Confirmation In the Gospel

February 19, 2021

Confirmation in the Gospel

By Russell George

Confirmation doesn’t mean the same thing to all of us. For some it is a sacrament in the church. In our Bible we don’t read anything about sacraments. In Philipians 1:7 we find the word “confirmation.” “Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.”

To be confirmed in the gospel, means to be so convinced that the gospel is true that nothing will move us from it. The gospel is the good news that Christ died for our sins and that if we put our faith in him God will forgive us of our sins, and make us a child of his. If we are confirmed in the gospel, we have no doubts about it. Nothing that anyone says or that we read will convince us otherwise.

The word also means to establish. When a farmer sets a post in the ground, he tamps the dirt around it as he throws it in. He wants it to be established so that when he drives staples in it so it won’t move. If the post has been treated with creosote, he can have good reason to think that it will be there the rest of his life. In Acts 16:5 we read about churches being established in the faith. “And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.” To be establish in the faith includes more than the gospel. It includes all the truth we find in the Bible. It means that the time will never come when someone will come along and convince them to believe something contrary to the truth they have received.

God wants his people to be confirmed in the gospel. That means there will never come a time when we cast off our faith in the gospel and start believing something contrary.

It is doubtful that we will ever be confirmed in the gospel unless we have accepted the Bible as the Word of God. II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” God’s Word never changes. A faithful and honest interpretation of it shouldn’t change either. The gospel is based on what we read in the Bible.

The longer we live the Christian life the more we are confirmed in it. It becomes our way of life. We feel comfortable with it. We enjoy the benefits of it. We grow in our love for the Lord and look for ways to please him.

We are also confirmed in the gospel by faithful church attendance. There we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word by means of the teaching and preaching we hear. We build relationships with other Christians in the church who strengthen us. In the church, we find opportunities to serve the Lord and use our talents. We start sharing the gospel with others. We spend time with those we win to Christ and help them be confirmed in the gospel.

It is thrilling to read church history and read of others who were confirmed in the gospel to the point that persecution didn’t turn them away from it. Some even paid the supreme sacrifice of giving their life rather than turn from the faith. Fox’s Book of Martyrs tells the thrilling story of multitudes who remained faithful. Some chose to let them chop off their heads. Others were burned at the stake. Polycarp was one of the early martyrs of the Christian faith. When he had to make a decision between being burned at the stake or denying Christ he said, “Eighty six years I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior?” He was burned at the stake. Even today, in Communist and Muslim countries, Christians are proving that they are confirmed in the gospel to the point that they are willing to suffer persecution rather than deny their Lord.

Where are you in regard to being confirmed in the gospel? Are you better established than you were a year ago at this time? What are you doing to be more confirmed in the gospel?

I became a Christian when I was 18 years old. I can’t recall any time when I even gave any thought to turning my back on it. It has been such a rewarding experience that I never want to leave it. I’m sure I have neglected many opportunities to be more established in the faith. I’m sure there are many Christians who have a closer walk with the Lord than I do, but I can’t imagine that the time will ever come when I will consider breaking off my relationship with the Lord. If you have never trusted in Christ for salvation. I strongly urge you to do so. You will never regret it.

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