“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,” (1 Timothy 1:12)
“Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
Being a faithful servant does not come from striving for greater faithfulness in our Christian lives. It comes from God’s declaration over us as “faithful” because of Christ’s striving on our behalf.
Left to ourselves we will be blasphemers, persecutors, and insolent opponents to the cross and church of Christ. Our actions will betray us just as they did Abraham who lied, Moses who murdered, David who committed adultery, and Paul who persecuted Christ.
But God looked at the faith of Abraham and said, “Righteous” (Genesis 15:6) and “servant” (Genesis 26:24).
God looked at the life of Moses and declared him “a servant faithful in all my house” (Numbers 12:7).
God looked at David and called him “a man after my own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). God said that David “walked with integrity of heart and uprightness” (1 Kings 9:4).
Christ Jesus looked at Paul and judged him “faithful” (1 Timothy 1:12).
Even as believers our faith here on this earth is weak, faltering, impatient, and mixed with sin and unbelief. BUT, according to the record book of God in heaven there stands stamped over our account in letters of red “Faithful” (Colossians 2:13-14).
How can this be?
Jesus Christ was faithful on our behalf.
When we place our faith in Christ he not only saves us by grace through faith, but he sanctifies us by his grace through faith.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1–4)
Did you catch that? “God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.” We no longer stand under any condemnation, not because of what we do, but because of what God did!
Through Christ we fulfill all the righteous requirement of the law, not because we do a better job at keeping the law, but because Christ kept it all for us.
“Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be loosing.”
We often see clearly that when we are saved we are only made alive by grace through faith. We must also see that we grow in maturity by grace through faith in Christ Jesus as well.
We grow in maturity through Christ, not through striving, but through knowing him (Philippians 3:8).
When we are finally glorified it will be because we “see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). We will know him truly and upon seeing him we will be transformed.
At the judgment whenever God will say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant” he will not be looking at our record of good works for him. He will be looking at the record of good works that Christ appointed, purchased, and accomplished through us by his power (Colossians 1:29), grace (Ephesians 2:10), mercy (2 Corinthians 4:1), and love (Ephesians 3:17-19).
What do we do now?
Now we live in freedom from being slaves to our own expectations and the expectations of others (Romans 8:2, 1 Corinthians 4:2-3).
Now we serve God and obey him without fear and share in his sufferings by his power (2 Timothy 1:7-9).
Now we grow up in every way into him who is our head through love (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Now we walk by the Spirit, bear the fruit of the Spirit, and crucify the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:16, 22-24).
Now we rejoice though we live as exiles and we are grieved for a short time by various trials (1 Peter 1:8).
Now we stand firm in Christ and look forward to our future home in heaven where we live as citizens (Philippians 3:20-4:1).
Now we truly live and give all praise to the one who saves us and sanctifies us by the blood of Christ.