by: Gary L. Hutchens
Jesus said, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). True faith is not just believing, it is belief put into action through obedience and continued, consistent dedication (Jn. 14:15; Jas. 2:14-26). Inherent within the New Testament concept of saving faith is repentance (Lk. 13:3; Acts 3:19), open confession of faith in Christ (Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9-10) and baptism into Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16) in order to be saved (Mk. 16:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:21). True faith is not a part of a faithful Christian’s life- it is his life! (Gal. 2:20).
Faithfulness is observable as a Christian lives by the teachings of the faith, the gospel, God’s word (Col. 1:23). Since Jesus instructed us to “Be faithful until death,” continued faithfulness is obviously key to our spending eternity with Him in Heaven. How, then, can I stay faithful? How can I be faithful until death?
Faithfulness is not an accident, nor does it just happen. The first step to living faithfully is to recognize my need to be faithful- not just part of the time, not just on special days of the year, not just on Sundays, but every day, always, all the time. I must give focused attention to being faithful, staying faithful and living faithfully. I will not live faithfully if I do not set my mind on living faithfully (Col. 3:1-2).
Next, I must take some fundamental, practical actions that will help me develop my faith and promote faithful living. Basic to accomplishing such is becoming a student of God’s word. How can I live faithfully if I do not know what faithfulness means?
How do I learn about faithfulness? By going to the source that God has given to us for developing faith- His word (Rom. 10:17). I need to read the Bible regularly, frequently and purposefully (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:15-17).
In addition I need to be at every worship service and Bible class I can possibly attend. I will thus be dedicated to worshipping God, giving Him glory and learning the teachings of His word. It is another purposeful action specifically aimed at building and living my faith. In so doing, I will also be surrounding myself on a regular, frequent basis with other Christians in a positive, mutually edifying atmosphere (Heb. 10:23-25).
I also need to get involved in the work and activities of the church. James wrote a great treatise on faith being completed by works, and faith without works being dead (Jas. 2:14-26). Christianity is not a spectator sport. As a Christian, I am the church! Nobody will do the work of the church, except the church itself- and that’s me! As I become, and continue to be, more involved in the work and activities of the church, I will grow spiritually. The more I focus on putting my faith into action, the more likely I’ll be to live faithfully.
I need to be diligent in prayer! I need to pray regularly for God’s guidance, wisdom and strength. A faithful Christian is a praying Christian (1 Thess. 5:17). I need to talk to God about everything in my life, including my desire to be faithful.
The Lord would not require something of me that is impossible. So, I need to set my mind on being faithful. I need to study God’s word diligently. I need to get involved! And, I need to pray, pray, pray…
Gary L. Hutchens