God’s Faithfulness to His People 1

God’s Faithfulness to His People Part 1 – The Nation will live Again

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Can these dry bones live? The nation was destroyed, no land, no settled people, no Temple. All had been lost. But not even such devastation could thwart the redeeming purpose of God. The people will return . They will live again. God’s purposes will not fail.

A day came when the apostle Peter could say: “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a tree. Him God has exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him.” (Acts 5:30ff.) In this One the bones most surely came to life as sons and daughters of Israel embraced their Messiah and found true forgiveness and a place in God’s eternal kingdom to be joined, as promised, by those from the nations whom God would call to himself.

God is continuing to gather his people from every tribe and nation

New People, New Life-style

1 Peter 4:1-11

Peter’s intentions in this passage are clear. The people who have been baptised into Christ share his death and his life. His death and theirs (though different) are both a death unto sin. The consequence is the effort to live a life that seeks to please God in all things.

A community that lives by a different understanding of life and it’s meaning to the larger community in which it exists can expect to be under pressure. It’s never easy to be different and maintain difference.

Of verse 6 the IVP – New Bible Commentary says: “The gospel was preached even to those who are now dead anticipates a possible objection to the gospel by the opponents of the Christians—‘If you speak of the return of Christ, and possessing eternal life here and now, why do your people die like the rest of us? Surely you are suffering exactly the same judgment as we are, for you say that death is the wages of sin.’ Peter’s answer is that those who are now dead have been judged according to men in regard to the body by suffering physical death but, because the gospel was preached to them (while alive, and they responded to it), they are now living according to God in regard to the spirit. According to men… according to God could refer to judgment in the flesh as being the common lot of humanity, and life in the spirit as the distinctive characteristic of God. Alternatively, the preposition according to may mean ‘in the sight of…’. Either translation makes little difference to the meaning. Another possible translation is ‘by men’ but this is unlikely and does not fit easily with the parallel according to God”

Verses 7-11 are worthy of thoughtful prayer and a practical resolve to do what they encourage us to do.

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2 thoughts on “God’s Faithfulness to His People 1

  1. Thank you Harry. After reading the Peter passage my mind wondered back to those first few weeks of becoming a new believer 15 years ago. I was faced with so many new choices. How to stand up for my new faith was going to be a real challenge especially when your are married to a non-believer. After all he didn’t marry a “Christian”, by any means. I had a lot of grace upon me to make some very difficult decisions which looking back was a blessing. Learning to make new choices was going to become a new way of doing life for me. Accepting that you won’t always be liked for changing the way you live is also really important as it forces you to trust in a deeper way to be built on the rock of Gods Word and not in the approval of man. If God is for us who can be against us? Romans 8;31

    For the Ezekiel reading my mind went to the verse in John 21:21,22 where Peter asks Jesus about whats going to happen to John. Jesus reply was very significant ,”What is that to you? As for you follow Me”. I think I was lead to this verse because revival is so close to my heart. Ive heard this Ezekiel reading taught in regards to revival in the church. But I have to remember that revival starts with me in my own life. Im not to worry about others peoples walk with Christ, I just have to follow Him. I can only pray that God would revive His church as a whole but if He doesn’t Im to continue to walk in obedience and love to Him. Jesus said if you love Me you will keep My commandments. If Im to adhere to this in my own life that is all that Im going to be held accountable to on Judgement day.

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