How Should Christians Stand up for Their Faith?

How Should Christians
Stand up for their Faith?
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
April 3rd, 2015
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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How Should Christians Stand up for their Faith?

Matthew 7:16-20
You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.

In the days, months and years after Jesus’ death, it would have been a difficult time to stand up for your faith.  It would be tough to deal with enemies like the Pharisees and the Sadducees who would scrutinize everything the disciples did.  And the truth is, it can be a real challenge for us as well.

Many times, our actions are scrutinized, even today.  When people know we are Christians, they may think “Oh he’s a Christian but he’s divorce,” or “He’s a Christian?  But he drinks!”…”Do you know what he does on Friday nights? He goes and has fun!”

And when you know your life is going to be scrutinized it can difficult to stand up or even admit your faith.

Furthermore, with all of the slander that Christians face in the public media and on social sights these days, it’s extremely difficult to respond in a way that glorifies God.  

I love that we live in a country where we have freedom of speech, but the problem is, social media has given everyone who wants a soapbox and a bullhorn to announce their opinion, the ability to do it by simply getting their phone out, logging on and they are free to send their opinion out to the entire world.

And when people do this, it is tempting to fire back and them and tell them just what we think and how they are wrong.  It is tempting to join in sharing our opinions and stances with the world on top of our Facebook soap box.  But this is not glorifying to God.

Needless to say it is a challenge to stand up for your faith in this day and age…and to do it in a way that glorifies God.

So, how Should Christians Stand up for their Faith?
1. Live according to His word

In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

We should let our light shine by being generous, being loving, and being positive.  That is to say, that we do not let the things of the world get us down, but instead we remain hopeful by faith in Jesus and not of things of the world.  When we live this way, our light shines and darkness cannot overcome light of Jesus that shines within us (John1:1-5).

There is no amount of darkness that can overcome even the smallest amount of light.  However, we can extinguish our own flame and we can hide our own light through hate, anger, and lack of compassion.

That is why we, as Christians, need to be careful how we use social media.  Because if we start using social media as a soapbox…to just broadly lob out our opinions and such, then even though we are not personally attacking someone to their face, people still feel attacked.   They feel the same way we feel, when we our friends post articles and opinion pieces that attack Christians.

And this is not how you spread love… this is not how you spread compassion…this is not how you show your hope in Jesus Christ. 

So, instead of turning to soap boxes, we just need to make sure we are living according to his word and letting his light shine through us.  And spreading his love by creating relationships and loving one another.

2. Grow in our knowledge of Him

"but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you."
I Peter 3:15

We all know that we are supposed to grow in knowledge.  But really this means more than just knowing what things are sins and what things are not.  It means more than just knowing how to be saved. It means that we need to know more than just the “What’s” of Christianity, but we also need to know the “Why’s.”

So when someone asks us “Why is this a sin?”  We can respond by first explaining what sin is, why it separates us from God, and why we need Jesus to get back on track.  We need to be able to have real conversations with people and give them real answers and in this way we can defend our position.

Again, our conversations and defenses need to be one on one with people who we have established relationships with.  We don’t need to go these public forums, and drop truth bombs and looking for fights.  Instead we need to create relationships with people and when these topics come up then we can discuss them intelligently and lovingly.

When we get into these public debates and arguments, then we are no longer having a conversation with a friend out of love and compassion, instead we are getting into a fight with someone…but our fight is not with them.

Ephesians 6:12
12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 

We have to remember, our battle is not with people!!  Our battle is not with those who are on soap boxes calling Christians stupid, and racist.  Please understand me very clearly…We are not in a battle with them, in fact they are the ones who we are trying to help. And you do not help people by getting into a fight with them, you help people by loving them. Our battle is with spiritual forces of evil in the heavens not with mankind.

3. Repeat

Now, this point may seem a bit obvious but here is why this is our final point.  Sometimes we start off with the best of intentions.  We aren’t getting on our soapbox, we are living as we should be living, we are having our conversations one on one.

But then someone says something, whether on Facebook or in person or maybe we are watching TV with our friends and somebody on TV says something and then next think you know, almost as an automatic response we say “Well that’s just ridiculous, I can’t believe they said that.  That’s just not right.”  And we end up just spewing out opinion or maybe even truth…but we are doing it in a non-loving, non-compassionate, know it all, self-righteous, judgmental kind of way.

Here is what we have to remember, just as Jesus came not to condemn the world, but rather to save it (John 3:17), we should not condemn the world but rather we should point people to Jesus, so that the world might be saved through him.

Our goal should be to point people to Jesus…plain and simple, and we do that through love and living according to his word.  It’s easy to get drawn off the path and this is why this step is included.

While Facebook, Instagram and social media can be useful ways to create relationships and even to let your light shine, it can also be very damaging to your witness.

It’s very tempting to put our opinions and views out there and it’s very tempting to tell the world how wrong they are and how right Jesus is.  But remember, even though it feels like we aren’t attacking anyone personally, when we just put opinions out there, people will take it personally.

Here is the thing, if we are standing up for our faith the way we should, it will produce good results.  If we aren’t then it’s going to produce sour fruit…hate, bitterness, and anger.

Matthew 7:16-20
You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.

So as you are about to stand up for your faith, ask the question “What kind of fruit is this going to produce…will it produce something good?  Or will it produce something harmful?”

Are you standing up for your faith?
And are you doing it in such a way, that it will produce good fruit?
Remember, live your life according to scripture, and let your love, your compassion, and your hope in Jesus shine bright, and if we do, the darkness will not overcome.  


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