Overcoming Obstacles to a Living Faith -- By: Ned L. Mathews

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 14:2 (Spring 1997)
Article: Overcoming Obstacles to a Living Faith
Author: Ned L. Mathews

Overcoming Obstacles to a Living Faith

Ned L. Mathews

Parkwood Baptist Church 1729 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC 28054
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC 27587

Sermon preached in Binkley Chapel
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC, March 30, 1995

As I share the Word with you today, please open your Bibles to the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, chapter 5. It is that great epistle, along with the Epistle of Romans, that sparked the Protestant Reformation.

Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Behold, I, Paul, say unto you that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that he’s indebted to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace. For we through the spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. (Gal. 5:1–6)

Some years ago in a special conference on Sunday school growth in Orlando, Florida, I had the opportunity to car pool with others to the various functions of the conference. One day at noon we went to a nearby mall to eat lunch in a cafeteria. On the ride over I happened to be sitting on the passenger side of the automobile as we moved into the right lane to enter the mall property. Glancing into the side-view mirror, I noticed a big “eighteen wheeler” bearing down on us and moving into the lane to the left of us. As it came alongside us, I said to the driver of our car, “You know, I think that truck is going to hit us. In fact, I’m sure he’s going to hit us.” I have no idea what that driver was thinking about, but as he neared the automobile in which we were riding, he began to move into our lane as if we were nonexistent. He hit the driver’s side of our car and began to

crush it against the curb. Of course all of us, including the driver, “abandoned ship.” The truck totaled our car, leaaving it at the curb looking like an accordian. He then left the scene as if nothing had happened.

No one was hurt in that accident, but I still remember the feeling of encountering an overwhelming obstacle, an obstacle that could have been highly destructive to our lives. It is also a terrible thing to know that when we are facing obstacles in the spiritual world, we can lose more than our physical lives; we can lose our spir...

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