What does it mean that God is Faithful?
I don't know about you, but I can't say that I have followed through on everything that I said I would do. God has. For He is faithful!
So, what does it mean that God is Faithful? God's faithfulness means that He is always going to do what He says He is going to do. False gods have no power to keep their word. God, whenever He has spoken, either through Himself, His Son, angels, or men, every word has proved to be reliable (Hebrews 10:23; Numbers 23:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:24).
(Definition is taken out of my book: Knowing the God We Proclaim)
God's faithfulness is too important not to understand. Let's dive deeper into what it really means that God is Faithful.
Faithful and True
There are some things that God cannot do; one of them is lying. God cannot lie. The Bible is the Word of God, and therefore there is only truth recorded in its pages (2 Timothy 3:16). When God has declared that He is going to do something, He always does it, because He is God, and God is faithful. It is written,
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19)
These are rhetorical questions the answer to them is always, yes and amen. We don't have to look very far in the Scriptures to read of God saying He will do something and then of Him being faithful to do it. After the creation of the world, God told Adam,
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Several verses later, Adam who is hiding behind Eve during Eve’s conversation with the serpent, eats also the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:1-6)
This is the first example of man exchanging the glory of God for a created thing (Romans 1:22-23). Adam sinned, exchanging God's glory for something created. It is also the first recorded example of the faithfulness of God. God said if you do this, then this will happen.
Adam ate the fruit of the tree, which he was commanded not to eat from, and he died. Judgment swiftly came after one sin the judgment was death. Death is a term that is loaded. When we think of death, we think of our bodies dying and buried in the ground. Separation of the body from the soul is only a part of how the Bible defines what death is. Let us say that physical death is the entrance into the finality of either the curse or the blessing of God.
Because of Adam's sin, the Lord says,
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)
Before Adam sinned, he was alive and walked in the coolness of the garden with God, the favorable presence of the Lord was upon him. He knew nothing of separation from God. Nothing of God's disfavorable presence which would be God’s anger, wrath, vengeance, justice. He never labored among the weeds, or experienced pain and suffering. Now because of his sin, he died, and he and all of creation came under the curse of God. God was faithful to do what He said He would do.
The Terror of Faithfulness
Every time God has spoken, His faithfulness has brought His words to pass. This is demonstrated in the first of five warning passages, recorded in the book of Hebrews.
For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through messengers proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. (Hebrews 2:1-4, bold added)
God in these last days has spoken through His Son, the Exalted Savior of all the world (Hebrews 1:2). He spoke before through the prophets, His messengers to the world (Hebrews 1:1). These messengers were sent to the people to declare that, "if they did this, then God will do this." Every time God delivered.
God spoke through His Apostle Paul,
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
Righteousness is a term often used in the Scriptures, it means that God will always do what is right. When He judges the world by the standard of perfection, by His Son, the wicked will be punished because God will do what is right. This judgment that is appointed for every man because of their transgression and disobedience is as good as done because God is faithful.
The evidence of God’s faithfulness in always doing what He has said He will do is overwhelming. He has given the ultimate proof of His faithfulness in raising Jesus Christ on the third day from the dead according to His word. According to God’s word, Jesus is coming again in judgment, and how will you escape judgment if you neglect such a great salvation offered in Christ alone? You won’t!
The Comfort of Faithfulness
God promised and then delivered upon that promise by sending a Savior for sinful men. Declaring that “all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” At this point, I am overwhelmingly joyed with the revelation of Scripture because God didn't respond to rebellion, transgression, disobedience, sin, or lawlessness as you or I would. He had every right to destroy all of us and it would have been just for Him to do so.
But He didn’t, He gave His only begotten Son, His beloved Son, as a substitute for our transgression and disobedience. God instead of satisfying His justice in punishing the wicked sinners. He satisfied His justice in the punishment of His beloved Son. My mind cannot comprehend such a marvelous truth. It is far too amazing for any of us to understand in its fullest sense. We will be spending eternity unraveling the love of God in Christ Jesus.
(Some of the content on this page is taken out of my book: Knowing the God We Proclaim)
(To discover more about God, see our page, Discovering God)