07 May 2017

True faith

On May 7 in “Philadelphia” church in Izhevsk on Sunday services the congregation remembered heroic acts of those who gave their lives more than 70 years ago so that today we would live in a free country under peaceful sky. Such acts of bravery could not but remind us of our Savior Jesus Christ – the same way He did not have compassion for Himself and gave His life for every person who lives in this world so that everyone who believes in Him would have eternal life.

This topic of self-pity was brought up by Ilias Mukhametdinov on the second Sunday service. He reminded an unusual dialog between Jesus and Peter that took place shortly before Jesus’s crucifixion, “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”(Mathew 16:22,23). Turns out that such a small thing as compassion to yourself holds serious temptation which can lead to sin – refusal to bear one’s cross. Christ commanded us to follow Him having denied ourselves, our ego and having taken up our cross (Mathew 16:24). If we don’t do that and feel sorry for ourselves then we are trying to save our souls but the Lord said clearly, «For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it» (Mathew 16:25).

Alexey Obukhov talked about faith in his sermon. Faith is something that we should watch constantly so that it is established and firm. Some difficulties can come into our lives that can shatter our faith and in this case, we need to hear the word that can strengthen us. We see such example in the ministry of the apostle Paul: when the church in Thessalonica started to experience serious difficulties, he sent Timothy to them so that he could support and console local believers (1 Thessalonians 3:1-5). In hard times our faith becomes fragile, we may start to doubt, like Christ’s disciples, when He fell asleep in a boat during a storm (Luke 8:22-25). That’s why when we go through some difficulties in life, we should keep in mind that He is with us and to keep our trust in God and not to rely on our own righteousness, like a Pharisee from Jesus's parable who though that he was more acceptable before God than a sinful tax-collector who was even afraid to raise his eyes to heaven (Luke 18:10-14). However, it is written that the tax-collector went home justified, but not a pharisee. The tax-collector had nothing to rely on except God’s grace. The same way we should seek for God’s, to seek for His presence in our life amidst storm. This very thing makes our faith true and not fake.

Dilyara Porseva


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12 May 2017
The birthday of Senior Pastor of "Philadelphia" church in Izhevsk

07 May 2017
True faith