The Power of a Few Faithful Words

Preached by Andrew Smellie, September 9, 2007

Paul made the most of his opportunity to share his faith with Felix and Drusilla.

Download audio
Jesus’ first words of his ministry proclaimed the good news . . . of REPENTANCE! In the same way, do our words confront sin with God’s righteousness, make people uncomfortable and concerned, and cause people to seek God or flee? These are the effects of the Jesus’ words and there are no more perfectly loving words than he spoke.

Ezra 9:15
“O LORD, God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”

So a few faithful words in response to Jesus would be: Yes and No. The words we speak in humility, in repentance, in gratitude and in obedience. But only if Jesus is Lord.
“The Power of a Few Faithful Words”
Preached by Andrew Smellie
Sunday, September 9, 2007

Matthew 12:36-37
• You will be held accountable for the things that you say.

Luke 7:1-10
• You ought to have a humble faith that even amazes Jesus.

John 12:48
• You ought to have an obedient faith – not to sin – but to righteousness.

Luke 22:31-32
• God is revealing to you where your faith truly is when you are tried and tested in your faith.

Malachi 3:6
• God does not change. God is the same.
Question: How consistent are you in your faith?
• The belief of relativism is the idea everyone is right according to his or her own beliefs.

Romans 10:17
• Words do matter. Words are very important.

Acts 24:24-27
Question: What are people going to say about faith in Christ Jesus?
• Righteousness and self-control are important.
• People in the world say that they will only go to church when it is convenient.
• Paul was on trial fighting to defend his faith.
• Paul laid Felix out.
• Imagine making your persecutor afraid of you.
Question: Do your words challenge people to change?

Mark 1:14
• The first thing that Jesus called people to do was to repent of their sins.
Question: Are you calling people to repent of the sin that put Jesus on the cross?
• So often we want to people please.
• We need to allow the Word of God to cut us.

1. Faithful words confront sin with righteousness.
• Paul was using that time to confront Felix.
• Paul was convinced and because of that he had conviction.
• Paul preached about righteousness.
• True righteousness is about what God thinks is right.

Ezra 9:15
• Because of God’s righteousness, we do not deserve to stand in His Presence.

Psalm 50:6
• The heavens proclaim how perfect God is.
• God is not just some ethereal being looking down on us as if we were ants.
• God wants to have a relationship with you.
• Unless you hate your sin, you are not going to want to change.

Romans 1:18
• What the world calls flirtation God calls adultery. (Matthew 5:27-28)
• Unless you are willing to be used and healed by God, you are hard-hearted.
• Felix was known as being excessively sinful.
Question: What is your sin?
• We are all wicked in our sin.
• Get open about your sin.
• Get convicted about your sin so that you can change.
• Self-control has to do with your conduct.
• If you are self-controlled, then you have a righteous heart.
• Felix was in trouble with Nero.
• Felix lost his decency, integrity and morality.
• In the world, we are not honest about where we are really at.
• Lying has now become a credibility gap.
• Adultery has become an affair.
• Stealing has become embezzlement.
• Sodomy has become an alternative lifestyle.
• God has one word to describe all of this: sin.

Galatians 6:7-8
• There was a price to pay for the sinful life that Felix lived.

John 1:29
• The cross.

Romans 6:5-23
• If you surrender your will, study the Bible with disciples of Jesus Christ, repent of your sins, decide to make Jesus Lord of your life and get baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, thus receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, then you can be united with God.
Question: Are you going to be humble enough so that you can be closer to God?

John 16:7-11
• We want to love so much that we people please.
• If we are disciples of Jesus Christ, then we have the Holy Spirit in us.
• Satan is the prince of the world.
Question: Are you allowing God to use you to convict people of their sins?

2. Faithful words make people uncomfortable and concerned.
• We have to be uncomfortable and concerned about our spiritual wellbeing.
• We do not like to be uncomfortable and concerned.
• Paul preached to people about the judgment to come.
• If people do not have a righteous fear of God, then they think that God’s grace will cover them.

Luke 16:19-31
• Hell is real.
• This time on earth may be the only heaven that people have.
• In hell, one has memory, remorse, unquenchable thirst, suffering, anger and an eternal separation from God.

Revelation 20:11-15
• Whatever Felix heard, that made him afraid.
• If we are not afraid of how powerful God is, then we will not be grateful of how good God is.
Question: How do you feel when you hear about righteousness?
Question: Do you have a righteous fear of God or have you become complacent?
• A humble heart is a heart that is willing to be used by God.

John 14:6

3. Faithful words cause people to either seek God or to flee.
• Felix was being convicted about his sin.
• He made a terrible and fateful decision.
• Neither Felix nor his wife ever came back to Paul because there was never a convenient time.
• It was the Word of God that convicted Felix, but it was the words from Felix’s own mouth that condemned him.
• Excuses can make you say that it is not convenient to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.
• Paul loved Felix enough to preach the Word of God to him.
• You got to be open about your life.
Question: Do you want to make Jesus Lord of your life?
Question: Are you willing to look your worst to be your best?
“The road of ‘By-and-by’ leads to the town of ‘Never.'” – Spanish proverb
• Trust that God will make it clear.

James 4:17
• There is no way to get to heaven without Jesus.
• If you only wait for a better time to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you are playing Russian roulette with your soul.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2
Question: What do you want to do about your relationship with God?
Question: If today in the great white throneroom of God, you were standing before the throne of God, then are you confident that your name would be in the Book of Life?

2 Thessalonians 1:6-12