By Dennis Edwards
We have a faithful God in God the Father, in God the Son (Jesus), and in God the Holy Spirit. The word faithful means to be steadfast in affection or allegiance, to be loyal, like a faithful friend; to be firm in adherence to promise or in observance of duty, to be conscientious, like a faithful employee or employer; to be given with strong assurance, to be binding, like a faithful promise; to be true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original, like a faithful copy.1
Faithfulness, therefore, is having lasting loyalty and trustworthiness in relationships, the fact or quality of being true to one’s word or commitments, and/or being dedicated and steadfast in performing one’s duty.2
The Hebrew word emuna is translated “faithfulness” in the Old Testament. It is a noun meaning firmness, steadiness, fidelity, and trustworthiness. It is sometimes translated as “truth” as well. The Greek word pistos is translated “faithful” or “faithfulness” or “believing” in the New Testament. Other uses are “sure” and “true.” The word is used of both God’s followers being faithful to Him and He being faithful to them.3
How do we use the word faithful? Here are some examples: faithful to our word, faithful to our commitments, faithful to our jobs, faithful to our family or spouse, faithful to our friends.
If we think about it, the whole Old Testament is a record of God’s faithfulness to His word, God’s faithfulness to complete His promises. All the way back in Genesis 3, God promised to send a “seed” through the woman that would defeat the serpent (Genesis 3:15). However, some 1,500 years later, things had gotten so bad because of mankind’s iniquity that God had to destroy the first creation in a worldwide flood. Nevertheless, true to His word, God saved a remnant from which He would assuredly fulfill His promise. God saved Noah and his family, and later chose to work through the lineage of Shem, one of Noah’s sons.
Some 1,000 to 1,500 years later, God forgets not His promise and calls out Abram from the corrupt civilization of his day. God promises to fulfill in him the Promised Seed (Genesis 15:1–6). The Bible says that the Lord made a covenant, a promise, or a firm agreement with Abram, promising the Promised Land to Abram’s descendants (Genesis 15:18). Later, even though neither Abram nor Sarah believed God’s word at first, God was faithful to complete His promise (Genesis 17:15–22).
Hebrews explains that Sarah judged God faithful to fulfill His promise. “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11). Though Abraham and Sarah both doubted at first, they came to believe that God is faithful to His word and able to do the seemingly impossible. There is nothing too hard for the Lord! “Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee. Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:17, 27). “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
We see that throughout the Old Testament, God was faithful to His word. He was true. He was trustworthy. He fulfilled His promises over and over again. “Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof” (Joshua 23:14).
God will fulfill what He has promised. God cannot lie. What He has said, He will perform. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). Why are they not consumed? Because God’s faithfulness, mercy, truth, and patience are long-suffering. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22–23). God’s promises are steadfast. He will fulfill His promises to us, just as He did in the days of old for our ancestors.
In Psalm 89 we see the same theme: “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up forever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens” (Psalm 89:1–2). “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou has established the earth, and it abides” (Psalm 119:90). God’s faithfulness continues forever, including in our present time.
This thread continues through the New Testament. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23–24). Here we see the apostle Paul praying for his followers and encouraging them that God will keep His promises. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abides faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:11–13). There is a difference between not believing or doubting, and denying or negating the Lord. Abraham and Sarah doubted. Peter doubted. Thomas doubted. The other apostles doubted, but they made it through their doubts, because God was faithful. Jesus prayed and interceded for His disciples and for us. “I pray not that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (John 17:15, 20). God kept them according to His word, and He will keep us also.
Let us remember God’s faithfulness. He has promised to keep us to the end. Our part is to make the effort to believe His promises, obey His voice, and to trust in Him and endure through the trying times we face in our lives. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 He says: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
God will keep us from falling and present us blameless to Himself, for we have Jesus, who is called Faithful and True. Revelation 19:11 describes Jesus in the following manner: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.”
We also have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, giving us the power to overcome and be “more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). He will sustain us because He is faithful. He is steadfast. He is firm. He is trustworthy. He is true. If we do our part, He will do His part and keep us from falling. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever” (Jude 1:24–25).
“Faithful is he that called you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
2 “25 Bible Verses About God’s Faithfulness,” January 17, 2022, https://chasingvibrance.com/25-bible-verses-about-gods-faithfulness
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