Preached by Rev Ivan Foster at the 40th anniversary of Armagh Free Presbyterian Church on 15th October 2005
Scripture: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage,” Galatians 5:1.
Stream or download The stand of the Free Presbyterian Church
The words “stand fast” in our text and in other exhortations of Paul which are similar to this, simply mean “to maintain one’s position, to persevere.”
That is something that those who profess to possess the everlasting truth of the gospel would certainly be expected to be engaged in.
The position of a church on current issues and matters of importance should be known. In order for that knowledge to be kept before the minds of both the friends and the enemies of the FPC, it must be stated clearly and often.
I would wish to do that tonight.
I. THE PEOPLE OF GOD ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE A STAND.
The Christian is not like Gallio. “Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things,” Acts 18:17. He was indifferent to matters relating to the kingdom of Christ having no interest in them whatsoever.
1. The debt we owe to Christ should stir us to take a stand for Christ. “If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” That ought to be our motivation in life.
2. The desire to disassociated ourselves from His enemies requires us to take a stand for Christ. “Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him,” Exodus 32:26. “In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them,” Obadiah 1:11. 1 Kings 18:21.
3. The grace of God within us will require that we stand. Gen 3:15. Gal 5:17.
II. THE STAND THAT MUST BE TAKEN IS CLEARLY SET FORTH IN GOD’S WORD.
1. HOW – It is a one of complete separation from sin, the world and the devil. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:17. A touch brought contamination under the law. It is still so today.
2. WHEN – It is required whenever the standards of God have been violated. Ephesians 5:11; 2 Thess 3:6, 14-15; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 2 John 10-11.
3. WHERE – It is required that we stand unashamedly with Christ. That means upholding His teaching on the matter. Hebs 13:9, 13. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isaiah 8:20. “Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me,” Exodus 32:26.
III. SUCH A STAND WILL BRING REPROACH
It cannot be avoided. Hebs 13:13. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake,” Matthew 5:11. “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” Matthew 10:25. Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 4:4, 14, 16.
IV. TO STAND FOR CHRIST HERE MEANS THAT WE WILL STAND WITH CHRIST IN GLORY.
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels,” Mark 8:38.
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us,” 2 Timothy 2:12.
“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” Hebrews 11:25-26.