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News for Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sunday School Lesson — Bible Studies for Life
July 6: God Is Faithful
By Gene Nelson
pastor, Russellville Baptist, Russellville

Focal Passage: Hebrews 6:17-20;10:19-23


Have you noticed the words used to describe things today? Our food has a robust flavor. Doritos are promoted as being bold. Our sports have become extreme. Christians are challenged to have a radical faith. It seems that there is a culture of the outrageous that is sweeping across the land, where even traditional soap operas have “The Bold and the Beautiful.” These descriptive words can also be used to help define the outrageous faithfulness of God.

There is nothing God protects, other than His children, stronger than the reputation of His name. In the verses preceding our given text, God made a promise to Abraham, a promise of blessing and multiplication. To secure that promise, the Word of God says “He swore by Himself (6:13).” God’s promise guarantees the fulfillment of His promise. By swearing by Himself, His name is attached, and God is always faithful to His name. He will not allow His name to be a laughing stock for other nations. God’s name was attached to the nation of Israel, however their unfaithfulness resulted in God divorcing Himself from them in order to protect His name.

The promise of God is followed by an oath. Now, it was common in the New Testament for a person to make an oath on something or someone higher than himself. None is greater than God, so He swore by Himself. The promise guaranteed the fulfillment, but the oath shows that He meant what He said. Today, people take oaths in courtroom testimony and when taking political office. We say vows to spouses on our wedding day. In each case, we invoke God’s name, either by saying “So help me God,”or “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Yet, people still commit perjury, and divorce rates have climbed to over fifty percent. We have not done very well in being faithful to the oaths we take with His name attached. Yet, God has not faltered on a single promise. He is always faithful to His oaths. 

His promises are immutable. A fancy word meaning, there is no possibility of change. The term was most often used in reference to a will. Once a will is properly defined and sealed, it can only be changed by the maker. God’s pledge, swore by Himself, secures the believer. As John MacArthur says, “Our security is not in our never letting go of God, but in His never letting go of us.” God’s faithfulness anchors the believer in Christ Jesus. No longer do we wonder about our salvation. No longer does the genuine believer have to doubt and fear. Jesus Christ is the anchor for our souls. Jesus Christ stands as guardian of the promise. There is absolute security that is incomprehensible!

The faithfulness of God to His promises results in a confidence for His children, a boldness if you will. The blood of Christ provides such boldness. His atoning sacrifice upon the cross tore the veil. Interesting to note that the word “new” used in verse 20 is used only here in the New Testament.

The original meaning carried the idea of “freshly slaughtered.” This is not a pleasant thought, but this is where our confidence and boldness is found. Jesus, the freshly slaughtered sacrifice, opens the door to give you and me access to God’s presence. Through that sacrifice, the stain of guilt is removed. We do not condemn ourselves anymore. A cleansing has occurred.

“What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus!” Because of this, a believer can come into God’s presence with bold confidence!

— Nelson is pastor of Russellville Baptist Church, Russellville.


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