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The God Who Keeps Faith: “Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” Romans 3:3 Geneva Bible

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The God Who Keeps Faith:

“Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”

Romans 3:3 Geneva Bible

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Blessed is he, that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

   Which made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth his fidelity forever. . .

-Psalm 146:5-6 Geneva Bible-

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CO-9-1-13

 

The Extent of God’s Faith-Keeping: Forever

Some of us, no doubt, recall our parents singing Irving Berlin’s beautiful love song written in 1925 and recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1942:

I’ll be loving you, always,

with a love that’s true, always.

When the things you’ve planned,

need a helping hand,

I will understand, always,

always…

Days may not be fair, always,

That’s when I’ll be there, always.

Not for just an hour,

Not for just a day,

Not for just a year,

But always. [1]

While husbands and wives may fail to keep their promises to one another issuing in tragedy and indescribable heartache extending to the generations that succeed them, [2] the God of Abraham “keepeth his fidelity.” [3]  The God who created all things will bring all things to completion.  Christ’s promise to his beloved Bride, is “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  What he has begun in us he will finish–no doubt about it!  God our Father keeps faith even in those moments, days, months, or years when we do not–forgiving those sins that we cannot humanly face within ourselves–doing so on the basis of Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, and on the same basis, healing broken hearts right on through eternity!  “. . with his stripes we are healed.” [4]

The Depth of God’s Faith-Keeping: Hell Itself

Just how deep is the faith-keeping of God?  Will he come to the aid of a drowning man wallowing in the mire and depth of his own sin and about to throw in the proverbial towel to temptations too powerful for him to resist?  Just how deep is God’s love for his elect?

. . . none ever stooped so low as Christ, if we consider either the infinite height he stooped from, or the great depth to which he descended. . . [5]

Knowing God’s redemptive character beforehand, King David declared God’s omnipresent help centuries before Christ actually descended into hell in order to taste death for every man:

8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. [6]

In their darkest hour Christians can bank on the promise of 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.          

The Wonder of God’s Faith-Keeping: Unspeakable Joy

What could be more wonderful beyond words, on a mere human level, than newlyweds delighting in one another on their wedding night and throughout their earthly days? [7]  What could have been more rapturous for the queen of Sheba than a first-hand introduction to the wisest king and the wealthiest kingdom the world had ever known? [8]  Weddings, wisdom, and wealth–though they impact us deeply, cannot hold a candle to the wonder of unspeakable joy associated with God’s keeping faith with his people through sorrow and adversity. [9]

Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things God hath prepared for them that love him. [10]

There is no greater surprise than to be surprised by the joy of the Lord–indeed a foretaste of the glory yet to be revealed. [11] Peter called it “joy unspeakable.” [12]  Does that inexpressible joy uphold you in the face of seemingly overwhelming evil?  A group of Scottish musicians [13] toured the United States a few decades ago stirring up this joyfulness within God’s “frozen” people.  They introduced a joyous song entitled Dancing Heart which spoke of  “desert sands” becoming a “dancing floor,” as “God gave Sister Miriam a dance down in her heart.”  A subsequent verse concerned King David’s dancing before the LORD in celebration as the ark of the covenant was brought up to Jerusalem.  This contrasted with Michal’s disdain toward David for what she considered his despicable behavior.  Still another verse focused on the revelry following the homecoming of the prodigal son while the elder brother complained that “it wasn’t fair” because he “hadn’t got a dancing heart like all the others there”! [14]

God kept faith with his people when he poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost just as he had promised. [15]  How awesome is the God who keeps faith!  For the promise is still extended to us in our day. [16]

 

Endnotes


[1]. https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.ask.com/question/1940-song-i-ll-be-loving-you- always&sa=U&ei=pyIOU9rhFYHQrgHDhoGABA&ved=0CAoQFjAE&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEkgr0scV_nfybfdohW6HZzVL_cgw

[2]. Exod. 20:5-6

[3]. Ps. 146:6; 1 Pet. 1:17-21

[4]. Isaiah 53:5; Matt. 11:28-30

[5]. Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, Works of Jonathan Edwards Online, Miscellanies, p. 490

[6]. Ps. 139:8-12; Heb. 2:9,14-18

[7]. Prov. 5:18-19; Song of Songs 7:10-13; 8:7

[8]. 1 Kings 10:1-10

[9]. Matt. 12:42

[10]. 1 Cor. 2:9

[11]. C. S. Lewis charted his own conversion experience in his book entitled Surprised by Joy.

[12]. 1 Pet. 1:8

[13]. The Cameron Brothers

[14]. You can read the biblical accounts of these events in the following passages: Exodus 15:19-21; 2 Sam. 6:1-23; Luke 15:11-32

[15]. Acts 1:8

[16]. Acts 2:15-39

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Sources

Berlin, Irving. 1925. “Always.” Song recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1942. https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.ask.com/question/1940-song-i-ll-be-loving-you- always&sa=U&ei=pyIOU9rhFYHQrgHDhoGABA&ved=0CAoQFjAE&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEkgr0scV_nfybfdohW6HZzVL_cgw

Brand, David C. 1991. Profile of the Last Puritan: Jonathan Edwards, Self-Love, and the Dawn of the Beatific. American Academy of Religion Academy Series, edited by Susan Thistlethwaite. Atlanta: Scholars Press.

Edwards, Jonathan. 1879. The Works of Jonathan Edwards, A.M., rev. & ed., Edward Hickman, 2 vols. 12th edition. London: William Tegg & Co.

Geneva Bible. 1560. www.genevabible.org/Geneva.html

JonathanEdwardsCenter at YaleUniversity, Works of Jonathan Edwards Online.

The Holy Bible. 1611 Edition. King James Version. New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

www.kingjamesbibleonline.org

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About the Writer

 

David Clark Brand is a retired pastor and educator with missionary

experience in Korea and Arizona. He and his wife reside in Ohio. They have

four grown children and seven grandchildren. With a B.A. in the Liberal Arts,

an M. Div., and a Th.M. in Church History, Dave continues to enjoy study and

writing. One of his books, a contextual study of the life and thought of Jonathan

Edwards, was published by the AmericanAcademy of Religion via Scholars

Press in Atlanta.

 

Series Navigation<p></br /></p><< God’s Good Faith Promise Fulfilled: “Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” Romans 3:3 Geneva BibleThe Cult of Mariolatry : “Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” – Romans 3:3 Geneva Bible >>


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