Monday, November 23, 2015

Jeremiah 33:14-16 Experiencing God's Faithfulness by Faith

KEY TEXT: Jer 33:14-15 Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

KEY THOT: The promise to David was made around 1,000 BC and the promise was re-affirmed throughout the days of the kings and prophets, right up to before the exile to Babylon in 587 BC. There was a period of about 300 years of prophetic silence before Christ was born in 4 BC. Roughly 1,000 years passed between promise and fulfilment: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah…a righteous Branch to spring up for David.” God never forgets his promise and however long it takes, he will bring it to pass. 

All the promises of God are fulfilled in Christ: “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” But to enjoy the blessings of these fulfilled promises is conditional: we must be “in him.” If we are obedient to His voice, and live in submission to Christ’s rule, we shall enjoy His realm of promise-fulfillment. All of God’s promises are Yes and Amen in Christ. But if we are disobedient to His voice, we are not “in him” even if we say “believe in Christ.” Some Christians believe in Christ like they believe in the devil—they acknowledge his existence but unwilling to live in submission to him by giving total allegiance to him. In that case, the condition of “in him” is not met. So, we may therefore not be enjoying the blessings of God’s promises in our own personal experience. 

God is faithful because he keeps his promises. But we are presumptuous if we believe he owes it to us all the blessings of heaven just because we “believe” Christ or attend church. God responds to faith and the blessings of his promise are conditional on our faith and faithfulness, for they are the same thing (Greek: pistis is translated as faith and faithfulness in the NT). The fruit of the Spirit is pistis, translated in Galatians 5:23 as faith (KJV & NKJV) and faithfulness (other translations). Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). So it is through faith (trust) and faithfulness (obey) that we start enjoying all the promises of God “in Christ” which are always YES and AMEN.

As we enter into the new calendar year with the First Day of Advent this Sunday (Christmas season), we should evaluate the state of our faith and faithfulness to God. The greater our faith and faithfulness, the greater our experience of God’s faithfulness to his promises made in the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

Father, thank You that You are always faithful and You have fulfilled all Your promises in Christ. And it’s only in Christ that we will experience and enjoy these blessings. May You show us how to remain “in Christ” always through our faith and faithfulness to His voice. Amen.

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