OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to Sermons||Next|
POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES OF THE FAITHFUL
Victor M. Eskew
A. In every congregation of the Lord’s people, there are those who are faithful.
B. In the New Testament we read the names of many who were called faithful.
1. Timothy (I Cor. 4:17)
2. Tychicus (Eph. 6:21)
3. Epaphrus (Col. 1:7)
4. Onesimus (Col. 4:9)
5. Silvanus (I Pet. 5:12)
6. Antipas (Rev. 2:13)
C. The faithful are much different from other members of the body of Christ. They manifest some very positive attributes that others do not.
D. In this lesson, we will look at the subject: “Positive Attributes of the Faithful.”
I. KEEN KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WORD
A. The Bible tells us that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
B. Thus, it is not surprising when we say that the faithful are the students of “The Book.”
1. They honor the Bible as a message from the mind of God (I Cor. 2:9-13).
2. They read the Bible with an attitude that they can understand it (Eph. 3:3-4).
3. They study the Bible knowing that it is relevant to their lives (II Tim. 3:16-17).
4. They obey the Bible understanding that one day it will be their judge (John 12:48).
C. Paul knew that knowledge was an attribute of faithful Christians.
1. In Colossians 1:9, therefore, he prayed for the Colossian Christians to “be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
2. In Colossians 1:10-11, he lists the effects of that knowledge:
a. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.
b. Being fruitful in every good work.
c. And increasing in the knowledge of God.
d. Strengthen with all might.
e. NOTE: All of those things are manifestations of a faithful person who is knowledgeable of God’s Word.
II. FERVENT FAITH IN THE LORD
A. Faith is more than just believing in a certain set of facts, although that is an aspect of faith.
B. Faith is a mindset that filters throughout every aspect of a person’s life.
C. Notice that we describe the faithful as having “fervent faith.”
1. It is a faith that is on fire.
2. It is a faith that is living and active.
3. Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
a. The writer says that those who have faith believe that God is. That knowledge is based up facts.
b. But faith also believes that God rewards those who “diligently seek him.”
1) The practice of faith for the faithful does not involve a simple one to four hours of worship and Bible study a week.
2) Faith for them is a lifestyle. It permeates the whole of their life (II Cor. 5:7).
(For we walk by faith, not by sight).
a) Faith is the basis for their worldview.
b) Faith is the basis of their relationships.
c) Faith is that which controls their thoughts, their words, and their actions.
d) Faith guides them through trials and difficulties.
e) Faith undergirds every decision that they make.
f) Faith is that which sets their focus on the eternal, not the temporal.
D. I Timothy 4:12
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1. A faithful person can say to another person: “Follow my faith.”
2. Question: Is you faith of such quality that you would encourage another to follow it?
III. RICH REVERENCE FOR DEITY
A. Reverence is defined as a feeling of deep respect tinged with awe and veneration.
B. Reverence lifts God up to His rightful place in the Universe (Isa. 45:5).
I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me…
C. Reverence has another side. Man realizes his littleness, sinfulness, and ignorance before God.
1. Nebuchadnezzar came to realize his littleness before God (Dan. 4:34-35a).
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants for the earth are reputed as nothing…
2. Isaiah recognized his sinfulness (Isa. 6:5).
Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
3. Job came to comprehend his ignorance (Job. 42:3b).
…therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
D. In our society, many like to extol the greatness of God, but they do not like to acknowledge their littleness, their sinfulness, and their ignorance before Him.
1. Individuals speak of God as if He is just their buddy.
2. They enter into His presence with like entering into a living room rather than entering into the great throne room of God.
E. The faithful are not flippant as they approach their God. They understand the words of the psalmist found in Psalm 89:7.
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
IV. ABSOLUTE APPRECIATION FOR GOD’S BLESSINGS
A. We live in a world wherein we do things for others and are taught that we should not expect any appreciation for what we have done. If we do, we are said to be selfish. We are also told that we did what we did for the wrong reasons.
B. The Bible, however, teaches gratitude, especially toward God for all that He has done.
1. Psalm 100:4
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
2. I Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
C. The faithful realize the blessings they have that so many others do not.
1. The blessing of the forgiveness of sins.
2. The blessing of knowing the truth of God’s Word.
3. The blessing of a rich fellowship with God’s people.
4. The blessing of true worship.
5. The blessing of prayer.
6. The blessing of God’s abiding presence in their lives.
7. The blessing of hope beyond this world.
V. LOYAL LOVE FOR GOD
A. Most Christians would say they love the Lord.
1. It is a rational love that results from knowing what God has done for us.
2. It is an emotional love for some that springs from a sense of gratitude.
B. We, however, have chosen to describe the love of the faithful as a “loyal love.”
1. This description of love comes from John 14:15 and I John 5:3.
If ye love me, keep my commandments…For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments…
2. The faithful Christian is an obedient servant. He knows that his obedience is a proof of his love for God.
3. Some Christians say they love God, but their obedience does not prove their love for Him.
VI. CONFIDENT COURAGE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
A. As Christians, we face many things in life that can fill our hearts with fear.
3. Upheavals in society
4. Natural disasters
5. Relationship issues
6. Church problems
B. When fear fills the hearts of some, they are paralyzed and cannot move forward. Or, they are so filled with fear that they retreat from the field of battle.
C. The faithful possess a confident courage. They do this based on the following:
1. God is with them (Ps. 23:4; Isa. 41:10).
2. God will fight for them (Ps. 20:7).
3. Conflict makes them stronger (Rom. 5:3-5; Jms. 1:2-4
4. Death is just a transition to something better (Phil. 1:21-22).
5. One day, they will be avenged (Rom. 12:19).
D. Psalm 118:6
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man to unto me?
A. In the Lord’s church, the split between those who are faithful and those who are not faithful runs anywhere between a 50/50 split to a 75/25 split.
B. Fortunately, the majority of Christians are striving to be faithful.
C. As we close, each of us needs to ask ourselves these questions?
1. Do you have a keen knowledge of God’s Word?
2. Do you have a fervent faith in the Lord?
3. Do you have a rich reverence for deity?
4. Do you have absolute appreciation for God’s blessings?
5. Do you have a loyal love for God?
6. Do you confidence courage that prevails in all circumstances?
D. If we answered “No,” to one or more of those questions, we might want to take more time to truly examine our faithfulness to God.
E. To all who are faithful, we thank you. Too, we exhort you to continue in your walk of faith!