The Faithful Saviour


The central verse in the Bible is Psalm 118:8 which says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” In other words, all humanity will fail you at one point or another, but God can be trusted because He is absolutely dependable.

When you study the gospels you are quickly confronted with two striking statements that Jesus makes on a regular basis. He says, “I am…” (bread of life, light of the world, resurrection and the life, door, etc.) and “I will…”.

One deals with His character (“I am”) and the other deals with His work or activity (“I will”).

I really wish we had time to look at both in detail – it is a fascinating study!

However, my goal in this anniversary service is to remind you that we have a faithful Saviour whose promises can be trusted. I would like to take a few moments to briefly summarise some of the “I Will” statements made by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not exhaustive, but I hope it will whet your appetite to look further into these precious promises.

Join me as I preach a message entitled: The Faithful Saviour.

The Promise of Eternal Rest

Matthew 11:28-30 “I will give you rest”

It is clear from the context that the Lord Jesus is not speaking of a temporary relief from the physical burdens of life. He is referring to rest for the soul.

In Scripture, the soul is the “real you”, that which is immaterial and existent beyond the veil of physical death. It is the “inner man” and the “heart” of our being. This body is simply a shell, a house which our soul occupies.

Sin brought great turmoil to the soul of every man. We live in total restlessness until we come to the gentle shepherd who brings permanent rest to the soul.

How can I have this soul rest? Insert Gospel Message.

The Promise of Eternal Security

John 6:37 “I will never cast out”

Jesus made it clear that those who respond to the offer of salvation will never be cast out.

Jesus does not receive what He cannot keep!

If we could lose our salvation, we would!

The Promise of Christ’s Love & Fellowship

John 14:21-24 “I will love him and manifest myself to Him”

Two precious promises are found in this text: Christ’s love for the believer, and the privilege of ongoing fellowship and intimacy with the Lord.

The Promise of God’s Abiding Presence

John 16:7-15; John 14:15-17 “I will send Him to you”

We are privileged to live on the other side of the Day of Pentecost. Jesus promised His first disciples that He would send “another comforter” who would come to abide within. He would be their teacher, comforter, helper, and empower them for service.

The Promise of Equipping for Service

Matthew 4:18-20 “I will make you fishers of men”

In its primary context, this promise was made to Jesus’ first disciples, but I believe that this is as much a reality for us as it was for them.

Jesus promises to provide what is required for every Christian to serve as His ambassador. As we walk with Him, we are trained and equipped to serve as fishers of men.

The Promise of Answered Prayer

John 14:13 “I will do”

This precious promise is badly abused by many in the “prosperity gospel” circles. The promise that Jesus is making has nothing to do with my own wants and desires. It is a promise that then we pray in accordance to His will, character, and glory, our prayers will be answered.

The Promise of Church Building

Matthew 16:13-18 “I will build my church”

The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the church and He promised to build His church and that nothing can thwart His plan. Bear in mind that this promise is to the universal church, not the local church.

The Promise of Church Closure

Revelation 2:5 “I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place”

The church at Ephesus had left their first love. They were going through the motions of “church” but without the fervent love and passion for Christ that was evident at the beginning. This situation is unacceptable to Christ, and He warned them (and us) that if they did not repent they the light of their testimony and fellowship would be extinguished.

The Promise of Christ’s Return

John 14:1-3, “I will come again”

Jesus is coming again!

The Promise of Resurrection

John 6:38-40 “I will raise him up on the last day”

There is a day coming when Christ will return and those who have died in Him will be raised to life again. On that day, they will be given new bodies from heaven which will never perish or decay.

The Journey of Faith

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10


Another year has expired and the Lord has not returned yet!

God has been so good to us and I want to publicly offer thanks and praise to Him for provision of strength, wisdom, protection, a Bible-centered fellowship, this great building in which we meet, friends along the way, finances for our needs, food to eat, substance to drink, cars to drive, houses to live in, families to love, hobbies to enjoy, books to read, music to listen to, heating and cooling for comfort, access to technology, employment, agile minds, memories to cherish, brains to compute, trials to strengthen, temptations to overcome, enemies to conquer, divisions to reconcile, weakness to nurture grace, hurts to forgive, problems to solve, and promises to claim.

What a blessed life!

In reviewing 2018, I have been reminded of some special times and difficult times we have shared together as family this past year:

  • Reading though “A Holy Life” at the start of this year.
  • Several baptisms in March.
  • New physical birth
  • Passing of loved ones
  • Professions of faith
  • New leaders emerging
  • Gospel groups started
  • Church camp in October
  • New people attending the church
  • Intense times of corporate prayer
  • Bible reading days
  • Bible fellowship days
  • Personal and organised outreach events
  • intense counselling needs
  • Grievances and departure of some
  • Financial needs & provisions
  • Pleasant times of fellowship
  • Strained times of hurt
  • Departures from the faith
  • Growth and discipleship

This is church, this is family.

But what about 2019. What will it bring? How shall I approach the end of this year and the transition into the next? Shall I make a list of resolutions? Shall I just enter in without a thought? What about my apprehensions, uncertainties and anxieties?

In just over a month we will celebrate God’s goodness to this assembly for 20 years. As we approach this milestone, what shall our attitude be? How shall we continue for another 20 years (should the Lord tarry)? What is the spiritual recipe for success?

This morning I would like to preach from 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. I probably will not be able to cover all that I would like to. I have several points to make before I can focus on the specific theme for our consideration. Please be attentive and patient as we move briskly through this message.

Join me as I preach a message entitled: The Journey of Faith.

1. The Inevitable End of our Physical Bodies

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)

The apostle Paul is a passionate advocate of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His life is lived with the expectation that he will die at any moment – in fact, he is already “dying” according to 2 Corinthians 4:16 where he writes, “our outer self is wasting away…” (lit. “rotting” or “decaying”).

“The tent that is our earthly home” is a reference to the physical body. In this context, Paul is speaking to believers.

The “tent” or “tabernacle” is a wonderful illustration as it speaks of that which is movable, temporary, and relatively fragile.

Paul knew too well the nature of a tent seeing he made them for a living. No doubt he considered the brevity of life when he fashioned the canvass and fitted the rods.

There are a number of applications that must be understood in this first verse:

  1. A tent was a temporary habitation – Without permanency and longevity.
  2. A tent was easily dismantled – deconstructed, disassembled, and destroyed.
  3. A tent was fragile – The nature of the body is that it is born in weakness and fragility.
  4. A tent was used by pilgrims and travellers – All believers are sojourners.
  5. A tent is not the person, but simply a dwelling place – The soul is far more than the body alone.
  6. A tent requires maintenance and ultimately replacing – The body needs attention and will one day be replaced.

In this first point we are reminded of our own weakness and the brevity of life.

Sometimes we are tempted to think we will live forever and that this world is all that there is.

The apostle knew that his body was transient, and he lived for the eternal housing which God would supply him with in due course.

Before we move on, let me take a moment to remind EVERYONE – lost and saved – that life is short. Death is coming and a day of reckoning will ensue.

Some of us may not be here this time next year – our tent may have perished.

For the Christian we do not need to fear the future because the Lord Jesus Christ has already saved us from the wrath of the Righteous Judge.

However, if you are here and have not received Jesus as your Saviour you have much to fear. If you die without recourse you will stand before Jesus as your judge, jury and executioner. He will have no mercy upon your soul because you neglected the great salvation He provided by dying for your sin on the cross.

Friend, do not delay – come to Christ for rescue today!

2. The Promise of a New Eternal Building

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)

A great contrast exists in this text between the temporary tent (tabernacle) and the eternal home (house).

1 Corinthians 15:51-54 “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

At a fixed time in the future, God will resurrect our mortal bodies and instantaneously transform them into a permanent, spiritual, eternal dwelling place.

A few observations about this new building:

  1. Originates from God “a building from God” I.E. without flaw, perfect.
  2. Not of this Creation “not made with hands” I.E. not human ingenuity, nor tainted by such. Without any human aid, wisdom or construction.
  3. Eternal, not temporal “eternal in the heavens” I.E. lit. “live forever”, unmarked by time, cannot be dissolved, replaced or upgraded.
  4. Heavenly “in the heavens” I.E. In the place that Jesus has been preparing for us since His ascension (John 14:1-3).


3. The Present Pain & the Glorious Future

“For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” (2 Corinthians 5:2-4)

The word “groan” speaks of pain, suffering and turmoil. Paul knew the fullness of what it meant to “groan” in his body.

Our bodies are subject to deterioration, soreness and disease.

It is not just our bodies that groan. Romans 8:22 tells us that the “whole of creations groans” under the weight of sin.

However, the burden of sin felt within our bodies must not steal the joy of the believer’s future prospect of a new heavenly dwelling place.

Sometimes in the midst of physical maladies, disease, cancer, sickness and pain, we lose sight of the glorious future which awaits us.

The Christian should earnestly desire to receive his or her new spiritual body. The word used here means to “crave, yearn for, and pursue.” This was a significant motive for Paul and it should be for us too.

One of the problems we have today is that many Christians are so settled in their temporary dwelling (this life and body) that they do not even consider, let alone desire, the future dwelling. So consumed are they with the here and now that they cannot even contemplate all that awaits.

Interesting Statement

The words, “if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked” have given rise to a great many different interpretations.

For the sake of time, let me explain what I believe is meant by this phrase.

Paul is speaking of our future state in which the soul will not be naked (disembodied), but rather, “further clothed” (v.4) with the immortal body.

In other words, “Paul is saying that his earnest desire is not for death, and for the disembodied state that goes with it, but rather for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ when all those who have died will receive their glorified bodies.” (Believer’s Bible).

Let us not forget that the bodies we have are just a shell. It is the soul which is indestructible, and this is the real “you”. One day the “body suit” will be loosed and the soul will for a time be “disembodied” until the return of Christ, and the resurrection of our bodies.

4. The Sovereign Purpose and the Present Deposit

“He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 5:5)

Now I must not get distracted from my mission to reach verse 7, but permit me a few moments to briefly unpack this verse!

Let me firstly remind you quickly of some essential theology:

  1. God chose believers for salvation (Ephesians 1:3-7)
  2. Salvation is wholly a work of God (Jonah 2:9)
  3. God initiated salvation and will bring it to conclusion (Philippians 1:6)
  4. Eternal life has already begun (John 5:24; John 11:26) It is NOT a future event!!
  5. Jesus will raise the believer up on the last day (John 6:40)
  6. God is sovereign and His plan will be accomplished (Job 42:2)

Please note:

  1. The word “prepared” is past tense and denotes a completed action. Has this taken place yet? Not from our vantage point. However, it is completed in the mind of God.
  2. The basis of the apostle’s confidence and assurance of his new spiritual body is the reality of the Holy Spirit’s presence within.
  3. The Holy Spirit “acts” as a deposit or downpayment. A guarantee. What God lay-bys He pays for in full!

1 Corinthians 1:20-22 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Romans 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

5. The Prevailing Attitude in the Present Tense

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6).

What shall be the believer’s outlook based upon these truths? “Always of good courage”.

This phrase literally means: “Of good cheer, boldness, confidence, contented, hope-filled expectancy”.

The promise of our glorious future should elicit joy, peace, positivity, an upbeat attitude, and an eagerness for the Lord’s return.

Does your promised future result in present joy and confidence?

6. The Journey of Faith

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

We have finally reached the apex of the message!

The concept of faith is uncomplicated. Every one of us exercises faith hundreds of times each day.

In a simplistic sense, faith is “belief, reliance, a firmly-fixed confidence not based upon emotions, but as an act of the will.”

Paul reminds the believer that the Christian life is a journey of faith.

“We walk by faith….” Faith in what? Our goals, efforts, financial wherewithal? Absolutely not!

Our faith must be rooted/anchored in the unchanging, undiminishing character of God.

It is faith in His promises; Faith in His Scriptures; Faith in His plan.


  • It is to operate like Abraham who, “obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).
  • It is to live like Moses who, confronted with the Red Sea ahead and the Egyptians pursuing behind, trusted God and the “crossed the Red Sea as on dry land” (Hebrews 11:29).
  • It is to trust God when the great City of Jericho loomed in the distance and God said “encircle the place 13 times and blow the trumpet” and “the walls of Jericho fell down” (Hebrews 11:30).
  • It is to build an ark for the saving of your household at the behest of God even though rain had never yet been seen on the earth (Hebrews 11:7)
  • It is to leap into battle against an undefeated giant with a sling and five smooth stones and say, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Samuel 17:45).
  • It is to stand before the most powerful monarch in the world who demands that you worship his golden image, and say, “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)


Too often we exercise faith in what we believe God should do rather than in God Himself. When we foolishly do this our expectations are not met and we become disillusioned with God!

We think, “God should have done this or that” or “I trusted Him and He let me down.”

GOD DIDN’T LET YOU DOWN – You were not believing the truth!

In 2019 you will have the opportunity to have your faith tested and tried. You will be confronted with unknown paths (like Abraham), insurmountable seas (like Moses), unconquerable enemies (like the fortress of Jericho), intangible realities (like Noah), unbeaten champions (like Goliath), and uncertain futures (like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego).

These will be your opportunities to exercise faith in God and His Word.

Our church will come under fire. We will experience opposition from without and division from within. There will be times of despair, disappointment, and disillusionment. We will be afflicted, persecuted, falsely accused, and ridiculed.

But our faith must be fixed in God.

How can I grow in my faith? A Short Synopsis

  1. Faith begins, and is sustained by the Word of God (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 2:2)
  2. Decide to exercise faith in God as an act of your will (Mark 11:22; 1 Peter 1:21)
  3. Walk in the Spirit (Acts 11:24)
  4. Submit to spiritual leaders who encourage your faith (Acts 14:22; 16:5)
  5. Local church fellowship (Romans 1:12)
  6. Be alert and hold fast to the faith (1 Corinthians 16:13)
  7. Practice faith in the unseen truth revealed in Scripture (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  8. Examine your faith and test its genuineness (2 Corinthians 13:5)
  9. Withdraw from foolish talk and controversy which attacks the faith (1 Timothy 1:4)
  10. Live in moral and doctrinal purity so that faith may be established (1 Timothy 1:19; 3:9)
  11. Serve as a deacon (1 Timothy 3:13)
  12. Be trained in the words of faith (1 Timothy 4:6)
  13. Do not love money (1 Timothy 6:10)
  14. Mimic the faith of Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
  15. Follow Paul’s faith (2 Timothy 3:10)
  16. Receive rebuke from men of faith (Titus 1:13)
  17. Share your faith with the church and the world (Philemon 1:6)
  18. Imitate the faith of church leaders (Hebrews 13:7)
  19. Endure the testing of your faith (James 1:3)
  20. Pray in faith (James 1:6; 5:15)
  21. Resist the devil in faith (1 Peter 5:9)
  22. Contend for the faith (Jude 1:3)
  23. Build yourself up in the faith (Jude 1:20)
  24. Keep on believing by faith in Jesus (Revelation 14:12)
  25. Wait in faith for the return of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)

Time has escaped us.

Let me simply read you the last two points from our text:

7. The Preeminent Aim

“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)

8. The Day of Reckoning

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)