Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

 

The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 08/05/07
The Faithfulness of God.
The Doctrine of the Faithfulness of God.
Point 1. Definition.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is only one person who is totally faithful to you and that is God. He can only be faithful to you because of His perfect character. Divine faithfulness is God’s grace expression to the believer using His perfect character as the basis for expression. Faithfulness hinges on the essence of God. God is perfect, fair, and stable to Himself, and He will be all these things to you as well.
LAM 3:21-25, This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. God can be faithful to you because of propitiation. Propitiation is the work of Christ on the cross which deals with the integrity of God. Propitiation means that our Lord satisfied the justice and righteousness of God the Father. Hence, in propitiation the justice of God judges our sins, and the integrity of God is satisfied with that judgment. Propitiation frees the justice of God to immediately give anyone who believes in Christ one-half of divine integrity, the righteousness of God. This is the down payment on our salvation. God’s faithfulness does not depend upon your spiritual status. Propitiation removes any compromise to the essence of God. Divine faithfulness manifests itself in divine discipline to the apostate believer and in blessing to the mature believer. All faithfulness in the human realm resides, first of all, in the soul. Faithfulness is an attitude to something in life which you love, respect, admire, or recognize its authority. The fact that you are alive, plus everything you have, is a matter of God’s faithfulness to you. He is faithful and loves you every moment.
Point 2. God Is Faithful to Us in Rebound and Recovery.
1JO 1:9 “If we acknowledge [name and cite] our sins, He is faithful and righteous, with the result that He forgives us our sins [known sins] and purifies us from all unrighteousness [unknown sins].” When we name or cite the sins we know that we have committed, God is faithful to forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness which refers to the unknown sins. The same principle is taught in the following passages: 1CO 11:31; JER 3:13; PSA 32:5; PSA 38:18.
God knew our sins in eternity past. He imputed them to the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and judged them. Jesus Christ took our place, He was our substitute, and God is justified to forgive us because He has been propitiated by the sacrifice of His perfect Son. Therefore, there is no compromise to His integrity when He faithfully forgives us as we name and cite our sins. An important principle emerges here which is that there is no merit in naming a sin. Legalism says you must feel sorry to be forgiven, but grace says that how you feel is not the issue. When we name and cite our sins, God faithfully forgives us regardless of how we feel. Therefore, you can forget the sin and move on immediately. There are four mechanics involved in rebound: 1) Name it (1JO 1:9). 2) Isolate it (HEB 12:15). 3) Forget it (PHI 3:13). 4) Keep moving (PHI 3:14). This is a big problem with the legalist and those who are influenced by self-righteous arrogance. Only arrogant people say you can commit a sin which will cause God to abandon you and not forgive you. However, God treats us in grace, and grace forgiveness is never a license to sin, but is the motivation to press on to spiritual maturity. The basis of God’s faithfulness is His grace, JAM 1:17Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.”
Point 3. God’s Faithfulness is Manifest in His Perfect Plan.
1CO 1:9“God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We were called in eternity past when God was aware of all our failures. God found a way to take us through all His grace plan without any compromise of His essence. Knowing every sin, human good deed, and evil thing we would ever do, God still selected us to have human life at birth, and elected us to equal privilege and equal opportunity at salvation. As a part of His faithfulness, God has provided for every believer His very own plan in which to function as the basis for equal opportunity to reach spiritual maturity.
Point 4. God’s Faithfulness is Manifest in Logistical Grace Provision and Supergrace Blessing.
1TH 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”
JOB 23:14“For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such decrees are with Him.”
You should never worry about the basic necessities to sustain your life. God will provide everything you will ever need. It was harder for God to find a way to save us than it is for God to bless us in time. If He could do the most for us at salvation, it follows, the principle of a fortiori, that He can provide the lesser blessing of logistical grace support in time. This Latin phrase “a fortiori” means “from a stronger argument.” It is a system of logic using comparison. It is used in drawing a conclusion that is inferred to be even more certain than the conclusions and facts it combines. A simple example, as we have seen, would be that if a person can lift one hundred pounds, he can lift 10 pounds. Here, a fortiori means that since God was faithful to you in eternity past, He can only be faithful to you in time, and eternity future as well.
Point 5. God’s Faithfulness in Testing.
            God will not allow us to be tested or tempted beyond our capacity and capability to pass the test or say no to the temptation. 1CO 10:13“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”  2CO 4:17“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,” ROM 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.” We are constantly tested in the area of logistical grace support from God. Logistical grace is defined as divine planning, support, provision, and blessing for the execution of the Pre-designed Plan of God by the Royal Family for the fulfillment of God’s will, purpose, and plan for your life. LUK 12:27-31, “Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.”
Not only are we tested with regard to logistical grace support from God, but we are also tested concerning our love for Bible doctrine as well as our social life, loved ones, our failures, other distractions, and our families. Prior to the different stages of spiritual growth, we must all pass through different forms of suffering for blessing that the Lord brings in our life. Even in spiritual maturity, we face testing, as did Abraham when he was commanded to offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. So you are tested in all stages of spiritual growth, but never beyond your capacity. As a part of God’s faithfulness, He always provides the doctrine or the opportunity to get the doctrine necessary to pass each test before it comes. Therefore, Bible doctrine is your way of escape from each test, and that doctrine is provided by the faithfulness of God. God will never give you something for which you do not have the capacity, be it blessing or testing.
Point 6. God is Faithful to the Royal Family of God.
HEB 10:23“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;”
You have the most fantastic escrow blessings on deposit for you protected by the faithfulness of God. The more doctrine you have in your soul, the more you see God’s perfect character, and the more you advance to spiritual maturity. This results in the things around you, which were formerly distracting to your spiritual growth, becoming less and less important.
Point 7. God is Faithful to the Apostate Believer.
2TI 2:13“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.”
Since God has perfect character, how can He not be faithful to us even if we reject and deny Him? God cannot be anything less than He is. In fact, God is faithful in keeping the degenerate believer alive for discipline. That same believer still goes to heaven after an entire life of rejection of Bible doctrine just as surely as the apostle Paul went to heaven.
Point 8. God is Faithful to the Believer in the Realm of the Angelic Conflict.
            God is faithful to protect and guard you in the midst of the unseen angelic battle which is fought daily all around you, 2TH 3:3“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”
Point 9. God’s Faithfulness Becomes a Reality as You Advance to and Reach Spiritual Maturity.
HEB 11:11“By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised;”
HEB 13:5“Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’”
Point 10.  Conclusion.
Faithfulness is the consistency and stability of God. Faithfulness is the perfection of God’s essence and the fact that He cannot be inconsistent or compromise His essence. Faithfulness is the fact that God cannot change His essence and be unfair to anyone. God is consistent with Himself; therefore, He is faithful and consistent with us. God keeps His word, He has never made a promise that He has not kept, there never was a time when God was unfaithful. It is blasphemy to think so. Therefore, unfaithfulness is totally incompatible with the very nature and essence of God, MAL 3:6 “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” The very existence, function, and provision of blessing for the Royal Gamily of God, both now and forever, depends on the faithfulness and character of God. God is always prepared; He is never caught off guard. God’s nature is to be faithful. How refreshing it is to know that in spite of all this there is One who is faithful. He is faithful in all things, at all times, even unto the end.
DEU 7:9“Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” This quality is essential to His being; without it He would not be God.
Now, it is one thing to accept the faithfulness of God as truth; it is another thing to act upon it. God is faithful to us and He is not only faithful to tell us the good things but He is also faithful to tell us the bad things. He has faithfully described the ruin that negative volition toward doctrine leads to. He has faithfully diagnosed the terrible results and effects of sin. So God is faithful in all things. The Bible states many ways in which God is faithful. For instance,  God is faithful in keeping His promises;
2CO 1:20“For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.
NUM 23:19“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Think of all the rebellion that the children of Israel fell into and yet God was faithful. Many times they were faithless, but He was always faithful! Why? Because in Titus 1:2, it is impossible for Him to lie. In HEB 10:23, He who promised is faithful. The permanence of God’s character guarantees the fulfillment of his promises. ISA 54:4-10 has an application to us and though it was said to the Jews, think how more applicable it is to the Church.ISA 54:4-10, “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; Neither feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. For the Lord has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of {one’s} youth when she is rejected,” Says your God. “For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the Lord your Redeemer. For this is like the days of Noah to Me; When I swore that the waters of Noah Should not flood the earth again, So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, Nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the Lord who has compassion on you.”
In 1PE 4:19, to those who were going through some measure of suffering, Peter says to entrust your soul to the faithful creator who will do what is right! God is also faithful in disciplining His people. He is faithful in what He withholds just like in what He gives. He is faithful in sending sorrow as well as in giving joy. Therefore, the faithfulness of God is a truth to be acknowledged by us, not only when we are at ease, but when we are in trouble. To agree with this means that we humble ourselves before Him and owe up to the fact that we fully deserve His correction and instead of any murmuring or complaining, we thank Him for it.
PSA 119:75“I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me.”
God is not only faithful in stopping affliction but in sending it as well.
PSA 89:33“But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.”
HOS 5:15“I will go away {and} return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”
God the Father is faithful (JAM 1:17). The Lord Jesus Christ is faithful and is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (HEB 13:8). The Holy Spirit is faithful to indwell us (JOH 14:16), and to teach Bible doctrine to the believer (1CO 12:13). Understanding these principles will keep us from worry. To be worried and concerned is to reject this divine attribute. He doesn’t change and therefore He who has cared for His child through all the years, will not forsake him in old age. He who has heard your prayers in the past will not refuse to supply your need in the present. Therefore a very important principle, God is greatly honored when under testing for blessing or chastening we have proper thoughts toward Him and recognize His divine attributes in action. The sooner we trust Him in all of our affairs being fully persuaded and convinced of His love toward us, the sooner we will find true satisfaction in life.
Throughout the Bible, there is case after case of the faithfulness of God. For example, Abraham, the father of our faith inGEN 12:13-19. Abraham willfully lies to deceive the Pharaoh and protect his own life. Sarah was very beautiful and Abraham was afraid that the king would kill him to take Sarah as his wife. So Abraham said to Sarah, “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.” However, when he came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. Therefore, Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. Pharaoh treated Abraham well for her sake and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. However, the Lord struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Pharaoh called for Abraham and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” The point is that Abraham willfully lied, and yet God was faithful to him.
Then there was Isaac; would he learn from his father Abraham’s mistakes? Would he be faithful to God? Well, in GEN 26:7, he committed the same sin as his father Abraham, he lived in fear of losing his life and therefore he willfully lied and told the men of Gerah that Rebekah was not his wife but his sister. There was a famine in the land besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.” So Isaac lived in Gerar. However, when the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful.” However, it came about, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out through a window, and saw, and behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah. Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, certainly she is your wife! How then did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” And Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.'” Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” So Abimelech charged all the people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” However, Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold, and the Lord blessed him and he became rich and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy. Once again the Lord was faithful to him!
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