A Faithful Saint is Hard to Find
Separate (K,V-F,D), Always acts in Love, Indwelt by HS (and it shows), Not limited, Truths it in love
What do you believe about Jesus? Historical figure, Sin-bearer, Savior, Coming King & Judge, Lord God
Lead me, leave me, or launch me wherever He wants (let's go...sent out disciples...don't go)
Order my every step, thought, value, desire and feeling
Remove or add anything to my life, Rearrange the furniture, Reverse my expectations & experience
Demand the difficult, even my death (but more commonly my life)
Faithfulness is a consistent sacrificial loyalty with obvious results: NIDNTT 2:594 dependability of those bound through an agreement; conduct that honored and agreement or bond; Stoics: man's fidelity to his moral destiny leads to fidelity toward others; Mystery: abandonment to the deity by following his instruction and teaching, and by putting oneself under his protection; "Besides Judaism and Christianity, the mystery religions stand out in their demand of faith in their divinities, and the revelations and teachings delivered by them. In this way salvation, (which in the mystery religions was equated with divinization) was promised to the believer."; All had the same demand to hand: "Believe if you would be saved, or begone" Origen, (Contra Cels,6,11); Qumran: "God will save them from the house of judgment on account of their suffering and their faithfulness to the teacher of righteousness. The doing of the law is the supreme and decisive idea. Faithfulness to the teacher, on the other hand, means holding to the knowledge revealed to him."; The revelation of eschatological truth was at the same time the requital of obedience and disobedience. "For assuredly he who believes will receive reward." (Syr. Bar. 54:16)
Faithfulness develops from a conviction that:
1. Jesus is who He said He is and will do what He said He'll do
2. He has saved my life and I owe it all to Him
3. There is no better "system or approach" to enjoying this life and the next
4. I have a responsibility to His: Person (reputation, loyalty, time) Precepts (specific), Principles (general-what would Jesus do or want me to do), Power (not trusting in anything else), Perspective (Vision)
Faithfulness is enhanced by:
1. The experience of God's protection and power toward me
2. Enjoyment of abandoning myself to Him and finding Him faithful
3. Exhortation Heb 3:12 Take heed...evil heart of unfaithfulness, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another
Faithfulness diminishes/decreases due to:
1. Satan and immersion in his world system
3. Pride - we think we know better than God or can do a better job of managing our lives than God can
4. Sin/Rebellion - breaks fellowship, begets shame, builds independence
In order to be faithful I must:
Fix my heart (mind, values, will, emotions) to Follow regardless of the cost
Abandon and Avoid anything or anyone that will hold me back or trip me up
Inquire into Jesus' expectations and desires for me in all things
Trust that if I do my part, He'll do His part in providing all that I need to do His will
Help others along the way as I seek their help and encouragement
Fulfil all His commands and expectations for me (Parable of the Talents)
Unabashed brag about how good my Lord is
Look to the future payoff
Pr 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings...Ps 101:6 My eyes [shall be] upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: 1Sa 26:23 The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness...
Mt 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant...46 Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing.
Mt 25:21 Well done, good & faithful servant...faithful over few things...ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Re 2:10 ...have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life.
Re 17:14 ...he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.
Loss of reward Heb 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unfaithfulness.
Defilement Titus 1:15...but to them that are defiled and unfaithful nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.