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He is the FIRST in EVERYTHING! – Part 2

by | Aug 22, 2020 | Faith, He is the FIRST in EVERYTHING (A Mini-Series), Jesus

In the second part of our series titled, “He is the first in everything” today we we shall focus on the faith aspect of our spiritual walk…

Faith…

Coming to the “pillar”, as it were of Christian faith, first things first here please! The meaning of the word “faith” all through the Scriptures has been not only that which comes from hearing the Gospel and leads to salvation (SeeRom. 10:17), but also one which keeps the saved soul on the straight and narrow path until the end. The Hebrew and Greek words for faith, “Emunah” and “Pistis”, employed respectively in Hebrew and Greek Bibles and meaning faithfulness or loyalty, better capture essence of the word faith (SeeHab. 2:4/Heb. 10:37) rather than its regular use in Anglican churches.

A cursory glance of the heroes of faith enlisted in the Faith Chapter inHebrews 11, people such as Abraham, Moses or David, would bring to the fore a common unifying factor: None of them, after their calling by God, went back to their “old lives”. If we pose the question of who called them faithfully in the first place and then faithfully stood by them, the answer would be unequivocally — the faithful God (SeePsalm 33:4/Gen. 12:1-3/Ex. 3:1-10/1 Sam. 16:1-13)! Ditto with every Christian (SeeEph. 1:3-5)! A honest recapitulation of the events leading to salvation would convince us of this truth: A faithful God followed us right from conception onwards before saving us at the right time!

Just to underscore my point about God’s faithfulness, I am bringing in the significance of the word “Covenant” and comparing it with the word “Contract”. The two notable differences between these very similar words are as such: A contract is always between two parties of equal stature (eg: a land owner and a building contractor); A covenant is always between a higher party and a lower party (eg: the will of an experienced father to his not-so-experienced progeny — SeeJob 42:15). Also we need to remember that while a contract stands broken if either of the two contracting parties violate the terms of agreement, a covenant remains intact, with the higher party always fulfilling the terms of the agreement even if the lower party violates them. One need not go beyond the story of a faithful husband, Hosea, and his faithful demeanor towards his faithless wife, Gomer, to better comprehend the meaning and nuances of the word “covenant” (SeeHosea 3:1-3).

To substantiate the above point even whilst emphasizing the key word  “first” of this message, I want to bring before my readership the following examples…

“First” Parents…

But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.” (Hos. 6:7 ESV). Yes, Adam and Eve transgressed their covenant with their Father and dealt faithlessly with Him, but their Divine benefactor would not go back in the matter of helping them in various ways, beginning with:

a) Provision of clothes (And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.” Gen 3:21 NLT),

b) Protection from wild animals. After the fall, the “wild” animal — tigers, bears, elephants — would all become hostile to our “First Parents”, making the famous story of Daniel in the lion’s den dwarf in comparison.

c) ensuring safe delivery during child-birth at a time where there were no midwives (SeeGen 35:17) let alone maternity hospitals…etc…etc…

“First” Church…

Contrary to popular belief that the word “church” is used for the first time to describe only “an assembly of Christian believers” in the New Testament, it may surprise some when I say that the word “church” has also been used to describe the nation of Israel (This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us” Acts 7:38 KJV). Did not our Creator God have a crelationship with the Jews long before the church as we know was “born on the Day of Pentecost” (SeeActs 2:37-46)?

Though the obedience graph of the Jews would show wild swings right from their wilderness journey, the Almighty remained faithful to them, providing for them despite their rebellion therein many a time. Though they brought upon themselves the curse a longer stay in the Desert, none of them died of hunger or thirst in their 40 years journey: For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out.” (Deut. 29:5 NLT). Later on, in the Promised Land and outside of it too, even though they continued to bring upon themselves the curse of exile due to willful idol-worship, the faithful God would continue to care for and provide for them (SeeJeremiah 29:1-11), protecting them from all kinds of dangers including a planned, horrific genocide (The book of Esther stands as a testament to this truth). Now the same faithful One has given an assurance that all Jews, though they despise Christ now, will soon be led to a Christ-oriented salvation: Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died.” (Zech 12:10 NLT; See alsoRom 11:26-27).

How true is the Apostle Paul’s declaration about our Heavenly Father’s faithfulness, in regards to Christians too…

“if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself” (2 Tim 2:13 ESV)

Prayer: Father, we are awed by Thy faithfulness. As we prayerfully depend upon you, enable us to be faithful to Thee at all times. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

(To access the entire “He is the FIRST in EVERYTHING!” mini-series, pleaseclick here.)

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