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THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITHFULNESS – I Cor. 10:1-13

  1. Introduction:
    1. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit – Gal. 5:22.
    1. This means we can have faith!
      1. Definition of Faith in the Greek;
      • It is word (pistis) - means, a firm persuasion or trust.
      • Relationship between Faith and Faithfulness. Faith is the act. Faithfulness is result.
      1. Heb 10:23 - let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised:
      1. Deut. 7:9-10 - Know therefore that Jehovah thy God, he is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations, and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
      • In English: God is faithful to those who are faithful.
      • We have many types of this relationship: Marriage, Parent/Child are two.
      • A Lack of Faith and Faithfulness results in disaster.
    1. A Story of Faith

      Pete had become lost in the desert and had been chasing mirages. He thought to himself, I'll follow this last one. It was a deserted town with a well in the very center. His mouth parched from the intense heat, he ran to the well with his last ounce of energy. 

      He vigorously pumped the handle only to find that no water came forth. Then, he looked up to a note nailed to the post. It instructed its readers to "look behind the rock where a five-gallon container of water will be found" and warned against drinking or using it for anything besides priming the pump. Every ounce was needed, and not even a drop could be spared, the note emphasized. 

      "After pouring the water down the pump, pump the handle vigorously and all the water you desire will come forth," the note said. One last instruction was to please fill the water can and place it behind the rock for the next weary soul who might happen to come along. 

      It is hard for people to give up a "sure thing" for something they cannot see at the time. Pete had a sure thing in the bucket of water and yet was instructed to pour it "all" down the pump. 

    1. The individual before Pete was faithful.  - Jesus
    2. Pete had to have Faith to pour out all the water.  – Mt. 5:3
    3. Pete had to be Faithful for the gift to continue to be given. Mk. 16:15
    1. The lesson of faithfulness is badly needed in the church today.
    1. Many obey the call of the Gospel, but fewer remain faithful.     
      1. Encouragement to be faithful - Matt. 10:22; Rev. 2:10; II Tim. 4:7-8.
      2. Danger in being unfaithful – Duet. 7:9-10 (above) and Mal.  2:1-2 - And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith Jehovah of hosts, then will I send the curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

      2.   In view of the danger of unfaithfulness we ought to ask ourselves this all important question, "Can the Lord call me faithful?  Are we filling the Bucket for Others?

    1. The Text of the lessonI Cor. 10:1-13
    2. In the KJV and the orginal greek text "Moreover" introduces this chapter and connects 9:27 with 10:1-13.  Paul mentioned importance of faithfulness and the pitfall of not being faithful.
    1. Text looks at the lack of Faithfulness of Israel.
    1. Blessings for Physical Israel Then and Spiritual Israel Now - I Cor. 10:1-4
    2. God abundantly blessed the Physical children of Israel.
    1. Exodus 14:30,31 – God delivered Israel out of Egyptian bondage from cruel taskmasters.
    1. John 9:28 – God had permitted them to be baptized into Moses at the Red Sea. 
      1. It was an honor to be disciples of Moses .
    1. God had given them food and drink in their wilderness wanderings.
      1. Exodus 16:14-15 - The supernatural food was manna.
      1. Exodus 17; Num. 20. Water was brought forth miraculously.
    1. Exodus 13:21, Ex. 16:9-10 - God had led by the cloud of his presence to the promised land.

    B.   God has also abundantly blessed The Spiritual Israel of today.

    1. God has delivered us from the bondage of sin - Rom. 6:17,18; Col. 1:13.
    2. God has permitted us to be baptized into Christ - Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3,4.
    3. He has spiritually sustained us by Jesus who is the Bread of Life –
      1. John. 6:48 – … He that believeth on me hath everlasting life, I am that bread of life
      1. John 4:7-26 – Jesus provides Living water. (Woman at Well)
    1. God is leading us by His word to the heavenly Canaan and eternal blessings.

The blessings of Israel were but a type of the greater blessings which we enjoy in Christ. 

  1. Faithfulness of the Physical Israel Then and the Spiritual Israel Now - I Cor. 10:5-10
  2. Though Blessed by God, The Physical Israel showed a lack of faithfulness.
  3. I Cor. 10:6 – Committed Sin of Lust for things back in Bondage
      1. Example - Numbers 11:4-35. Remember the story of the people of Israel tiring of manna, and desired  meat and longed for Egypt. (See verses 4-6 and 18-20)
      1. God was highly displeased and punished them with a great plague.

    2.   I Cor. 10:7 - Committed Sin of Idolatry

    1. Example - Exodus 32. Remember how that the people of Israel while Moses was on the Mt. under the leadership of Aaron built a golden calf and worshipped it.
    2. God was very displeased and 3,000 men were killed. Ex. 32:28.
  1. I Cor. 10:8 - Committed Sin of Fornication
  2. Example - Numbers 25:1-9. Remember when the people of Israel committed adultery with the women of Moab and the idolatry which followed.
  3. God's righteous anger caused 24,000 to be killed by a plague. (23+1000 killed by judges)
  1. I Cor. 10:9 - Committed Sin of Tempted (tested) the Lord
  2. Example - Numbers 21:4-9.  Remember when the people of Israel tried God's patience at Mount Hor regarding their food and drink.
  3. God, in His displeasure, sent fiery serpents to bite the people and many of them died.
  1. I Cor. 10:10 - Committed Sin of Murmuring
  2. Example - Numbers 14:1-38. Remember the incident of the evil report of the spies and the people's murmuring against Moses and Aaron.
  3. God not pleased, 40 yrs of wandering, all 20 and upward would die. (vs. 29, 34-35)
  1. Though Blessed by God, Spiritual Israel often commits the same sins today.
    1. We Lust for Aspects of our past bondage - desire is worldliness. We remember past life.
      1. Ex. Lies to get things we wanted, Immoral dress and behaviors, Unacceptable surroundings, Drunkeness, Fornication, Pleasures for self.
      1. James 4:1-4; II Tim. 4:10 - Demas; Rom. 12:2. – “Do not be conformed to the world”
    1. We engage in Idolatry by putting other things first - Matt. 6:33.
    1. Fornication and adultery are too often found and tolerated in the church - I Cor. 5:1
    1. Children of God frequently test God today by being discontent with His dealings with us - I Tim. 6:6-8; Heb. 13:5.
    1. The sin of murmuring is the expression of discontent. To grumble and complain is as sinful today as it was then - more so! "Count your blessings."
  1. Paul Encourages Against Ignoring the Example of the Physical Israel. - I Cor. 10:11-13
    1. “Take Heed” against over confidence in regard to our Faithfulness
    1. What is “take heed”? – It means listen to the warnings! – Physical Israel did not!
      1. Do we think we are more faithful than we really are?  What do others think?
    1. Self-examination is ncessary for our faithfulness to our duty. - II Cor. 13:5; Heb. 3:12; 4:1.
    1. It seems many are resting on: baptism, attendance at 11 A.M. service, satisfaction with the minimum requirements and think we are bound for the Promised Land.  I hope you are right!
    1. Faithfulness is possible! Our temptations can be overcome.
    1. Our temptations are not any worse than other's - they are "common to man."  Our's may be strong but consider Moses, David, Paul and Christ.
    1. Temptations are controlled by God. "He will not let you be tempted beyond our strength."
      1. God does not tempt us to sin - Jms 1:13, but He does permit Satan to tempt us - Job 1:12.
      1. Good can come from temptation, Job 23:10. – “When he has tried me I shall come forth as Gold.”
      2. Since temptations are never beyond our strength, we have no excuse for yielding.
    1. Our temptations always have a way of escape.
      1. If we really want to escape, God will provide it in some way.  We must have faith and be faithful.
    1. Conclusion:
    1. It is possible and necessary for Christians to have Faith and be Faithful.
    1. God Blessed both the Physical and Spiritual Israel.
    1. The physical and Spiritual Israel have both stumbled in sin.
    • The Physical Israel was given as example so we would remain faithful.
    • As Spiritual Israel, we can call upon the forgiveness of our God and return to faithfulness.
    1. We should be concerned about being overconfident in our Faithfulness, but know through God we can overcome temptation.
    1. If Christ should come today, would He find you and me faithful and ready?