Just Hearing God’s Word Is Not Enough!

Sermon Notes 12-27-20




Just Hearing God’s Word Is Not Enough! 


Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Col 1:21–23). 


  • Looking at this Scripture, it is speaking to those who have heard the Word of God and are saved. But notice at the hyphen, we see a condition that starts with the word “if.” This lets us know that what is stated previously is conditional upon the latter part of the Scripture.


The apostle states that we were not reconciled unto God, but due to Christ, we are and can be presented to the Father holy and blameless. But this is only if the condition is met. What is the condition? Do you see it? Consider it.


The condition speaks to that which occurs after one accepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior. What does it say? 


We must understand that not everyone who says they are Christian will enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said that! “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Mt 7:21). 


Paul said we would be presented to the Father holy and blameless, if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard. This adds a condition of uncertainty with many people in the church. On Sundays there is a gathering, but all are not saved. All are not grounded and steadfast.


I am going to say something that might be disturbing to some of you today. Not every one that says they are in the church is saved. Many people have heard the Word of God about salvation, and are happy to hear it, but they don’t do the Word of God. As a result, they are not saved! They will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 


In every church, there is wheat, and tares. There are the sheep and goats. Only the wheat and sheep will enter the kingdom.


That explains why you have so much sin happening in our churches today. That explains why church people can support policies that are clearly against the Word of God and justify their actions based upon a misunderstanding of Scripture that God does not require holiness.


Please listen. Our salvation is too precious for us to take it for granted. Philippians 2:12–13 (NKJV): 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. God is there to help you but you must present yourself to Him. Romans 12:1–2 (NKJV): 12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world,


The Word of God says we must continue in the faith grounded and steadfast if we desire any certainty that Christ will present us holy and blameless to the Father. We must be stable in our faithfulness in his word and service. We must continue as Mary in our diligence to God’s Word and Martha in our faithful presentation of our bodies to His service. This is a reasonable request in view of all God has done for us!


We must be grounded in his Word and steadfast in our service to him. We must realize in this God does not except excuses. It is not an either or situation. We are to continue in faith grounded and steadfast. Mean meaning consistent in our study of the word and our service to Him. 


If we look back over the past year, we can see that it has been an incredibly challenging year. It is not just for us as individuals, but God has been revealing to the world that he is still Lord and can shake the very foundations of nations with a simple microscopic virus. He can confound the wise with a simple mindless invisible infectious agent that does not discriminate against its victims.


Many of us have been challenged this year. The uncertainty of things that previously were certain: the economy, the weather, our politics, all things we were accustomed to were no longer the same. Everything is changing! 


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Many people with seemingly stable jobs lost them. Many businesses have gone under. Medical professionals initially told us that facial masks were ineffective at preventing the virus from infecting us. However, we were told later everyone should wear a mask even though they had said previously they were no good. Businesses were shut down: Churches were closed: Government officials pushed the boundaries of their authority. Even our elections became uncertain. God is reminding us that there is nothing certain except that he is still Lord. He is the one running the whole show!


We can have no certain idea of what is going to happen this evening or tomorrow. Things around us are changing. Many people started this year, showing no signs of sickness. They could one week be healthy as an ox and in just a few days they would be laid in the ground attacked  by a virus they didn’t even know they had. I always like to say there are  people who are dying today that have never died before.


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However, there is one thing we can be certain. God does not lie nor change. He is the same today as he was yesterday and will be the same tomorrow. That is one thing of which we can be confident. 


We can also be confident that as the Scripture we are studying tells us, we were once alienated and enemies in our mind by wicked works, but Christ reconciled us to God so that we may boldly go before his throne holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. Christ has done all the work for us!


No matter what our past is, we have been reconciled unto God, and if we do die in this life we can be sure, because of Christ and God’s unchangeability, we have a place prepared for us in his kingdom. No one can affect our status with him but us.


Therefore, in this uncertain and changing world, we have the certainty of God’s Word that we are justified by the work of Christ. No matter whatever else may change, our position with God will never change, and nothing can separate us from the love of God. 


Now, just as our God is certain to be the same as yesterday, today, and tomorrow, unchanging, and we are to be conforming daily to his image. There are certain things we are to do to become more like him. Certain things we are to do in which we are to become unchangeable just like him. Regarding the Scripture we are studying, there are two things I would have you to take note of today that say we, too, are to be unchangeable.


Vs 23 continue (meaning unchangeable) in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away (unchangeable) from the hope of the gospel


      • It is our responsibility to be steadfast in our service - meaning faithful; unchangeable. In our reasonable service to Him. The best way to remain steadfast is knowing…


      • It is our responsibility to be well-grounded in His Word.

Now let’s study these two summaries.


  • It is our responsibility to be steadfast in our service..


Let us consider what it means to be steadfast. From the Greek, it means not subject to change, or variation; it means firm; unchangeable. That means we must not waver, we must be steady, solid, in our commitment to the Lord. We have to stand fast to what we believe. We have a promise that goes along with that Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Co 15:58). 


Be able to change you from the word of God that you know! Don’t even let your politics change you from the word of God that you make excuses with the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees.


Unfortunately, some of us today are truly unstable. Unstable as water. We are not steadfast in our commitment to God. Flowing whichever way the general current is flowing. We are swayed according to the dictates of our environment like trees blowing in the wind. If the Broad Road people are screaming at us (which they will do), we will go along with what they say. We will go along to get along. Whichever way the wind blows, we go.


Not wanting to offend anybody, we just don’t speak at all. We fail to understand the words of Christ when he said, Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against Father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Lk 12:51–53). Serving God was never guaranteed to be popular. It was to be understood we would suffer persecution for serving Christ. And we were not to back down because of the wind and doctrines of men.


And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Pe 3:13–17). 


We have to be steadfast  in our service willing to stand for Christ when it is not considered politically correct. We cannot be lukewarm in our commitment to Christ.  “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Mt 10:32–33). 


The Word of God requires us to be steadfast in our service. If we expect the deliverance of the Lord in our times of trouble, we must be undeniably his as evident by our keeping his word. We cannot go along with the Word of God just when it is convenient, we have to be willing to stand and be steadfast in our service even when it is out of our comfort zone and inconvenient for us. We must stop coming up with excuses not to obey. We must be steadfast in the faith.


Understand that in times like these, when we experience inconvenience, God is testing us to see if we will remain steadfast in our service to Him.. If it’s raining, will you continue to go to church? If you have some difficulty in serving him, will you give up the cause? Will you give up serving because you have someone that challenges you?  When things don’t go the way you want them, do you step back? Do you find another church? God expects us to remain faithful and steadfast even when we don’t understand or don’t have a desire to.


Our faith is not easy! We travel on the Narrow Road. We have to be steadfast. We have to learn to turn the other cheek. We have to learn to love one another. We have to learn to be faithful in our assembling together.  We have to learn to respond in a kind way when others speak to us in demeaning ways. The Christian faith is not for the weak-hearted. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (Mt 11:12). We have to learn to stand against the forces of darkness when we would rather ignore them.


It is so sad that many Christians are not steadfast; they just go along with the crowd. Even though it goes against the written Word of God, and they come up with some unreasonable excuse so that they do not have to do what God’s Word says for them to do. I called every excuse unreasonable because if God is with you there are no excuses. Isn’t that what he told the people of faith in the Bible? If you’re not where I am with you. He is even more so with us today because of Christ. We should be able to say we can do all things because of Christ who strengthens us.  


I find it simply amazing that, rather than being steadfast, many of us are double-minded. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (Jas 1:7–8). Sometimes we don’t realize when we are siding with our friends or selecting our leaders; we are putting ourselves in a position against the Word of God. We make decisions based upon who we like or don’t like regardless to the policies they are promoting. God expects us to be steadfast and firm honoring his Word regardless of what the majority thinks is right! The reason many in the majority go wrong is that they have not studied the Word of God. They are on the Broad Road to destruction.


Many Christians are not steadfast but wishy washy and swayed to go this way or that way because they are immature children. They have not matured in the Word. They are …tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, (Eph 4:14). 


They have not studied or meditated upon the word they have heard. The Bible says Psalm 1:2–3 (NKJV): his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither;And whatever he does shall prosper. A person who is steadfast in God’s word, is as stable as a tree planet rivers of water.


To help you become stable in his word, He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (Eph 4:11–12). You need to make sure you are part of a church that teaches you to be steadfast. You need a leader that will not sway with the opinions and doctrines of men and one who encourages you also to keep the faith.


We must be steadfast in presenting ourselves to God for His service, or else we provoke God to anger. The Scripture says Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God, And did not keep His testimonies, But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. When God heard this, He was furious, And greatly abhorred Israel, (Ps 78:56–59). Don’t provoke God to anger by not being steadfast to confess him by the way you live. Don’t be ashamed of him or his gospel by hiding your actions of commitment to Him.


If you are not steadfast in service to Him, you will never grow to become all God intended for you to be. Just like a student in school who does not remain faithful to attend his classes will never be able to pass the course.


You have to be steadfast because it has been prophesied that in the last days, there will be those who will attempt to deceive you into following a doctrine that is not of Christ. There will even be people in the church who cause divisions and offenses. They are not concerned about the Word of God but as the Scripture says, For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. (Ro 16:18). Notice, they deceive the heart of the symbol. These are those who have not remain steadfast to be able to grow to maturity.


  • The best way to remain steadfast in service, is by Being Well-grounded in His Word. - if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, (Col 1:21–23).


The Greek here for the word “grounded” speaks to having a foundation that is well laid. This is what Jesus was talking about regarding the solid rock. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. (Mt 7:24–25). 


Grounded means that therefore build our lives according to the Word of God. It is not enough to hear the Word by going to church. We must live our lives according to the Word that we have heard. We must be doers of the Word. Deuteronomy 6:6–9 (NKJV): And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


To be grounded means to be knowledgeable of the Word, and not just the Word of salvation as many are aware. To be grounded means, you need to be able to hear the mature Word of God and not just simple spiritual messages. There is an expectation that you will mature in the Word of God that you have heard. This can only come about by you meditating on the Word you have heard. Don’t let your emotions be your guide, you need the sword of the spirit if you’re going to be victorious in this world.


In this Covid age, with the messages being available for you to refer to online at your leisure, over and over, there is no excuse not to be knowledgeable in the Word being taught. Even now, on our YouTube channel there are hundreds of messages that have been taught throughout the years to help you grow and mature in your knowledge of the word of God so that you will be well grounded and steadfast. The word of God does not change. Even old sermons are still good sermons today because God’s Word does not change. 


Consider all the time you spent studying for your profession to be proficient at it or the time you spend studying to get the knowledge you will use for your hobbies. You ought to spend the time in the Word of God because it is more profitable than anything else you can do with your time.


As you study the Word, if you are grounded and steadfast, it is expected that you are to in time be able to teach others. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (Heb 5:12). How many of you are now living up to that expectation? What things are you sharing on Facebook, Instagram, TickTock, Twitter, or other social media post? Are you proclaiming the word of God as God‘s witness? Perhaps you are still immature because you have not faithfully committed yourself to be grounded.


If you do not become grounded in the Word of God, you might find yourself ashamed when you realize all you could have done if you had been obedient to study. How do you know that you worship God correctly if all you ever do is allow someone else to tell you what you are to believe? Jesus said, because of ignorance, many people will go astray. He mentioned this on the cross when he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. It is also written My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Ho 4:6). Don’t let your ignorance of the word keep you from the precious promises God has made available to you.


You are to be grounded in the Word because  His Word is a lamp to our feet And a light to our path. (Ps 119:105). Just as your eye allows you to see where you’re going, the more in-depth the knowledge of the Word of God, the more you will be able to see with your spiritual eyes. God will give you revelation so that your pathway will be secured when you are on shaky ground.


Your knowledge of the Word of God will help you to understand things that others cannot understand. It will allow you to see things that are happening that others cannot see. 


You are to be grounded in the Word because the Word is the Sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians, 6:17). The more you know the Word, the more Satan avoids conflict with you! If you are not mature in the knowledge of the Word of God, you cannot experience here on earth, nor in heaven, the fullness of the capacity that God has intended for you. Satan will always attack you and rob you of those things you do not hold hidden in your heart, and you will have no defense for yourself. A child cannot fight for himself. All a child can do is cry.


Our spiritual maturity in God’s word determines our eternal, as well as earthly blessings. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 Jn 2). This reveals God’s will as being fulfilled according to the power that works in us, He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Eph 3:20). 


There is so much more for you to experience from God that depends on your spiritual growth. Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, (Ga 4:1). And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Ga 6:9). So much more awaits you as you mature being grounded in the Word.


This speaks to the power of the Word within us that matures us. Therefore, as newborn babes, we should desire the pure milk of the Word that you may grow thereby (1 Pe 2:2). The more we are grounded in the word the more we mature and are able to handle the mature blessings God wants us to have.


As we study God’s Word, we should not become disappointed when things do not happen according to our schedule. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (Jas 1:4). We should not become discouraged because God has said he is watching over his Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). 


We have to learn to be patient and wait on God’s schedule. Then we will see Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Pe 1:2–4). 


You are to be grounded because it also makes you steadfast! Think of a tree. The deeper its roots go, the more stable it is. The more in-depth your knowledge of the Word of God, the more stable your life is.


You are to be grounded in the Word because the Word is a seed, an imperishable seed that, once it is rooted in your heart, in the proper season, will come forth to accomplish and prosper in the thing that God planted it in you. God wants to do so many miraculous things for you, but it is contingent upon the power of God that is working in you (Isaiah 55:11; Ephesians 3:20).


God has a plan for us all. Whether that plan is implemented or not, depends on our continuing faithfulness in being grounded and steadfast in the Word of God.


We must do more than just hear the Word of God. We must do more than listen to a sermon or hear a preacher preach. We must do more than attend church now and then. We must become grounded and be steadfast in this unstable world that spins on its axis night and day and changes season after season. We must be stable, letting our lights shine without blinking as beacons in the night so men might see the way to truth and life. To do this, we must Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (KJV 2 Ti 2:15). 


If we want to survive and thrive in this world, we need to become more knowledgeable of the Word of God so that we will be grounded and steadfast and experience the promises of God here in this life as we are sure to do so in heaven.


I want to leave you with a final thought: if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are saved! You are in the presence of God now. God is with you because his name is Emmanuel. Now, if he is with you, wherever God is, is heaven. You, my brother and sister, if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are in heaven now because you’re in the presence of God. The only reason you don’t experience paradise is that you are not grounded in His Word and steadfast to His service so that the promises, exceeding great and precious promises of God, may come to pass in your life now.


Therefore I encourage you to continue in the faith grounded and steadfast. Do not be moved away from the hope of the gospel which you have heard. He is with you, and he who is with you is greater than he who is in the world against you. Now press on to attain that that for which Christ Jesus has prepared for you.


Hearing God’s Word Is Not Enough 

You must be Grounded and Steadfast!



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