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CHRISTIAN LIFE - SIX WAYS TO FAIL IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE - 1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 5:1-5; Jude 1:20-22

SIX WAYS TO FAIL IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
    1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 5:1-5; Jude 1:20-22

Victory is the rightful possession of every child of God. When you begin your Christian life, God makes available all the forces of Heaven to insure your victory and success.
•    He has given you His Holy Spirit to empower you and live within you.
•    He has given you angels to watch over you.
•    He has given you His armor to protect you and mighty weapons with which to fight.
•    You can take your needs to Him in prayer at any time in the name of His Son who died for your sins.

This does not mean that you cannot fail to grow. In spite of all  the resources God has provided, many people experience failure because
•    the flesh is weak
•    Satan is powerful     and
•    there is a battle every step of the way.
To be successful you must use the resources God has provided and appropriate the victory He has given. IF YOU DO NOT YOU WILL FAIL TO GROW IN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE.

There are six ways you can fail in the Christian life and remain a baby Christian.

TRY TO DO IT YOURSELF is the first way to fail.
If you want to really fall flat on your face in the Christian life, try to live it in your own strength. In your own strength you can do NOTHING (John 1.5:5). A branch is a bit of wood brought forth by the vine to bear the vine's fruit. But the branch does not have power to produce fruit. Take it away from the vine and it will produce nothing.

We believers are the branches. Christ is the vine. For us to bear fruit we must constantly abide in Christ because the fruit is HIS fruit. Remember that self cannot be trusted (Romans 7:18; Colossians 2:6).

•    How did you receive Christ? BY FAITH!
•    How are you to live the Christian life? BY FAITH.
As you were saved by faith in Christ, so you have victory by faith in Christ. But TRY TO DO IT YOURSELF AND YOU WILL FAIL.

•    As the moon must keep looking to the sun for every gleam of its reflected glory
•    as the branch must look to the vine for every bit of its life and fruitage.
SO THE CHILD OF GOD MUST KEEP LOOKING TO JESUS FOR EVERY STEP HE TAKES IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
Look to self and you will fail; look to Jesus and you will have the victory.

NEGLECT THE BIBLE is the second way to fail.
One of the greatest reasons for failure in the Christian life is malnourishment.

•    The Bible is MILK for the young Christian (1 Peter 2:2). Through the Word you develop spiritually for a proper basis on which to build a healthy Christian life. The milk of the Word is essential for the young Christian to grow and not remain ignorant in your faith, a “baby Christian.”

•    The Bible is MEAT for the mature Christian (Hebrews 5:12-14). In God's Word you will find something you can really get your teeth into and chew on for awhile. Through the Word you will develop “strong spiritual muscles”

•    The Bible is HONEY for our delight (Psalm 119:103). What delightful things you will find in God's Word for your enjoyment. But if you seek enjoyment in the things of the world and neglect the Bible you will fail in your Christian undertaking.

•    The Bible also is a LIGHT to guide our steps (Psalm 119:105). But if you do not use the light, you will walk in darkness, and you will stumble and fall.

•    The Bible is a SEED to bring forth fruit (Luke 8:11). But if you do not plant the seed there will be no fruit.

IF YOU MAKE GOD'S WORD PROMINENT IN YOUR LIFE, YOU  WILL BE ON YOUR WAY TO VICTORY, BUT IF YOU NEGLECT IT YOU ARE SURE TO FAIL.

BE ONLY PARTIALLY OBEDIENT -The third way to fail
If you will be totally obedient to the Lord, you will succeed in the Christian life. If you are only partially obedient you will l fail.

God sent King Saul  on an assignment to destroy the Amalekites along with all their flocks and herds. Saul did not argue about the propriety of the assignment, but went out to the battle. God gave him the victory, and he came back and reported that he had obeyed the commandment of the Lord. Samuel knew that some of the flocks and herds had been spared (1 Samuel 15:14). Saul may have thought he was being obedient when actually he was only partially obedient. Rather than being pleased, God was greatly displeased with Saul as stated in 1 Samuel 15:22. In John 14:21 and John 15:14 Jesus discusses obedience.

These are basic commandments for every Christian.
Concerning Baptism
•    Acts 2:38 commands believers to be baptized.
•    Matthew 28:19-20 commands the Church to baptize believers as a public profession, a symbol of a person’s new faith.

Concerning God’s Day
God asks for one day in seven that we should keep holy for Him. It is not just a part of the day that is to be kept holy. It is His day all day long.

Concerning God's money
Most Christians know they need to give money, time, and efforts to the Lord's work joyfully and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7), 1 Corinthians 16:2 says that offerings are to be brought to God ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. As we gather in God's house to worship, a part of our worship and our obedience to Him is to bring tithes and our offerings above the tithe. The offerings must be brought willingly.

Concerning prayer
1 Thessalonians 5:17 is the command for prayer. It says to pray continually.
If you are to keep from failing, you must have a specific “quiet” time with God every day and then communicate with Him for guidance all day in your thoughts.

Concerning witnessing
In a very natural way, believers can share their faith with  someone else.

DISREGARD THE DEVIL- The fourth way to fail.
If you are to be successful in the Christian life, you must recognize that the Devil is real. He is described in the Bible, and we must recognize him. New believers are subject to two major mistakes concerning the Devil:

Mistake 1: Underestimating the Devil. Jesus describes him in John 8:44. Don't ever underestimate him. He is more powerful than you are, and you cannot go up against him in your own strength. The Bible says that within the Christian there is a battle constantly  going on between the flesh and the spirit. The flesh within responds to the world without, and the world without is controlled by Satan. To be successful in your Christian life, you must be vigilant against the attacks of Satan (1 Peter 5:8).

Mistake 2: Overestimating the Devil, that is, failing to understand three important truths showing we have victory over Satan in Jesus.
•    Satan already has been defeated as stated in 1 John 3:8. When Jesus died on the cross, the head of Satan was crushed. He is now a defeated foe.
•    The believer has God’s promise of victory when Satan attacks as stated in 1 Corinthians 10:13 and James 4:7.

Ephesians Chapter 6 describes the believer’s great suit of armor
        So that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.
        ▸    with the belt of truth buckled around your waist
        ▸    with the breastplate of righteousness in place
        ▸    with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
        ▸    Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
        ▸    Take the helmet of salvation     and
        ▸    the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
        And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Notice that in this armor every part of the body is protected except the BACK. There is no protection there because we are not to run from Satan. We are to RESIST him and stand against him in the power of Jesus Christ.

DE-EMPHASIZE THE CHURCH, the fifth way to fail.
Sometimes people are won to Christ but are not instructed about the Church. Every once in awhile someone will say,
•    I love Jesus, but I don't care about the church.
That is like saying:
•    I love to swim, but don't care about the water.

You see,
•    if you love to swim, you love the water.
•    AND IF YOU LOVE JESUS YOU WILL ALSO LOVE THE CHURCH.

The Church is the place where people grow in the Christian life. If people could be developed in the Christian life apart from the Church Jesus would never have bothered to build it. The Holy Bible says that Jesus loves the Church and died for it. Satan constantly attacks the Church because he knows it is the place where people will grow, learn to be conquering Christians, and have victory over him.
People who are saved and don’t grow as Christians BECAUSE THEY NEGLECT THE CHURCH. Christians should be baptized and identify themselves with God's people in the Church. Every Christian should have a church home in the place where they live and should serve the Lord in His Church. Otherwise they remain baby Christians without the benefit of fellowship and learning.

LOVE THE WORLD is the sixth way to fail
A great tragedy of modern-day Christianity is that there is no emphasis on separation from the world. Today one can be a respectable Christian and still enjoy the attractions and pleasures of the world, which causes failure. The Bible encourages us (Romans 12:2). A fatal mistake made by young Christians is to go back to the old crowd, and try to live the Christian life while running with the old crowd. You will want to witness to your friends, but you must be prepared to lose them. You can witness to them and tell them of  your love for Jesus and how ho has changed your life — BUT YOU CANNOT BE A PART OF THAT OLD CROWD! If you do you are certain to fail!
(2 Corinthians 6:17).

It seems that many who start out in the Christian life fail, and I have just given six reasons for failure. But there is no need for you to fail. God has provided everything you need for your victory and success to row in your Christianity.

IF YOU WILL
1.    Look to Jesus instead of self
2.    Be obedient to all He has commanded
3.    Love His Church
4.    Give prominence to His Word
5.    Be vigilant against Satan,     and
6) Be separate from the world

THEN YOU WILL BE A JOYFUL CHRISTIAN AND WILL HAVE VICTORY IN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE.
Claim the victory God has provided for you in Jesus promised in 1 Corinthians 15:57

THE INVITATION
★    You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).
★    To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).
★    You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:
          Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.
           I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.
           Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.
                In Your name I pray, Amen.