Obeying the Gospel Involves Faithfulness (1 Corinthians 4:2)
1. Recently we have been studying a number of passages that relate to "obeying the Gospel." a. We learn from 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 that we must obey the Gospel to be saved from our sins. b. We showed from the Scriptures that obeying the Gospel involves: 1) hearing God's Word 2) believing that Jesus is the Son of God 3) repentance 4) confession 5) baptism. 2. When we obey the Gospel we become stewards in the Lord's service. 3. According to 1 Corinthians 4:2, stewards have 1 main requirement -- "faithfulness" [fidelity, reliability, or trustworthiness]. 4. The Scriptures teach that "obeying the Gospel involves faithfulness" in that those who obey the Gospel are to serve the Lord faithfully. 5. In our lesson we are examining a number of passages that relate to "faithfulness." 6. Let us begin by pointing out that . . . Discussion: I. "FAITHFULNESS" IS A KEY CHARACTERISTIC IN CHRISTIANITY
A. "Faithfulness" is one of God's characteristics. 1. Paul declared God's faithfulness in 1 Corinthians 1:9. 2. Years earlier David described God's faithfulness in Psalm 36:5. B. "Faithfulness" is one of the Lord's characteristics (Hebrews 3:1-2). C. "Faith" [faithfulness] is one of the characteristics to be developed by God's children (Galatians 5:22-23). II. "FAITHFULNESS" IS A REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION
A. The Lord made this very clear in His message to the church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:10). B. The Lord showed how His faithful servants will be blessed when He returns, while unfaithful servants will be punished. 1. Matthew 24:44-51 2. Matthew 25:20-23, 28-30 III. "FAITHFULNESS" IS AFFECTED BY OUR ACTIONS
A. Practices that negatively affect "faithfulness" must be avoided, including: 1. looking back (Luke 9:62; 17:32) 2. loving the world (2 Timothy 4:10) 3. developing an unbelieving heart (Hebrews 3:12-15) 4. forsaking worship assemblies (Hebrews 10:23-25). B. Practices that positively affect "faithfulness" include: 1. studying and meditating upon God's Word regularly (Romans 10:17) 2. obeying the Lord (James 2:17-18) 3. looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3) 4. maintaining a spirit of optimism (Philippians 4:13). Conclusion:
1. In order for our souls to be saved we must obey the Gospel of Christ. 2. We must also serve the Lord faithfully. 3. Those who serve the Lord faithfully will hear Him say some special words when He returns (Matthew 25:21).