By Brian A. Yeager
A. Defining our terms:
1. The term “superficial” means: “1 a (1) : of, relating to, or located near a surface (2) : lying on, not penetrating below, or affecting only the surface superficial wounds b British, of a unit of measure : square superficial foot 2 a : concerned only with the obvious or apparent : shallow b : seen on the surface : external c : presenting only an appearance without substance or significance” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superficial).
2. By faith we are talking about God’s definition of the term (Hebrews 11:1), and the practice/actions of faith (Colossians 1:4).
3. By speaking of people of superficial faith, I am not saying they are entirely fake, faithless, and hopeless, but rather that their faith is very shallow (i.e. Matthew 16:1-11).
B. Actions, that appear to be of the faith; are sometimes just a pretentious, outward show, without any depth (Deuteronomy 5:22-29).
1. Superficial faith, if not repented of, won’t last (Hosea 6:4).
2. When tested, those of superficial faith fail (Luke 8:13).
II. Body: Is Your Faithfulness Shallow (Psalms 1:1-6)?
A. Your faith must have depth to survive (Mark 4:3-6).
1. You have to be rooted and grounded (Ephesians 3:17 and Colossians 2:5-7).
2. Being rooted and grounded in the faith means you are “stablished” [stable] (Colossians 2:7).
B. Putting on the “face” [makeup, outward appearance] of faith (Matthew 23:25-28), will only get you so far (II Timothy 3:1-9).
1. Superficiality is often rooted in self-deception (Galatians 6:3).
2. You have to honestly look within yourself to know (II Corinthians 13:5).
3. If you’re only spiritually “skin deep”, make a choice (Revelation 3:14-19).
4. Understand that little faith, if you have any at all, can grow if you choose to really be converted (i.e. Peter who went from little faith, denying Jesus, etc. to a faithful man able to be an elder - Matthew 14:22-33, Matthew 26:69-75, Luke 22:31-32, Galatians 2:11-17, and I Peter 5:1-4).
C. Those who want to be superficial do not belong among the congregation of the righteous (Ephesians 5:25-27; cf. Ecclesiastes 9:18).
1. To be an effective member in the congregation you cannot be shallow, easily moved (Ephesians 4:14-16).
2. When the superficial is exposed (Luke 6:43-45), the righteous congregation will take proper action (II Thessalonians 3:6; 14-15).
3. If not exposed in this life, the Lord will sort it out (I Timothy 5:24-25).
D. The Lord knows us (John 2:23-25).
1. You cannot put on a face and fool the Lord (I Chronicles 28:9 and Hebrews 4:13).
2. Ultimately, regardless of the face we wear among people (Jeremiah 17:9-10), the Lord will judge us as we really are (Romans 2:16).
III. Conclusion: Don’t be superficial, be planted, abiding and fruitful in Christ (John 15:1-8).
© 2017 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager