What does it mean to you when you think about God's faithfulness? When I reflect on it, I am overwhelmed with the thought. As we have been walking through the Minor Prophets over this past year, one constant theme is the faithfulness of God and the unfaithfulness of his people. So when I come to a verse like 2 Timothy 2:13, I am in even further shock of what God does. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, "if we are faithless, he remains faithful."
In our very first class on how to study your Bible, we looked at the importance of context. Growing up in Sunday school, it was ingrained in me that "Context is King." So let's make sure we have the right context for us to interpret what God is saying and therefore apply it to our lives.
In verse 11, Paul has a confession that says, "If we have died with Him, we will also live with him." What's happening here is that Union with Christ in his death is union with him in his resurrection. That's a fantastic truth in itself. He also says in verses 12 that "If we endure, we will also reign with him." This verse builds on verse 11 by saying that professing believers will persevere; they will enjoy final salvation. The big point here is that all who claim to be united with Christ must persevere, just as Paul told Timothy to do as he does in the verses before. When we look at the context of this passage, verse 12 says that those who persevere will reign with Christ and those whose lives deny knowing Christ will be denied by him (Matthew 10:32-33). The Bible doesn't promise salvation to those who profess Jesus and later reject him, but God does say these wonderfully comforting words in verse 13, which brings us to the point of this blog post, "If we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself." Even if we fail, he remains our solid rock.
When we look at verse 13 and bring it into today as we celebrate 79 years of gathering as a church, we are reminded that we are all unfaithful at times, but true believers do not deny Christ totally and finally. When we look at the church and specifically Knollwood, we are made up of unsteady people. We all are—every last one of us. But the church's ultimate success depends on God's faithfulness, not ours.
So what does this mean for us as we celebrate our 79th anniversary as a gathered Church? We are thankful to who God has brought into our lives. We are grateful for the men that God has brought to us that have shepherded Knollwood. Thankful for men who seek to be the type of men laid out in 1 Timothy 2 and Titus 3. We are grateful for faithful men who shepherd God's flock at Knollwood in light of 1 Peter 3. We are thankful for the many men and women who have faithfully served and sought to be disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ. Faithful men and women who God has used to continue to build his kingdom. But ultimately, those men and women, and anyone else at Knollwood, have been faithless at some point.
So as we reflect on 79 years as a gathered church, we are amazed at God's faithfulness to us even when we have not always been. All of this is so that no man may boast. As the Apostle Paul said so well, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth." No person can take the credit for only what God has done. It is, therefore, this Sunday that we praise our awesome God for what he has done in and among us by calling us to himself and calling us together as a church. Even during a pandemic, we can reflect on all that God has done.
This year has been a year for the history books, and many of you have heard me talk about our hopes to do a renovation of our auditorium for our 80th anniversary. However, this pandemic has caused us to rethink a lot of our priorities, including the cosmetics of our auditorium. What we have begun to see is that there is a greater need to be able to stream our services in a quality that allows for the least amount of distractions. So we, the deacons and pastors, are hoping to begin raising money to upgrade our technology to help those who will be unable to join in the gathering of the church. As we reflect on God's faithfulness over these 79 years, will you consider celebrating by giving above and beyond your usual giving? The purpose of this is that we are seeking to upgrade our technology so that we can still feed the parts of our body that will not be able to gather on a Sunday. This upgrade is not something that is left to just one demographic, but to all of us. Think about the parent who is at home with a sick child, the person on a business trip, to the person who is considered vulnerable and unable to gather in a large group. So as we celebrate God's faithfulness to us, would you consider financially helping us to continue the gospel work at Knollwood in this new and unique way? This upgrade will be for our audio system for better sounds, cameras for a live streaming system, and a minor stage refresh to help with all of these things. If you have prayerfully considered giving to this project, please indicate that on your giving, but please let this be above and beyond what you give as and offering and tithe. On this Sunday, let us celebrate all that God has done over 79 years of his faithfulness to us. If you are unable to give at this time, do not worry, this is a year long campaign with the goal of raising $25,000.00? by our 80th anniversary Sunday. The amount that is given will determine exactly what we will be able to do.
I look forward to the future and what God will continue to do as we seek to be faithful disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ. May our Lord and Saviour continue to use Knollwood to grow his kingdom in London, in this great country, and throughout the world. To God be the Glory, forever and ever, amen.