Title: Endless Faithfulness
Theme: Grasping Our Resources in Christ Jesus
“I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge--because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:4-9)
Focus upon Jesus Christ
The name of Jesus Christ is mentioned ten times in the first ten verses of 1 Corinthians. The Apostle Paul wanted the minds of the Corinthians and all who are Christians today to keep their focus upon Jesus Christ. With Him as their reason for living Christians will enjoy all the benefits of being children of God. Today’s passages of Scripture put in the foreground all the hope and cause for our praise.
Listen as I read 1 Corinthians 1:4-9, “I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge--because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” Let us Pray!
I would propose to you that faithful Christians can live a life of confidence as long as they are living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the written Word of God. Obedient Christians walk in the grace of God, enjoy the gifts of His Holy Spirit, enjoy the call of God upon their lives and know the faithfulness of God.
Just how do these great resources affect the life of the child of God?
Grace was given to us in Christ
Grasping our resources begins with understanding just what grace was given to us in Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul said, “…he always [thanked] God for [Christians] because of His grace given… in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 1:4)
The Corinthian church was a body of believers that had a lot of spiritual immaturity. There was misuse of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and division in the church over who followed who. This was a troubled church and the Apostle Paul was thankful to God for have calling them to Christ and to have the privilege to give them spiritual teaching and direction.
The church is made up of people who have been “sanctified,” (hagiazo) set apart for God, whom He has made holy simply because they have accepted Jesus’ sacrificial death for them.
The New Testament “church” (ekkesia) of the redeemed is; first, a church worldwide of all times made up of those who are called by God to Christ in fellowship of His salvation. Second, it is a group of Christians made up of individuals who seek to follow Christ and join together to exercise gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the edification of the Body of Christ. A form of this Greek word for “church” (ekklateo) means to call out. It was common in Paul’s day for a congregation (ekketoi) to be referred to as “the called people.”
It is important to note, Paul’s thankfulness was because of God’s faithfulness to call a people out of this sin darkened world unto Christ. Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…” (John 6:44)
If you know Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, it is because God, on the behalf of Christ sent the Holy Spirit to reveal to you your need for Christ and it is He who enabled you to accept Jesus into your heart and life. Even if you are not a born again Christian and you are around the things of God, it is God drawing you to Christ.
Pastor Paul Rees told the true story related to him from a Christian nurse who attended the church he oversaw for the Lord. One night the police brought a woman to the emergency room. After the doctor’s examination they said “Just leave her alone, she is going to die soon.” The Christian nurse who sat under the spiritual guidance of Pastor Rees chose not to leave the dying girl, but stayed by her bedside.
There was a drawing of this girl to ask the nurse, “Does God care about someone like me?” She went on to share with the Christian nurse about her sinful lifestyle. The nurse told her about how God loved her so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on the Cross for the sins of the world. All who would look to Christ for forgiveness would receive Him and be forgiven. The nurse went on to share the story in John chapter 8 of the woman who was caught in adultery and was granted forgiveness and a chance to leave her sinful lifestyle. (John 8:2-11) The young lady accepted Christ.
Not long after her acceptance of forgiveness found in Christ this young lady’s life began to swiftly drift way. As she went on to be with Jesus, the nurse said, “As I looked upon the dying woman, there was a look on her face of confidence that she was about to hear, “Then neither do I condemn you...” (John 8:11)
God’s faithfulness is always extending the grace of forgiveness to a lost and dying world. For sake of application, what will you do with such a grace from God? What will you do with Christ? Jesus’ words to the lady caught in adultery who He forgave were, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:8:11) (The Holy Spirit laid these things upon my heart and mind as I consider truths found in the study of, The Bible Exposition Commentary; The Bible Knowledge Commentary; The IVP Bible Background Commentary; Matthew Henry Commentary; Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary; The Complete Word Study Dictionary; The NIV Bible)
God’s faithfulness enables Christians to walk in His grace
It is the faithfulness of God that enables a sinner to come to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. It is God’s faithfulness that enables Christians to walk in His grace. Paul wrote, “For in Him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge-- (1 Corinthians 1:5)
God had given the Corinthian believers the ability to learn about the things of God and speak of eternal truths. They would need His faithfulness to work in their lives through the purifying of the written Word and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit to cleanse them from carnal living.
As Christians allow the Lord to cleanse the carnality out of their lives He gives knowledge of divine truths, ability to teach Biblical truths to others and the ability to live them out. Obedient Children of God enjoy all the favors promised in the Bible and walk in the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Christians will have all their needs met and be changed more and more into the image of Christ.
The greatest enrichment Christians can have is a heart that is after God, desiring His righteousness and surrendering to His will in their lives. Psalm 20:4 says, “May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
Psalm 20 is written in the context that a king is going out to do battle. The Christian is a soldier of Christ and He is in a battle for the souls of mankind and there is a constant battle for his heart and mind. The flesh, the world and the devil want the heart of the child of God and there is always that battle in his mind. The greatest concern of a born again Christian’s heart is the honor of his God. This must be in his heart before he can grasp the wisdom of God thus being able to discern God’s will for him. A God wise heart produces God ordained plans and they succeed.
Christians are given a wise heart because they seek the counsel of God. The New American Standard Bible translates Psalm 20:4 as, “…and fulfill all your counsel.” “Counsel” (etsah) here can mean, “to think about a course of action, often including consultation with a counselor or adviser. Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this.”
The Holy Spirit moved the apostle James to write, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) The child of God who lives a life of true faith can have God lead and direct his life and there is no greater enrichment one can have than that.
Jesus tells us about the endless faithfulness of God. How God by His request would send another “Counselor” to guide Christians in His wisdom and in all truth. Jesus taught, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--the Spirit of truth.” “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:16, 24) In His endless faithfulness God sent Jesus and He is now in the abode of God making intercession for the children of God. By the request of the Jesus, God sends the Holy Spirit to enrich the child of God’s life in every way.
His work is to bring Christians into a deeper knowledge of the Word of God, give them a divine strength to undergo all the battles they will face and fully equip obedient servants to fulfill their part of the Great Commission. Christians who have in their mind and heart to obey the Lord’s commands will be led in all truth found in the Word of God. When they need the promises and warnings of God’s Word in their lives, in their service to each other and to Christ, the Holy Spirit will remind them of everything they have been taught. Christians who enjoy God’s endless faithfulness are the ones who make time to prayerfully read and study God’s Word.
The Book of Acts may be referred to as the recorded accounts of the work of the Holy Spirit working powerfully in and through the church of Jesus Christ. Luke wrote down many accounts of the Holy Spirit giving guidance to those in the church who were surrendered to the will of God in their lives. In Acts 13:2-4 we read, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit.”
The missionary journeys that the Lord sent the Apostle Paul on showed an extraordinary combination of strategic planning and sensitivity to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Book of Acts records the time when Paul had things he wanted to do, yet God had to place His plan in Paul’s heart.
Paul wanted to preach in Asia, but Acts 16:6 tells us God’s plan. The Bible says, “…having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the Word in the province of Asia…” When Paul tried to enter Bithynia, the Bible says, “…but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” (Acts 16: 7) Paul did great things for God because he was usable by being obedient to the Holy Spirit. The “counselor” the Holy Spirit is given to guide the people of God so they can get His will done.
One of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to lead Christians each day wherever the Lord desires them to represent Him. When decisions must be made, the Holy Spirit can open the truths of Scripture to God’s obedient children and illuminate their minds and hearts. By a heartfelt desire to be obedient to the Written Word Christians can express their love for the Lord Jesus and determine God’s will for their lives.
For Applications sake: Romans 8:14 says, “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Are you allowing God to enrich your life by diligently reading the Word of God and praying for illumination of the Holy Spirit in your life? Does your life express to all who see your life that the Holy Spirit is a faithful guide?
The Holy Spirit is able to speak to and use anyone who will allow God to enrich their lives. On a Saturday afternoon in October, 1858, while at work in a cornfield near Hardwick, New York, the Holy Spirit moved upon an American farmer, Marcus M. Wells. These words came to him and they soon became a Hymn titled, “Holy Spirit, Faithful Guide.”
Let these words minister to your heart. “Holy Spirit, faithful Guide, ever near the Christian’s side, gently lead us by the hand, pilgrims in a desert land; weary souls forever rejoice, while they hear that sweetest voice whispering softly, “Wanderer come! Follow Me, I’ll guide thee home.”
Ever-present, truest Friend, ever near Your aid to lend, leave us not to doubt and fear, groping on in darkness drear; when the storms are raging sore, hearts grow faint, and hopes give o’er, whisper softly “Wanderer come! Follow Me, I’ll guide thee home.”
When our days of toil shall cease, waiting still for sweet release, nothing left but heaven and prayer, knowing that our names are written there, wading deep the dismal flood, pleading naught but Jesus’ blood, whisper softly, “Wanderer come! Follow Me, I’ll guide thee home.” (The Holy Spirit laid these things upon my heart and mind for this second division of this message as I consider truths found in the study of, The Expositors Bible Commentary; Barnes Notes; Dictionary of Biblical Languages; Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon; NIV and New American Standard Bible; The Complete Word Study Dictionary; Enhanced Strong Lexicon; Word Picture in the New Testament; Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines; Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary; Matthew Henry Commentary; The Commentary, Critical and Explanatory; The Bible Knowledge Commentary; and The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament)
His faithfulness enables them to do service
It is the faithfulness of God to put the Holy Spirit of Christ in to the hearts of His children and it is His faithfulness that enables them to do service unto Him. Paul wrote, “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Corinthians 1:7) The New American Standard Bible says, “not lacking any gift.”
We live in the age when Christ dwells in the abode of God and Christians have the great privilege of enjoying the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The results of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit are spiritual gifts for the church of Jesus Christ and she is not lacking what she needs for the edification of the Body of Christ.
While the true church waits for the second coming of Jesus, she has the free gift of grace that enables Holy Spirit filled believers to gain knowledge from God, get consolation from the Lord, and walk in confidence under the authority that God has given her in Jesus Christ.
Paul was opening his letter to the Corinthian church on a positive note, and I am convinced that these endowments are as much for us today as they were the early church. These spiritual gifts are essentially an act of God’s Spirit manifesting Himself through born again Christians as he chooses. Christians exercising their spiritual gift under the guidance of sacrificial love are the sign of spiritual good health, an expression of God’s grace, through the Holy Spirit remaining faithful to work through His church. We read of that promise in Acts 1:8. Jesus said just before He was taken up to heaven, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
I recently read the story that Charles Swindoll told of his mother, a woman who had the Holy Spirit gift of compassion and had great knowledge of the Word of God. There was a lady, Thelma, who lived across the street from them who was married late in life and had found her security in her husband. She trusted in him completely. Her wonderful husband died suddenly of a heart attack. After his funeral, Thelma began to visit the gravesite every day.
One day Charles Swindoll’s mother prepared some cookies and lemonade and took them over to Thelma. Before she left she asked her husband to pray with her, for they knew that only the Holy Spirit could prepare Thelma’s heart for salvation found only in Christ. As Mrs. Swindoll and Thelma sat and visited, they spoke of Christ love and forgiveness and how Thelma can find a new purpose for living. It was not long in the visit that Thelma received Jesus Christ in to her heart.
Mrs. Swindoll suggested to Thelma to get a new vision for visiting the cemetery. Instead of trying to make a connection with her husband, begin to set her sights on God’s vision for those who come to the cemetery to remember lost loved ones. Thelma took Mrs. Swindolls advice and she prayerfully sought out people. As the Lord opened the door for her she shared about Christ’s love and forgiveness. Thelma, also had the gift of compassion, and the Lord extended to her the gift of an evangelist. She saw the Lord bring several people to Christ in Huston Memorial Park. (The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart, Swindoll)
Christians who have spiritual endowments discover their spiritual gifts by: First, they become Biblically informed about Holy Spirit given gifts and getting an understanding on how those gifts are to be exercised for the good of the Body of Christ. They do not limit God, for the Holy Spirit often bestows several gifts on the child of God. Second, they are willing to do anything for the Lord. Third, they are diligent in getting prepared to be used by God by sacrificing time and strength to help others be successful in the exercising of their gifts. They know diligence and faithfulness in the exercising of one gift leads to the discovery of other gifts. (The Holy Spirit laid these things upon my heart and mind for this second division of this message as I consider truths found in the study of, Word Studies in the New Testament; Willmington’s Bible Commentary; Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary; The New Bible Commentary; The Pulpit Commentary; Thru the Bible; The Complete Word Study of the Bible; Tyndale Bible Dictionary)
God is Faithful
Lastly, the Word of God holds a promise that should keep all of us on fire for the Lord’s work. The Apostle wrote, “God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:9) As the Holy Spirit moves the Apostle Paul to conclude this section of thanksgiving, he assures Christians that the God who called them into fellowship with Christ is faithful.
The key word in this passage is “fellowship” (koninonia) meaning partnership, with the application being, we are called into a partnership that involves participation from the Lord in all we do. When God calls Christians to do something He will open doors, provide the means and the strength, and get the results that He so desires. God may be trusted with our dearest concerns. Everyone who puts their trust in God will come to Him and not be disappointed. As they prove themselves faithful to pray through, they will see that God is faithful to them.
Another truth the Holy Spirit wants you to understand today is the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His promises to us as found in 1 Corinthians 1:6, “…our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.”
“Confirmed” (bebaioo) means to strengthen and sustain inwardly to bring a firmness in Christ-like character. It is also a legal term that refers to a guarantee that settles a transaction. Christians have the witness of the Spirit within them and the witness of the written Word before them that proclaim the promises of God.
This means that God will keep His “contract” with us and save us to the utmost. He will fulfill His part of the partnership enabling us to live a life that brings honor to Him and empowering for service unto Him and others.
Therefore none of God’s children should be paralyzed in Christian service because of inward feelings of inferiority or inadequacy, but should look to Christ who is all-sufficient for their needs and can clean all carnality from their lives. (The Holy Spirit laid these things upon my heart and mind for this second division of this message as I consider truths found in the study of, Word Pictures in the New Testament; Matthew Henry Commentary; The New Bible Commentary; Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains; Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; The Bible Exposition Commentary; The Complete Word Study Dictionary; The Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament;
In Closing: Psalm 40:10 says, “I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.”
As I sat in the sitting room thanking the Lord for all the great things He has allowed us to do through the faithful workers in this church. The Holy Spirit reminded me of God’s faithfulness to those who sacrificially serve Him. This passage of Scripture came to my mind” “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Our flesh to often causes us to reflect on our present circumstances and Satan uses this to keep us from seeing and enjoying the hand of God upon our lives.
To those who are faithful to do their work in this church in all diligences and steadfastness, let me remind you of two such “Pillars in the Church.” Pastor Ronald and Sylvia Scheimo have now served the Lord for over fifty years. They have spiritual qualities that still set the guide for this church. Three of them are 1.) The desire that the church be known as a place were people will be taught the apostles doctrine. 2.) The Word of God go out from the church and the house of God be known as house of prayer. 3.) That the Lord’s church, look as nice as we can keep it so Christians will have a nice place to meet together and worship the Lord.
The Lord has been faithful to carry on their heartfelt convictions onto those who attend CrossRoads Church. We are a place were you can get the highest quality Bible studies possible with some of latest technology possible. The pulpit still remains a place were the Word of God is preached. We are the only church right now in town that is a public herald with the Lord enabling us to get the Word of God into every single home in Norton County every week. The Norton County Ministerial Alliance gives us the first Friday of every month to have a message on the church devotional page in the Norton Telegram. The Norton Telegram, at no charge is putting our CrossRoads in the Friday paper. The word spoken here is put in transcript format and is not only on our own website but on SermonCentral as well with pastors and Bible teachers from all over the world reading these messages every week. Through their grandson, Justin Scheimo, CrossRoads Church has a website that exclusively preaches and teaches the Word of God. The charge to the church is “Preach the Word.” (2 Timothy 4:2) The Greek word for “preach” means to proclaim as a herald, publish and announce Christian truths.
Pastor Scheimo started a men’s prayer meeting so many years ago we cannot remember when it started and it is still going. Many know how to pray a ministry vision through to its completion in this church. Jesus said, “It is written… My house shall be called a house of prayer…” (Matthew 21:13) This why we have prayer guides put together that enables you to pray for laborers for the church and for the Sunday morning service according to the Written Word of God.
Psalm 122:1 records the words of a psalmist who discovered the value of being in a place that represents the presence of God. He writes, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord…”
Now after fifty plus years, the Lord has raised up several people in the church to work together, using their gifts from the Lord to do lots of church building improvements, so all who attend here can have a delightful place to worship Christ in.
Just as God called Pastor Ron and Sylvia into fellowship with Christ and enriched their lives in every way. The Lord has called and enriched us with every gift we need to get accomplished His plans for us. With all this before us we have every reason to grasp our resources in Christ and to preserver in all the Lord has called us to do. God’s “Endless Faithfulness” will carry us on.
Let us pray!!!!!