When we look in the Bible, we see only three books that mention backsliders/backsliding: Proverbs, Jeremiah and Hosea.
We need to remember the Christian life should never be a failure. Many have failed in living a truly Christian life; God has made no provision for failure in our life. We are going to look at why there should never be failure in our Christian life.
•This life we have is divine. It is quickened by the Spirit of God, born from above, partaker of the divine nature, and everlasting life.
•Our guide through this life is infallible. John 16:13 reads, “Howbeit when he, the spirit of truth, comes he will guide you into all truth.” Also, Isaiah 35:8 points out, “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”
•The provision is sufficient. According to 2 Corinthians 9:8, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye always having all sifficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
•He gives us aid. Hebrews 2:18 reminds us, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor (aid) them that are tempted.” Don’t forget, temptations will come to us just as they came to Christ. Like him, we may be able to overcome by the Word of God.” In Luke 4:4 and 4:8, Jesus tells Satan, “It is written.”
•Power is promised. He is able to keep us from falling, and to fill us with power sufficient to resist the devil, and to enable us to live a life that will be a witness to gis mighty saving power. Jude’s 24th verse says he “is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the present of gis glory with exceeding joy.”
•Victory is expected. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 reads, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” God has made provision that every child of his should be more than conquerors. They should overcome by the Blood of the Lamb.
Why do Christians fail?
•Forsaking God, we forget where the living water comes from. We prefer our works to God’s grace.
•We stubbornly prefer our wisdom to the wisdom from above. Beware of having your own way.
•Worldliness is the love of the things in the world that we mingle with. Read Matthew 13:22; when we are worldly, we choke the Word of God, and our spiritual life.
•Disobedience is consulting our own feelings and comfort and forgetting God’s command. Psalm 106:34 points out, “They did not destroy the nation, concerning whom the Lord commanded them.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 reads, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
•Misplaced confidence, in the promise of man instead of God, dishonors God and ensures disappointment. 2 Chronicles 16:7 records, “Asa relied on the king of Syria and not on the Lord thy God, therefore the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.”
I could go on, but here are reasons you can look up yourself: pride (Joshua 9:1-15), self-sufficiency (Revelation 3:17), neglect of little things (Song of Solomon 2:15), unbelief (Psalm 78:19-41).
Failure in the Christian life implies disappointment (Jeremiah 2:3), discouragement (Deuteronomy 1:28), a selfish life (Hosea 10:1), unfruitfulness (Matthew 13:22), lukewarmness (Revelation 3:16), defeat (Joshua 7:13) and dishonor (1 Corinthians 15:57).
We can have victory every time through Jesus Christ by confessing our sin (1 John 1:9), surrendering our will (Hosea 14:1-4), consecrating our life (Romans 12:2), laying aside our weight (Hebrews 12:1), receiving God’s promises (2 Peter 1:4-8), steadily abiding in him (John 16:1-5) and walking humbly before him (Malachi 2:6). This should be the purpose in our lives today.
Joseph Merriman is pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenfield. This weekly column is written by local clergy members. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfield reporter.com