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Our Faithful God

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Our Faithful God

Text: Philippians 1:6-11

Sermon

February 25, 2005

Introduction;

 I want you to think about a time when you made a promise to someone anyone. You made a promise and then you couldn’t keep it. For what ever the reason may have been you could not fulfill your promise to that person you could not be faithful to your words.

Now I want you to think about another promise you made to that same person some time after the first promise you thought of. Maybe you recall the person not being totally sure you would keep your promise. And they let you know about it, they express or reminded you of the last promise that went unfulfilled the last time you were not faithful to your words.

Do you remember how you felt; can you recall the feeling of maybe anger? – How could they think I will not keep my promise ---I mean I only missed that one promise?

Or maybe you had a feeling of disappointment a feeling of; --- yea, I don’t blame them, I did blow it last time. 

Or maybe you where the person that was promised something and was let down, and now your facing the same person and they and making another promise. You don’t know what to think – you don’t know how to respond – You just keep thinking can I trust them this time? Will they be faithful to their words?

In Talking about promises;

Writer and speaker Lewis Smedes in his book"The Power of Promises,"   says:

Yes, somewhere people still make and keep promises. They choose not to quit when the going gets rough because they promised once to see it through. They stick to lost causes. They hold on to a love grown cold. They stay with people who have become pains in the neck. They still dare to make promises and care enough to keep the promises they make. I want to say to you that if you have a ship you will not desert, if you have people you will not forsake, if you have causes you will not abandon, then you are like God.

What a marvelous thing a promise is! When a person makes a promise, she reaches out into an unpredictable future and makes one thing predictable: she will be there even when being there costs her more than she wants to pay. When a person makes a promise, he stretches himself out into circumstances that no one can control and controls at least one thing: he will be there no matter what the circumstances turn out to be. With one simple word of promise, a person creates an island of certainty in a sea of uncertainty.

When a person makes a promise, she stakes a claim on her personal freedom and power.

When you make a promise, you take a hand in creating your own future.

Citation: Lewis Smedes, "The Power of Promises," A Chorus of Witnesses, edited by Long and Plantinga (Eerdmans, 1994)

A promise is a powerful thing as Mr. Smedes points out, when you make a promise you are taking a hand in creating the future.

However, the fact of the matter is that every one of us will make promises that will affect others and their future, as well as our own, and we will not keep that promise, we will not be faithful to those words.

So the future is always uncertain, we can never be 100% sure that any one person

So when we look at the promises that God has made to us do we react the same way? Do we not put our total confidence in them? Do we think that something along the way will make God be unable or unwilling to be faithful to His word?

I mean just look at some of His promises;

John 3:16 NLT

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 10:27-28 NLT

27My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me,

Ephesians 1:13b-14 NLT

And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.

1Corithians 10:13 NLT

 13But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

The way to respond to God’s Faithfulness is to be confident that He will be faithful to His words. (Big Idea)

We should act and respond to God’s promises with a certainty that they will happen.

Trun with me to Philippians 1:6-11 as we see an example of what this would look like.

Philip. 1:6-11

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. 7For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Is Paul telling us that we should not trust God?

I.                  Believers should be Confident in God’s Faithfulness (vv. 6-7)

A.  We should be confident that God will complete the work He has begun in each of us. (v. 6)

1. Remember Paul is in jail – He is probably looking at his death at this point.

2. Yet he is very confident that God will be faithful not only to himself but to all believers.

3. Paul was a biblical scholar, he was very much aware of the promises God had made to the nation of Israel through out the O.T.

4. And Paul was very much aware of all that God had always kept His promises.

5. Paul knew the words of Moses from Duet. 7 where God speaks tho the nation of Israel through Moses and tells them;

Deut. 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;

6. But that is God speaking to the nation of Israel thousands of years ago. We are not the nation of Israel.

7. Where dose the confidence of this church in Philippi lie, where does the confidence of this New Song Bible Church lie?

B.  Our confident rest in the fact that we as Believers of Jesus Christ Share in the same salvation as Paul. (v.7)

1, You see it goes back to what we started with today. ---

2. If a person makes a promise gives his/her word and is not faithful to their word , then we can’t we lose confidence in them over time.

3. But gave their word and over and over the kept their word, a person who consistently was faithful to their word.

4. Our confidence would grow tremendously in their faithfulness.

5. Paul knew this about God, He knew that God never broke a promise; God was faithful to all His words to the nation of Israel.

6. Paul knew that God never lied what God said God did. So when God said; who so ever believes in my Son will have eternal life Paul knew God would keep His promise then and that it would carry on forever.

7. We share in that promise with the church in Philippi and with all the people who placed their trust and faith in Jesus.

So what should we do with this confidence in God Faithfulness?

II.               The Result of Being Confident in God’s Faithfulness (vv. 8-11)

1. Well beginning with verse 8 Paul begins to tell us what this confidence will look like as we begin to act in a manner that reflects that we trust God to be faithful.

2. The first thing is;

A.  Our love for each other and for Christ will grow with our knowledge of Jesus Christ. (vv. 8-9)

1. What I mean by that is before someone becomes a believer of Jesus Christ a follow of Christ brought you along through different experiences, people, and situations that began you looking to God that time where you learned of God promise of salvation through His Son Jesus.

 2.

                                                         i.      Believers should love each other with the love of Christ.

1. Just as Jesus love us enough to give His life for our salvation we to should love each other in the same way.

                                                       ii.      Believers are to pray for one another.

1.   Pray for greater love and unity.

2.   Pray for knowledge.

 

The Greek word there is epignosis and it expressing a fuller knowledge,

It suggest a greater participation by the knower in the object known, thus more powerfully influencing him.

3.   Pray for discernment (perception, understanding)-

The Greek word there is aesthesis – it is the only time it is used in the NT--- and it is expressing a use of the knowledge which we have

DISCERNING THE DETAILS

Dedication; Discernment; Experience; Spiritual Disciplines; Spiritual Perception; Sports

PROVERBS 14:33; PHILIPPIANS 1:10; 1 TIMOTHY 4:8; HEBREWS 5:13-14; 1 JOHN 4:1

The floor of the Princeton gym was being resurfaced, so Princeton basketball standout (and later U.S. senator) Bill Bradley had to put in several practice sessions at the Lawrenceville School. His first afternoon at Lawrenceville, he began by shooting 14-foot jump shots from the right side. He got off to a bad start, and he kept missing them. Six in a row hit the back rim of the basket and bounced out.

He stopped, looking discomfited, and seemed to be making an adjustment in his mind. Then he went up for another jump shot from the same spot and hit it cleanly. Four more shots went in without a miss, and then he paused and said, "You want to know something? That basket is about an inch and a half low."

Some weeks later, I went back to Lawrenceville with a steel tape, borrowed a stepladder, and measured the height of the basket. It was nine feet, ten and seven-eighths inches above the floor, or one and one-eighth inches too low.

Citation: John McPhee, A Sense of Where You Are (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1965); submitted by Kevin Miller; Wheaton, Illinois


B.  As a result the love, unity, knowledge, and discernment will lead believers to understanding the higher issues in life.  This understanding will lead them to be sincere and blameless until the return of Christ because of Christ righteousness. (v. 10-11)

                                                         i.      Believers are viewed by God through the righteousness of Christ.  

                                                       ii.      In understanding the higher issues in life believers learn to be sincere.

 

 

                                                    iii.      In understanding the higher issues of life we understand to be blameless.

 MOTHER TERESA FELT ABANDONED BY GOD

Calling; Devotion; Discouragement; Doubt; Experiencing God; Faith; God, faithfulness of; God, sovereignty of; Temptation; Trials

PSALM 27:13-14; JEREMIAH 14:19-22; EPHESIANS 4:11; HEBREWS 2:18

Archbishop of Calcutta Henry D'Souza knows that at times in her life, Mother Teresa felt abandoned by God.

He said that in one letter, she wrote that she had been walking the streets of Calcutta searching for a house where she could start her work. At the end of the day, she wrote in her diary, "I wandered the streets the whole day. My feet are aching, and I have not been able to find a home. And I also get the Tempter telling me, 'Leave all this, go back to the convent from which you came.' "

She found her home, and the rest is history. The Missionaries of Charity feeds 500,000 families a year in Calcutta alone, treats 90,000 leprosy patients annually, and educates 20,000 children every year.

Citation: Kevin A. Miller, vice president, Christianity Today International; source: CNN

DIRECTION

WRONG WAY REGALS: INSTINCT WITHOUT DIRECTION

Community; Correction; Direction; Error; Mistakes; Sin

PSALM 16; MATTHEW 18:15-18; ROMANS 3; 1 CORINTHIANS 5; GALATIANS 6:1-2; PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11; JAMES 5:19-20

Roy Regals was a lineman for the University of California in 1929 when they went up against Georgia Tech at the Rose Bowl. The game was scoreless when he picked up a fumble from the other team, and headed for the end zone--the wrong end zone. A teammate chased him and tackled him with one yard to go, but on the next play, Regals's quarterback got sacked in the end zone for a two-point safety. When the game was over, his team had lost by one point. Thus, Roy Regals has been known ever after as Wrong Way Regals.

Regals later said he had heard his teammate behind him yelling, "You're going the wrong way," but thought, What's wrong with him?

One author said of Regals: "He had instincts without direction."

We're all like that. Sometimes we have the right instincts, but we go in the wrong direction, and it's dangerous.

Citation: Lee Eclov, pastor of Village Church of Lincolnshire; Lake Forest, Illinois

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