The Rev. William Klock: Two more sermons on Genesis
From the Rev. William Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia, here are two more sermons in his series on Genesis.
In the second of these messages, Fr. Bill makes a powerful point about Genesis 15:
Now, do you see how Genesis 15 is so profoundly important to us as we follow this same God ourselves? We walk by faith in a God who is eternally faithful. We should take deep comfort in that. Even at our best you and I are horribly fickle. Even in Abram, the father of all who walk by faith, we see him stumble and fall repeatedly. But, dear friends, when we choose to walk with God by faith, he will hold us up no matter what. Once we have trusted in the power of Jesus’ blood to wash away our sins, God never ceases to see anyone but his Son when he looks at us. Never once does he forget his covenant of grace and choose to take a glance under the long robe of Christ’s righteousness to condemn what it covers. He has promised us the righteousness of his Son and that’s what he gives us. We come to his Table each Sunday having spent a week walking with him, sometimes walking faithfully and often having strayed, and yet here he gives us gifts of his grace that depend on his eternal promises, not on our fickle obedience. And once each of us stood at the font to be washed with pure water and to have the Holy Spirit poured into us that God might make us holy. The promise he offers us in baptism depends not on our fickle obedience, but on his eternal Word. His grace is with us always, not only when our faith is strong, but especially when our faith is weak.
More importantly what does God’s revelation of himself as the Promise Keeper teach us about the nature of our faith? Genesis 15 is amazing because it shows us not only the eternal faithfulness of God, but because it also shows us the nature of the faith we should have. It shows us the difference between mere “belief” and life-changing, God-honouring “faith”. Belief is a shallow thing. Belief is the spiritual counterpart to opinion. I believe things because, at best, I’m moderately sure that they’re true or, at worst, because no one has yet convinced me that I’m wrong. In contrast, faith is rooted in conviction—in the sure knowledge of something. When it comes to God and his promises, I don’t merely believe them, I am convinced by the Word he has spoken, by the Scriptures he has caused to be written and by the evidence of his faithfulness that he has given. And so when God promises, when God pledges, when God says he will do something I embrace his Word with the arms of faith, sure in the knowledge—not the opinion—that he will do what he says. I know that his Word rests on his character and on his very being. As he promised to Abram: Should I fail in keeping my covenant, may I be as these slaughtered carcasses—may I be mutilated and cut in two.” Can God be slaughtered? Absolutely not! And so we know, we are sure, we are convinced that what God says is worthy of our trust, of our faith.
God will keep His promises to us, and we can indeed always trust Him to do the right thing.