Tuesday, March 21, 2006

a closer look at faithfulness

Faithfulness is a character trait that God by his Spirit brings into the Jesus community. Into our lives as individuals and together collectively, to God in response to his love, to each other- as we're taught by God to love one another (1 Thessalonians) and to the world- as we share in God's love for the world of humankind.

We touched on love yesterday as being what faithfulness is all about. Today, we'll take a closer look at that.

2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11 (TNIV)

Faithfulness to God by his people is likened in Scripture to fidelity in marriage. In the Old Testament we read of God's people joining themselves to idols. For doing that they were called, not only idolaters, but adulterers. They had given themselves to other gods. In the New Testament James picks up that theme. And Paul touches on it here.

Faithfulness to God has to do with a covenant relationship of love made by him for all who trust in his gift of sacrificial love in his Son. God has made that covenant to us in his Son, Jesus, and by his blood poured out for us in death. God will keep his part. He has promised never to abandon us. His love for us is an everlasting love. But will we keep our part, will we fulfill our responsibility? Paul was concerned in this letter that the Christians he was writing to were going to be led astray from their devotion of love to Christ. And ultimately, as is made clear by the writer to the Hebrews, forsake the covenant of their God (Hebrews 10).

Regardless of our belief on certain issues (like "eternal security"), the point here is that faithfulness involves a love relationship with God. And fidelity on our part to him. To drift away from that is to fall into spiritual adultery. As we end up devoted to the service of other gods: self (one's own appetites, etc.), Mammon (the Money idol), the world system (a kingdom not submitted to God's kingdom), etc. Any departure from love to God by those in the Jesus community is adultery against God, in God's eyes.

Lord Jesus, Keep us faithful as your people. Let us follow you, in sincere and unadulterated devotion. Let us hold on to your never dying love for us. Knowing that even when we fall, underneath us are your everlasting arms. Amen.

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