The Faithful Ones
Faithfulness is a matter of covenant trust. One is faithful, when she fulfills her obligation to be who she says she will be, according to the terms of the agreement. She will also do what she originally promised. Words matter. Works matter, when someone is considered faithful.
God the Father is faithful
God is faithful (1 Cor 1:9; 2 Cor 1:18), and great is His faithfulness (Lam 3:23). Here is our premise: everyone and everything relates, for better or worse, to the likeness of Him, who is faithful. In other words, each person is either faithful or unfaithful in relation to the standard of God. What are some of the ways God is identified with this glorious attribute?
God’s faithfulness is established in the heavens (Ps 89:2). God’s faithfulness encompasses Him (Ps 89:8). The sky bears witness of God’s faithfulness, forever (Ps 89:37). Yahweh’s faithfulness reaches to the heavens (Ps 36:5). If someone were asked to portray you, they would use descriptive words to identify your attributes. God is the fullness of each of His perfect and infinite attributes. Sinful people waver in every attribute, but God is fully faithful to everyone and in everything. He is unchanging in His faithfulness.
God is faithful to do His works (Ps 33:4). One example: God is faithful to judge His enemies (Ps 54:5). God’s Word is called, “faithful,” by Paul (Tit 1:9) and John (Rev 21:5). So, whether God says something or does something, He is consistent with the perfection of this attribute. He speaks and does truth. He speaks and does righteousness. He is faithful to the One who is faithful, which is Him. “To thine own self be true,” is disastrous for sinful people, but not to God, who is perfect in all His words and ways.
Yahweh is faithful to Israel (Ps 98:3), in all generations (Ps 100:5). There is a form in which He obligates Himself to His chosen people. Yahweh is faithful to keep His covenant (Dt 7:9), for He is a God of faithfulness (Dt 32:4). One display of this: God is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins (1 Jn 1:9), which is a grand benefit of the new covenant.
Christians place our faith in Yahweh, by placing our faith in Christ. Peter considered God, “a faithful Creator,” worthy of a Christian’s trust in doing right in every situation (1 Pet 4:19). If God were not good and righteous, He would not warrant our worship. He who promised is faithful, which warrants our confession of hope (Heb 10:23). God promises blessings and benefits to His people, in His Word (terms of the covenant), and we believe those promises to be true. God is true.
Paul named Yahweh, “Faithful,” in identifying His work of calling and sanctifying believers (1 Thess 5:23–24). He began a good work in us, and He will do it (Phil 1:6). God is faithful, in this sanctifying process, to limit temptation for Christians, and to provide a way of escape from sin (1 Cor 10:13). Still, if we are faithless, God remains faithful (2 Tim 2:13). This was true in the history of Israel, when Yahweh was found faithful, and Israel was not faithful (Neh 9:33). Stated another way, unbelief will never nullify the faithfulness of God (Rom 3:3).
God the Son is faithful
Jesus Christ is called, “faithful and true” (Rev 19:11). Here is another weaving together of divine attributes. It was prophesied that Jesus would possess Yahweh’s faithfulness (Ps 89:24), for God promised to be faithful in His dealings with His Messiah (Ps 89:33, 49).
Jesus is our merciful and faithful high priest (Heb 2:17). God promised to raise up a faithful priest over one thousand years before He did (1 Sam 2:35). A priest was required to be obedient to the laws of the Temple. Jesus was faithful to pray and to offer up an acceptable sacrifice to Yahweh. Again, if Jesus were not faithful in all of His duties, our hope would be lost.
The writer of Hebrews identifies Moses as faithful over the house of Israel (Heb 3:5), and Christ, as faithful over His house (Heb 3:6). It is important for us to see this attribute being true of all three persons of the Godhead. Jesus was faithful to God the Father, who appointed His Son to be head over His house (Heb 3:2). As the head of the church, the household of God, Jesus is sure to perform everything necessary to present His church holy and blameless before His Father.
God the Son will be faithful when He judges all the earth at His coming (Ps 96:13). So, we have seen a faithful Creator, who is faithful in His words and works. This is especially true toward His people, by way of covenant. God has added an oath to give us blessed assurance of His faithfulness. If God in Christ is faithful to us, then He wants us to be faithful, like He is faithful. He is conforming us to His image (Rom 8:29).
God the Spirit makes the saint faithful
Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), which tells us it is not natural to sinful man. Thus, it is the transfer of a divine attribute to an extended branch of His being (Jn 15; Rom 11). This occurs at regeneration, when the Holy Spirit takes up His permanent abode in the elect believer (Rom 8:9, 11). The faithfulness of God is now resident in the Christian. It is a process, so it begins small and increases over time and through experience.
God preserves the faithful (Ps 31:23), through the sanctification process and on into glory. God’s people praise Yahweh for His faithfulness (Ps 89:5), especially because we could never accomplish what God is working in us. Evil would simply overwhelm us.
The Lord is faithful to strengthen and protect believers against evil (2 Thess 3:3). God’s faithfulness is the saint’s protection (Ps 91:4), and this is heard in Jesus’ high priestly prayer for Yahweh to keep all believers from evil (Jn 17:15). This category of evil includes the second death, where the unredeemed suffer in eternal damnation. If the Living God is giving us His life of faithfulness, then there must be some examples of those who have gone before us
Who is called faithful?
The saints of the Lord are called, “chosen and faithful” (Rev 17:14). John encouraged his readers that they were being faithful in whatever they accomplished for the brethren (3 Jn 1:5). The one who walks blameless before Yahweh is considered faithful (Ps 101:6).
God considered Moses faithful in his household (Num 12:7). Ahimelech acknowledged David as the most faithful servant of king Saul (1 Sam 22:14). David proved his faithfulness to Saul by not killing him when he had the opportunities (1 Sam 26:23). The skilled tradesmen, employed to build Solomon’s Temple were considered faithful with financial resources, requiring no accounting (2 Kgs 22:7). The Levites, under Jehoshaphat were to be honest and faithful in judging disputes (2 Chron 19:9). Those who distributed tithes and offerings to the priests throughout Israel were to be found faithful (2 Chron 31). Men who served the Temple or the civil government in Israel were to be faithful (2 Chron 34; Neh 7:2), just as Daniel was considered faithful by the government officials in Babylon (Dan 6:4).
In the New Testament, Silvanus was considered by Peter to be “our faithful brother” (1 Pet 5:12). Onesimus gained the title, “faithful and beloved brother “(Col 4:9). Paul called Timothy, “my beloved and faithful child in the Lord (1 Cor 4:17). Epaphras got the title “faithful servant of Christ” (Col 1:7). Lydia desired the ascription, “faithful,” from Paul and Silas after her baptism at Philippi. Tychicus was,” beloved brother, faithful servant, and fellow bond-servant of the Lord” (Col 4:7), along with “faithful minister” (Eph 6:21). The whole church at Colosse won Paul’s admiration as “saints and faithful brethren in Christ” (Col 1:2), as did the whole church at Ephesus (Eph 1:1).
There are whole generations of unfaithful people (Ps 78:8). Israel was unfaithful to the covenant with Yahweh (Ps 78:37). Israel’s unfaithfulness was the whole point of the book of the prophet Hosea (Hos 4:1; 11:12). It is the idolater who forsakes faithfulness (Jon 2:8). In His charge against the Pharisees, Jesus found them lacking in faithfulness (Mt 23:23). The unfaithful will not declare God’s faithfulness in hell (Ps 88:11).
In what things are we to be faithful?
People of God must be faithful to pray when faithful people disappear and cease to be (Ps 12:1). We are to praise God for His faithfulness, while we are still in the land of the living (Ps 30:9). Because God’s people are to be faithful, we are instructed to cultivate faithfulness (Ps 37:3).
Men of God, preachers of His Word, are to proclaim God’s faithfulness (Ps 40:10), day and night (Ps 92:2). Men of God must be faithful with doctrine and capable of teaching others (2 Tim 2:2). Paul was considered faithful by Jesus Christ, who put the apostle to the Gentiles into service (1 Tim 1:12).
A father must tell his son of God’s faithfulness (Is 38:19). Likewise, women of God must be faithful in all things (1 Tim 3:11). Simply put, in all of our dealings, we should be faithful (Ezek 18:9).
What is the reward of faithfulness?
Jesus Christ, the faithful witness (Rev 1:5) of God the Father, has sent His people into the world to be witnesses, so that we might share the title, “My faithful one” (Rev 2:10). Sarah believed God’s promise to give her a child in her old age (Heb 11:11). He was faithful to His promise to her, and she was blessed. The same is true for you as you rest on His promises. He will accomplish what concerns you (Ps 57:2).
Faithfulness is identified in Luke 12 and Luke 16 and Luke 19 parables, as a requirement of stewardship of God’s treasure. The principle is stated, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous in much (Lk 16:10).” We must be found to be faithful stewards in anticipation of the coming of our Lord (Lk 12:42). Faithful stewards will enter the joy of the Lord (Mt 25:23). Here is the eternal reward for faithfulness: God Himself.
In conclusion, you must be as your Father in heaven. You must pray for the Spirit to manifest this divine attribute in you to the fullest measure. To be found faithful on the judgment day is assured for the believer because her entire array of faithful words and works were a reflection, a manifestation, of God, who is faithful. Are you resting in His faithfulness?
David E. Norczyk
Spokane Valley, Washington
April 12, 2021