Essentials of Effective Faith

As a follower of Jesus Christ, how should my life look? What should be the essentials of how I live and serve my Lord?

Simon Peter wrote his epistles to the dispersed and scattered believers of the first Christian century.

As he neared the end of his first letter, Peter encouraged the church in the last days to do four things. These four areas constitute essentials of effective faith (1 Peter4:7-11).

First, Peter encouraged believers to pray. Peter saw this as the foundation for every believer.

By praying they would gain wisdom and direction from God. Peter, no doubt, thought of Jesus who prayed, “Our Father, who art in heaven . . .“ A quick reading of the gospels shows that Jesus spent much time in prayer. For example, before he picked the twelve He spent all night in prayer. Our faith needs the same diligence and fervency in prayer.

Our prayer life is our connection to God‘s desire for our hearts. We must be people who pray.

Second, the ardent follower of Christ will be a person who demonstrates love in an unfailing manner.

Peter reminded those believers that love is above all else. This is exactly what Paul had said, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love“ (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Paul also said that love binds all the other virtues together.

Third, Peter encouraged the early church to practice hospitality and to do so without grumbling. Practicing hospitality referred to the practice of taking in Christian preachers, missionaries, and evangelist in order that they might travel to do the work of ministry. Without practicing hospitality some commentators believe that the Christian church could never have grown as it did. Thus, practicing hospitality was as much an evangelistic tool as simply a place to stay. It was a vital part of Christian faith.

Notice how important attitude is. Peter called on those early believers to practice hospitality and to do so without grumbling. This remains an important part of our service to God.

Fourth, Peter dealt with using our gifts for the glory of God. We all have gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit. This is how the church carries out its ministry. These gifts should be used to the glory of God. Peter wanted those believers to give their all for ministry. He wanted them to use their gifts to the fullest.

When we do these four things the church expands and God is glorified.

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One Comment


  1. Frank Shaw
    Aug 13, 2018

    One of the best sermons I’ve heard. Hit home in a lot of respects and I’ve already shared it’s message several times.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. — Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV)