Hazards of Faith

Philippians 2:29-30

INTRO: Many things are built on faith; i.e. our economic system, credit, checks, etc. Christianity is also built on faith (Heb. 11:1; 2 Cor. 5:7). Faith relates to the future, and so far as human affairs go, the future is uncertain. Therefore, we say that “faith takes a chance; it ventures, or risks.”

A. “Not regarding” from paraboleuomai, meaning “hazarding.”
          1. Lit. to “throw down a stake,” and hence a “gambling term” (Vincent).
     B. Therefore, we “risk” certain things.
          1. Family; security, etc.
          2. Willing to venture.
     C. Story of the Georgia farmer:
          1.  Did not plant any cotton because of the boll weevil; did not plant
               any corn because of the drought; no potatoes because of the bugs..
          2. Then said: “I played it safe!”
          3. Cannot be like this in our lives as Christians (cf. Eccl. 11:4).

A. To become a Christian requires faith.
          1. Necessity of faith (John 8:24; Rom. 10:9).
          2. Necessity of active faith (Jas. 2:17).
          3. Necessity of sacrificial faith (Matt. 16:24).
     B. This faith involves hazards and risks.
          1. Hazard of estrangement (Matt. 10:35-37; Lk. 14:26).
          2. Hazard of insecurity – some have lost jobs because they chose
          3. Hazard of contempt (Matt. 15:11; John 15:18; 1 John 3:13).
     C. Some who hazarded all to gain Christ.
          1. Paul (Phil. 3:7-8).
              i. Hazarded his friends; economic security; life – “all things.”
          2. Epaphroditus (text).
     D. Good reason for hazarding all for Christ (Matt. 5:12).
          1. Far greater risk in not becoming a Christian (Matt. 16:26).
          2. Rich young ruler (Mk. 10:17-22).

A. Faithful service may mean risking one’s life.
          1. Epaphroditus – took the Philippian’s gift to Paul while imprisoned
             at Rome.
          2. Paul often risked his life (2 Cor. 11:23-27; 1 Cor. 15:31; Rom. 8:36).
          3. Cf. David (1 Sam. 17).
               i. Risked his life to fight for the Lord.
     B. Faith, love and devotion often involve great hazards.
          1. Nurses; doctors, etc.
               i .Gr. paraboleuomai described those who tended the sick and
                  buried the dead in times of pestilence.
          2. Many willing to give their lives for others.
     C. To what extent will you jeopardize your life for Christ?
          1. To minister to the sick (Matt. 25:45).
          2. To preach in a hostile environment (Rom. 1:14).
     D. Reasons for hazarding our lives in service for Christ.
         1. Life is brief and uncertain (Acts 20:24).
         2. Lose it in service; gain it in eternity (Matt. 16:25).

A. Takes faith to venture liberally.
          1. Example from James (2:15).
          2. The Macedonians (2 Cor. 8:1-5).
          3. The poor widow (Mk. 12:41-44).
     B. Liberality involves risks and hazards.
          1. Risk of not supporting family (cf. 1 Tim. 5:8).
               i. Sometimes provide the whims and “necessities,” and give
                  God what is left.
          2. Risk of not providing for old age.
               i. Many more interested in Social Security than in eternal security!
              ii. Fine to prepare – but remember Matthew 6:19-21.
          3. Risk of missing some luxuries. Remember, we are soldiers (2 Tim. 2:3),
              and so life is sometimes hard.
     C. Must trust God and venture libererally.
          1. God dares us to be liberal and promises abundant
               blessings (cf. Mal. 3:10).
          2. Dares us to sow bountifully and promises a rich harvest (2 Cor. 9:6).
          3. Dares us to seek him first and promises blessings (Matt. 6:33).
     D. Reasons for venturing liberally.
          1. God’s promises are sure (2 Pet. 3:9).
          2. True riches are not material (1 Tim. 6:7).

CONCLUSION:  True faith is abandon to the will of God; it is signing your name on the “dotted line” and letting God fill in the terms. Faith that ventures will launch out (Lk. 5:4). Are you willing to risk for God?