God is Faithful

We have considered previously what it means to be faithful. We saw from the scriptures that to be faithful is to be “dependable, trustworthy, and loyal” and to be a person “who can be depended upon in all of his relationships and who is absolutely honest and ethical in all of his affairs” (Bridges 2008, 149). God is our ultimate example and pattern for faithfulness. In continuing our theme for this year, we want to examine what does it mean that God is faithful.

God Is Faithful

We learned previously that faithfulness basically means trustworthiness. When it comes to God, His faithfulness is the basis of His trustworthiness. The fact that God is faithful should be evidence enough for me to place my absolute trust in Him.

Let us consider what the Scriptures say and affirm over and over again about God’s faithfulness:

  • Lamentations 3:22-23 “The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
  • Psalm 36:5 “Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
  • Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth, I will make know Your faithfulness to all generations.”
  • Psalm 119:90 “Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You establish the earth, and it stands.”
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
  • 1 Peter 4:19 “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”
  • 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Throughout the Scriptures, God is described as absolutely faithful. He is dependable, trustworthy, and loyal to Himself and His people. He is the definition of honesty, truth, and righteousness. He says what He will do and does what He says. This should be all the reason we need to place our trust in Him and remain faithful to Him.

He Swore by Himself (Hebrews 6:11-20):

God’s faithfulness is demonstrated best by His promises. A promise is a “Declaration by one person to another that something will or will not be done, giving the person to whom it is made the right to expect the performance of whatever has been specified.”[1]

Now, when it comes to us humans, promises are often broken. This is why school children must resort to crossing their hearts and locking pinkies to add validity to their promises. In human courts, we swear by something greater than ourselves to confirm the truth, to promise to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But God swears by Himself, His own nature, that what He says is true and will be done.

This is the argument of the Hebrew writer in Hebrews 6:15-18:

15     For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

14     saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.”

15     And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.

16     For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.

17     In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath,

18     so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

The Hebrew writer says at the end of v.18 that because God is faithful to Himself, to His word, His promises, this is a cause for hope. And this hope, the writer continues, is an anchor for our souls to keep us grounded (Hebrews 6:19). Consider the promises that God has given and fulfilled:

  • Abraham promised a son (Genesis 17:15-17). He and Sarah were beyond the natural time for that to happen (cf. Hebrews 11:11). God fulfilled that promise with the birth of Isaac (Genesis 21:1-2).
  • God promised that Abraham’s descendants would possess the land of promise (Genesis 15:7, 13). It was fulfilled centuries later in the days of Joshua (Joshua 23:14) “… not one word which the LORD your God has spoken concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.”
  • God promised the world a Savior (Luke 1:68-70; 2:10-11), which He gave in the person of Jesus the Christ who now is preached to all creation (Acts 13:32).

I think what Bill Moseley wrote about God’s promises and our faith is appropriate here. He said, “Our confidence in God’s promises can be absolute. Nothing in heaven or earth can nullify God’s promises. Therefore, we have great encouragement… God is not slack concerning His promises. (2 Pet. 3:9)” (Moseley, Notes on the Book of Hebrews. Pg.71).

Living By Faith

Part of what it means to live by faith is to live a life that is trusting in Him who is trustworthy. It is to live faithfully to the One who is faithful. Hebrews 11 gives us abundant examples of individuals who live this kind of life. They “believe[d] that He is and He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). These men and women had the “assurance of things hope for, the evidence[2]of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Why? They knew God in the fullest sense of the word. This knowledge of God and His nature gave them all the evidence and assurance they needed to live faithfully to Him.

They knew:

  • That God would not forsake them (or us). Hebrews 13:5
  • That God was with them in trials. 1 Peter. 4:19;  2 Thessalonians 3:1-3
  • He is there for us and will not forsake us today. He has also promised us that Jesus will come again. Hebrews 10:37
  • And so we are to be faithful as He is faithful. 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 10:22-23

[1] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Promise. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1766). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[2] NASB – conviction. Footnote suggest evidence as an equally accurate translation.

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