The Secret to Stability – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

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The Secret to Stability

Colossians 2

  • 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
  • 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Notice the process of Stability:

               A. Receive Christ “…As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord…”

In order to be stable, it is imperative that you first be saved.

Unsaved people can never be stable Christians.

Our churches are filled with unsaved church members.

               QUOTE: “Within every congregation there is a small nucleus of people who believe, and they are surrounded by a much larger group who believe that they believe.” James Moffett

The level of deception is staggering.

In a radio message Dr. J. Harold Smith said, “75% of people that attend church won’t make it to heaven. I won’t be afraid to say 80% won’t make it.”

R.A. Torrey (1856-1928), Bible teacher, educator, Bible conference speaker, editor of The Fundamentals, and one of the most prominent evangelists in the heyday of America’s revivals, said that he believed that only 10% of those who professed to be believers were really converted.

The number one cause of instability in our churches is the lack of true salvation.

The problem with many church members is not that they are unstable; they are simply bastards.

They are not born again.

They have been deceived into thinking they are saved but have absolutely no fruit of true salvation.

The flock is full of goats;

               B. Rooted in Christ – “Rooted and built up in him…

Roots are a requirement for stability.

It is absolutely essential that you are ROOTED and BUILT UP IN HIM.

Not the church; not the pastor; not your spouse; not your family – but in HIM!

Not a movement; not a denomination; not a place, but a Person!

               C. Respond to Christ – “…so walk ye in him;…as ye have been taught…”

The disciples walked WITH Christ.

We walk IN Christ.

Stable Christians are those that have been taught in the faith and responded to it.

Paul encouraged them to be found “…abounding with thanksgiving…”

We find that word “abounding” used in another place to signify stability and being rooted.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

DEFINITION OF UNMOVEABLE: not to be moved from its place, unmoved; metaph. firmly persistent

ILLUSTRATION: The downsides of instability are you cannot excel if you are unstable.

Jacob gave this assessment to Reuben in Genesis 49.

Reuben had so much potential as the firstborn son.

He was described as “my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power…”

But then Jacob turned around and completely shattered that image of might, power and strength.

He told him that he would never excel, because he was UNSTABLE AS WATER.

  • Genesis 49:4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

Jacob cursed Reuben because his son lacked the moral character.

He went into the Jacob’s concubine and lay with her. (Genesis 35:22)

Jacob heard about it and that one act of moral weakness earned him the label “unstable as water.”

Many Christians suffer from instability.

The meaning of being UNSTABLE AS WATER:

  • Its temperature is easily affected by its environment
  • Assumes the shape of its container
  • Take the path of least resistance
  • Always gravitates toward the lowest point
  • Easily contaminated; thoroughly polluted.
  • It weakens and undermines everything it touches
  • It breaks down everything that is exposed to it long enough (universal solvent)

The Bible is clear that unstable people struggle in areas that stable Christians do not struggle.

               A. The Frustration of the Unstable

  • James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

They are not just unstable in their Christianity; they are unstable in all their ways.

Their marriage will be unstable.

Their family will be unstable.

Their decisions and choices will be all over the place.

There will be no conviction or confidence in any area.

               B. The Foolishness of the Unstable

  • 2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

Unstable people are vulnerable to false teachers and false doctrine.

Their lack of stability causes them to be easy prey and easy picking for deceivers.

               C. The Fighting of the Unstable

  • 2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

WREST: to twist, turn awry; to torture, put to the rack; metaph. to pervert, of one who wrests or tortures language in a false sense

Unstable people literally fight and wrestle with truth in order to get it to match their ideas.

What are the secrets to becoming a stable Christian?

I. Consistent Exposure to the Scripture

Psalm 1

  • 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
  • 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

It is absolutely impossible to be a stable Christian if you ration the Word of God.

A continual exposure to the Word of God is a requirement to be a successful Christian.

Joshua 1

  • 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
  • 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

II. Constant Examination for Sin

1 Thessalonians 3

  • 11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
  • 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
  • 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

III. Continual Evaluation of your Soberness

I Peter 5

  • 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
  • 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
  • 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

DEFINITION OF STABLISH: to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix; to strengthen, make firm; to render constant, confirm, one’s mind

I Thessalonians 5

  • 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
  • 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
  • 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

I Peter 1

  • 13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
  • 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
  • 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
  • 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

IV. Conscious Expectation of the Savior

James 5

  • 7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
  • 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

I John 3

  • 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
  • 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.