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Faithfulness of God

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The faithfulness of God to the believer is expressed in many ways in the Bible.

The faithfulness of God to forgive sin.

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The faithfulness of God in keeping us saved.

2 Tim. 2:13, “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

2 Thess. 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful who shall establish you and keep you from evil.

The faithfulness of God in times of pressure.

1 Cor. 10:13, “There has no testing taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tested above that you are able; but will with the testing also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

The faithfulness of God in providing for us under the partnership of Christ.

1 Cor. 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ.”

The faithfulness of God in keeping His promises to us.

Heb. 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised.”

The faithfulness of God to us in times of suffering.

1 Pet. 4:19, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful creator.”

The faithfulness of God in providing for the believer’s eternal future.

1 Thess. 5:24, “Faithful is He that calls you who also will do it.”

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genuineness of your faith

1 Peter 1:7

“That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 

This verse informs us as to the purpose of trials. Once a person becomes a Christian, does that mean he/she is free from problems?

No, the Christian is not exempt from pain and problems. We all experience trouble and setbacks in this life.

That the genuineness of your faith

The word “that” indicates purpose. God’s purpose in trial is our tryout, not our ruin. Two results come from “many colored trials”: 1) they refine our faith and 2) they test for approval the reality of our faith.

The word “genuineness” means to test for approval. It means to test to find if something is genuine. This is the act of putting someone to the test to determine whether he/she is worthy of being approved or not. The test aims at approval if possible. Note these New Testament uses of the word “genuineness”: “I bought five pairs of oxen and am on my way to test them out,” Luke 14:19. “Everyone should examine himself, and then eat the bread and drink from the cup,” 1 Corinthians 11:28. “Being tested severely by the troubles,” 2 Corinthians 8:2. “The testing of your faith produces endurance,” James 1:3. “When your fathers tested and tried (me),” Hebrews 3:9.

Greek literature used the word “test” for examining candidates for a medical doctorate. Candidates for a medical doctorate must be tested. It is crucial to find out if they are the genuine thing. We do not want an incompetent surgeon operating on us. When doctors prove genuine by examining, they meet the attestation.

It is obvious that God wants to discover what constitutes our character. Character is best ascertained when we are placed under duress. God will detect our weakness and strength by giving us an exam. It will be a difficult exam. Get out your blue books. God is about to find out the genuineness of your faith!

Principle

God refines our faith by trial.

Application

When it comes to trials, everyone is in one of these three stages: They are experiencing a trial, coming out of a trial or about to go into a trial!

In the Detroit, Mich., area there are proving grounds for automobiles. The purpose of these proving grounds is to test the mechanical soundness of cars before they are out on the market. Test drivers run these cars for days without turning off the motor. The cars are put through bumps, curves, water, hills and many more obstacles for long periods of time. The manufacturing companies want to know whether the shocks and brakes are going to hold up under punishment. In the same way,. God wants to develop our faith so that we will stand up to the bumps of life.

Have you assayed your life? Have you found it genuine? Will you pass the exam?

Will God regard you as appropriate for His service? God makes His assessment after He puts us to the test. He will judge us to ensure we are real and genuine, and if we are He will approve us for service.

That the genuineness of your faith

The New Testament uses the word “genuineness” in the context of purifying and strengthening metals by passing them through fire. The fire melts the ore and brings the dross to the surface, where it can be skimmed off. After the metal cools, it is much stronger.

If a gold mining company wishes to develop a new site, it sends someone to assay the metal to see whether the gold is genuine and of sufficient quantity to warrant investment in the mine. The assayer takes a sample of the gold to the laboratory and examines it. He then sends his report about the quality of the ore to the company. The report is more valuable than the gold sent with the report. On the basis of the report the company will make a decision as to whether it will proceed with the project. In the same way, God wants a faith that can take the test. God is looking for people He can trust. If God finds our faith one He can approve, then He knows that we stand the tests of life. He wants to know the quality of our faith.

Something is genuine if it is without alloy. An alloy is a mixture of more than one metal. Lesser metals mixed with stronger metals weaken the stronger metals. God does not want the metal (character) of our lives mixed with lesser things.

The fiery tests of our faith bring greater strength to our spiritual lives. They remove the impurities in our lives. We may say that we trust God but we often mix that trust with dependence upon self. Our faith then needs purifying. We need tests to cleanse these impurities.

Principle

A purpose of trials is to test our faith.

Application

Do you have a heavy heart? Every Christian faces disappointments and discouragement. Some people get the idea that a Christian should be immune from trouble. But trouble and trouble will come to all of us, in different shapes and sizes.

What does your faith prove? When God sends an ordeal into your life, how do you react? When God gives you a bitter pill, do you swallow it as God’s will? Many wounds make up our lives. It is not enough to simply endure them.

We increase our faith by the assimilation of God’s Word (Romans 10:17) and by the application of what we know (Hebrews 4:1-3). The approval of our faith is more important than the approval of gold.

being much more precious than gold that perishes

Gold is a precious metal, but the test of our faith is much more precious than the test for gold.

This phrase describes our faith, not the trial of our faith: “being much more precious.” Similar uses of the phrase “much more” also occur in: Romans 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5:10 “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:15 “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.” Romans 5:20 “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”

Our faith is much more precious than anything else we possess. We have nothing more valuable than our faith. The closer we get to death, the more we realize how precious it is.

Peter uses the word “precious” seven times in 1 and 2 Peter. We use “precious” for just about anything. We say, “Isn’t that a precious necklace.” The Bible, however, uses this term for that which is of ultimate value. Acts 20:24 says “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

The word “worth” is the same as the word “precious” in our passage. Paul’s testimony is the value here. Hebrews 13:4 says marriage is precious. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

The contrast between gold and our faith in 1 Peter 1:7 is between material and spiritual wealth. Material wealth perishes; spiritual wealth does not (Psalm 119:127; Proverbs 8:11).

After gold liquefies in fire, the impurities rise to the surface, where they can be skimmed away. When the goldsmith sees his face in the gold, he knows he can turn down the heat. He knows that the gold is purified. God compares our faith with gold because He deems it a precious commodity.

Yet gold is of only temporal value. The Christian’s faith is of eternal value.

Principle

God deems a faith tested by fire as being of eternal value.

Application

One day gold will perish. Our faith will never perish. This passage says if your faith is real, it cannot perish. If you lost your faith you never had a true faith in the beginning.

though it is tested by fire

The word “tested” means–test to approve, to prove with a view to approving, test for approval. The trials test for proof that our faith is genuine. God wants to certify the worth of our faith. Our faith is the foundation of all other character qualities we possess. If our faith falters, everything falters.

We put metal into a crucible to determine whether it is genuine (Proverbs 8:10; 17:3). God tests, proves and scrutinizes us by fire to show that we are worthy for His service.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:4, the apostle and his fellow missionaries were “approved of God to be entrusted with the Gospel.” God gives approval for us to preach after He puts us to the test.

The Corinthians did not find in Paul the proof of the power that they sought (2 Corinthians 13:3). However, Paul reminds them that what ultimately counts is not what men think but what God thinks. God’s commendation at the end of the day is what matters. 2 Corinthians 10: 18 says, “For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.”

God proves our attestation in affliction. The pressure put on us when we are under strain will either produce endurance or failure. Suffering produces endurance (Romans 5:3-4). The Macedonians remained both joyous and generous under duress (2 Corinthians 8:2). Testing sifts out authentic believers (2 Corinthians 9:13; 11:19). It attests to our love for God (2 Corinthians 8:8).

God sets the believer under His searching eye. We learn the will of God by testing (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:9-10; Philippians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Testing protects Christians from caprice and brings them into the sphere of God’s will.

When Jesus prayed for Peter, He asked God to strengthen his faith: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren,” (Luke 22:31-32). Now in 1 Peter, Peter writes about the importance of faith holding up under fire. Our faith improves by trial.

The nature of our test is a fire-test. The trial of faith is more precious than the test for gold already refined.

Here is a double comparison of the trial of gold with the trial of faith. Gold at the time of writing of 1 Peter was the most valuable of all the metals. Faith is the greatest among Christian values. The trial of faith is of greater value than the trial for gold. Both trials purify. The purification of gold separates the dross from the precious metal. The purification of faith separates the garbage from the Christian life.

Principle

God uses extreme adversity (“fire”) to force out the impurities and the things that are unimportant in our lives.

Application

Peter compares our faith to gold that is precious from the human viewpoint. Suffering brings the impurities out of our lives and makes us useful to God. This kind of faith is more valuable than gold. God takes the slag out of our lives.

God does not test our faith in prosperity but in adversity. God kicks out the crutches from our lives. He skims off the slag of dependence on other people, upon our social life, upon health, beauty, sex or material possessions. Trouble will come that can wipe out these things. These things will not sustain us in times of duress. Good times do not sustain us; only God can sustain us by his promises.

How many times have we prayed, “Lord, take it away.” God put it there. He wants it there. He wants us to learn to trust Him in adversity. Some people quote 2 Corinthians 10:13, “but with the temptation will also make the way of escape” with the interpretation that they will “escape” from problems. They want to get out from under the trouble so that it does not hurt anymore. Escape does not prove a thing.

For some people, the only time they think seriously about God is when they are in a jam. If they were honest they would say, “Now God, I’m in this terrible jam. It hurts terribly. Make it stop hurting. Wave your divine wand to make it stop.” That is why they want a God. They want a divine pacifier. As soon as the trouble passes, they forget all about God again.

God’s way of escape is IN suffering. He allows suffering so that we can know joy while going through trouble. We will get out of the trial sooner or later. But that is not the answer. The answer is what we do while under pressure.

may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ

God is the one who does the finding here, not us. God will find whether our faith glorifies Him or not. Long after gold is gone our faith will remain. If our faith meets the test, it will redound to the glory of God.

The word “found” means to find after a search. God puts our faith to the test to approve us for the glory of God. Trials put our faith to the test. If we trust Him to meet us in our need, it glorifies Him. It is not the testing of our faith that glorifies God. It is whether our faith meets the test.

The trial of our faith will produce three results: praise, honor and glory. These results are all in the future.

If we reduce 1 Peter 1:7 down to its least common denominator it would read like this, “That the genuineness of your faith…be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Our faith produces something for the future.

2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Trials will not last forever. And God furnishes the equipment to support us while we are in them. 

Material wealth perishes; spiritual wealth is imperishable. The person who places spiritual values above temporal values operates on genuine, eternal priorities.

Principle

The trial of faith is producing something for us in the future.

Application

Jesus is coming again. When we meet Him, the character of our faith will be manifest. The greater the refining process, the brighter it will appear. Trials will disappear but the luster of the trial will proceed into eternity. This should reconcile us to our present afflictions.

Christians do not judge their life based solely on time but on eternity as well.

to praise, honor, and glory

“Praise” is the expression of honor. Jesus will express His approval at that day. The word “praise” is a compound of two words “upon” and “a tale.” It meant to tell a tale about someone. It came to mean “praise” with the idea of commendation or approbation.

“Honor” is the esteem that someone has for someone else. God will honor our faith when we meet the Lord Jesus.

Proverbs 18: 12 says “But humility comes before honor.” We know little about humility. The station this side of honor is humility. We cannot get to the second station without stopping at the first station. If we receive honor without humility, it might go to our head. We would inflate with our own importance.

One day we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We will get our grades then. Some of us will receive more honor than others. Some will have crowns. Some will have none.

“Glory” means to manifest the attributes of a person. This is the glory that results from a good opinion. Does God have a good opinion of us? The New Testament uses “glory” to refer to the blessed estate of the children of God when they are brought into the glorification of the likeness of Christ.

God will make a big deal of the quality of our faith on Earth. In the marketplace of eternity, gold will be of little value. The quality of our faith will be of much greater worth.

Very few of us receive glory here on Earth. The reason faith is more valuable than gold is that when we meet God, He will find it to have honor, praise and glory.

Principle God has established a day when we will get our due.

Application

We do not get much praise here on Earth. That’s life. If you are inclined to praise someone down here, don’t hesitate to do so. If you fear that they will think it is flattery, do it anyway.

One day we will receive praise from the most important person of the universe.

1 Corinthians 4:5 says, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

When the Lord comes back and we stand before Him, we will receive our due then.

at the revelation of Jesus Christ

The word “revelation” means unveiling. This refers to the return of the Lord Jesus. 1 Peter 5:4 says “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” 1 John 2:28: “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Principle

God will manifest the eternal value of the life of faith when Jesus returns

Application

Do you anticipate His return? He may come today.

The three results of the glorification of the believer: praise, honor and glory will take place at the coming of Christ. God honors those who prove their faith.

This comes from the study of 1 Peter 1:7 in the Grace Notes 1 Peter lessons.

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Forgiveness

The word “forgive” is a Grace word, in the English as well as in the Greek (ajfesi~). An early meaning in English was “to give or to grant”. Then, forgive came to mean “to remit a debt; to give up resentment or claim for requital; to pardon an offense.”

All of us are debtors to others, to society as a whole. And we often feel that people owe us many things in our human relationships. We feel we are owed courtesy and consideration. Sometimes we think that we are owed reward or status or promotion in some enterprise, or on the job. We are certainly owed fair treatment, justice, restitution and many other things.

But, many people in America are spiritually, ethically, and morally bankrupt. They simply cannot pay society what they owe! They are thoughtless, selfish, ungracious. What should a Christian do about all of the debts owed to him.  Answer: forgive them, as Christ forgave you.

A Christian who practices Grace thinking (divine viewpoint) will become a forgiving person. To forgive means “to give up a claim; to cease bearing resentment”.

The rich man in Luke 7 was able to forgive the two debtors because he was prosperous. He gave to them out of his prosperity. A person can only give to others out of what God has already provided in the way of prosperity. In terms of money, the principle is “Let him that stole, steal no more; rather, let him labor, doing with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Eph. 4:28)

As a growing Christian, you have many other kinds of prosperity, by the Grace of God. You have intellectual prosperity (divine viewpoint). You have spiritual prosperity (peace with God). You have emotional prosperity (relaxed mental attitude). You have financial prosperity (mastery of details of life). You have social prosperity (stable marriage, stable family life, etc.).

Wherever in your life you find that someone else owes you something, you have the wherewithal to forgive him! God has forgiven all of us who are absolutely without resources of our own. And He is not expecting or demanding some kind of payment in return for His Grace gifts. And we are to be channels of Grace to the world. “Out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” (context John 7:37-39)

This topic of forgiveness is part of a larger Grace Notes publication on the doctrine of Grace.

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Giving – A brief study of Christian giving – comments on 2 Corinthians 8 and 9

The Bible shows God’s viewpoint on the subject of money and Christian giving and provides teaching that will protect the believer from many common illusions and dangers.

A false notion about money is that money will buy happiness. Only the word of God brings happiness as the believer learns and applies Bible truth to his life. Another false viewpoint is that money is security; but the only true security is in the Lord Jesus Christ and it is only wishful thinking to seek security in any other place. Then there is the hippie mentality which says that money is not needed, leading to people borrowing money through life. Money is a bona fide medium of exchange and the Bible provides many instructions on the handling of money.

The Bible points out several dangerous errors to which non Christians are subject. Evangelistic teaching should deal with these important issues to help unbelievers see the true issue of salvation through Christ. For example:

  • Salvation cannot be purchased with money. (Mark 8:36-37) Salvation has been paid for and not with silver and gold. (1 Pet. 1:18, 19)
  • Money causes a rich person to put his faith in the wrong things. (Mark 10:23-25)
  • Money keeps the rich unbeliever from seeking salvation in the right manner which is by means of God’s word. (Luke 16:19-31)
  • Money has no credit with God at the last judgment. Only imputed righteousness is acceptable with God. (Prov. 11:4, 28)

The Christian can also fall into error in money matters. Thorough Christian life teaching includes the following:

  • Money can keep a believer from honoring Christ, the purpose for which he has been left on this earth (Eccl. 5:10-20; 6:2). Solomon was a rich king, but his riches crowded the Lord out.
  • Money can be a source of temptation. (1 Tim. 6:7-19)
  • A believer should spend his money wisely. (1 Tim. 6:8) Investigate carefully before you give. Give money for the glory of the Lord.
  • Two other passages of interest are James 4:13 to 5:6 and Acts 5:1-10.

Christian giving is a part of stewardship and faithfulness is the first requirement. (1 Cor. 4:2) God really owns everything and gives to believers (James 1:17). A Christian is accountable for everything that the Lord provides (Rom. 14:12).

Christian giving expresses the principle of grace. It is one means by which the Christian demonstrates graciousness. Having been a recipient of God’s grace in salvation and in the Christian life, the Christian ministers grace to others. He is a conduit of grace. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35b)

The principle of giving derives from the fact that grace depends upon the character of the giver. A Christian gives because of who and what he is, not because the needy person deserves it. Often the needy person is quite undeserving; but deserving is not the issue in giving. The issue in giving is the believer’s stability of character. The recipient is the object of grace, not the object lesson of grace.

The giver is the object lesson of grace. The more frequently a believer gives, the more he is oriented to grace, and the more grace is observed in him. It is vitally important, therefore, that the mental attitude for giving be correct, especially that the giving is not motivated by the desire for approbation. This will destroy the object lesson and devalue God’s grace in the eyes of observers. In giving, nothing must cloud the issue for either the giver, the recipient, or observers.

The Biblical standard excludes human religion and systems. Legalistic giving as seen in Amos 4:4 is replaced by the faith giving of Prov. 11:24. Neglect of the needy (Mal. 3:7-12) is replaced by giving more than is needed (Ex. 36:5-7). The Pharisaism of Luke 18:9-14 is replaced by giving secretly and before the evangelism event (1 Cor. 16:1ff). Bribery and public testimonies (Gen. 28:20-22) are replaced by freewill offerings (Ex. 25:1, 2; 35:4-10; 2 Cor. 9:7).

Covetousness is an occupational hazard to be guarded against. (Luke 12:15; Col. 3:5) Thirteen of the twenty-nine parables of Jesus referred to the correct use of possessions. Giving will involve first giving yourself to the Lord. (2 Cor. 8:5)

Poverty is no excuse for not giving. Believers should not have to be urged to give, because Jesus gave Himself. We give in gratitude, cheerfully, willingly and in grace. Read 1 Cor. 6:19–20; 2 Cor. 8:1-15.

The amount you give should be determined according to the following criteria:

  • By the need, 2 Cor. 8 and 9
  • By how much wealth you have, 2 Cor. 8:12-15; and by how much God prospers you, 1 Cor. 16:2, Deut. 16:17; Matt. 10:8; Acts 11:29.
  • Giving is to be systematic (1 Cor. 16:2) and sacrificial (Luke 21:3, 4; 2 Cor. 8:2)

Tithing is not the issue in Christian giving. Tithing was a tax to support the theocratic government during the age of the Jews. The Old Testament gives a systematic progression in the use of the tithe.

  • Tithes were given to the Levites to maintain the temple (Num. 18:21-24) and to provide for the official feasts and sacrifices (Deut. 14:22-24).
  • The Jews gave all the tithe of their produce every third year for the Levite, non Jew, orphan and widow in your town in Israel (Deut. 14:28, 29)
  • Other tithes mentioned in Num. 28:26ff and Gen. 47:24. Melchizedek’s tithe from the spoils of Abraham’s war is part of the illustration of the teaching of the superior priesthood of Christ (Heb. 7).

An example of correct Christian giving is given by the apostle Paul in his description of the giving done by the Macedonian believers, 2 Cor. 8:1-6. The Macedonians were born again, believer priests and had the right to give. They had been robbed blind by the Romans in order to pay for putting down a revolt, but they still gave. Paul wanted the Corinthians and us to know of the grace of God which was bestowed upon the churches of Macedonia. The reward from God is from grace and is invaluable, 2 Cor. 9:6; Matt. 6:20; Prov. 22:9.

Principles of Christian giving from 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.

Read these two chapters and consider the following observations.

8:1, 2 All true giving is defined as mental attitude, not as an overt act.

8:3 Christian giving must be free from pressure and coercion. Free will or volition must operate.

8:4 The believers considered it a privilege to give. They are not begged to give. Giving under pressure contradicts grace.

8:5 They were in fellowship before they gave. Giving starts with self and not with money.

8:6 Titus was urged by the apostle Paul to to complete in the Corinthian church the grace based work.

8:7 Giving is part of grace.

8:8 Christian giving is love giving not law giving.

8:9 As Jesus Christ voluntarily gave Himself, we in giving must have the same attitude of volition, willingness.

8:10 Starting to give one year ago and continuing with a desire to give.

8:11 Giving is in accordance with what you have not in accordance with what you hope to get in the future.

8:12 Even if a believer has nothing to give, it is fully accepted by God, provided there is a willing mind to give.

8:13-15 When one member of the body of Christ is unable to give, others make up for their lack so that there is an equality in sustaining the local church and arms outside the church.

8:16, 17 Personal commendation of Titus. He was honest and headed the delegation to collect the offering for the Jerusalem church.

8:18 Titus had someone travel with him who helped spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

8:19, 20 Money given to the Lord’s work should be handled orderly and honestly. This is detail work for deacons or other administrators.

8:21 Regarding financial items of the church with honor before God and men.

8:22-24 Titus was sent as a diligent and tested fellow worker and the Corinthians were asked to openly show the proof of your love and reason for the apostle Paul boasting in them.

9:1, 2 Both the giving and administration of money should glorify the Lord.

9:3, 4 A collection or offering should not embarrass anyone.

9:5 Blessing in the Christian life results from giving to the Lord and not spending money for self pleasure. Bounty is used twice to mean blessing.

9:6 The more you sow, the more you harvest. God blesses the believer whose mental attitude is right.

9:7 Giving is done in a mental attitude of joy.

9:8, 9 God’s divine essence guarantees the principles written here.

9:10 God keeps on supplying so that the believer can keep on giving.

9:11 Bountifulness means blessing. The more faith you exercise, the more enrichment you receive; all is non-meritorious activity.

9:12-13 Biblical giving results in thanksgiving expressed and the glorification of grace.

9:14 Giving also stimulates prayer, love and an admiration of grace in the believer who gives graciously.

9:15The example of Christ. I can never come close to what Christ gave me in salvation. He is the unspeakable gift. True Bible giving is the result of occupation with Christ and gratitude to Him on the basis of who and what He is.

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Hope – The Christian’s confidence is much more than just wishful thinking

Hope is the mental attitude of confidence that results from learning and applying Bible truth regarding the future.

In Bible usage, “hope” (Greek: ελπις) is synonymous with “confidence” or “expectation of a good outcome.” Growth in confidence comes along with growth in Christ. Applied knowledge of Bible principles of time and eternity leads to supreme confidence in God’s word.

The Christian has confidence in

See also 1 Th. 4:16-18; (verse context does not seem to fit.) and 1 John 3:1,2.

The hope of Israel is in their coming Messiah (the second coming of Christ), His kingdom on earth, and the new earth of eternity.

Luke 1:67-79; 2:28-32; Acts 26:6,7; 28:20; Eph. 2:12.

The Abrahamic Covenant (amplified by the Palestinian, Davidic, and New Covenants) promised to Israel the land of Canaan, the eternal seed (the Messiah), and blessing (new birth). Israel’s hope lies in these promises of God.

Abraham’s hope was directed to the promise of a new city, the new Jerusalem, Heb. 11:9,10.

The hope for the church is the blessed hope of the rapture. Titus 2:13-15; 1 John 3:2,3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18

Hope is derived from such passages as (this verse does not fit this context). which it is stated that there will be no more death, tears, pain, etc.

The hope or confidence we have in Christ has caused death to lose its sting and the grave to lose its victory. 1 Cor. 15:54-58.

The word hopeless should never be in the Christian’s vocabulary

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The Faithfulness Of God

Foreword:  Where do you go when the pressures of life start to make you uncomfortable (or worse ready to yell)?  Is the solution self-help books, your office buddies, or jumping to another religion?   You don’t have to ‘turn’ or ‘jump’ anywhere!  When we study our Bibles before problems arrive, we are already equipped to handle life.  I was talking to a visitor at church who thought handling life’s problems is “tough.”   Scripture clearly tells us that with a eternal prospective, we can use a different lens when viewing problems.  Problems are temporary and limited to our earthly existence, not Heaven.  If we believe that God can deliver on His promises, then we have a fresh perspective on how we  view life.  We are not saying we enjoy diseases or natural disasters. The Bible has God’s promises written down! Louis

The faithfulness of God to the believer is expressed in many ways in the Bible.

The faithfulness of God to forgive sin.

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The faithfulness of God in keeping us saved.

2 Tim. 2:13, “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

2 Thess. 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful who shall establish you and keep you from evil.

The faithfulness of God in times of pressure.

1 Cor. 10:13, “There has no testing taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tested above that you are able; but will with the testing also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

The faithfulness of God in providing for us under the partnership of Christ.

1 Cor. 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ.”

The faithfulness of God in keeping His promises to us.

Heb. 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised.”

The faithfulness of God to us in times of suffering.

1 Pet. 4:19, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful creator.”

The faithfulness of God in providing for the believer’s eternal future.

1 Thess. 5:24, “Faithful is He that calls you who also will do it.”

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