A Complete Faith

A Complete Faith

Throughout my life as a student, in high school, college, and in seminary, I dreaded the thought of receiving an “incomplete” mark. To me, an incomplete on my record was worse than a failing grade because that incomplete signified that somewhere along the line in that class I just gave up on my responsibilities as a student. Occasionally, I would have dreams, nightmares as they were, of being incomplete. In one such dream, I would arrive at class and the instructor would say, “Today is the day that we turn in our term papers.” I would look at the instructor and think to myself, with that horrible feeling inside, “Oh, no, not only have I not completed this assignment, I have not even begun it! I forgot that the major assignment for this class was even an assignment at all.” I knew, then, that I would receive an incomplete grade for that class.

Fortunately, I have had some professors in my life that have given me encouragement to complete the course requirements. I remember one homiletics professor, a professor who teaches a class on preaching, saying, “I accept no late assignments.” He went on to explain, “You will not be able to arrive on Sunday morning to your church and tell your congregation, ‘If you come back tomorrow morning I will have a great sermon for you. It is only half-way through, but it is going to be great. Come back tomorrow morning.’” On occasion I have been tempted to do such, but he encouraged us to complete assignments on time even if they were not our best work.

I remember another professor saying, “What is worth doing well is worth doing poorly.” It caught me a little bit at first, as it did, perhaps, you, but what he was saying was, “Finish your assignments. It is true that you will not always be able to put the kind of time to give the best work every time, but get it done.” For me, with a perfectionistic nature, that was a great encouragement; complete those assignments and complete the course work.

There is joy and satisfaction that accompanies the completion of something that we set our hearts upon. In this study, I encourage you to move forward to the completion of your faith. I am concerned that many people have grown careless and unconcerned about receiving and obtaining a mature faith and a complete faith. God tells us that the completion of our faith is worth every pain that we might experience in this life. In fact, we can even rejoice in suffering if that suffering helps us to obtain a complete faith.

God, for instance, instructs us in James 1:2-4,

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

This passage makes no sense to one who has no goal of obtaining a complete faith, but to those of us who say, “This is my life pursuit and this is what I am all about,” then this passage makes perfect sense.

In Acts 18:18-28, we meet Apollos. We don’t know much about Apollos; this passage is the dominant passage in the New Testament that tells us about him, but he is a man who is focused upon obtaining a complete faith. Apollos has already progressed much in his life of faith with God. He has already walked down miles down the road of faith, but there are still some elements of faith missing. He is still incomplete as he is still moving forward. It is from Apollos that we will discover six necessities essential for a complete faith. It is my prayer that we would follow Apollos’ example and that we would set our hearts, minds, and souls upon pursuing a mature and complete faith.

First, let’s consider the context of our story. We begin in Verse 18 and it tells us:

Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time.

That is where he was. In Verse 11, we find that “some time” was eighteen months; a year and one-half.

Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.”

Priscilla and Aquila were two people that Paul met in Corinth. The reference to his hair being cut off was undoubtedly a Nazarite vow and he is on his way back to Jerusalem. We will see later in Acts that Paul does return to Ephesus and to the synagogue. Then it says:

22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church…

At Caesarea he is very close to his land of Palestine and he is north of Israel. I believe that when it says, “he went up” it means that he went up into Jerusalem, which was in the mountains, and he goes back to the Jerusalem church and greets the church “and then went down to Antioch”.

Remember that this is where Paul started; this is the sending church – Syrian Antioch.

This completes the 2nd Missionary Journey that Paul has taken. In Chapter 19, Paul will begin the 3rd Missionary Journey, but then there is this parenthesis that shifts focus away from Paul and back to Ephesus where Paul will arrive first in the third journey. It is in this parenthesis, in Verses 24 thought 28, that we will pay special attention. In Verse 24, Luke writes:

Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus.

Here we are introduced for the first time to this man. He is a native of Alexandria and Alexandria is an educational center of the 1st Century world. It had a tremendous library of over 700,000 books. This was an incredible library, especially given the time. Apollos is a learned man and a scholar.

Necessity number one, for a complete faith, is: we must possess a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. Look at Verse 24, because it tells us, at the end of that verse, that “Apollos was a learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.” In the King James Version, this reads, “he was mighty in the Scriptures.”

Some, immediately, will begin to say, “Pastor, it seems like you talk to us so often about the necessity of a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. Why do you emphasize this so often? After all, I am not much of a reader and such an approach to faith seems rather cold, rather academic, and sterile. Besides, I know many people who know their Bibles backward and forward and yet their lives are a mess. I prefer a more lively, a more spiritual, understanding of faith.” In answer to those who might think such thoughts, I would first have you to observe that it is true that many who know the Bible backward and forward do not live it out. This is why we have before us six necessities of a complete faith and not just one. None-the-less, this is a necessity.

The second answer that I would give is that it is also true that no one matures in Jesus Christ apart from a growing hunger for the Scriptures and a subsequent understanding and knowledge of what the Scriptures say.

When Luke describes Apollos as a man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures he is speaking, of course, of Apollos’ knowledge of the Old Testament. The New Testament was not yet written and it was yet being written. Apollos had the Old Testament in his hand he had a thorough knowledge of the revelation that God had given to him.

We recognize today that we have a great advantage over Apollos in this area because we have in our hands not just the Old Covenant, but also the record of the New Covenant, the complete revelation from God and from His Spirit to us.

Apollos stood out in the crowd precisely because he was a man of the Book. He read the Book. He studied the Book. He meditated upon the Book. He lived out the Book. We might ask the question: “Why are the Scriptures so vital to a complete faith? Why is this a necessity?”

The first answer we would give is that we need the Scriptures in order to obtain salvation itself. Listen to what Paul will write to Timothy (2 Timothy 3):

14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures…”

Paul is telling Timothy that he grew up in a home where there was a mother and a grandmother who taught him the Scriptures and from infancy he knew the Holy Scriptures which were able to make him wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the Scriptures that are necessary if we are to understand God’s plan for us and how we can connect to Him.

Let’s look at 1 Peter 1:23 and following. Peter and Luke were friends and partners in ministry. (The following is a paraphrase of 2 Timothy 3:15):

We need the Scriptures to make us wise unto salvation. Apart from the word of God we would not be able to obtain salvation.

Peter is going to write, in 1 Peter 1:23,

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

The second reason the Scriptures are essential for a complete faith is that we cannot grow and mature in the faith apart from the Scriptures. In 1 Peter 2:2, Peter has just talked about the importance of the Word of God and that it stands forever, and he says this:

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation…

He is talking about the Word of God, that the milk is the Word of God. This is true whether we are a new-born babe in Christ, that we have just come to know Jesus Christ that we need to crave this sincere milk that God has given us in His Word so that we might grow. But, it is also true for an aged senior saint, one who has walked with God for years and years. If we are to have a complete and mature faith it will be because we are constantly hungering and thirsting for the Word that God has given us.

Jesus would say (Luke 4:4), “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

We ask another question: “How is it that we can become a person who is mighty in the Scriptures, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures?” There are two answers. First, if you wish to become mighty in the Scriptures you must seek out Godly instructions. Timothy, as we saw earlier, had the Godly instruction of his grandmother and mother. By the way, this is a note to parents, it is vital that from infancy our children learn from us and not just from our church and not just from our Sunday school teachers, but they learn from us the Scriptures; that we teach them the Scriptures day in and day out in the Word.

Look at what Apollos did in Verse 25:

He had been instructed in the way of the Lord…

Alexandria was a great educational center and the word “instructed” literally means “catechized” (Greek); he learned a catechism of the Scripture. He wanted to know the Scripture so he sought out instruction and he became a life-long learner. It is true that he listened with ears as to what he had been instructed and that is important for us to listen with discerning ears and to be like the Bereans, to evaluate instruction on the basis of the Word of God. Apollos also listened with an eager heart; he desired to know more of the Scripture and as a result he had a teachable heart. He had the attitude of a learner and that is what we must have if we are to have a mature faith – the attitude of a learner.

At Bethany Baptist Church, for instance, it is important for people with an attitude of a learner, and wanting to learn the Scripture, to grad hold of everything that is possible in order to receive instruction. We come Sunday morning with a heart eager to learn and not come just out of habit, but also with an eagerness to say, “I want to listen so that I might learn more and I want to listen better so that I might learn better.” Then there are other opportunities for learning. The Sunday morning message is just 35 to 40 minutes out of your week, but there are other opportunities to receive instruction. There are Bible studies; Sunday night electives; Bible study groups for men; Bible study groups for women; opportunities outside the church; teachers on Christian radio stations in our area that have people who teach and instruct through the Word; the internet and cd’s that we can receive; commentaries and other Bible study books that we can open and learn from. The idea is that we need to realize that we are learners and if we are to have a complete faith we must be aggressive at being a learner.

When I was in junior high is when God began to capture my heart for pursuing a complete and mature faith. Up to that time I had trusted Christ and my heart had been warmed but I didn’t understand much about the personal commitment to pursue a mature and complete faith. It was then, as I would listen to my pastor, I thought to myself, “This pastor is saying some things that I don’t know and I need to know the Book more.” I took out a piece of paper and a pen and I began making notes of what he said. Afterwards, I would look at that and I would look at the text again. It was then that I began each day to open up the Scriptures for myself and say, “I need to understand what this Book says, and in order to understand it I need to read it.” I began to read the Bible, day-by-day. It is then that I began to listen to Christian radio. I particularly listened to Chuck Swindoll and John McArthur and I began to set aside, on the days that I could during the summer, a time to listen to what these teachers were saying so that I might learn all the more. Then I began to read books that would tell me more of God’s Word and would explain more of what God was saying through the Scripture.

The idea is that apart from us having an eager, passionate pursuit of the knowledge of Scripture we will never own it. We must seek out Godly instruction and then we can discipline ourselves to meditate on the Word each day. We need more Christians like Apollos who are mighty in the Scriptures.

The second necessity is a great passion for God as we read in Verse 25:

…and he spoke with great fervor…

That term, “great fervor”, literally means “burning or boiling hot”. Apollos is a man who is one fire; he is burning in his zeal for God. Apollos faith, though very informed, was not a faith that was cold or detached and merely a mental knowledge of God. His was not an academic or intellectual pursuit, but his pursuit of a mature and complete faith began with a deep enthusiasm for God; and a zeal and a passionate love for God. Such a love lies at the heart of a complete faith. It is impossible to have a compete faith without a whole-life love for God. Jesus would say (Matthew 23:37), “This is the first and greatest commandment that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, all you soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”

This word, “a great fervor”, that is used of Apollos, Paul will also use it in Romans 12:11, for all of us, when he says:

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Paul is saying to us to fire our hearts with a work for God and a passion for God.

Apollos took his knowledge of the Bible, he doused it with gas, and he set it aflame. He was like the prophet Jeremiah of whom God said (Jeremiah 23:29), “I will make my words in your mouth a fire.”

Some will argue, “Isn’t this fervency and this zeal and this passion a personality trait; that some people are just passionate by nature? And, aren’t some zealous by personality? Isn’t that a personality trait?” It is true that two people with equal passion for a football team, for instance, will express it in different ways. We are not talking about a specific way to express your passion, we are talking about passion. It is not true that passion is a personality trait. The way we express our passion is going to be completely different, so for some with a passion for a football team will wear the colors and when they watch the football game they will be standing up, shouting and screaming, the whole while. Another, with this same passion and same intensity, might have some little piece of that team’s paraphernalia on their desk and when they watch they will touch it and smile with eagerness and intensity, and every so often they will exclaim, “Yes, yes, yes!” None-the-less, there is passion. It matters not the specific expression of our passion but what matters is that deep inside there is this fire and intensity. Passion will not go unnoticed. Whatever we are passionate about, people who know us and are around us will know that we are passionate about that thing.

I am intrigued by listening to passionate people. I am intrigued, for instance, to listen to Emeril Lagasse talk about food. I am intrigued when I listen to Steve Irwin talking about animals. He is the “Crocodile Hunter” by the way. I am intrigued in listening to Jack Horkheimer talk about the stars, or Andre Rieu talk about classical music, or Bob Costas talk about baseball. I am intrigued by these people. Why? They interest me, not because I am passionate about their subject matter, in fact, in all of those cases I am not extremely passionate about any of those subjects, but I enjoy listening to them because they are passionate about it and that is what makes it so interesting. It is their passion that makes me want to listen to what they have to say.

It is a Holy passion for God that opens up for us, as God’s people, doors for us to speak the Good News of Jesus Christ, and others will want to listen if we have this genuine passion. They will know that it is not just merely an academic exercise, but they will no that there is something deep and burning inside of us that causes us to speak of the name of Jesus.

Benjamin Franklin said he would often go to hear the preacher George Whitfield because, “Before my very eyes I can watch a man burning.” Wouldn’t that be great to have others say that about us: “I love to hear this person speak about Jesus because before my very eyes I can watch a man, or a woman, burning.”

How do we get such a passion? Charles Spurgeon said it best and simply when he said, “Live in the presence of God.” That is how we get such a passion. Why is the season warmer in the summer? It is because the angle of the earth at that season is tilted towards the sun, and when our lives are tilted towards God at such an angle, there will be, necessarily, a warmth that flows into our soul. Live you life in the presence of God.

The third necessity is that we need a bold proclamation of the Truth. We read about this at the end of Verse 25, then 26, and 28:

25 …he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue… 28 he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

Apollos did not shrink away from talking about Jesus just because some people did not want him to talk about Jesus. We ask the question: “Is talking about Jesus a real necessity to having a complete and mature faith?” The answer is: “Yes! If you believe Jesus is Lord, if you believe that He redeemed you by His death, if you believe that He is worthy of praise, and if you believe that people in their sins apart from the knowledge of Jesus, you will speak boldly.” Our faith, and what we believe, necessarily affects what we say.

Paul is going to tie these two together – our faith and our words – in Romans 10:(9-10):

9 … if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Speaking and believing are necessarily tied together. A complete faith speaks boldly for Jesus, so I encourage you to pursue a complete faith.

The fourth necessity is an eager reception of the Good News of Jesus. This, by the way, is where faith begins. I probably should have begun here but I didn’t because we don’t reach this element until later in the story, but apart from an eager reception of the Good News of Jesus Christ there is no biblical faith at all, let alone a complete faith. This is where we must begin.

Remember that Verse 25 told us that Apollos only knew of John’s baptism and he didn’t know much about Jesus. Verse 26, at the end, says:

When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

Apollos knew the Old Testament. He knew that God was loving, just, gracious and merciful. He knew that God was personal and that God was One, but Apollos, up to this time, had only learned the Old Testament, then he learned a little more from John the Baptist’s message, which was this (Matthew 3:2b, Matthew 3:11b): “Repent, the Kingdom of God is near!” “There is one who is coming who’s laces of sandals I am unworthy to even untie. He is coming and when He comes He will baptize, not with water, but He will baptize with fire and with God’s Spirit.”

Apollos understood that the Messiah was coming but he didn’t know who the Messiah was and he didn’t know much about what the Messiah was going to do. Pricilla and Aquila were listening to Apollos preach, and they said, “What this guy is saying is great,” but then they think that there is something missing in the message. What do they do? Did they write in the newspaper an editorial railing against the incomplete message of Apollos? No, they didn’t do that. They didn’t confront him publically and say, “Apollos, you ignorant teacher!” What did they do? They said, “Apollos, come to my home. We want to talk to you more.” Apollos came to their home.

Remarkably, Apollos’ heart was so incredibly humble. Here was this man, who was perhaps one of the greatest intellectuals of the known world. Here is the husband and wife team of Pricilla and Aquila, and we know that they make tents and we know that they love the Lord. In their home they begin talking to Apollos and Apollos doesn’t say, “I am a lot more intelligent. I am more learned. Haven’t you heard of Philo? I sat along with Philo learning from him and with him. I have read the volumes in the Alexandrian library. Have you?” “No.” Instead, what did Apollos say – he came to Pricilla and Aquila and said, “What you are saying, I need.” Humbly, he listened to them.

What did Pricilla and Aquila tell him? We are not told, in the story, what exactly Pricilla and Aquila told Apollos, but we do have a good idea, don’t we. Surely, Pricilla and Aquila taught Apollos about Jesus’ death; that the Messiah died upon a cross. They didn’t just teach him about the fact, but they also taught him about the meaning: “Do you remember when you read the Old Testament about the sacrifices that were made in order to cover for sin? There is now God who sent His Son as the Lamb of God who had come to take a way the sins of the world and through His death you sins can be covered, even as the blood covered in the Old Testament so that now we have the great covering, the fruition, and the climax of God’s plan, who sent His Son here and made Himself a sacrifice once for all. Then He arose from the dead and that tells us the God accepted His sacrifice and that Jesus conquered sin, our greatest problem. He conquered death itself and then He ascended into Heaven and one day He is going to return to establish His Kingdom of Righteousness. There is going to be, as a result, a resurrection for all who follow Him and then He sent His Holy Spirit. Have you heard about the Holy Spirit, Apollos?” “No, I haven’t.” “He sent His Holy Spirit so that everyone who believes in Jesus would be baptized with this Holy Spirit, so that we will have God dwelling within us, empowering us to live our lives unto Him.” Then they told him, undoubtedly, as to how we can receive this salvation that the Messiah who died to provide us, with His resurrection, and to give us life and how we can obtain it. We can receive it by repenting of our sins and believing in Jesus as our Savior and believing in Jesus as the Messiah.

Apollos’ faith was very incomplete up to this point because he didn’t understand what Jesus’ death and resurrection was all about. There are many today who are like Apollos, who have an incomplete understanding of the Good News of Jesus Christ. They know that God is good and they, perhaps, have even heard that Jesus died on the cross and that He rose again, but they don’t know what it means. They certainly don’t know what it means for them and what they need to do to attach themselves to that blessing that God has given them.

Perhaps they ask, “Why is His death necessary? What does it all mean for me? What do I need to do to personally connect myself to God?”

I know that it is incredibly humbling for Apollos to listen to these two tent makers but he did. That is what a complete faith is – it is humble, and the learned man from Alexandria humbled himself before God and he received the Messiah Jesus. Apollos said, “Yes.” The spiritual lesson that we before us in Apollos’ life is this: it is possible to have much head knowledge of the Scriptures, as Apollos did; and to be involved in able service unto God to have an affect and a spiritual passion, and yet miss out on salvation. We must know Jesus Christ personally as Savior and as Lord.

I emphasize this because I believe there are many in good solid churches who are not saved, but they know a great deal. They know the Old Testament, and perhaps they know the New Testament as well. If you ask them to tell you Bible stories in the Old and New Testament, they would be able to tell you with great excellence and perhaps they have even taught them to others, but they do not know Jesus and this is where Apollos’ faith was absolutely incomplete and insufficient because he didn’t know Jesus. As soon as he heard and as soon as he learned, that is when he embraced Jesus. How about you? Have you trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior? You must apply the Good News of Jesus Christ personally by faith and you must be born again, God says.

The fifth necessity for a complete faith is a helpful ministry to God’s people. What did Apollos do after receiving this news and embracing, by faith, Jesus? It says, in Verse 27:

27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.

Before we look at this helpful ministry, do you notice what Luke calls “believers”? He calls them people “who had by grace believed.” He was again pointing out this wonderful truth of God’s sovereign grace that salvation is all of grace and that these people wouldn’t have even believed were it not for God’s grace effectively at work in their hearts. But, then it tells us that he was a “great help”. God intends for our faith to blossom into service so that we would become a great help to God’s people.

Are we like Apollos, or as talented, or intelligent, or as learned? No, we are not, but here is Paul’s great message to the Corinthians because if Apollos would have arrived at Corinth later, and so much so that someone in Corinth would say, “I am with Paul,” and another would say, “I am with Apollos.” But, here is what Paul will say, “I planted the seed. Apollos watered it, but God gave the increase.” What this is saying is that every one of us has a place of service in God’s Kingdom. The question we have to ask is, “Am I being a great help to those who would believe by grace?” Wherever God places us, are we being a great help, because if we are not, we are not having a complete faith. It is impossible to have a complete faith apart from being a great help to those who believe by grace.

We are encouraged that God has a place for us. He had a place for Pricilla and Aquila, a husband and wife team that don’t seem to have very many talents like Paul and Apollos would have, but none-the-less God used them tremendously because they were willing and they opened up their hearts to what God had for them.

What does it mean for us to have a complete and mature faith? We must have a thorough knowledge of Scriptures. We must have a great passion for God. We must have a bold proclamation of God’s Truth. We must have an eager reception of the Good News of Jesus Christ – that is where it all begins. We must have a helpful ministry to God’s people. Finally, we must have a courageous reputation of false doctrine, in other words we have to be willing to contend for the faith and to tell others who believe ideas that are contrary to the Gospel that we are willing to stand up and refute those ideas.

We read in Verse 28:

…he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the (Messiah).

Someone may say, “I am focused on the positive truths of the Bible. I don’t believe in warning against doctrinal error. That doesn’t seem very loving to me.” That philosophy of life would be fine if doctrinal error were merely a benign nuisance and not a deadly plague.

Doctrinal error is a cancer that erodes at the souls of those who are deceived by it. As parents, we don’t say, “I am only focused on the positive truth to teach my children. I don’t believe in warning against dangers.” But, what do we say to our children? We say, “Play in the back yard. It is fenced in and here is where you don’t play: you don’t play in the road!” We say, “Here is what you eat: you eat vegetables and fruit and all this good stuff. Here is what you don’t eat: you don’t eat anything that is on the floor, especially if it is on the bathroom floor. We don’t eat those things.” We teach the positives, but we also recognize that it is absolutely essential for us to warn against the bad things.

A complete faith embraces the God-given task of pointing out error and arguing from the Scriptures the truth of Jesus. Apollos and Paul were partners in this courageous refutation of false doctrine in Ephesus. Paul is going to go to Ephesus and Paul says to the Ephesian elders, before he leaves them, in Acts 20:

29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you (of people who are teaching false doctrine) night and day with tears.

Hardly a week goes by when I do not find myself in a situation where I have to refute false doctrine and ideas that are being presented in the evangelical realm. I am not talking about minor controversies. We are not supposed to be people who are debaters or who become a debater of unhealthy controversy. These issues are issues with regard to conditions of faith; in regards to the inerrancy of Scripture; in regards to the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ; the meaning of the cross; the meaning of the resurrection and the place of the Bible in discipleship and in preaching. If you take up this work, you will often feel all alone. Beloved, it is this work that will help us mature and grow in our faith.

Apollos encourages us away from an incomplete faith.

There is a Sunday school song that we used to sing that says,

When you are up you are up
And when you are down you are down
But when you are only half way up
You are neither up nor down.

Beloved, in your faith, when you are up you are up, and when you are down, you are down, but when you are only half way up, you are neither up nor down. Let us pursue a complete faith.