The Faithfulness of God

Psalm 119:90

We live in a universe of laws.
God's laws always operate – they never fail.

This is true in the realm of the physical.
The sun, the moon, the stars, the seasons are dependable because God is faithful.
This is true in the realm of the mind.
The first law of our minds is that we can think about only one thing at a time. (Philippians 4:8)
This is also true in the realm of the spiritual.
Ezekiel wrote in 18:4: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."

Paul wrote to the Galatians, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap
." (6:7)
That is God's law.
God's laws work because God is faithful.

The faithfulness of God is a rock under our feet, a strong arm around her shoulders, a sure light upon our way,
and a needed word in our discouragement.

This paragraph from Psalm 119 emphasizes God's character, including His sovereignty, His integrity,
His dependability.
Verse 90 states an important biblical theme, "Thy faithfulness is unto all generations."
I'd like for us to look at five places that this theme surfaces in the New Testament.

First, the Faithfulness of God Is His protection In Our Temptations.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, ASV we read, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear:
but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it
."

How could this be true?
It is true because God is faithful.

For the Christian there is an enemy; there is a battle; there is a victory.
With the first two affirmations we have no problem, but concerning the third we hedge and question,
we quibble and doubt.
Napoleon Bonaparte once said: "God is on the side of the biggest battalions."
God is on the side of the biggest battalions, for His battalions are the biggest.

"Fear not; for they that are with us are more than they that are with them."
(2 Kings 6:16 ASV)

"If this be true," you ask, "why did those temptations and sins so often lay me low?"
It is true that His battalions are the biggest battalions.
It is also true that they that are with us are more than they that are with them.

But also, He is our Supreme Commander and Guide.
We must fight the battle the way He directs.

If we go wandering off like straying sheep; if we find in our own strength; if we use the weapons of the flesh
and not of the Spirit, the enemy will pick us off one by one. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
If we do go wandering off on our own, we are secure within His fold -- within the citadel of His peace and strength.

In Philippians 4:7, Paul tells the Philippians, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
"
We will guard (garrison) those who are His own and keep them safe.

Second, The Faithfulness of God is His Explanation of the Orderliness of Our Physical Universe.

In his first epistle, Peter says "Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God
commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator
." (4:19, ASV)
Remember that phrase, "Unto a faithful Creator."
The more we study these words, the more wonderful they appear!

He is faithful in the return of the seasons and the orbit of the stars; faithful to every living creature He has made,
providing for its exact sustenance.

"Summer and winter, and spring time and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love."

God is the faithful Creator.
It is logical, therefore, that His faithfulness should be the theme of the Bible.
But why does Peter, when ministering to these suffering saints, lay emphasis on God's faithfulness as Creator?
Isn't this the reason?

We are apt to concentrate our thoughts entirely upon the birth, the cross, the burial, the resurrection,
the intercession of our Lord; and forget that behind all these, deep in the nature of God,
-- the Almighty Creator there are ever-flowing fountains of faithfulness and love.

God is faithful.
His physical creation, therefore, is orderly and dependable.
So we ask, "What then is wrong with the world in which we live?"
Why the weeds, the briars, the thorns that interest the ground, and why hailstones and tornadoes
and other calamities of nature
?"

Mankind, by his sin, has upset God's perfect environment, His balance of nature.
This is part of God's judgment – a part of man's penalty. (Genesis 3:17-19)

What is wrong with our physical environment?
Nothing, except mankind himself, and his thoughtlessness and sin in upsetting the balance of nature.
But for all that; God is faithful.

This is the bulwark of the scientists in his research, the ally of the physician in healing arts,
the assurance of the astronomer in his search of the skies, and in his calculation based upon his searching,
the protection of every living thing.

"When the geese fly south and their mournful cry
Drifts like a leaf from the late fall sky,
A sense of ease creeps into my heart
And half-formed worries and fears depart.

For I know, although the affairs of men
Seem tangled and snarled, there is a plan
That wings the birds on their southward way,
And operates, always, come what may,
And somehow I know, that for us, like the geese
Directions and guidance never cease."

Third, The Faithfulness of God Is His Pledge of The Efficacy Of Our Faith.

Because God is faithful, we can trust Him.
Paul tells Timothy, "Faithful is the saying: for if we died with him, we shall also live with him:
if we endure, we shall also reign with him: if we shall deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he abideth faithful; for he cannot deny himself.
" (2 Timothy 2:11-13 RSV)

The value of my faith is in its object.
We are faithless again and again.
We disappoint God.
We betray our fellow-man.

But "if we are faithless, he abideth faithful; for He cannot deny himself." (Verse 13)
We can put our full weight upon God because He is faithful.

John G. Patton, the missionary translated John 3:16 into the crude language of the South Sea Islanders
like this: "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son
that whosoever leans his whole weight on him shall not perish, but have everlasting life
."

To "lean one's whole weight upon" was this word for faith.
We can lean our full weight upon Him because He is faithful.

An unknown poet has said:
"Nothing before, nothing behind,
the steps of faith
Fall on the seeming void and find
the solid rocks beneath."

Fourth, The Faithless of God is His Assurance of Our Security.

1. Because God is faithful, we know that He will never desert us.
Why will God guard his own?
Because He is faithful.
God can be counted on to do two things for His people.

1) "The Lord… shall establish you." (2 Thessalonians 3:3, ASV)
Paul tells the Thessalonians that the pervesities of "unreasonable and evil man" (3:2, ASV)
will not prevail against them.

2) Paul tells them, "The Lord… shall… guard you from the evil one." (3:3, ASV)
In short, because He is faithful, the security of His own is absolutely assured.

2. Our salvation through Christ has three features.
1) It is personal.
The redemption and rescue of a person by A Person; and that person is Jesus Christ.
2) It is planned.
God's plan of salvation was no afterthought with God.
It is the plan of the ages.
3) it is permanent.
A Christian life begins; and it continues on and on; and one day it will consummate in glory.

As Peter said of those despised and persecuted saints to whom he wrote,
"Who are kept by the power of God through faith
unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time
." (1 Peter 1:4)

Our Lord is faithful, and therefore, His own is secure .

Fifth, The Faithfulness of God Is His Guarantee of Forgiveness.

1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
." (1 John 1:9)

Confession of sins is God's condition of forgiveness.
His faithfulness is His guarantee.
By confessing our sins to God, we admit their reality and their enormity.

Silence conceals the sin that it refuses to acknowledge.
Confession to God drags the sin, as it were, into the light, and we see it in all its rottenness.

God has promised in His word, ";If we confess our sins…"

This anticipates by nearly 2000 years the modern psychiatric principle whereby the patient
who unburdened himself of his guilty memories has an experience of purging and cleansing.

But will it work?
Thousands upon thousands of people, throughout all the centuries can testify that it does work.
The attributes of God which led to the punishment of those who will not repent
lead to the forgiveness and cleansing of those who do.
God meets free confession with free forgiveness.

The faithfulness of God – that truth is so wonderful!
Let us thank God for it!
Indeed, His "faithfulness is unto all generations."

"Faithful, God is faithful,
to perform, perform His word.
Faithful, God is faithful,
to perform, perform His word.

God is bigger than my mountain,
bigger than my valley,
bigger than my problem,
bigger than my pain,
Our God, God is faithful.
-- Norman Hutchins lyrics

This sermon was adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White