A Few Thoughts About Being Steadfast
Steadfast in the Faith
1 Corinthians 15:58 WEB Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
This passage is at the end of the great resurrection chapter. The Gospel has been summarized. Jesus has conquered life, death, goodness, evil, and has overcome the world.
Knowing all this is wonderful, but we must continue in the faith. We must not fail as is illustrated by our Lord: Matthew 13:21 WEB yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
B1 To be steadfast
C1 The Greek word is ἑδραῖος hedraîos. It means to be settled and not movable. It is like a fence post secured in concrete.
C2 It is used 3 times in the New Testament with the idea of firmly believing something. A decision has been made that will not change.
C4 We have a reasonable faith. It is rational. It is not blind faith. We have reasons, witnesses, and proofs.
C5 Some verses illustrating this idea:
D1 Proverbs 10:25 WEB When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more; but the righteous stand firm forever.
D2 Note the contrast between believers and unbelievers: Psalms 20:7-8 NRSV Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright.
C6 Our (that is all Christian believers) foundation is the most stable: Ephesians 2:19-20 NKJV Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
C7 Our stability has a purpose. Look today how many do not know what they believe: Ephesians 4:14 GNB Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent.
B2 To be immovable
C1 The Greek word for immovable is ἀμετακίνητος ametakínētos. It means firmly persistent. It is used only in this one passage in the New Testament.
C2 To be firmly persistent we must be continually alive. We get our life from the Lord Jesus. We must continue in His teaching: John 15:4-5 WEB Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
C3 We need to pray. It is part of the Armor of God: Ephesians 6:18 WEB with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints.
C4 Be tested in and about our faith makes us stronger in the faith: James 1:2-4 NRSV My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
C5 Our love for God and His love for us is described in these actions: 1 Corinthians 13:7 NRSV It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. [Emphasis is mine]
B3 To be abounding in the Lord’s work
C1 Abounding is the Greek word περισσεύω perisseúō. It means to have much, very much even to overflowing.
C2 Vincent’s Word Studies has this note here: The former refers [steadfast] to their firm establishment in the faith; the latter [immovable] to that establishment as related to assault from temptation or persecution. Fixedness is a condition of abounding in work. All activity has its center in rest. [insert is mine]
C2 John Wesley writes: Be ye steadfast - In yourselves. Unmovable - By others; continually increasing in the work of faith and labour of love. Knowing your labour is not in vain in the Lord - Whatever ye do for his sake shall have its full reward in that day. Let us also endeavour, by cultivating holiness in all its branches, to maintain this hope in its full energy; longing for that glorious day, when, in the utmost extent of the expression, death shall be swallowed up for ever, and millions of voices, after the long silence of the grave, shall burst out at once into that triumphant song, O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?
C4 The work of the Lord Jesus is described: John 4:34 NRSV Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.
D1 Our work in this life and forever is to do God’s will.
D2 We were created for fellowship with God and to serve Him forever.
D3 We serve Him by
E1 Obedience to His laws. These are the ~1,000 rules in the New Testament. John 14:23-24 GNB Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them. 24 Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me.
E2 Doing life the way God intended and to grow in the knowledge about God: Colossians 1:10 NRSV so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.
E3 1 Thessalonians 1:3 NRSV remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
E4 This fruit should be cleanly seen by all. May God continue to work in our lives: Galatians 5:22-23 NRSV By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
E5 Serving other believers. All believers can help one another believer sometime. I think we all see too many times others work to undermine another’s faith. God forbid! This is what we must do. It is an example for us: Hebrews 6:10-11 GNB God is not unfair. He will not forget the work you did or the love you showed for him in the help you gave and are still giving to other Christians. 11 Our great desire is that each of you keep up your eagerness to the end, so that the things you hope for will come true.
The reason for steadfastness is so our work for the Lord does not become empty.
B1 We don’t want
C1 Empty preaching or an empty faith: 1 Corinthians 15:14 NKJV And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
C2 To be deceived by empty words: Ephesians 5:6 NKJV Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
C3 Be cheated out of our faith by philosophy and empty deceit: Colossians 2:8 NKJV Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
B2 The Greek word for empty is κενός kenós. It means no effect, no results, no substance. It is just hot air and good for nothing.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NRSV We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Few Thoughts About Being Steadfast
Steadfastness, immovable, busy for God, Christian life