17 Dec 12/17/17 “7 CHARACTERISTICS OF A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN” – Pastor Shane Idleman
7 Characteristics Of A Faithful Christian
Rev. 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:
1. Holiness is a priority: Charles Spurgeon rightly noted, “There will be three effects of nearness to Jesus—humility, happiness, and holiness.”
The Enemy of Holiness is a REBELLIOUS SPIRIT.
You have to fight for Holiness – you’re relationship with God is dependant upon it.
Holiness always produces Faith & Spiritual Power!
Carnality gives God “His due” (a few hours on Sunday), but they forget His call to “come out from among them (the world) and be separate.”
A fire burning deep within – do we stoke the flames or put them out? “I’M SO STOKED!”
Carnality means that the fire is almost out & the rivers of living water are dried up.
We cannot love both Christ and this world. A carnal Christian does not pray, really pray and seek the heart of God. A deep prayer life exposes facades and crushes hypocrisy.
You won’t find them at Prayer nights and Worship mornings, but you will find them at Cinemark and the Mall.
ON THE FLIP SIDE – Carnality can also take place in the mind of the faithful.
2. The source of their authority is God – He is Holy and True.
Ultimate authority rests in the Son: “He has the keys of David” – Fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant.
Open and shut doors to salvation and life in general.
A faithful Christian is not continually looking for advice outside of God’s Word.
Merrill Lynch about how to get rich.
Local Nail Salon for marriage counseling.
Remax for advice on selling your home.
Guys at work about how to prioritize your life – football, beer, and Havasu.
8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
3. They work AND wait for God to open doors
A little strength is all you need!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9.
GOD WILL OFTEN BREAK US DOWN TO BUILD US UP! He’ll take away your strength – what you were trusting in.
The Refiners fire involves fire and heat. The waves of change involve being plummeted – tossed and turned.
But He says – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” I AM THE 4TH MAN IN THE FIRE!
4. They “keep” his word. They keep the course REGARDLESS of the storm…regardless of the criticism…regardless of the heat.
9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
5. Their love leads others to Christ –
…when was the last time your love…?
Were they forced or was it willing worship?
When false teaching is exposed and a person repents – people see the light. GOD ALWAYS GETS THE LAST WORD!
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
6. They persevere through adversity: Faithful in the midst of the storm; faithfull in the valley and on the mountain.
The approaching Tribulation for unbelievers – 3 VIEWS.
Relevant to this church, Relevant to us, Relevant to all believers in history – who writes a book that is always relevant?
WE MUST TEACH PERSEVERANCE WHEN THINGS GET BAD …
11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
Hold Fast – Attack Back – and attack again: aggressive action!
QUICKLY – Always urgent! Moody and the Chicago fires, to Methodist circuit riders, to us today.
“Take your crown” –
He’ll Never Fall Off Of His Throne!
7. They listen to what the Spirit says
MANY PROBLEMS WOULD END TODAY IF WE LISTENED [Applied].
“I’ll be back in 30 minutes – I want this house cleaned.”
James 1:22 reminds us that if we listen to God’s Word without doing it that we are fooling ourselves … we are deceived.
Holding fast is a constant theme. Phil. 2: “holding fast to the word of life…”