5 Step In Moving Forward As A Christian

We are currently in a 5-week study through the book of James in our Sunday Morning Services. I love preaching through books of the Bible and the book of James is one of my favorites. As you may know the book of James was written by a very influential pastor (James the pastor at Jerusalem) during an important transitional period in church history.

The Messiah had ascended and sent the Holy Spirit, Churches were sprouting up all over the Roman Empire and Revival was the word of the day. Yet with all the good came some bad. The church had some major problems that were keeping her from moving forward for Christ. Their spiritual immaturity and lack of knowledge was holding them back from God’s best. It was during this time that James wrote his letter to the 12 tribes scattered abroad. What can we learn from this book?

1. A Patient Christian Moves Forward – (August 5 @ SHBC)

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. – James 1:2-4

According to James we will never be able to move forward as Christians if we never learn patience and we will never learn patience aside form Trials and Temptations. Therefore, we are to consider it a joy to enter into the next level of the Christian life through trials and difficulties. Yet, we are not left hopeless for James tells us that we can ask the Lord for wisdom to understand the trials we are facing.

2. A Practicing Christian Moves Forward – (August 12 @ SHBC)

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
– James 2:17-18

In Chapter 2 we learn that true faith is working faith. I have met attorneys who are gifted in their field but are not practicing. I know doctors who can heal the sick but are not practicing. Yet even more tragic than this is that we all know Christians who are not practicing Christianity. It is their practice to ignore the tenants of their faith and ignore the importance of living out their faith in the sight of others. This is why a Practicing Christian moves forward in his faith.

3. A Polite Christian Moves Forward – (August 19 @ SHBC)

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, howgreat a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, aworld of iniquity. – James 3:5-6

James nails it is chapter 3 as he mentions what I have noticed to be one of the greatest hindrances to Christians moving forward. We can’t keep our big mouths shut. Why is it that we always feel as if we have to say something negative? More than once I have had to deal with a conflict in the church that would have never arisen if a dear man or woman in the church was able to bridle the tongue. There are pastors who wonder why this is happening at epidemic rates in churches today and it may be because our sheep are following their shepherds. We always seem to have a critical word for the pastor across town.

4. A Praying Christian Moves Forward – (August 26 @ SHBC)

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust,and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: yefight and war, syet ye have not, because ye ask not. – James 4:1-2

I just finished reading Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds and was reminded once again that no Christian let alone preacher will ever have power without a prayer life. What is holding back the church today. A lack of time with God. This is keeping us from truly moving forward.

5. A Prioritized Christian Moves Forward – (September 2 @ SHBC)

In Chapter 5 James lists several things that often get out of order and thereby hold us back from moving forward. If we allow money, personal grudges or illness to become more important then the priorities that God has establish in our lives we will truly be doomed to sadness and misery on this earth. Relationship with God, First. Relationship with our Spouse, second. Relationship with our kids, third. These are our priorities followed up by ministry and profession n fourth and fifth place.

James desired that the church in his day would move forward. Let’s not wish for yesterday and criticize today while fearing tomorrow. I see this time and time again in the conversations I have with both laymen in the pews and with pastors in the lectern. Moving forward is not even desired by many but instead many would like to cling to the past. But for those who do desire to move forward in their Christian life, follow the outline of the book of James and heed his warnings about a church that needed to move forward.

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  • Reply
    akeem smith
    September 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Southern Hills Baptist church is the greatest church in the world not because of the facility or building but because of the working of God in the building. Praise the Lord for what He is doing through Pastor Teis at SHBC.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Akeem! We are so proud of you and look forward to seeing what God has for you and your awesome ministry!

  • Reply
    Kayla Tillman
    October 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I’m so thankful the Lord has led my family to Southern Hills! God has blessed us so much in the just the two years that we’ve been there. It is so encouraging to see your pastor so rooted in God’s Word and so prepared to deliver His message! I love this church!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      October 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Kayla! you and your mother have been a tremendous blessing to our church and we continue to pray for you as you continue to serve him at West Coast! Keep up the good work

  • Reply
    Benjamin pouroju
    August 31, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Praise the lord pastor josh teis
    I am verymuch blessed by reading your message: forwading in christianlife.
    may god fill you with the heavenly messages to the people.
    MayGod bless you.

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