Who is God… Really?
by: Erin Warren | February 2, 2017
Can you remember a time someone said something about you that wasn’t true? I certainly can. They can be painful memories. But can you think of a time someone said something nice of you, but it was totally misplaced? It would like getting a 100% on your math test and someone, looking at the test, says, “You are so gifted in English.” Well, you might be gifted in English too, but this particular test showed your excellence in math.
I think we do that with God. Actually, I know we do. Last week, we talked about our responsibility to truth as laid out by Paul in 2 Timothy, and how we are to rightly handle truth.
The Greek Word for rightly handling means to teach directly and correctly, so we need to be careful to open our mouths in truth. That starts with knowing God for who He really is, not who we want Him to be. Each month for the rest of the year, I want to explore a characteristic or attribute of God and really get to know the TRUTH about Him.
For February, we are going to explore God’s Faithfulness.
We say it all the time, most of the time without thinking. When we get that promotion at work, our loved one is healed from cancer or someone gets pregnant after years of infertility: God is so faithful! But is that what His faithfulness is?
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of faithful is steadfast in affection or allegiance, firm in adherence to promises. We will look more into the first part: steadfast in affection next week, but for today, I want to dive deep into firm adherence to promises. God is faithful because He keeps His promises.
This week during Open Your Bible, the study asked “Are there promises God has made in His Word that you sometimes struggle to believe?” My honest answer is that I don’t struggle to believe His promises; I struggle to even know what His promises are! Context is everything here, because there are promises in the Bible made to all believers. But you will also find promises that are made to individuals or principles that aren’t even promises at all (ie The Books of Proverbs). We need to know the difference and not claim promises that aren’t ours.
I want to unpack two promises today (and we will continue to dig deeper in the coming weeks).
1. God is Faithful to Redeem
You know I love a good definition, so here we go back to Merriam-Webster: Redeemed: to buy back, to free from captivity by payment of ransom; to free from the consequence of sin. Jesus came to earth for one purpose: to save us from our sins and give us eternal life (John 3:16). He paid our ransom.
In Hebrews 10, the author speaks of Christ’s sacrifice once and for all. Under the old law, the Jewish people had to bring sacrifices to atone for their sins every year (Hebrews 10:3-4), but then came Jesus.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:12-14
The death and resurrection of Jesus put an end to the yearly sacrifice once and for all. He became the sacrifice that would pay our debt and forgive our sins forever.
2. God is Faithful to Forgive
The author of Hebrews doesn’t stop there. Taking it one step further, just to make sure, he puts an exclamation point on the section of scripture (the author is quoting the Lord here):
then he adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Hebrews 10:17-18
The Greek word for forgiveness here means release from bondage or imprisonment; forgiveness or pardon of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed). Whoa! He lets go of our sins as if they had never been committed. First He pays our debt and frees us then He forgets whatever it was that got us into trouble in the first place.
I challenge you this week to ponder His faithfulness and His promises to us.