Making Faith Your Own
It is a common problem for Christians to accept things as true without really testing them, that is to make them part of their own faith.

This lesson is necessary because too many people are leaving the church of Christ for man-made denominations or just leaving, period.
More are becoming involved with new movements (even in churches that call themselves a church of Christ).
It is not uncommon to hear some make comments that "I used to believe this, but I never was challenged to test it."
You might think that the problem is one that is more prevalent amongst young people, but we find more adults making drastic changes because they were never grounded in their faith.
The real tragedy comes when people accept something else just because it is different and still are unwilling to have the openness to have that new belief tested as well!
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world”.
There is only one kind of heart that will find God's truth and be saved.
John 3:21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God”.
Jesus challenged the Jews to test themselves and find the truth.
John 8:32; “and you shall know the truth and the truth will make you free”.
John 7:17 “If any man is willing to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself”.
Truth has not changed nor the way to find it.
It is in the same place it as always been.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them in they truth; Thy word is truth”.
Satan also has deceitfully placed deadly error before Christians for centuries and called it truth. He, however, does not want it to be tested at all.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15; “ And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds”.
It is crucial that each one be grounded in the truth of God.
Ephesians 4:14-15 “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ”,
How to know when you have made faith your own.

It can be defended.
1 Peter 3:15 “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence”;
Jude 3 “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”.
How many have avoided talking to their friends about the Bible?
In that isolation you may never be tested! You may never be questioned.
And, when we are asked questions, we benefit because we must go to the Bible for the answer.
When we share the gospel with others, we are benefited too.
We base our lives upon it.
2 Corinthians 1:24 “Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm”.;
1 John 5:4 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith”.
It is the wisdom and the warnings from God's word that blesses us.
1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and his commandments are not burdensome”.
When others misrepresent what we stand for as "traditional" or "blindly following church of Christ opinions," we know better!

We will stand for it.
1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong”.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord”.
Some of the strongest attacks will come because you will not have fellowship with those who have gone beyond the scriptures,
Ephesians 5:11 “And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them”.
Even a non-Christian knows that if they could get someone who claimed to be a Christian to go along with them, that they really had no convictions, just talk.
It becomes a part of us!
2 Corinthians 4:13-14 “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed, therefore I spoke’ we also believe, therefore also we speak; knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you”.
Why some people have problems developing their personal faith.

Because of the natural doubts that go from being a child to being an adult.
As a child we believe certain things because our parents taught us. (There is a God) (Jesus is the Son of God) (The church of Christ is the only right church) etc.
It is not uncommon when one is faced with others who have a different belief to conclude that everyone is influenced by their upbringing and there is no "absolute truth."
It is possible to have a genuine faith given by godly parents and also wrong views given by parents.
2 Timothy 1:5 “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grand-mother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”
If truth is the issue, then what is right can be found
2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth”.
Because of the guilt associated with doubts.
Sadly we may reinforce this guilt by our impatience. (Ex. They have been in church for years and should know this!")
The Pharisees used pride and intimidation to line others up with them. (John 7:45-52)
If we know far less than we think.
It is high time for us to be honest and let our guilt lead us to seek for the truth.

We do not need to fear questions?
But maybe we have never learned to trust God.
This is the first step in coming to know anything else!
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him”.
Many have sought out answers to issues before ever yielding their hearts to God .
1 Corinthians 8:1-3 “Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him”.

What does it mean to trust God?
Things to remember while making faith your own.
Avoid the emotional response to run and hide.
Some when they decide what is right will often run and hide from others who may have a different view.
Remember that truth can withstand to be examined. Why should you refuse to discuss it?
The false teacher will actively work to subvert your faith and then cut you off from those who may disagree.
Satan is pleased with this kind of "faith.“
Galatians 4:16-17 “Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth? They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out, in order that you may seek them”.

There are two ways to get yourself into error.
To blindly accept everything another tells you.
To blindly set aside everything you have learned.
Do not let pride overtake you.
If you think you are the first to discover new truths and that everyone else in the church is blind, there is something wrong.
As the old saying goes: “if it’s new, its not true”.

We need to learn patience with ourselves and with others.
James 5:9-11 “Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion, and is merciful”.

Do not flee from the struggle for truth.
Romans 12:1-2 “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”.
The struggle for truth is a daily one. If for no other reason than the danger of my heart becoming corrupted and I then become self-deceived.

I need the wisdom to find godly council.
Proverbs 24:5-6 “A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power, for by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory”. (This does not mean that you follow anyone blindly.)
Pray to God for wisdom and serve Him with the knowledge you have.
James 1:5-6 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind”.
Always serve God vigorously while seeking His will.
It is folly to sit and study and do nothing else.

Wisdom takes time.
There are great truths that you keep learning throughout life.
Ephesians 3:16-19 “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God”.

What kind of faith do you have?
If less that it should be, are you willing to study more to learn what your faith should be?
You can never have too much faith.
And we should never be satisfied with our current level of faith, so we must increase our faith all the time.
Is your faith your own?

By Carey Scott

Return to the Sermon Outlines page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /