The Fullness of Faithfulness

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In the great majority of cases it means human faith in God. It also may be in things such as His blood Rom or the Gospel Phil It is commonly used of the reliability of servants or stewards 1 Cor God is supremely the One in whom confidence may be placed , but His word and His promises are also reliable Rev Statements of Christian truth also may be trusted 1 Tim Negative words. It likewise can be used in the sense of being disloyal Rom The adjective can be used as a term for non-Christians 1 Cor The synoptic gospels.

God is portrayed in the first three gospels mainly under two figures—as King and as Father. Each of these concepts is associated in some way with the idea of His faithfulness. The kingdom of God comes not out of the blue, but because the time is fulfilled Mark The first two chs.

Those who see the beginning of the fulfillment rejoice in His faithfulness. The opening chs.

This theme of fulfillment of Scripture is found elsewhere in the gospels, but it is a particular emphasis which is found throughout Matthew. When God is spoken of as Father, there is conveyed the idea of His faithfulness in loving and providing for His children. This theme is particularly brought out in the Sermon on the Mount with parallels in Luke. It is He who is faithful in rewarding those who do His will , 6 , It is He who feeds the birds of the air and clothes the grass of the field—how much more will He provide for His human children!

The realization of this should lead men to trust Him in a way that will banish worry. Faith will mean taking His providence seriously and putting His claims first It is absurd to suppose that human fathers with all their sinfulness would fail to give their children what they really needed. How much more is this true of the heavenly Father Matt !

Human faith. Here faith is shown to be dependent upon the divine initiative. The kingdom comes whether men hear or whether they forbear, but the claim which it makes is faith. There is therefore at least to some extent an intellectual content to faith. Its moral content is emphasized by its close association with repentance.

The miracles of Jesus were signs of the coming of the kingdom of God. In some cases faith was a necessary prerequisite for their performance by Jesus Mark ; ; and also for the forgiveness which was associated with many of the healing miracles. He was astonished at the unbelief of His own countrymen f. During a storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith in His ability to exercise the power of the Creator in stilling the storm The moral and intellectual sides of faith are seen to stand together.


The unexpected faith of some which Jesus commended warmly Luke was in marked contrast to the unbelief of professed believers. The chief priests were aware that they had not believed John the Baptist Mark f. They mockingly suggested that they would believe if He would come down from the cross Mark Even the disciples were slow to believe all that the prophets had spoken Luke Yet God had given them the mystery of the kingdom of God, whereas others were taught in parables to confirm them in their blindness Mark f.

Luke emphasizes that the purpose of Satanic activity is to prevent men from believing and being saved Luke An interesting and significant feature of the gospels is the portrayal of the faith which Jesus had in God. This is illustrated well by the way in which He addressed God as His Father. He could use the intimate word Abba and show complete dependence upon Him and His will Mark Here one sees clearly the personal and moral connotations of faith in God Matt f. There is not revealed in the synoptic gospels the fullness of Christian faith, for that was essentially something which came after the Resurrection and Pentecost.

The faithfulness of God revealed in the OT is given a new dimension with the coming of Jesus Christ and the practice of a new intimacy with Him is inaugurated through the life of His Son. The gospel and epistles are treated together without any judgment being passed about their common authorship. It is clear that they belong to the same school of thought and the concept of faith in them is similar. There is the idea found in the synoptics of the fulfillment of Scripture ; ; , 28 , 36 f. God is portrayed as the Author and unseen Director of the whole drama in which Jesus is the leading Actor.

It is rather assumed, in contrast to faith in God which is made vividly explicit throughout the gospel. The nature of faith. It also is possible that the use of the verb gives a more vivid representation of a dynamic relationship. Faith is connected with knowledge. There is no question of knowledge being a stage of perfection beyond mere faith. Both are ways of reaching the truth ; , and of apprehension that Jesus is the Christ ; Faith can help men to know, but never to know in such a way that they do not need faith.

Faith is also connected with obedience, for the believer is contrasted with the one who does not obey the Son There are some metaphorical expressions which seem to be illustrative of faith.

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It is associated closely with loving Him also , and indeed is connected in some way or other with all the leading ideas of the gospel. The object of faith. This is unknown in secular Gr. The expression undoubtedly suggests not only intellectual credence, but also moral commitment to the person of Christ and is absolutely central to Johannine thought.

Faith in Jesus also could be described as faith in His name ; ; This has reference to His character prob. It may emphasize the sense of allegiance and obligation which faith in Him brings. There are also references to the believing of the words of Jesus ; ; The believing of Moses in the OT is linked with believing Him Faith in Jesus was the gateway to faith in God the Father ; The basis of faith.

Jesus had greater testimony than that of John to lead people to faith. It is meant to lead men to believe in Him. Those who do not are making God a liar by refusing to believe the evidence which He has given 1 John Jesus likewise gives His own testimony, which men do not receive John In John, faith is related to both seeing and hearing.

Seeing the Son is the natural preliminary to believing as far as His contemporaries are concerned , but it was possible to see and not to believe Seeing the Father directly was not possible, but believing was the gateway to eternal life f. Faith would lead on to seeing the glory of God The faith of Thomas in the risen Christ was based upon sight, but Jesus pronounced a great benediction upon those who did not see and yet believed The idea of sight varies between the literal and the metaphorical.

In the former sense it may or may not be the prelude to faith. In the latter, believing is seeing. Hearing can likewise be a purely natural process, not leading on to faith On the other hand, men may hear His word and believe the Father who sent Him, and they find not judgment and death, but life Many of the Samaritans from Sychar believed in Jesus because of the testimony of the woman whom He met at the well, though in the end the ground of their faith was rather His word than hers It was not only the spoken word which had this effect; it was also the acted word.

His disciples were urged to believe because of the works which He had done They were therefore meant to bring men to believe in Jesus , 23 ; , 53 , though often they were the cause of conflict ; No more than in the synoptic gospels is Jesus willing to provide mere wonder-working as a basis for faith The result of faith. The first consequence of faith mentioned in the fourth gospel is becoming sons of God This meant that men could to some extent enter into the relationship which Jesus had with His Father which is so integral a part of the gospel, though the words for faith and faithfulness are not used to describe it.

Men may be said to receive light and satisfaction ; f.

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Those who believe have eternal life here and now ; ; 1 John The blessedness of faith is contrasted with the wretchedness of unbelief. The believer is not condemned, but the unbeliever is already condemned The believer has passed from death to life and does not come into judgment, but those who have done evil do , Unless men believed, they would die in their sins , and sin was essentially unbelief in Him The development of faith.

Many believed in His name when He had cleansed the Temple, but Jesus knew them and the nature of their faith well enough not to commit Himself to them The inability of the religious leaders to believe earthly things prevented them from believing heavenly things Those who saw the feeding of the five thousand only saw and did not believe This faith was not shared during the ministry by His brothers Many believed as He spoke about His origin and destination f.

After the raising many of the Jews believed in Him , so that the chief priests and Pharisees were afraid that everyone would believe in Him The miracle continued to lead many to faith Many others, however, did not believe in Him despite the signs , or if they did believe in Him they were afraid to admit it f.

The disciples in the last week of the ministry needed to be told to believe the mutual indwelling of Father and Son f. The fullness of faith could not come until the Resurrection and it was the Beloved Disciple who was the first to see the empty tomb and believe His was the first adequate confession of faith.

Fullness of Faithfulness

Human faithfulness. The Acts of the Apostles. This theme is emphasized in two ways in the Acts. In the first place, what God has already done in Christ is proof of His faithfulness. The apostolic kerygma is grounded upon the fact that He has been faithful to His promises.

The Fullness of Faithfulness

His suffering and death was in fulfillment of Scripture and showed the providence of God without excusing the guilt of the human agents ; ; The other was the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. His angel guided Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch and released Peter from prison His Spirit sent out Barnabas and Saul on their missionary journey , guided the Council of Jerusalem f. He guided Paul on his dangerous and roundabout journey to Rome f.

The verb sometimes is followed by a noun to indicate in whom people believed—the Lord ; ; , the Lord Jesus Christ ; ; cf. The response seems to have been superficial only in the case of Simon The commitment to Christ might have as a prelude believing the Scriptures ; or believing an evangelist The initial act of faith needed to be succeeded by a constant trust in the promises of God It can be used absolutely ; ; , 27 ; or with reference to Christ explicitly ; ; ; So we see the lively exercise of faith is dependent upon an objective act of God.


Faith is connected with repentance ; and has moral consequences f. It leads to forgiveness ; , cleansing and justification It was accompanied by the gift of the Spirit f. It might be induced by a miracle ; , by the Scriptures or by the preaching of the Gospel ; It sometimes involved healing ; Its natural outcome was a common purpose with other believers ; and joy Loyalty to God and to the Christian brotherhood is implicit throughout the book and perhaps finds clearest expression in the incident involving Ananias and Sapphira The Pauline epistles.

Neither Paul the man nor his writings can possibly be understood unless we grasp the meaning of faith to him. Are you willing to discover God's plan for the life you thought was your own? Where Is Thy Flock? Can He Touch Me? Drawn by Love by Judy B Dent. Get Up Girl by Gina Brown.

Lori Bryan. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?

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