Putting Suffering in its Place

Dr. Steve Viars March 29, 2020 Romans 8:18-30
Outline

3 undeniable realties to guide us through suffering

I. We Know that Suffering Is Temporary

Romans 3:26 - …for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

“A Christ-centered, grace-based approach to sanctification that rightly accounts for the significance of our union with Christ will accomplish much more than a man-centered, fear based legalistic model ever will.”

Romans 7:15 - For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

Romans 7:19 - For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

Romans 7:24 - Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

A. When compared to our future glory in Christ

Romans 8:18 - For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

1 John 3:2-3 - Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 - Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison…

B. While contemplating the anxious longing of creation

Romans 8:19-21 - For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Genesis 3:17-19 - Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

“Apokaradokia (anxious longing) is an especially vivid word that literally refers to watching with outstretched head, and suggests standing on tiptoes with the eyes looking ahead with intent expectancy. The prefix apo adds the idea of fixed absorption and concentration on that which is anticipated. The creation is standing on tiptoes, as it were, as it waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” (John MacArthur, Romans 1-8, p. 452)

C. Because we are choosing to make the right calculation about our present struggles

Romans 8:18 - For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

1 Peter 1:6-7 - In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…

II. We Know Suffering Has a Source

“groan – stenazo – the utterances of a person who is caught in a dreadful situation and has no immediate prospect of deliverance” (John MacArthur, Romans 108, p. 457)

A. The creation groans

Romans 8:22 - For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,

And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let all their songs employ

While fields and floods, rocks, hill, and plains repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sin and sorrow grow nor thorns infest the ground:

He comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove

The glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love,

And wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of his love.

B. We groan too

Romans 8:23 - And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

C. Amazingly, even the Holy Spirit groans

Romans 8:26 - In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words…

D. And God has provided the perfect antidote

Romans 3:23-26 - …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

1. For the glorious proclamation of the gospel

2. For the glorious opportunity to be submissive to our government and healthcare leaders

cf. 1 Peter 1-2

3. For glorious acts of Christ-like service

III. We Know Suffering Has a Purpose

A. God causes all things to work together for good

Romans 8:28 - And we know that God causes all things to work together for good…

Genesis 50:20 - As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

B. For those who meet the conditions

Romans 8:28 - And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

C. The marvelous product

Romans 8:29 - For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren…

D. The perfect plan

Romans 8:30 - …and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

- have you ever been in a situation where you just needed to get your bearings?...

- I know this is hard for some of our younger listeners to imagine, but there was a day when we couldn’t just turn on the GPS on our personal cell phones, and know exactly where we were or exactly how to get where we wanted to go…you had to figure out a way to get your bearings…

- if you have parents or grandparents in the room with you right now – they could tell you that dynamic created occasional tension between the genders…

- because one gender…ahem…sometime had trouble stopping and…(say it with me ladies)…asking for directions…

- and I realize even that phrase requires explanation…because in the olden days…we would actually stop and ask complete strangers for directions…seriously…

- you would walk into a gas station…and ask the attendant how to get somewhere…and it wasn’t uncommon for other customers to join right in…sometimes arguing about how many stops lights you had to go before you turned right…it was maddening…

- because all you were trying to do was to find your bearings…to help you identify where you were and where you needed to go…

- have you ever been lost because you couldn’t find your bearings?...

- maybe you were out fishing on an unfamiliar lake…and the walleye were really hitting that evening…and you keep moving along the shoreline because they had come in to feed as the sun was setting…

- and now it’s time to head back to the camp…and you can’t really tell how far you’ve come…or even what direction…

- and you’re looking around to sight a familiar rock, or tree, or island…you’re trying to find your bearings…

- have you ever been lost in a foreign country?...many of you remember Sacha Mendes from Brazil

- I first met Sacha when he translated for me at a conference and he eventually came with his wife Anna to be part of our first seminary cohort…

- one of the times I was there, we spoke at a conference and then we stayed at Sacha’s parents’ home for a night before traveling to our next speaking engagement…

- so, I woke up and Sacha’s mom was preparing breakfast but said it would be a while, so I had time to go out for a run…

- so, my Garmin watch works anywhere in the world…which has always amazed me…

- and I’ve never used it for maps or anything like that…I don’t know if it even has the feature…I just use it to tell me distance and time…

- So ideally, in a foreign country – you run straight out and straight back…that’s how I avoid getting lost – make no turns…

- well that rarely works…and it wasn’t going to work in their situation either…because they lived in a small subdivision in what we would call the country…so before long I’m winding along on these dirt roads…and trying to pay attention to, I turned on this road at ½ mile and went this direction…and then ran another ¾ mile and turned on that road and went that direction…

- and if you’re thinking – that doesn’t sound like a very reliable approach…you might have me on that one…

- so, at one point on this particular morning, I started thinking…I’m not sure I know where I am…

- and the thing is – there’s no man I’ve ever met who would admit that all at once…it’s a gradual process…and in my case was complicated by the belief that I can run my way out of this problem…

- and you understand…you can’t just go up to a house and ask for directions…because the few houses that were out there in the country had high concrete walls with broken glass shards at the top…to keep people like me out…

- and even if I could get someone to come to the gate – then what?...there’s the language problem…and I have another bad habit of believing I can add the letter “o” to any English Word and that will translate it into whatever language is spoken where I happen to be…

- so am I supposed to pound on someone’s gate and then when they come say – “Do you-o, know-o, where-o, Sacha’o’s, parents’o, live-o?...

- I rarely get scared – but it was a bit frightening to be completely lost in a setting like that and unable to get my bearings…

- have you ever felt like that during a time of trial?...when unexpected events were swirling around at an incredible rate and intensity…and you weren’t sure what was happening…you weren’t sure what was going to happen next…and you just couldn’t get your bearings?...

- when we were first learning about our son Andrew’s diagnosis…

- we had custody of him, but it was before the adoption was finalized…

- and one night he stopped breathing…so we’ve always tried not to bother the doctors in our church…but we bothered Dr Thomas for sure…who we believe saved the Bear’s life…

- and that began the whirlwind, of not understanding what was happening, trying to learn all these news terms and tests and procedures…

- then we ended up down at Riley for the final aspect of the diagnosis and treatment plan…which is the kind of place you never want to have to go but you’re so glad we have it in our state if you need it…

- but you feel like you’re in a hurricane…and we were in a room with multiple children…the monitors seemed to never stop beeping…you’re sleep deprived, you’re worried, you absolutely hate seeing your child suffer…in Bear’s case he was very dehydrated but they to keep doing blood tests…and the poor nurses were doing everything they could to be gentle but they had to do their tests…

- you’re just trying to find something familiar or reliable to grab onto…you need your bearings…

- I realize you might feel that way right now during this COVID-19 crisis…what about your health, what about everyone else you know and love, what about your job, what about your retirement, what about our community, our country, our world…

- part of the amazing sovereignty of God in our church’s case---is that back in November of last year, we planned that Lord willing we would be studying Romans chapter 8 together…I can’t think of a better place in all the Bible I’d rather be in right now…because this passage allows us to Putting Suffering in its Place….and what we find in verses 18-30 of this great chapter is 3 undeniable realties to guide us through suffering.

- in other words – here’s the truth we need to help us get our bearings in tumultuous times…

- read Romans 8:14-30

- so, we’re talking about Putting Suffering in its Place…and we’re seeking to find 3 undeniable realities to guide us through suffering…

- now, what’s about to happen?...you think you know what I think…you’re thinking?...does that just about sum up this relationship?...absolutely…

- and you’d be correct about that – you’re wondering if we’re going to have a little quiz to be sure we’re putting these verses in the overall context of the book…and the answer is – we certainly are…

- and here’s why – Paul didn’t just start talking about “suffering” in a vacuum…nor are these issues of “being glorified” or “various entities groaning” appearing out of thin air…

- this book all fits together as a cohesive whole – and that’s an important aspect of identifying these bearings…we’re trying to reach out for…and hang on to…properly…

- so this time – we’re going to amp the quiz up a bit…

- now, we’ve going to do the same thing we did last week…because we have so much content now…it will fill the entire screen which means the tech guys will have to take me out of the picture…

Everyone is lost

The religious are lost

Introduction to the Gospel

Benefits of the Gospel

Christ’s righteousness is available to all

The moral are lost

The immoral are lost

Example of father Abraham

Our Union with Christ

Gospel Authenticity

No condemnation in Christ

- this time – and this is going to be a lot harder – we’re going to start with the subjects on the right – although they are out of order – and match them back to the verses on the left…

- now, that’s the context in which we can find our bearings during our present trial – 3 undeniable realities to guide us through suffering…

I. We Know that Suffering is Temporary

- now, let just stop and ask you – do you really believe that?...

- whatever you could put on top of the pile of real and significant problems you are facing as a result of this pandemic…for followers of Jesus Christ, is that statement still true?...and is that not one of the clear and undeniable bearings we can lock on to during these days?...

- to understand the way we are going to organize our thinking…I would encourage you to circle three key phrases in your Bible (or at least note them in your mind)

- now, a key question to consider here is – what “sufferings” are we talking about here?...that I a crucial question…that’s one of the reasons I thought we needed to repeat our quiz…

- because another crucial way to think about the book of Romans is that we are in the middle of studying the second main section of this book...you might say – what do you mean by that?...chapters 1-5 form a very distinct unit, and so do chapters 6-8…

- chapters 1-5 were all about the beauty of the gospel, or the centrality of the gospel, the exclusivity of the gospel…that the only way to be reconciled to a Holy God is through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ…because we need the forgiveness of our sin through His shed blood through redemption…and we need His righteousness placed on our account through propitiation (Christ was our substitute) and justification (we’re then made/declared righteous)…that’s why the heart of that section is Romans 3:26 - for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

- but what would the logical objection be to the notion that we’re saved by grace alone completely apart from works?...that that approach will not result in genuine holiness…

- you produce holiness by fear, and uncertainty, and doubt…

- and Paul’s argument is – are you ready for our long sentence we’ve thought about several times -- A Christ-centered, grace-based approach to sanctification that rightly accounts for the significance of our union with Christ will accomplish much more than a man-centered, fear based legalistic model ever will

- so chapters 6-8 are about the process of Christian Growth…or progressive sanctification…and how the gospel can truly transform us from the inside out…because we are united with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection…and we’re married to Christ and we therefore want to please Him out of love and devotion, not fear and insecurity…

- there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ…

- and here’s the point…we can be honest about our struggles…we can be authentic about the ways we continue to fail…

  • Romans 7:15 - For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
  • Romans 7:19 - For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

- because remember the Dagwood sandwich we mentioned last Sunday

- authenticity is right in the middle of this 3 chapter sandwich…but it’s made so much more appetizing and delicious because it’s surrounded by truth like our union with Christ, and our marriage to Christ, and having no condemnation in Christ, and being indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God…

- that’s why throughout chapters 6-8…Paul has been very honest about how hard this struggle with our flesh continues to be…with the body of sin…or law of sin…

- one of my theology professors liked to call it anthropocentric hangover…

- this cluster of sinful habits of the inner and outer man with which we continue to fight…

- and you say – what does that have to do with suffering?...you tell me…

- when Paul raises this topic of suffering in chapter 8, do you believe it is entirely disconnected from this fight we’ve seen through this second section of the book?...

- as one of many examples we could give – when he said back in chapter 7 verse 24 - Romans 7:24 - Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

- is there any suffering that goes along with this struggle with have to grow in our love for Christ…in our obedience to Christ…in our desire to make our practice more in line with our position…

- see, what is the relationship between sinning and suffering?....

- there’s at least two answers to that question from this book…

- it’s hard to be authentic about the ways we need to change…the battle can be intense…

- and secondly, when we’re just dealing with the pressure that comes from living in a sin-cursed world, around sin cursed people…it reveals and intensifies the struggle…

- and you can probably think about specific ways that is happening in your heart, and your life, and your relationships right now…

- please grab onto this undeniable reality…we know that suffering is temporary…

A. When compared to our future glory in Christ.

- Romans 8:18 - For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

- and you might say – in what sense is this true?...this is such an important bearing…

- at least 2 ways – eternal glory…when we see Christ face to face…and are then completely transformed into His image…that’s what John meant in…

- 1 John 3:2–3 - Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

- imagine what that will be like – in heaven where the curse of sin is removed, and our struggle with sin is over…

- and friends, how long is that from right now?...in biblical terms…just a little while…

- that’s why Paul told the Corinthians… 2 Corinthians 4:16–17 - Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

- now, friends…I don’t want this sound/be offensive…but have you looked in the mirror recently?...I can see you through your device…a few skipped the make-up step…

- someone said on FB the other day – in about 4 weeks, we’re all going to know what everyone’s true hair color really is…ouch…

- but that’s good news…because it’s another sign that our suffering is temporary…and what happens after that for a follower of Jesus Christ is really, really good…

- and it’s not only human beings who know this…what else according to this passage?...

B. While contemplating the anxious longing of creation

- Romans 8:19–21 - For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

- this goes all the way back to the garden of Eden…when the lie of our adversary was…you can rebel against the Creator’s authority; you can be your own god…and you won’t surely die…

- and do you remember part of the judgment?... Genesis 3:17–19 - …Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

- it’s amazing to consider that even creation knows our suffering is temporary…

- Apokaradokia (anxious longing) is an especially vivid word that literally refers to watching with outstretched head, and suggests standing on tiptoes with the eyes looking ahead with intent expectancy. The prefix apo adds the idea of fixed absorption and concentration on that which is anticipated. The creation is standing on tiptoes, as it were, as it waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God (John MacArthur, Romans 1-8, p. 452).

- now, what are we called upon to do with information like this?...

C. Because we are choosing to make the right calculation about our present struggles.

- what’s the controlling verb in this section?...

- Romans 8:18 - For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

- that’s our word logizomai – that we saw in chapter 6 – is an accounting term…

- in the power of the Holy Spirit…we’re comparing the intensity of our struggle…with how God is using that now and in the days ahead…and we’re saying, the glory is worth it…being remade in the image of our glorious Savior imperfectly but definitely now, and with complete perfection in eternity makes every aspect of the suffering more than worth it…that’s why Peter said…

- 1 Peter 1:6–7 - In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

- can I just pause and ask you – friend, are you locking onto this first truth as you’re trying to find your bearings in this incredible trial?...this time of suffering is temporary…and for a follower of Christ – it is heading toward a glorious destination…

- what the second undeniable reality?...

II. We Know Suffering Has a Source

- everyone needs some frame of reference in which to locate COVID-19…

- and you realize, evolutionists are in a real logical bind here…why all this concern about life and death?...isn’t this just the survival of the fittest?...

- friend, around this planet, men and women know there is something terribly wrong…and God’s Word not only has an explanation…it has a solution…but isn’t it amazing…the key word in this next section is…what?...groaning…

- groan – stenazo – the utterances of a person who is caught in a dreadful situation and has no immediate prospect of deliverance (John MacArthur, Romans 108, p. 457).

A. The creation groans

- Romans 8:22 - For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

- that is the clearest and simplest one-sentence biblical definition of the COVID-19 pandemic in all the Word of God that I can think of…

- the creation is groaning because we are living under the all-encompassing curse of sin…

- and the reason we don’t mind being honest about that is because of merciful God has provided an antidote to the problem…it’s called the shed blood of Jesus Christ…

- I hope by now we’re all thinking about one of our great hymns…I’ll even give you a hint…we sing it at Christmastime…

Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,

And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let all their songs employ

While fields and floods, rocks, hill, and plains repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sin and sorrow grow nor thorns infest the ground:

He comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove

The glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love,

And wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of his love.

- the creation groans…our adversary’s promise that “you won’t surely die” was one of the greatest lies ever told…so much so that all around the world, what is being counted on every person’s TV set or personal device…how many people died today?...

- and it’s not just the creation…

B. We groan too

- Romans 8:23 - And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

- now, more than perhaps at any other times in our lives, we understand stenazo – the utterances of a person who is caught in a dreadful situation…

- we’re suffering – and that suffering reveals things in us that aren’t all that glorious…you’ve probably thought and said, and done some things that last couple of weeks that made you groan…

- and what’s even more incredible than these first two?...

C. Amazingly, even the Holy Spirit groans.

- Romans 8:26 - In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

- this is what gives us the power to latch onto these undeniable realities…to find our bearings and head in the right direction…

D. And God has provided the perfect antidote

- Romans 3:23–26 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

1. For the glorious proclamation of the gospel

- friend, if you don’t know that you know that you know that you’re on your way to heaven…why not stop where you are right now and admit the ultimate source of suffering and place your faith and trust in the sin-bearer, the Lord Jesus Christ

- Christian friend – there’s never been a time like this…to be sure we’re not being ashamed of the gospel…

- [please pray for our missionaries – develop, the letters we just sent out and the unprecedented opportunities some are having]…

2. For the glorious opportunity to be submissive to our government and healthcare leaders

- cf. 1 Peter 1-2

- this is not the time for God’s people to be criticizing and second-guessing the leaders God has placed over us…

3. For glorious acts of Christ-like service

- [develop the message you received from Sue the night the Governor made his shelter in place announcement]…

- [develop the status of providing care/shelter for our homeless friends/neighbors]…

- what’s the last great bearing we can find in this passage?...

III. We Know Suffering has a Purpose.

- could this passage be any clearer?...

- there’s nothing about this situation that is inherently good…but the verses are abundantly clear…

A. God causes all things to work together for good.

- Romans 8:28 - And we know that God causes all things to work together for good…

- what was it that Joseph said to his brothers who had treated him so wickedly?

- Genesis 50:20 - As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

- I would encourage you to make a list of all the ways God could use this terrible situation for your spiritual good…in your life…in the lives of your family, friends, and others around you…

- I think it will be very interesting to see what happens once the doors of the church-house can be opened again…but please keep in mind, this promise is…

B. For those who meet the conditions

- Romans 8:28 - And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

- friend, do you meet that first condition – and has this period of suffering revealed things in your heart and life you loved more than the Lord?

- and what is that purpose?...the most glorious thing of all for people like you and me…

C. The marvelous product

- Romans 8:29 - For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

- we’re seeing marvelous examples of that happening even in times of suffering…evidence of the process of glorification occurring here and now…

- friend – don’t waste COVID 19

D. The perfect plan

- Romans 8:30 - and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

- we’ll have much more to say about this when we get to chapter 9, currently scheduled for just after Easter…

- but suffice it is here to say – the beauty of this plan of glorification for you didn’t start when you saved, it didn’t start when you were born, it didn’t start when you were conceived…it started before the foundation of the earth…

- Conclusion – finish the story of being lost in Brazil…there’s nothing better than getting your bearings…

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video