; remembering the failures of those who have fallen, the victories of the faithful, and the blood of Christ also encourages us to remain steadfast. (yes, they all begin with “R” I’m kind of a geek like that).
Remain in prayer
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Mk. 14.38) | …And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (Jas. 5.16)
Read the Word
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Josh. 1.8) | Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. (Rom. 5.20)
Rely on the Spirit
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Phil. 2.12-13)
Repent of sin
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin. (2 Chron. 7.14) | What shall we say then? Are we to continue sinning that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Rom. 6.1-2)
Rest in His promises
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8.28) | And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1.6)
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb. 10.24-25)
Remember: the fallen, the faithful, and Jesus
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12.1-3)