God Is Faithful
James L. Reynolds
(Genesis 21:1-2) "And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. {2} For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."
    In the divinely inspired narrative we are first introduced to Abram, who later became Abraham, in Genesis 11:26. Speaking of Terah, Abram's father we read:
(Genesis 11:26) "And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran."
    Then a few verses later in Genesis 11:29 we are intorduced to Abram's wife, Sarai.
(Genesis 11:29) "And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah."
    Then in the very next verse of Scripture we are given the brief but powerful summation of Sarai's reproductive capacity.
(Genesis 11:30) "But Sarai was barren; she had no child."
    In the next ten chapters of the book of Genesis we are instructed as to how God called Abram out from his kindred and into a strange land which He promised him for an inheritance. We are told about Abram going down into Egypt and of Sarai getting a little Egyptian hand maiden there.
    Years go by and Abram has amassed a great fortune but he has no heir to leave it to although God has promised him an heir and has assured him that He would multiply his seed greatly.
    Sarai comes up with the idea to offer her handmaid, Hagar, to her husband so that he may get an heir through her.
    (Genesis 16:1-2) "Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. {2} And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai."
    Though Abram agrees to this plan it doesn't work out like Sarai had intended, for after her conception Hagar despises her mistress.
    A child, named of God Ishmael , is born unto Hagar after much conflict with Sarai.
    When Abraham is ninety-nine years old God visits him, again declares that He will make a great nation of him, promises him the land of Canaan, gives him the covenant of circumcision and changes his name to Abraham and Sarai's unto Sarah. (Genesis 17)
   In Genesis 17:18 Abraham pleads with God that his son Ishmael may be the heir of the things God has promised to him.
(Genesis 17:18)  "And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!"
    But God once again tells him that his wife will have a son and at this time He tell Abram what that son's name will be.
(Genesis 17:21) "But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year."
    In Genesis 18:10 God visits Abraham and again assures him that he will have a son by his wife Sarah and that he will be his heir.
(Genesis 18:10) "And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him."
    Because of her age Sarah doubted that she would ever have a child. When confronted with her laughter of doubt by the Lord she denied it. However the Lord, in great mercy, merely declared the truth of her doubt but He did not punish or chastise her for her denial of that doubt.
    In Genesis 18:14 God asks a question that is easily answered by reflecting on the previously revealed omnipotence of God. God then once again declares that He will indeed bring to pass His promise to Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son.
(Genesis 18:14) "Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."
    The Lord then proceeds to declare unto Abraham how that He will destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their exceeding great wickedness. Though Abraham seeks to intercede for the inhabitants of Sodom and God graciously declares that He will spare the city for the sake of ten righteous inhabitants, there are not ten righteous inhabitants found and God's holy wrath destroys that wicked city, sparing only Lot, his wife and their two daughters. In their escape from the city Lot's wife disobeyed the angelic directive to not look back and in so doing she was immediately turned into a pillar of salt.
    Then in Genesis 21:1-2 we see the fulfillment of God's promise of a son to Abraham and Sarah.
(Genesis 21:1-2) "And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. {2} For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."
    We have spent a few minutes this morning preparing the scene in order to introduce our topic of consideration unto you.
    The title of this lesson is but three short words, but three words which should bring great comfort to the hearts of God's people and three words which will do so if they are received in a prayerful and appreciative heart. Our lesson title is, "God Is Faithful".
    The 1933 edition of the Funk & Wagnalls dictionary gives as the primary definition of faithful: 'True or trustworthy in the performance of duty, especially in the fulfillment of promises, obligations, vows and the like.'
    Now while this definition is entirely pertinent to creatures only parts of this definition are applicable unto God. This definition is not entirely appropriate for God. Firstly God has no duties except those which His holy nature dictates. Because of His holiness God has a duty to punish sin. And secondly He has no obligations except those which He pledges Himself to. God has pledged to redeem all those for whom the Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty and therefore He has obligated Himself to do so. God is never obligated in any fashion by any of His creatures.
    There are many examples of God's faithfulness given unto us in His inspired Word that we could have justly used for a Scripture text. But we felt led of His divine Spirit to 'stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance' of His faithfulness by considering the account of God's faithfulness to Abraham and Sarah as the starting point of our lesson.
    There are two verses in the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures which use the very expression, 'God is faithful'.
(1 Corinthians 1:9) "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."

(1 Corinthians 10:13) "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

    In pursuing our topic of consideration this morning we would like to put before you two statements relative to God's faithfulness.
    1.) God does what He says He is going to do.
(Genesis 21:1) "And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken."
    2.) God does what He says He is going to do at His appointed time. That appointed time may or may not have previously declared by God.
(Genesis 21:2) "For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."
    Let us now begin our consideration of God's faithfulness by considering the first point of submission for your consideration.
    1.) God does what He says He is going to do.
    One of the greatest blessings a child of God can enjoy while reading His inspired Word is to contemplate how that God always does what He says He is going to do. Of any or of all those things which He has revealed unto us through His Word that He has said He was going to do we have no cause to wonder if they are going to be accomplished or not.
    Referring to God and to His accomplishing what He had said that He would we find the exact expression, 'as he had said' five times in the inspired Word of God.
    The first time we find this expression in the Bible is in our reference text speaking of God's bringing to pass His promise of a son to Abraham and Sarah.
(Genesis 21:1) "And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken."
    When Israel continued in rebellion and disobedience the Lord sent His instruments of chastisement to remove them from their own land and take them into captivity, which captivity He had warned them of by His prophets.
(2 Kings 17:23) "Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day."
    And then when the Lord was going to eat the Passover with His disciple prior to His crucifixion He declared unto them where they would find a man who would show them a room where they would make ready and eat the Passover.
(Mark 14:16) "And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."

(Luke 22:13) "And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."

    And when the Lord was preparing to enter into Jerusalem He declared unto His disciples where they would find 'a colt the foal of an ass' upon which He would triumphantly ride into Jerusalem.
(Luke 19:32) "And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them."
    Now while these instances of the expression 'as he had said' illustrate that the Lord brings to pass things 'as He had said' He would they are in no wise the sum total of those examples given unto us in the Bible of God doing as He had said He would do. Though the expression is used but a few times the precept is taught from cover to cover of the Bible!
    We must never get distracted from any true doctrinal teaching because a particular expression or word denoting that teaching is not found in the Bible. It is whether or not a precept is taught that determines the validity of a doctrinal position. Two examples of this that readily come to mind are the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the rapture of the saints. Neither of the words trinity or rapture are found in the Bible but both are taught therein.
    As we are considering the fact that God always does what He has said He would let us take note of one of the first instances recorded in the Scriptures of God doing what He said He would do.
    After speaking the entire creation into existence, creating man from the dust of the ground, breathing into his nostrils the breath of life and creating woman from the rib of that man He placed them both in the garden of Eden to tend it. He then said that if they ate of a certain tree in the garden that they would die.
(Genesis 2:17) "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
    We are told how that Eve was deceived and partook of the forbidden fruit and then gave unto her husband who knowingly and voluntarily ate of it. As a result of their sin they, and all of their posterity, became subject unto the curse that God had said would befall them 'in the day that thou eatest thereof'. Since the Scripture tells us that Adam lived a total of 'nine hundred and thirty years: and he died' we must conclude that it was something other than death of the body that God said He would bring about as a result of their sin of disobedience. We declare unto you that in the day that Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned against Him in eating of the forbidden fruit they became spiritually dead. And furthermore everyone of their natural descendants were and are born in that state of spiritual death.
    The apostle Paul, in writting to the Ephesian saints refers to this very real spiritual death that they were quickened or made alive from.
(Ephesians 2:1) "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:"
    Then in writing to the saints at Colosse Paul again refers to that same spiritual death from which the saint is quickened or made alive from.
(Colossians 2:13) "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"
    The next instance of God doing what He said that He would that we would like to take note of is that He said He would send a Saviour for His people.
    In His omniscience God was eternally aware that fallen mankind would not have any ability to redeem himself and make himself acceptable unto a thrice holy God. The perfect righteousness that is demanded by a perfectly holy God can not be produced by sinful and depraved mankind and therefore if man is to ever once again stand acceptably in the presence of God it must be as a result of God having provided the necessary righteousness enabling him to do so.
    Mankind could not and can not save himself. If he is ever to be saved from the just wrath due unto him it must be that a Saviour and a salvation are provided for him by God.
    When Abraham was directed of God to take his son, his only son of promise as far as God was concerned, and offer him up for a burnt offering he went forth in obedience to God's command. On the third day they came to the mountain which God had directed him to.
(Genesis 22:5) "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
    Then Abraham and Isaac took some of the essentials for offering up a burnt offering. However, Isaac, apparently not having been made aware of God's commandment to his father and who had been instructed in the proper manner of worship of God, felt that the most important item for a burnt offering was missing and questioned his father as to the missing item.
(Genesis 22:6-8) "And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. {7} And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? {8} And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."
    We see clearly and plainly here in verse 8 that Abraham knew that God would 'provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering'. He knew this because God had said that He would do so.
    We see the fulfillment of God's doing what He said He would in the birth, life and death of His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    God announced unto Mary through His angelic messenger that she would conceive of the Holy Ghost and that the child would be called Jesus and that He would save His people from their sins.
(Matthew 1:21) "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
These things came to pass because God had previously said that they would.
(Matthew 1:22-23) "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, {23} Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
    The place where it is recorded that God said this would happen is found in Isaiah 7:14.
(Isaiah 7:14) "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
    Today there are millions of people who claim to be God's children who call the faithfulness of God's into question when they claim that the Lord Jesus Christ made atonement for mankind in totality and that God is trying to save all of them but can not accomplish His goal without mankind's approbation, acceptance or approval.
    That is not what God said He would do and therefor I conclude that it is not what God is going to do. What He said is very clear and plain.
(Matthew 1:21) "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
    Did she bring forth a son?
    Was His name called Jesus?
    Did He save His people from their sins?
    To answer in anything but the affirmative to all three questions is to charge God with not doing what He said He would do. It is to charge God with unfaithfulness.
    The next thing which we would like to briefly bring to your attention that God said He was going to do is His declaration that He would give His people everlasting life. Nowhere in His inspired Word did God say that He would make it possible that His people might have eternal life or that He would give them eternal life contingent upon their actions.
(John 10:27-30) "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: {28} And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. {29} My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. {30} I and my Father are one."
    God does not desire His people to be tossed to and fro with doubt about their everlasting destiny. For all of those who have truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as their only means of acceptance with God there is assurance of a current possession of everlasting life.
(1 John 5:13) "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
    God has said that He would save His people.
    God has said that He will give them eternal life.
    God has said that they will never be forsaken by Him.
(Hebrews 13:5) "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
    What great comfort to the unworthy saint to rejoice in the fact that what God said He will do He will do.
    Let us now move on to the second point of our consideration of God's faithfulness.
    2.) God does what He says He is going to do at His appointed time, which He may or may not have previously declared.
(Genesis 21:2) "For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."
    God refers to this event twice in the Scriptures using the term 'set time' and once using the term 'time appointed'.
    Many times God's children bring stress, anxiety and distress upon themselves because things do not come to pass when they think that they should.
    We saw a very real example of this when Abraham and Sarah decided to take it upon themselves to help God out in His promise to them because they did not think things were progressing at the rate that they should have been. As a result of their impatience the heirs of the promised seed are even in this age persecuted by the heirs of the flesh.
(Galatians 4:29) "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now."
    Today there are many who seem fixated upon current world events in a hope that they can predict when God will bring this age to a close.
    Beloved we need to be living everyday as if it was the day of the Lord's return and take comfort in His faithfulness that He will return in His appointed time.
    Much of so called Christendom spend their time and efforts in trying to 'get people saved'. How is the belief in God's faithfulness to His Word being manifested when people use schemes and plans which they feel are justified by the end they are seeking after.
    If God's people are diligent in proclaiming His Word they will see Him doing what He said He would.
(Isaiah 55:11)  "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
    God, through His prophets, said that He would send a Saviour for His people. He said it to them thousands of years before He did it. Yet at His appointed time He sent His Son just as He said He would.
(Galatians 4:4-5) "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, {5} To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
    Many who feel they are doing the Lord's will use everything in their power to make their hearers believe what those presenting it feel is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    While Scriptural based preaching of the Gospel, that is, Scriptural based declarations of mankind's sin and need of salvation and Christ as the sole means of that salvation are to be put forth as God gives us opportunity we must never think that it is in our power to convince and convict of sin. Both of these require a far greater power than any mortal can exert.
    The Psalmist was enabled to see that God did what He said He would in His own appointed time.
(Psalms 110:3) "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth."
    Our heavenly Father has all things in control. We must never use this fact as an excuse for slothfulness on our parts but we need to bear in mind that our responsibilities are to plant the seed and to water the seed. God will increase it as it is pleasing to Him to do so.
(1 Corinthians 3:7) "So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."
    As we bring these considerations of God's faithfulness to a close we would like to take a few moments and share some thoughts on faithfulness.
    God is faithful in that He always does what He said He would do and that in His own appointed time. God is faithful because of who He is.
    God's creatures are faithful when they do what they are commanded to do in the time they are commanded to do it. God's creatures are faithful because of who He is.
    Moses did what he was commanded of God to do.
(Exodus 7:6) "And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they."
    As a result of Moses doing what he was commanded to do he was declared to be faithful.
(Hebrews 3:5) "And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;"
    Faithfulness in His creatures is a reflection of God. It mirrors one of His perfect attributes. Therefore God expects it in His blood bought people and is pleased when they exhibit it.
    There is a difference in faith and faithfulness. Faith in the creature is an act of belief by the heart and mind. Being faithful is taking action on that faith by doing what God has commanded one to do.
    Faith as defined in Hebrews 11:1 can only be manifest in God's creatures and never in Him.
(Hebrews 11:1) "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
    Though God is faithful He does not have faith. God never hopes for anything and there is nothing not seen by Him.
    His people have God given faith in Him and by that God given faith they manifest faithfulness to Him by their obedience, service and trust in His Word. By God given faith we can be faithful.
    Finally, we would be negligent if we did not point out that God has said that He will punish sin and that everlastingly so.
(Ezekiel 18:4) "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die."
    We have previously shown that mankind is born with a dead soul. With but a very few exceptions all those who have ever lived before us have suffered a death of the body. That death came at God's appointed time.
(Hebrews 9:27) "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
    For millions who died in an unrepentant state their dead soul will suffer a second death, and that death will be the never ending torments of God's holy wrath in the flames of His holy hell.
(Revelation 21:7-8) "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. {8} But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
    For all those who have been enabled to see their sinful state and their hell deserving end and have been given faith to trust solely in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour God has made a gracious declaration of what He will do.
(Acts 16:31) "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
    We have attempted this morning to mention a few points relative to God's faithfulness. We have declared unto you that God will do what He has said He would do, both for His blood bought saints and to those who die outside of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    May we each strive diligently to be obedient, to be faithful to the one who is always faithful to us, so that we may one day hear, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant'.


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