Declaration of Dependence Part 2

John 15:5

I Corinthians 1:1-9

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Video Clip)

Last week we began our new series entitled Declaration of Dependence.  I shared with you that every day is our Dependence day because every day as Christians, as children of God, as followers of the way, and as members of the fraternity or sorority of the twice born we are daily dependent on God.  We are in essence addicted to God because we can do nothing without him.  That is what Jesus tells his disciples in John 15:5. I am the vine, you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.  We depend on God.  We need God!  Is there anybody in the room depending on God this morning?  

And last week I told you that we depend on God for his forgiveness, and because of his forgiveness we have freedom, a fresh start, and we’ll have a fruitful ministry.  Today I want to talk about something else that we depend on God for, and I am quite sure that you will all agree.  It was quite evident in the video after seeing what Jessica and Jordan went through in their brief marriages and finding one another.  We depend on God for his faithfulness!  Has God been faithful to anybody in the room toady?  This is why I love God so much because even when our faith is weak and anemic and pathetic and doubtful, lukewarm, and almost non-existent God is still faithful!  Do I have any witnesses to the faithfulness of God.  I know this is just my introduction but I just want to have a praise break right now and lift up the name of Jesus for his faithfulness.  

Because he did not have to do it, but he did.

He didn’t have to wake you up.

He didn’t have to heal you.

He didn’t have to feed you.

He didn’t have to put clothes on your body.

He didn’t have to put a roof over your head.

He didn’t have to have to keep you.

He didn’t have save you.

He didn’t have to protect you and your family. 

He didn’t have to send his son so that we could live.

I thank God for his faithfulness. 

I need God’s faithfulness. 

I am addicted to God’s faithfulness. 

I depend on God’s faithfulness. 

Let’s go to the text… in our text today Paul is writing his first letter to the Christians in Corinth. Now Corinth was a major city.  It was a city of commerce because of its location, it had both land and sea routes.  It was also the Roman Capital in Achaia, making it a happening place.  It was the NYC or Las Vegas of the day.  The city that never sleeps.  It was a very religious city because of the many different religions practiced there, as well as an extremely immoral city. Which is one of the reasons Paul was writing this letter.  I’ve always been impressed with the style in which Paul wrote his letters.  Just listen to it…

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

I mean you probably really felt like somebody to be receiving a letter from Paul.  There was always mention of the Christians’ walk with God, how Paul was praying for them, and how thankful he was for them.  He always tried to give them a word of encouragement before he told them something they did not want to hear.  Such as a word of criticism or correction.  He always built people up before he tore them down. And more times than not he was building them back up again by the end of the letter. That’s probably why they refer to Corinthians as the love book because Paul always reminded the church of the love of God and how we should love God and one another.  I said all that to say this, Paul as usual wrote this letter to encourage, admonish, reaffirm, and reassure the church in Corinth.  There were some things going on in the church that he needed to be addressed, and he did so with love.  Paul was telling the church because you believe in God.  Because of your belief in the life death and resurrection of Jesus, his grace is upon you, and you lack no spiritual gift among you.  God will keep you because he is faithful and has called you into fellowship with his son.  In other words, God is faithful.  And we depend on this faithfulness.  Great is thy faithfulness, oh God my father, there is no shadow of turning with thee.  Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not.  As thou has been thou for ever will be… and this faithfulness does three things for us.

First God’s faithfulness keeps us factual.  Look at verse 6, Paul tells the church, God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. God confirms.  Confirms means to establish the truth or correctness of something previously believed, suspected to be the case.  

State of assurance that a report or fact is true.  

To reinforce someone in an opinion, belief, or feeling. 

To affirm!  

To corroborate! 

To verify!

To prove! 

To validate!

To authenticate!

To substantiate!

To justify!

To vindicate!  

To support! 

To uphold!  

To back up! 

God faithfulness keeps us honest, and if we are true Christians we have to be honest.

Gods faithfulness keeps us factual in three ways.

God’s faithfulness keeps us factual by making us focused.  I told you last week that in order to have a fruitful ministry you must keep the focus on God.  But this also applies to every aspect of your life.  If you are going to be focused.  If you are truly going to be what God has called you to be.  You must be focused on God.  You have to have a laser like focus on God.  When we focus on God he can truly be the center of our joy.  Why?  Because every good and perfect gift comes from him.  He is the heart of our contentment and the hope for all we do.  When we are focused, Jesus truly will be the center of our joy.  And we can be all that he’s called us to be.  His faithfulness keeps us factual by making us focused.

God’s faithfulness keeps us factual by making us focused, then it keeps us factual by making us frank.  Not the name Frank, but God’s faithfulness makes us frank, meaning marked by free, forthright, and sincere expression.  A frank reply.  In other words, saying it like it is.  No candy coating. No fluff.  Just the way God intended it to be.  For example the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  You cannot serve to masters for you will love one and hate the other!  See where I am going with this.  The faithfulness of God keeps us factual by making us frank.

God faithfulness keeps us factual by making us focused.  God’s faithfulness keeps us factual by making us frank.  And God’s faithfulness keeps us factual by making us create friction.  The Christian lifestyle is counterculture.  We live in this world, but we are not of this world.  It is only our temporary dwelling place.  Just like these bodies we live in. What we believe is totally controversial and contradictory to the world we live.  What you talking about Willis? 

Well we believe that God created the heavens and the earth.  

The world believes in the Big Bang theory or that we evolved from monkeys.  

We believe that a man should marry a woman and a woman should marry a man.  

But the world believes that you should marry whom ever you want.  

We believe that you should be married before you have sex.  While the world believes that you should do whatever makes you feel good.  

We believe in one God, one faith, and one baptism.  

But the world believes in being more spiritual than religious.  

We believe that God created everyone in his own image.  

The world believes that some people are less than them so they treat them poorly based on their race, ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic status.  

We believe that All lives cannot matter until black lives matter.  

The world believes that we are taking things to far, and we need to get over it, and move on.

And what we believe causes friction.  

What we believe rubs people the wrong way.  

What we believe causes conflicts.  

What we believe makes people feel uncomfortable. 

Well I’m sorry because I’m gonna have to rub some people the wrong way,  

I am going to have to cause a little conflict.  

I am going to have to be contradictory and controversial.  

I am going to have to make a few people feel uncomfortable.  Because I’m about to cause some friction.  

Because I will speak the truth of God, and that truth will set you free.  God’s faithfulness keeps us factual and makes us cause friction.

Secondly God’s faithfulness keeps us firm.  Look at verse 8, He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And he goes on to say in chapter 15:58, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  The NIV says stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  When your focus is on God you should have no problem being firm in what you believe.  God’s faithfulness keeps us firm, and this firmness does three things for us.

Being firm fixes us. Remember how broke we were before God got his hands on us.  We will forever be a work in progress.  We will always have under construction signs all around us, but I am so glad. That his faithfulness keeps us firm and that firmness fixes us.  Is there anyone in the room besides the man with the microphone that was a wretch undone.  You were broken into so many pieces that only God could put you back together.  Only God’s faithfulness can fix us.  Which leads me to my next point.

God’s faithfulness keep us firm.  Because we are firm he fixes us and then he forms us.  After he pulls together all of the broken pieces of our lives he forms us into what he wants us to be.  He molds us and makes us. Now look at the work of art God created with the shattered pieces of your life.  

Picasso has nothing on God.  

Michael Angelo has nothing on God.  

Van Go has nothing on God.  

Because only God can make something out of nothing.  

Being firm fixes us, and once we are fixed we can be formed, which leads me to my next point.

Now that we are fixed and formed by God’s faithfulness he fortifies us.  This is the way that he makes sure that what he puts together, what he creates does not fall apart.  He is the glue that keeps us together.  There is a type of Japanese art called Kintsugi which is created from broken pieces of pottery.  They put the pieces together with a special type of adhesive that has gold or silver or platinum powder in it so that the cracks become a beautiful part of the artwork.  Not only is kintsugi beautiful but the material used to create it makes it stronger than it was before.  It is fortified!  And I was just wondering is there anybody in the room that was broken, and God picked you up, and put you back together again.  You were like Humpty Dumpty.  All of the kings horses and all the kings men could put you back together again. But when you looked to the hills from where your help comes from.  God put you back together again.  He made you into a beautiful piece of art.  That is stronger now because God has put his hands on you.  Is there anybody in the room excited that God’s faithfulness keeps us firm?  And because we are firm he fixes us, forms us, and fortifies us.

So God’s faithfulness keeps us factual, God’s faithfulness keeps us firm, and God’s faithfulness allows us to fellowship with Him.  Look at verse 9, God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Fellowship means companionship, company, community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience. The quality or state of being a comrade.  Meaningful communication for building trust.  This sounds like a relationship.  God’s faithfulness keeps us in relationship with Jesus.  I am so glad that I do not have a religion and I have a relationship with my lord and savior Jesus Christ! 

So you can have spiritualism, I’ve got fellowship.  

You can have Hinduism. 

You can have Buddhism.

You can have Mormonism.

You can have have the Nation of Islam. 

You can have Confucius.

You can have any religion you want.

But I’m gonna stick with Jesus.

I have a relationship with my God.

I have fellowship with my God.  

And this fellowship works in three ways.

In this fellowship we are his followers.  

We follow his word. 

We follow his way.  

We follow his will.  

We are his servants.  

We are his disciples.  

We are followers of the way.

Because we are in fellowship with God we are his followers!

In this fellowship we are his followers and we are his friends.  In John 15:15 Jesus says, I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know the masters business.  Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from the father I have made known to you.  Did you hear what I said you are a friend of God.  Now how many times in your life did you want to be in the in-crowd?  

You wanted to go where the in-crowd goes.  

You wanted to be down with the cool folks.  

You wanted to go where everybody knows your name, and there always glad you came.  

How many times have you dropped a name of someone you claim to know trying to impress people?  But it really does not  matter who you know or who you say you know.  What really matters is if they know you.  And aren’t you slap happy this morning that not only does the God of the universe know who you are but he calls you His friend.  I am a friend of God.

So in this fellowship we are his followers, we are his friends, and we are His force to be reckoned with.  Do you know who we are?  We are followers of Christ.  We are friends of God, and we are His force to be reckoned with.  

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

We are more than a conqueror through Christ who loved us.

Greater is he that is us than he that is in the world. 

We are God’s child, for we are born again of the incorruptible seed of the word of God.

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. 

We are redeemed from the curse of the law of sin and death.

We are blessed.

We are highly favored.

We are  the head and not the tail.

We are holy and without blame before him in love.

We are the elect of God.

We are established to the end.

We are set free.

We are strong in the Lord.

We are joint heirs with Christ.

We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

We are in Christ by his doing.

We are accepted in the beloved.

We are complete in him.

We are crucified with Christ. 

We are alive with Christ.

We are free from condemnation. 

We are reconciled to God.

Do you know who we are?

We are His force to be reckoned with.

That’s why this is our Declaration of Dependence. 

This is our Dependence day because everyday we depend on God.  We depend on God for his faithfulness. 

His faithfulness keeps us factual. 

His faithfulness keeps us firm.

His faithfulness allows us to fellowship with him.

Is anybody in the room thankful for God’s faithfulness?

God is faithful.  He cannot lie.  If he makes a promise He will keep it.  There about 277 instances in the Bible where God made covenants with his people.  So I have to believe that there are 277 times that God was faithful to his word and fulfilled his promise. He saved Noah from the flood.

He made Abraham the father of our faith.

He provided Abraham with a ram in the bush.

He reestablished his covenant with Jacob.

He spared Joseph in order to save his people.

He raised up Moses to free the Israelites. 

He provided for his people in the desert.

He brought them into the promise land.

He blessed them with judges like Deborah, Sampson, and Gideon.

When that didn’t work he gave them kings, the most notable being David a man after his own heart. 

He saved His people through Esther’s bravery.

He honored Ruth’s commitment to her mother-in-law.

And this is just a small piece of the Old Testament that displays God’s faithfulness.

Let’s fast forward to the New Testament when the angel appears to Mary and Joseph telling them that they will become parents before they even get married.

That son is born.

That son lives a perfect life.

That son goes through a mockery of a trial.

That son is beaten, ridiculed, and mocked.

That son gets on an old rugged cross and lays down his life.

That son comes back to life three days later with all power in his hands.

Because all of the faithfulness that God had displayed up to this point was not enough for his people to realize that He is all the God that they needed.  Something had to die.  So God stepped into human form and in essence sacrificed himself because God is Jesus and Jesus is God so that we could live.  If that is not faithfulness I don’t know what is so stand to your feet and give God praise for his faithfulness.

Just think about it for a moment.

Your health, God’s faithfulness! 

Your strength! 

Your protection! 

Your provision!

Your purpose!

Your success!

Your depression! 

Your mistakes!

Your mess ups!

Your short falls!

Your job!

Your children!

Your addiction!

Your ego!

Your pride!

Your arrogance! 

Your disappointment! 

Your healing!

Your achievements! 

Your overflowing favor!

Your salvation!

Our declaration of Dependence! 

We depend on God for his faithfulness!

His faithfulness keeps us factual! 

His faithfulness keeps us firm!

His faithfulness allows us to fellowship with him!

Give God praise for his faithfulness!


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