Saturday, January 12, 2013

God's Faithfulness & Christian Faithfulness P2

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful

Yesterday we noted how Moses, being a prime example of faithfulness, spelled out how God's faithfulness was to be the prime motivation for the people's faithfulness.  Having looked at Deuteronomy 1-4 and the rest of scripture, we established the fact that God's faithfulness must be considered first before moving to our own. 

God's Faithfulness is the foundation of the believer's faithfulness
We first of all want to reiterate how God's faithfulness is to be the foundation for the believer's faithfulness.  Below I cite further passages that were not cited in yesterday's blog to give you more scriptural support for this important truth of God's faithfulness being the driving force behind the believer's faithfulness:

Isaiah 25:1 "O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness." Here we see Isaiah's motivation for praise and worship being driven by his reflections upon God's faithfulness in all His works.

1 Corinthians 1:9 "God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." God's faithfulness is the basis for salvation, as well as the believer's continued growth and progress in sanctification. In fact as you read on in 1 Corinthians 1, Paul's exhortations for the Corinthians to be a united people is based upon God's faithfulness.

2 Thessalonians 3:3-4 "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 4We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command." What is the guarantee that we as Christians will persevere to the end? God's faithfulness. Passages such as 2 Timothy 2:13 tell us that even when we are unfaithful, He is faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Hebrews 10:23 23 "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful".This great text of course gives us one of the clearest links between God's faithfulness and the motivations for the church to be faithful to Him and to one another. God's faithfulness is clearly shown to be the reason for the believer to be faithful.

Hebrews 13:6-8 "so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”
7Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Sandwiched in between two magnificent statements on God and Christ's faithfulness is the exhortation to be faithful by following the example of faithful pastors and teachers of the Word.

As you can see, God's faithfulness is the bedrock of Christian faithfulness and commitment. So what kind of faithful people ought we to be as a result of basing our lives around God's faithfulness?

The true identity of a faithful people of God
Having looked at Deuteronomy 1:9-4:31 yesterday, we turn our attention to Deuteronomy 4:32-40 to see what traits identify God's faithful people. 

1. God's faithful people are a called people.  Deuteronomy 4:32-36
Moses points out that what marked the nation of Israel as being unique from all others is the fact that they heard the voice of God calling them to Himself.  Deuteronomy 4:33 states - “Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived?" As you go down through the text, Moses writes in Deuteronomy 4:36 - “Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire."  The only way we can be a faithful people to the Lord is if He calls us to Himself.  Jesus describes His followers as those who "hear His voice". (John 10:4,5,16)  Other scriptures further lend support to the fact that as a result of God's calling on our lives, we have the ability and motivation to want to follow Him in faithfulness. (2 Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 4:1)

2. God faithful people are a chosen people.  Deuteronomy 4:37-38
In Deuteronomy 4:37 we read - 37“Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power".  Over 100 places in God's Word designates God's people as His chosen people.  Since we are a called people of God, the Holy Spirit tells us in 1 Peter 2:9  -  "But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."  

Like Israel, the chosen people of God in the Old Testament, believers in the New Testament are described as having been "chosen in Christ, in love" (Ephesians 1:3-4).  By God's choice for His people, that simply means that what He decided to begin, He will finish.1  The believer's ability to be faithful is dependant upon God's ongoing effort in working forth His choice in bringing the child of God to completion in Christ. Philippians 1:6 reveals - "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."  Ephesians 2:10 states - "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. "

3. God's faithful people are a committed people. Deut 4:39-40
Deuteronomy 4:39 tells us - “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other."   Being that God's faithful people are a God called and chosen people, it stands to reason that they should and must be a committed people. They should be those that take what God says to heart.  Jesus tells us a New Testament Christians that we are to "love the Lord our God with all our heart" and "love our neighbor as ourselves, something of which is repeated throughout the New Testament. (Matthew 22:37-39; Romans 13:9)  We are those who as a called and chosen people of God, are to be committed to abstinence from fleshly lusts and having a positive testimony among unbelievers. (1 Peter 2:9-12)  Commitment is the backbone of faithfulness, and without the grace and calling of God cannot be done.  In fact, this takes us back to yesterday, where the journey of faithfulness first and foremosts considers the character and faithfulness of God Himself. (Ephesians 5:1; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:16)

1 The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message of the SBC calls God's choice or election of His people "God's purpose of Grace".  You can read the entire article online at by clicking on "Baptist Faith & Message". 

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