Today we will continue on with a series I started a couple of weeks ago called WHAT IS THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. Just as a quick way of review, here is what we covered so far. The Christian life is a life of:


  • Faith
  • Obedience
  • Repentance
  • Worship and devotion to God
  • Prayer
  • Spiritual growth and development
  • Self-denial
  • Good works
  • Joy and Gladness


The Christian life is a life free from fear and dread.


Now when I say this, I am not saying that a Christian will never get scared, but what this means is that a Christian will not live in fear because we realize that God is with us. We understand that physical death it just the beginning of our life in the presence of God. For example, notice how Jesus was preparing His disciples for a limited commission in:


Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.  6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  7 "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  8 "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.  9 "Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,  10 "nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.  11 "Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.  12 "And when you go into a household, greet it.  13 "If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.  14 "And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.  15 "Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!  16 ¶ " Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.  17 "But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.  18 "You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.  19 "But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;  20 "for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.  21 "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.  22 "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.  23 "When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.  24 ¶ "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  25 "It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!  


Jesus has given them specific instructions on what to do and what they will encounter along the way, but notice what He says next:


Matthew 10:26 "Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.  27 " Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.  28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.  30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31 "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  32 " Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  33 "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.


Jesus is telling them that they may find themselves being severely punished for their message and it may even lead to their death, but they are not to be fearful because God is with them. He knows the number of hairs on their head. He knows exactly what is going on in their life. Even though they may die physically by means of a brutal death, man cannot harm their soul. God will take care of them and God will take care of us, which is why we should not live a life of fear or dread. So, we should never be ashamed to confess Jesus as our Lord and Master.


There are many great examples we could look at that show this fearless faith in God. We could look at the apostles and we could look at the early Christians who would not deny Christ even when they were being burned or tortured. But one of my favorite examples comes from the O.T. example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. I realize this has nothing to do with the N.T. times, but it still serves a great of example of having a fearless faith in God.


I am sure everyone here is familiar with the story as recorded in Daniel Chapter 3. These 3 men refused to bow down to a golden image made by the king. When they refused, they were told on by king’s men. Even when they were brought before the king and given a second chance knowing that death by fire awaited them, they still would not bow. Instead, this is what they told the king:


Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  17 "If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.  18 "But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."


They were not afraid to die because they believed in God almighty. They were not about to go against the way of God just to save their necks. Their attitude was that if God saves them from this fire that was heated 7 times hotter than usual that would be great, but even if they die in the fire, they boldly tell the king, we will not serve your false gods or bow down to them.


A Christian must have this same fearless faith when it comes to standing up for what is right in according to God’s Word. There are far to many people that call themselves Christians today who will cower down and compromise God’s truth so that they can please the masses, but that is not what living the Christian life is about. We cannot compromise God’s truth to make someone feel good or to appeal to the masses. Instead, we need to bold and confident like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.


Yes, bad things will happen to us sometimes throughout our Christian lives, but we can stand confident in the Lord no matter what is thrown our way.


Proverbs 3:25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;  26 For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.


Notice some of these other great verses that teach us to be confident in our Lord so that we do not fear:


Psalm 27:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?


Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.  2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;  3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.


Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'  11 "Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish.  12 You shall seek them and not find them -- Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing.  13 For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'


So, let us not live a life of fear and dread even when it comes to thinking about death. When we put our confidence in God knowing what He has promised us, we can live life with joy and happiness instead of fear and dread. We will be able to view the end of our days as something that we look forward to even though it means leaving this ole world. As Paul said:


Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.


I hope we can all have the confidence that Paul had at the end of his life because he said:


2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.  7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.


Our second point for the morning is:


The Christian life is a life of absolute trust in God.


We just finished talking about not living in fear and dread. Well, we could easily tie this second point in with that because one of the main ways we can live a life without fear and dread is by trusting in God. As David said:


Psalm 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.  5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.


David understood how important it was for him to put his trust in God. Time after time, God would help him with his enemies. One example comes from:


Psalm 18:1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said: I will love You, O LORD, my strength.  2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.


God is also our rock and our deliver. He knows what is best for us, and He is involved in our daily lives. We have no reason not to trust God Almighty because He has never let anyone down. What He says happens. Not one time has He ever failed to do what He promised. So when we read Scriptures like:


Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 


We can be confident that when we put God and His kingdom first that everything else will fall into place exactly as it is suppose to. While there are many examples of showing absolute trust in God, one of my favorite examples is Abraham as we read in:


Genesis 22:1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."  2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."


If you will remember, Abraham had to wait a long time for his son to be born. In fact, his wife did not think it was every going to happen so she took matters into her own hands and gave her maid servant to him so she could bear him a son. Sarah is an example of what it means not to trust in the Lord and what he says. Finally, in their old age, they were able to have this promised son, but now God is asking Abraham to sacrifice him. Think just a minute of how difficult that would be for you especially if you had waited your whole life to have this one true son.


In order for Abraham to do what God has asked him to do, would require absolute trust in God’s wisdom. Abraham did not know that this was just a test, but notice what we learn in:


Genesis 22:3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.  5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you."  6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.  7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"  8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.  9 ¶ Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.  10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am."  12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."  13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.  14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided."   


I realize that Bible does not always give us every detail of what happened, but we do not read or even see implied that Abraham batted an eye about what God had asked him to do. All we see is that Abraham put his complete trust in God and took his son on a 3 day journey to sacrifice him on a mountain to God. Not once during those 3 days or even at the moment when he had his son in position with the knife did Abraham question God. He was going to kill his son, but as we learned, the Angel of the Lord stopped him from doing this. This is amazing example of what it means to put your complete trust in God.


Living the Christian life means that we should always put our trust in God and in the wisdom of His Word no matter what our personal feelings may be. Those who have this kind of trust in the Lord do not say “why Lord” or “why me”, instead they say “yes Lord”, “thank you Lord” and “give me the strength Lord to do your will.”


It is very encouraging as a Christian to know that we can put absolute trust in God. So, part of the Christian life is always putting your trust in Him. When we make God our anchor, we will not drift away from Him or His truth no matter how strong the waves of doubt or worldliness become.


I like what Johnnie V. Chandler wrote in one his poems about trusting in God.


Trust in God
Even when you can’t see your way 
Trust in God
Even when you feel like you can’t face another day 
Trust in God
Even when the tears want to flow from your eyes 
Trust in God
Knowing that our God will always provide 
Trust in God
Even when you feel that all hope is gone 
Trust in God
Knowing that He is always there for you to lean on 
Trust in God
Even when you feel like giving up 
Trust in God
Because He is there ... saying, "Just look up" 
Trust in God
Even in those times you feel so all alone 
Trust in God
Hold on and be strong, for He is still on the throne 
Trust in God
Even when it’s hard to believe 
Trust in God
Knowing that He can change your situation, suddenly 
Trust in God
Even in those times you feel it’s hard to pray 
Trust in God
And believe that He has already made the way 
Faith ... is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen 
So Trust in God
Because you already have the victory!


In conclusion, let us never forget that the Christian life is life free from fear and dread and that it is a life of absolute trust in God. It is such a wonderful privilege to live the Christian life, and I hope we never fail to realize how great it is. I want to close this lesson out with a few verses from David:


Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.  11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people.