In this sermon, Pastor Neil explains what it means to be established in faith, as he continues this series of sermons. Here are some excerpts:

… In addition to being rooted in Christ, Paul says that we are to be:

  • Built up in Him;
  • Strengthened (Established) in the faith as we were taught; and
  • Overflowing with thankfulness.

Established in the Faith– Built Up

… What is God’s end game in wanting us to be built up in our relationship to Him? The answer is unity and spiritual maturity: Unity in our faith, unity in our knowledge of Jesus Christ – who He is and what He has done for us, unity in our love for Him and trust in Him; and spiritual maturity, so that we may become like Him in every aspect of our lives. This is God’s will for your life; God’s will for our lives; God’s will for our church. Unity in the church and spiritual maturity don’t just happen. They require effort, focus, humility, and grace. They require letting go of what I want in order to embrace what God wants. Do you see that?…

What can you do to build yourself up in the faith? You can devote yourself to the daily reading of God’s Word and to prayer; make private and public worship a priority; avail yourself of all the means of grace God makes available to you; preach the gospel to yourself every day; take deep breaths of the air of God’s grace. You can tell others about Jesus and what He has done for you; choose to trust God in the circumstances and challenges of your life; and look for “God-sightings” and celebrate the ways God is at work in the world.

Established in Faith

… Who you spend time with, who (and what) you listen to, what you read or watch on TV or YouTube: All these things can affect the vitality of your faith and how strongly you are committed to the truth of God’s Word and the rightness of God’s ways…

Overflowing with Thankfulness

… The fourth quality Paul commends to us here is thankfulness. Overflowing thankfulness. Abounding thankfulness. Gratitude is one of the distinctive characteristics of the Christian life.

John Henry Jowett, a famous British preacher who served as Pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City from 1911 to 1918, described gratitude as “a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.” What he meant, says John Yates, the former Rector of The Falls Church Anglican, is that, “like a vaccine, gratitude can prevent the invasion of a disgruntled, discouraged spirit. Like an antitoxin, gratitude can prevent the effects of the poisons of cynicism, (a critical spirit), and grumbling. Like an antiseptic, a spirit of gratitude can soothe and heal the most troubled spirit” (Sermon by John Yates, ‘An Attitude of Gratitude)…

Pastor Neil has much more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the entire sermon.

March 8, 2020

Colossians 2:6-7; Ephesians 5:1-4

Dr. Neil Smith

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