Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Church And Faithfulness

Temple Baptist Church - 2-27-2011

James 1:17


A. Here in this passage, which deals with chastening of the Lord, we find reference to God’s unfailing faithfulness. The description of God’s faithfulness covers both His person and purposes. “No variableness, neither shadow of turning.” The person and purpose of God never varies. GOD IS FAITHFUL!

1. God Is Faithful To His Person - Malachi 3:6 For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

2. God Is Faithful To His People - Lamentations 3:22-23 [It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.

a) God Is Faithful In His Preservation - 1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

John 10:28-30 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand. I and [my] Father are one.

b) God Is Faithful In His Protection - Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

c) God Is Faithful In His Provision - Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

3. God Is Faithful To His Promises - 2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

4. God Is Faithful To His Purposes - Job 23:13-15 But he [is] in one [mind], and who can turn him? and [what] his soul desireth, even [that] he doeth. For he performeth [the thing that is] appointed for me: and many such [things are] with him. Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.

5. God Is Faithful Perpetually - Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hallelujah, what a Savior!)

B. If God is this faithful to His person, promises, purposes, and people—is it not a valid request that His people be found faithful to him? 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

C. In Matthew 25:14-27, the phrase “Well done, good and faithful servant” is used twice while the phrase “Thou wicked and slothful servant” is used once.

1. Faithful is a commandment, not an option.

2. Faithfulness is a blessing, not a cursing.

D. Faithful people are a blessing to both the church and the pastor as well as to each other. They love the church; support the church; and can be depended upon. God is looking for faithful people. Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

1. Faithfulness is greater than talent – you may be the greatest singer in the world, but if you are not here to sing, you are useless!

2. Faithfulness is greater that giving - you may be the greatest giver in the world, but if you are not here to give, you are useless!

3. Faithfulness is greater than ability – you may be the greatest teacher in the world, but if you are not here to teach, you are useless!

4. Faithfulness is greater than soul winning ability – you may be the greatest soul winner in the world, but if you are not on visitation to soul win, you are useless!

5. The list could go on indefinitely, but I believe you understand the importance of faithfulness.

Hebrews 10:22-23 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)

E. Before I get into the remaining part of this message, I want to say this about Temple Baptist Church. Our church is full of faithful people! We are blessed with people who are here Sunday Morning, Sunday Night, and Wednesday Night services and, as a pastor, I am thankful for you. Many of my messages are “preventive maintenance” but there are always a few in every church who have a problem with unfaithfulness.

Here are some areas of faithfulness.

1. We Are To Be Faithful to The Services of The Church - Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (It is important to be both faithful to attend and faithful to be on time! It is easy to get out of the habit of coming to certain services because they are inconvenient. When you miss a service, you miss a blessing and often the message is just what Satan did not want you to hear. It is just as important to be on time as it is to come. Every part of the service is important: from the opening prayer to the closing prayer. People are never late for work, school, ball games, doctor’s appointments, etc. because it is required but are often late to church because it does not matter. It shows a lack of priority in our schedules. Sunday School is just as important as the Worship Service. Too often, teachers prepare and students do not show up! What a discouragement to those teachers as well as to the other pupils. Sunday School should never be an “elective.”)

2. We Are To Be Faithful To The Tithe - Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? (Malachi 3:10 says, “That there may be meat in mine house.” It is the tithe that keeps the lights on and the doors open to the church. It is the tithe that keeps toilet paper in the bathrooms! I know that is important. It is important not only to tithe but to tithe regularly. As it is important for each of you to get your full paycheck on time, it is just as important for the tithe to be regular so that the bills can be paid on time. Not only does the church need for the tithe to be regular, the missions program needs regularity also. What comes in for February dictates who gets their support. If you are gone for a while, either on vacation of business, if the tithe is not there—then sometimes not all of the missionaries can receive their support.)

3. We Are To Be Faithful To The Service of God - Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (As every part of your body is necessary to its wellbeing, every member of the local church has a vital role in its effectiveness. Most churches are not effective because most of its parts are not working. It takes all of us to make the church grow and run efficiently. Everyone is a soul winner; everyone is an inviter. We are “labourers together with God” in the work of the Lord.)

4. We Are To Be Faithful In Prayer - Ephesians 6:18-19 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (19) And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (Faithfully praying for one another; faithfully praying for our families; faithfully praying for those in authority over us; faithfully praying for the lost; praying faithfully for our church; praying faithfully for your pastor.)

Conclusion: As the coming of the Lord nears, let us be even more faithful than we have been. The greatest ability is dependability!

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