A Faith That
Is Never Compromised
Based on a sermon by Wen Chuan Yeh—Pacifica/Sacramento, USA
Compromise: A way of reaching agreement in which each person or group
gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or dispute.
Based on this definition,
compromise seems to be quite positive. It helps us to end arguments and to live
together in harmony. In fact, we often need to compromise in our daily
life—with our colleagues, classmates, friends, and family members.
Some people pride themselves on
their ability to deal with different types of personality. This is indeed not
easily achieved, and society needs people who know how to compromise. But in
our faith, we cannot compromise.
Oh, that you would bear with me in a
little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband,
that I may present you as a
chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear,
lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may
be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who
comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you
receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel
which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
(2 Cor 11:1–4)
Paul reminds us here that we have
to be faithful to Christ. We can only have one God, just as we can only have
one spouse. In our faith, we must be devoted to this one true God and the only
true gospel, for only they can lead us to eternal life.
However, living in this world, we
often face many types of pressure, such as from our peers, our colleagues, or
even our family members. This pressure can cause us to compromise our faith.
The ancient saints, such as Moses,
Daniel, and Paul, also encountered such pressure. Even Jesus was faced with the
temptation to compromise. But we find that they did not succumb, no matter how
great the temptation. Even when their lives were threatened, they still held on
to their faith. So how did they handle such situations?
God had commanded Moses and Aaron
to lead the Israelites on a three-day journey into the wilderness to worship
God. Moses asked Pharaoh’s permission to leave with all the Israelites—men,
women, and children—together with their livestock.
But Pharaoh repeatedly tried to
negotiate with Moses: first, he tried to convince Moses to sacrifice to God in
the land (Ex 8:25); second, he allowed them to go, but not too far away (Ex
8:28); third, he permitted only the men to leave (Ex 10:11); and finally, he commanded
that they leave their livestock behind (Ex 10:24). Although Pharaoh was one of
the most powerful men in the ancient world, with the authority to kill anyone at
any time, Moses and Aaron insisted that not a single hoof should be left in
Egypt (Ex 10:26). The Israelites had to completely depart from Egypt, the land
of bondage. We do not know whether Moses and Aaron were afraid, but we do know
that they stood firm in upholding God’s instruction. They did not yield to fear
Likewise, we must not give in to
our weaknesses at the cost of God’s commandments. Sometimes we may feel
especially tired, and we tell ourselves that it is okay to skip service once.
But the following week, we might have the same excuse. Although this seems to
be a valid reason, we must have faith that God will bless us if we keep His
word and put Him above our own needs. Jesus Himself has set the example: during
His ministry on earth, there were times when He was very hungry or tired. Yet
He continued to preach the gospel, to heal, and to pray.
DANIEL AND HIS THREE FRIENDS
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with
the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank;
therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile
himself. (Dan 1:8)
When Daniel and his three friends
were taken captive to Babylon, they were given an education and a daily portion
of the king’s delicacies and wine. But the four young men determined not to eat
the king’s food, because it included things that were unclean according to the Law.
Although good things were placed
before them, they did not compromise. Instead, they only ate vegetables and
drank water. Yet God took care of them so that they were healthy and beautiful
in appearance. God also gave them wisdom, which exceeded ten times that of the Babylonian
scholars. Today, if we do not compromise in our faith, God will look after us.
There was a member in the United
States who used to work at a hotel. Most hotels require their staff to work on Saturdays.
Not long after he came to believe, he was laid off. While he was job hunting,
he had many opportunities. But the jobs offered to him required him to work on
Saturdays. Since he knew the importance of the Sabbath, he declined these
One year passed. He still could
not find a job that did not require him to work on Saturday. Some people might start
to panic in such a situation. But this brother continued to hold on to God’s
commandment and did not compromise his faith.
After a year and a half, he found
a job that allowed him to keep the Sabbath. The salary was already quite good,
but three weeks into his new job, his employer told him that he had
miscalculated his salary—he was given a pay raise! If we truly hold on to our
faith, we will honor God as number one. And even though it seems as if we are
losing out sometimes, God will take care of us.
Later on, Daniel’s three friends
were faced with the threat of execution if they did not bow down to the image King
Nebuchadnezzar had made (Dan 3:13–15). This was a life or death situation. If
they bowed down and worshiped the golden image, their lives would be preserved.
But if they did not, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace to be burned
If we were in their shoes, would
we bow down and worship? Maybe we would pray to God, “Lord, I will just worship
this once and then never do it again. I am very reluctant, but there is just
too much pressure.”
Although their lives were at stake,
Daniel’s three friends insisted that they would not worship the image, because
they feared God (Dan 3:16–18). They believed that the God whom they worshiped
would deliver them from death, and even if they were to die in the burning
furnace, they would accept their fate. Their resolve was unshakeable.
They were thrown into the furnace,
but God protected them and they suffered no harm. Their clothes did not even
smell of smoke. If we fear God, we would not compromise our faith, even when
threatened with death.
During Paul’s ministry, there were
people who preached that Christians also needed to be circumcised and keep the Law
of Moses to be saved. Many Jewish believers, some of whom were very influential,
agreed with this concept. But Paul openly withstood them, because he knew that
this was contrary to the truth. He debated with the Jewish converts who tried
to teach the brethren in Antioch that circumcision and the Mosaic Law were
necessary for salvation (Acts 15:1–5). He also rebuked Peter for being
hypocritical and not eating with the Gentile brethren when the Jewish converts
were around (Gal 2:11–16).
Although these were his brethren
and kinsmen, Paul did not keep quiet or compromise just to maintain peace or to
please everyone. Instead, he stood up for the truth and preached the gospel of
salvation until he breathed his last, because he knew that only the truth can
save souls (cf. Gal 5:1–12; Tit 1:10–16; Acts 28:30–31).
After Jesus had fasted for forty
days and nights, Satan came to tempt Him. At that time, Jesus was physically
weak. When we are hungry and tired, our willpower is also weakened. The devil
offered Jesus solutions to satisfy His hunger and tempted Him with wealth and
fame. Yet Jesus did not compromise. Instead, He resisted the devil with the
word of God (Lk 4:1–13), for He knew that Satan would
only draw Him away from God.
A FAITH THAT IS NEVER COMPROMISED
Both Jesus and the ancient saints in
the examples above were faced with great pressure either from the people around
them or from the circumstances they were in. Yet they did not compromise their
faith, because they feared God and firmly believed in His word. Today, how can
we stand as firm in our faith as they did?
Through God’s Word
When Jesus was tempted, He
resisted Satan with the word of God. Although the temptations were great, He
firmly withstood them because He had God’s word in His heart. Likewise today,
our faith has to be established on and be rooted in the word of God.
To achieve this goal, we need to
diligently study the word of God through attending services and daily Bible
reading. Sometimes, this can be challenging, especially in today’s fast-paced
society where everyone is so busy. Hence, we must be self-disciplined. Set
service attendance and personal spiritual nurture as priorities in your daily
life; make them must-dos on your schedule, as you would your daily meals and
going to work or school.
As we learn God’s word, we must
remain prayerful, humble our hearts, and seek to truly understand what God
wants to teach us through His word. Only then can the truth take root in our
hearts; only then can we bear fruits for the Lord; only
then can we resist the pressure that the world puts on us to compromise our
Throughout His ministry on earth,
Jesus spent much time in prayer. Before He was tempted, He fasted and prayed in
the wilderness for forty days and nights. Hence, when Satan tried to tempt Him,
Jesus remembered the word of God and could use it to resist the devil.
Daniel was a prayerful person too.
The Bible tells us that he prayed three times daily, even when the king had
decreed that nobody should petition any god or man for thirty days. When Daniel
did not comprehend the prophecies and visions he received, he prayed for
understanding from God (Dan 2:17–23; 9:20–23).
Today, we may be studying the
Bible or learning the word of God through sermons. But if we do not pray, we
may not be able to understand or remember God’s word.
[N]o one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Cor 2:11)
The guidance of the Holy Spirit is
key to understanding and being inspired by God’s word (Jn 16:13). Therefore, we
must pray continually and ask the Lord to reveal the truth to us. If we meditate
on God’s word in our prayers, He will open our spiritual eyes to know His will
and give us the strength to practice His word.
By Practicing God’s Word
Once we know the word of God, we
need to put it into practice. Just as Paul stood up for the truth when it was
challenged (cf. Acts 15:1–5; Col 2), we too must stand up for our faith. Then, we
will experience the Lord’s grace and be strengthened even more in our faith.
In our life of faith, we need to
constantly draw near to God, immersing ourselves in His word and praying more in
the Spirit. If we seek Him with all our heart, let His Spirit and word dwell in
us richly, and become doers of the truth, we will never lack in personal
experiences with the Lord.
These experiences will in turn strengthen
our faith and trust in Him. His Spirit and word will grant us spiritual wisdom
and courage so that we can truly know whom we have believed in and stand firm
in our faith until the very end.