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June 2016 - God's Faithfulness, Not Yours

God’s Faithfulness, Not Yours

I read a Christian novel recently by Lisa Clark entitled The Messengers: Discovered (from Concordia Publishing House) where an interesting discussion occurs.  A teenage boy (Simon) was struggling with guilt for having wondered away from his faith (albeit under cruel, precise, psychological attacks).   In order to help him, his spiritual mentor Zeke shared with him the story of the Gospel writer John-Mark, the young believer who would occasionally struggle with being faithful and on more than one occasion had been known to flee in the face of persecution.  Simon related to that, and wondered how the other believers handled Mark’s faltering.

Zeke replies:  “Well, they fought about it. You see, we’re saints because of Christ, but we’re still sinners while we’re here on this earth. It’s a constant struggle, being a sinner and a saint at the same time, whether you’re a new Christian, a struggling Christian, or a very, very old Christian.” Zeke laughed at himself and slapped his knee.

“But how do you know that you won’t turn away again?”

“You don’t. That’s why forgiveness is so sweet. That’s why we repent every time we meet in worship—because we’re always sinning.”

“But how do you know if you’re faithful enough?”

Zeke closed his mouth and looked directly at Simon. He said nothing.

“Zeke—”

“Wrong question. Try again.”

“Um, how do you know if your faith is strong enough?”

“Simon. Who gives you your faith?”

“Right. God. Okay…”

“So, the question?”

“How do I know if God will be faithful enough?”

“And what is the answer to that, Simon?”

Simon beamed. And snickered. Zeke and Simon joined together in a fit of laughter.

 

That is well done.  How often do we also wonder if we have been faithful enough?  Or maybe wonder if our faith is strong enough?  Satan would certainly want you to fret about such things. Both are the wrong questions.  Both questions have you looking in the wrong direction (for hope or assurance) – at yourself.  We are, and will remain sinners as long as we live in this fallen and cursed world.  We will falter and we will fail.  We will sin.  We are not able to be “faithful enough” in terms of our salvation, or in terms of “deserving” God’s love for us.

But God is faithful, all the way to the point of the Cross.  And that was Zeke’s point.  “How do I know if God will be faithful enough?”  You look to the Cross!  God was faithful in keeping The Promise and sent His only Son Jesus to rescue us from condemnation.  Jesus was the One Who was faithful for us in keeping all of God’s Law and giving up of His Holy and Infinite life as the payment to remove our guilt and crush the head of the devil, remove his ability to accuse us before Holy God.  Because of His faithfulness, there is NO CONDEMNATION for you!  You are loved!  You are forgiven!  Period!  How do you know you won’t turn away again?  You will.  But you confess your sin and know it is forgiven in Christ Jesus.  How do know you if you’re faithful enough?  Wrong question!  Jesus is faithful enough for you!

Pastor

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