Steadfast For The Lord


   Those that were early members of the church were characterized by steadfastness. "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) Steadfast means firm or immovable. To be steadfast means "to continue all the time; to persevere; or to be devoted to. Paul challenged the brethren at Corinth by saying, "my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (I Corinthians 15:58)


   There may be many great needs in the church but none is greater than the need for steadfastness Paul wrote to the Colossians and said, "though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ." (Colossians 2:5) Peter gave the following warning to brethren concerning the danger of falling from their steadfastness. "You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked." (II Peter 3:17)


   Let us observe the importance of steadfastness:


   Strong  churches   have  steadfast   members. Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be  seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16) The influence of the church can only be strong, as the members are steadfast. From Acts 2:42 we observe that the early Christians were steadfast. "They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." This caused others to look favorably upon God's people. "Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2:47) The challenge for every Christian is to be steadfast.


   Strong Christians are steadfast members. Christians who fail to be steadfast fail to be what God intended them to be. The member who is faithful a while and then unfaithful; can be counted on for a while and then cannot be counted on; is dependable for a while and then undependable is a poor example of Christianity. Instead of being steadfast the Bible calls this man unstable. "He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8) Strong Christians are steadfast in their service to God. "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful." (I Corinthians 4:2) The challenge for every Christian is to be steadfast.


   Strong Christians understand the principle of being steadfast members. They realize that they are made partakers of Christ only by being "steadfast unto the end." "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end." (Hebrews 3:14) Christians must be firm in their faith; set and settled in their convictions about Jesus the Christ. They must be planted, fixed, strong, anchored and faithful in their relationship with the Master. Those that are steadfast have "hope" as an anchor for the soul. (Hebrews 6:19) The challenge for every Christian is to be steadfast.


   Strong members recognize those things that produce steadfastness. Christians must recognize the contribution made to steadfastness as we learn the truth. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) Christians must learn, know, perceive and understand God's will. No one will be steadfast for long who does not have an ever-deepening knowledge of God's word. Peter said, "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (II Peter 3:18)


   Attending "all" the services of the church is another contributing factor in our steadfastness. In order to seek God and His kingdom first we must be faithful at every service of the church. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) To seek God first means that we think about, meditate on, crave, require and demand that the kingdom be first in our lives. God and His kingdom must be first in rank or time or place in our heart and life. Those who willfully forsake any assembly of the church are not putting God first. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25) Why don't we have as many for Sunday morning Bible classes, Sunday night or Wednesday night as we have for Sun­day morning worship?


   Associating with strong Christians helps develop personal steadfastness. Those with whom we associate pull us in their direction. "Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good hab­its." (I Corinthians 15:33) Basement people pull others down; balcony people pull others up. You can be strengthened by good men or corrupted by evil men. "He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:20)


   Strong faith produces steadfast Christians.  The Bible says that Abraham was strong in faith. "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God." (Romans 4:20) Christians must likewise be steadfast, firm, and fixed in the faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ. "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." (I Corinthians 15:3-4) Circumstances and situations of life must never shake our faith in the glorious gospel of Christ. Our steadfastness stands on Jesus' resurrection.  Because He lives we can live also. Let us be unshaken in our hope of being raised incorruptible and immortal. Our steadfastness must lead us to abound in the work of the Lord. The challenge for every Christian is to be steadfast.


   Find those things that contribute to steadfastness to the Lord and grow in them. The Hebrew writer said, "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." (Hebrews 3:14) The challenge for every Christian is to be steadfast.


   Being a Christian is a serious responsibility. Christianity involves your salvation. Your Christianity may affect hundreds of others. To become a Christian, you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), you must believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of every sin (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized to be saved (I Peter 3:21). After baptism the challenge for every Christian is to be steadfast.


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551 Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA