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Sermon No: 37040-God's faithfulness



Ken-Paynter/Gods-faithfulness.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: God's faithfulness

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 11 March 2018

Topic Groups: GOD, FAITHFULNESS

Sermon synopsis: 2 Tim 2:11-13 Here is a trustworthy saying
If we died with him, we will also live with him; 
if we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

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God’s Faithfulness.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father; There is no shadow of turning with Thee, Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not, As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be. Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above; Join with all nature in manifold witness, To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

God’s Faithfulness.

Great is Thy Faithfulness Hymn.

Thomas O. Chisholm wrote the poem in 1923 about God's faithfulness over his lifetime. Chisholm sent the song to William Runyan in Kansas, who was affiliated with both the Moody Bible Institute and Hope Publishing Company. Runyan set the poem to music, and it was published that same year by Hope Publishing Company and became popular among church groups. The Biblical lyrics reference Lamentations 3:22-23. The song was exposed to wide audiences after becoming popular with Dr. William Henry Houghton of the Moody Bible Institute and Billy Graham, who used the song frequently on his international crusades. Since the middle 20th century, this hymn has been the university hymn of Cairn University which was formerly Philadelphia Biblical University and prior to that Philadelphia College of Bible, founded in 1913.

Abraham is known as a man of faith.

Scripture holds Abraham up to us as an example of faith:

Galatians 3:6 &9.

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness....

So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Genesis 15:6.

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

James 2:20-23.

You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.

Abraham is known as a man of faith.

Abraham was a righteous, believing servant of God - a man visited by the Lord Himself and promised personal protection and a long life. Abram believed God and trusted that the Lord would, protect and provide. He left his country at God's command - totally by faith.

Now, Abram was living peacefully on a mountain between Bethel and Hai when a famine struck.

Genesis 12:10.

So he decided to go down into Egypt to live for a while...

This was Abram's first mistake.

He never should have left the land to which God had sent him.

When Abram left the Promised land, he was about seventy years old, and his wife, Sarai, was about sixty. And as they entered pagan Egypt, Abram looked at his beautiful wife and asked her to join him in deception.

Abraham is known as a man of faith.

Genesis 12:10-13.

Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife. Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.

Abram was saying, "When we get to Egypt, the men will see how beautiful you are - and they'll lust after you and try to kill me! Please - tell everyone you're my sister.

This was a half-truth. Abram and Sarai had the same father but different mothers, so Sarai was his half-sister. She would only be telling "half a lie" - all to save Abram's skin!

This was the behaviour of the man who is held up to us as an example of Faith.

Abraham is known as a man of faith.

Sure enough, when they got to Egypt, word spread about Sarai's great beauty. Every prince and leader around found out about her. Abram sensed this, so he reminded Sarai: "Remember, you're my sister. We have a deal. My life is in your hands!"

And she was taken by Pharaoh. Scripture says, "The princes...of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And he entreated Abram well for her sake..." (Genesis 12:15-16).

Pharaoh gave Abram a great dowry for Sarai, pouring out all kinds of blessings on him - sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels, servants.

If Abram trusted God and said “This woman is my wife" The Lord would have protected both him and Sarai.

2 Timothy 2:13.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Abraham is known as a man of faith.

Twenty-four years later Abraham moved south and encamped between Kadesh and Shur, settling down in Gerar. Again he apparently had to move about to feed and water his huge herds of livestock.

He was now ninety-nine years old, and Sarah was almost ninety. Over the years Abram had seen God's faithfulness in every area of his life. He had defeated the kings who had invaded Sodom. He had rescued Lot and his family. He had met Melchizedek, king of Salem.

He had a son, Ishmael from his wife’s maid. (Once again a lapse of faith)

But in Gerar, something similar happened. King Abimelech, who ruled over that land, set his eyes on Sarah - and he wanted her for his harem! (This must have been one striking woman, to be so desired at the age of ninety)

What did Abraham do now? He went to Sarah, saying, "I'm asking you to help me again. You're going to have to say you're my sister. Sarah, my life is in your hands!"

Abraham is known as a man of faith.

If you had stood by and witnessed this, no doubt you would have asked yourself, "What kind of man is this? Is he really supposed to be an example of faith, a picture of a man who believes God? He's telling outright lies!“

2 Timothy 2:11-13.

Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Genesis 20:2.

and Abimelech took Sarah"

Sarah went into yet another pagan's harem.

God’s Faithfulness.

What was God's response? He didn't deal with Abraham the way we would have. He didn't say, "Now you've really done it! I delivered you out of a mess like this once before, but now you've gone straight back to your old compromise. I'm going to step aside and let you pay the consequences.

No "If we are faithless, He remains faithful..." (2 Timothy 2:13).

God did not abandon him to work things out for himself. On the contrary, God's plan for Abraham went on unhindered - and right on schedule!

The Lord did the same thing with Abimelech he had done with Pharaoh: He shut every womb! Nobody could touch Sarah.

God told Abimelech:

Genesis 20:6.

"...I withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her"

God’s Faithfulness.

Abraham is not the only man of God and hero of the Faith to doubt God and act in unbelief.

David the man after God’s own heart who fled from Saul and lived among the Philistines.

Peter the Apostle who denied Jesus Christ after seeing His miracles for 3 years, the dead raised, sight given to the blind, the man made to walk.

Psalm 78.

1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.

Psalm 78.

7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their ancestors— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.

9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; 10 they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. 11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them. 12 He did miracles in the sight of their ancestors in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.

Psalm 78.

13 He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand up like a wall. 14 He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. 15 He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas; 16 he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.

17 But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against

the Most High. 18 They wilfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. 19 They spoke against God; they said, “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?

Psalm 78.

20 True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly, but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people?” 21 When the LORD heard them, he was furious; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, 22 for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance. 23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; 24 he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven. 25 Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.

Psalm 78.

26 He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow. 27 He rained meat down on them like dust, birds like sand on the seashore. 28 He made them come down inside their camp, all around their tents. 29 They ate till they were gorged— he had given them what they craved. 30 But before they turned from what they craved, even while the food was still in their mouths, 31 God’s anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel.

32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.

Psalm 78.

33 So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. 34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. 35 They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. 36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; 37 their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. 38 Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath.

Psalm 78.

39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.

40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the wasteland! 41 Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember his power— the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, 43 the day he displayed his signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Zoan. 44 He turned their river into blood; they could not drink from their streams. 45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them. 46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper, their produce to the locust.

Psalm 78.

47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamore-figs with sleet. 48 He gave over their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning. 49 He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility— a band of destroying angels. 50 He prepared a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death but gave them over to the plague. 51 He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham. 52 But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the wilderness. 53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid; but the sea engulfed their enemies.

Psalm 78.

54 And so he brought them to the border of his holy land, to the hill country his right hand had taken. 55 He drove out nations before them and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance; he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes.

56 But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes. 57 Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow. 58 They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols. 59 When God heard them, he was furious; he rejected Israel completely. 60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent he had set up among humans.

Psalm 78.

61 He sent the ark of his might into captivity, his splendour into the hands of the enemy. 62 He gave his people over to the sword; he was furious with his inheritance. 63 Fire consumed their young men, and their young women had no wedding songs; 64 their priests were put to the sword, and their widows could not weep.

Psalm 78.

65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a warrior wakes from the stupor of wine. 66 He beat back his enemies; he put them to everlasting shame. 67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim; 68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved.

69 He built his sanctuary like the heights, like the earth that he established forever. 70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; 71 from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. 72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skilful hands he led them.

God’s Faithfulness.

My personal testimony

My calling to the ministry, an unlikely calling for a rebellious teen.

The blessing of children

Leaving Telkom and going to YWAM

Calling to Brakpan AGF

Anti-porn campaign

Divorce

Restoration (God is Faithful)

Australia Zip Quip FNB

Faith and works.

Rom. 4:3.

And Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.

But, if the Bible teaches that we are justified by faith, does it also teach we are justified by works as James seems to say?

Do we have a contradiction? The answer is no.

Context is Everything

It is erroneous to take a verse, read it without its context, and then attempt to develop a doctrine from that verse alone. Therefore, let's take a look at the context of James 2:24 which says that a man is justified by works. James, chapter 2, has 26 verses:

Verses 1-7 instruct us not to show favouritism.

Verses 8-13 are comments on the Law.

Verses 14-26 are about the relationship between faith and works.

Faith and works.

Notice that James begins this section by using the example of someone who says he has faith: verse 14. He then immediately gives an example of what true and false faiths are.

He begins with the negative and demonstrates what an empty faith is (verses 15-17). Then he gives an example of the type of faith that isn't much different from the faith of demons (verse 19).

Finally, he gives examples of living faith by showing Abraham and Rahab as the type of people who demonstrated their faith by their deeds.

James is examining two kinds of faith:

One that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive, hence,

James 2:20.

Faith without works is dead.

Faith and works.

James 2:19.

You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

James says the demons believe in God, that is, they have faith, but the faith they have is useless. It does not result in appropriate works, it is only a mental acknowledgment of God's existence.

Two words are worth introducing here: Ascentia and Fiducia.

Ascentia is the mental assent--the mental acknowledgment of something's existence. The demons acknowledge and believe that God exists.

Fiducia is more than mental acknowledgment. It involves a trust in something a giving over to it, a complete believing and acceptance of something. This is the kind of faith that a Christian has in Christ. A Christian, therefore, has fiducia, that is, he has real faith and trust in Christ and not simply an acknowledgment that He lived on earth at one time.

Faith and works.

Justification by faith alone has been opposed by Roman Catholicism, which says that a combination of our faith and good works provides for our justification. One impetus for this understanding has been Rome’s fear that the doctrine of justification by faith alone would encourage people to live immoral lives. Rome fears that this doctrine might lead some to think that the casual acceptance of Jesus without any change in one’s life is the kind of faith that justifies.

In order to meet such objections, the Protestant Reformers were careful to outline the biblical definition of faith in their writings. True faith always leads to a changed life. The definition of biblical faith given by the Reformers showed that faith is not merely a casual acceptance of Jesus, faith has three essential aspects: notitia, assensus, and fiducia.

nōtitia: notice, acquaintance (KNOWLEDGE)

assēnsus: agreed with, assented to, approved (BELIEF)

fiducia: trust, faith, confidence, credit (COMMITMENT)

We live in an age where people have “faith in faith” or who are taught to have faith in themselves (humanism). You can have faith in anything, but it might not be worthy of your faith. Scripture teaches that our faith must have Jesus as it’s object:

Acts 20:21 … have faith in our Lord Jesus.

2 Tim 3:14 … salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Jesus speaks of “those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:18)

Gal 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…

Eph 3:12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God…

Faith must have a worthwhile object

Faith must have a worthwhile object

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)




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