On Being Faithful

“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” (Titus 1:9)

It is important to note that the adjective “faithful” can be applied both to people and to things, if they are believable and trustworthy. Our text above refers to the Word of God as being faithful. Obviously, if any teacher of the Word is to hold fast the faithful Word and teach sound doctrine, he too must be faithful. Paul also teaches that church leaders should have “faithful children” (Titus 1:6) and that their wives should be “faithful in all things” (1 Timothy 3:11).

The Greek word translated “faithful” is closely related to the words “faith” and “believe.” The same relationships are even stronger in the corresponding Hebrew words used in the Old Testament. It is vital to believe God’s faithful Word for indeed “faith cometh by . . . the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

But genuine faith and faithfulness are not common commodities. “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). The one man who is absolutely believable and trustworthy, of course, is the Lord Jesus Christ. “If we believe not [that is, are unfaithful], yet he abideth faithful” (2 Timothy 2:13). In the Bible’s climactic book, He is even introduced as “the faithful witness” (Revelation 1:5). Among His closing words, He promises that “these sayings are faithful and true” (Revelation 22:6).

We can have absolute confidence that all His promises will be fulfilled, and all His warnings must be heeded. May God help each of us also to be—like Christ and like His Word—faithful and true. Remember also that they that are truly “with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14). HMM

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