Continue in the Faith
Sermon Discussion Questions:
- Charles Naylor (1930) wrote that "Adversity, pain, sorrow, and disappointment are the lathe upon which God shapes us. They are the grinding-wheel which grinds and smooths us. They are the polishing-wheel which makes us shine." How have you experienced this 'shaping,' 'grinding,' 'smoothing,' and 'shining' in your life? How did this 'test' your Christian faith?
- Look at the activities of Paul and Barnabas as they returned to visit the men and women they had earlier led to faith in Christ in Acts 13:43 and Acts 14:22. Why do you think they urged these new believers to "continue in the faith"? Do new believers need to hear that kind of encouragement today? Why?
- You probably know of people who seem to start out well in the Christian faith, but then haven't "continued in the faith." What are some of the common reasons you've heard from people about why they are no longer actively following Jesus?
- Colossians 1:23 teaches that we "continue in the faith" by being "grounded" (also translated as "established"). That word has the meaning of being firmly built on a foundation. Look up Isaiah 28:16 and I Peter 2:6. Who is the "sure foundation" these verses are referring to? What does it mean to be "grounded" in that "sure foundation"?
- Colossians 1:23 teaches that our ability to "continue in the faith" is threatened if we are "shifting (dislodged) from the hope of the gospel." In first century Colossae, false teachers were trying to "dislodge" the Christians there from their sole reliance upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. Does such false teaching exist today? What forms does it take?
- Look up Philippians 1:6, a key verse about "continuing in the faith." What are the promises of God in this verse? What encouragement does it give to help us "continue in the faith"?
- (For individual reflection and prayer) Who do you know who is really struggling with "continuing in the faith"? How can you commit to pray for them?