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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Personal Attributes of God

Don Stewart :: Is God Faithful?

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Is God Faithful?

The Personal Attributes of God – Question 8

One of the most comforting and assuring attributes of God is His faithfulness. When we say God is faithful it means He is totally trustworthy. Indeed, He is perfectly reliable. The prophet Isaiah wrote of this. He put it this way.

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. (Isaiah 25:1 NRSV)

God’s plans are faithful and true.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote about the greatness of God’s faithfulness.

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. (Lamentations 3:22, 23 NLT)

His faithfulness is indeed great.

Moses said that God abounds in His goodness and truth. He wrote,

And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth...” (Exodus 34:6 NKJV)

The Contemporary English Versions says,

Then he passed in front of Moses and called out, “I am the LORD God. I am merciful and very patient with my people. I show great love, and I can be trusted.” (Exodus 34:6 CEV)

The God of the Bible can be trusted.

Moses also wrote to the children of Israel about the faithfulness of God. He said,

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations... (Deuteronomy 7:9 NRSV)

Here He is called “the faithful God.” In another place, Moses chided the people for not trusting in God’s faithfulness.

Is this the way you repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Isn’t he your Father who created you? Has he not made you and established you? (Deuteronomy 32:6 NLT)

He created these and He established them. Certainly, He will be faithful to them. This is the message Moses was delivering to the people.

Paul wrote about the faithfulness of God in protecting believers from the evil one. He wrote the following to the Thessalonians.

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NKJV)

Clearly, Scripture emphasizes the faithfulness of God.

He Is Faithful in Many Ways

From a search of the Scripture we find that God’s faithfulness is stated in a number of ways. They include the following.

1. He Is Totally Trustworthy in His Promises

For one thing, God’s words will always come to pass. Therefore, believers may rely upon His promises. We read the following in the Book of Hebrews.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23 NKJV)

The One who has made promises to us with be faithful to these promises.

The writer to the Hebrews gave the example of God’s faithfulness to Sarah, the wife of Abraham. He wrote,

By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. (Hebrews 11:11 NKJV)

God had promised a son to the aged Abraham and Sarah. As always, God comes through with His promises. They did conceive a son.

We read in the Book of Second Samuel about God’s words being faithful and true. This is stated as follows.

“And now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant.” (2 Samuel 7:28 NKJV)

When God promises something, it will always come to pass. This is something which we can always rely upon.

2. God Does Not Lie about Anything

Balaam was a Gentile prophet. He emphasized that God is not like human beings who lie. He made the following statement.

“God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19 NRSV)

This is a remarkable statement! God should never be compared to humans who lie or change their mind. The God of the Bible does not do these things. When He speaks, He comes through with what He promises. These are truths we always must remember.

Paul wrote to Titus about the impossibility of God lying about anything. At the beginning of his letter to Titus, he wrote the following.

...in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began... (Titus 1:2 NKJV)

The God of Scripture cannot lie. Indeed, it is indeed impossible for Him to do so.

To the church at Rome, Paul contrasted the truth-telling God of Scripture with human beings who are less than truthful. He wrote,

What then? If some did not believe, will their unbelief cancel God’s faithfulness? Absolutely not! God must be true, but everyone is a liar, as it is written: That You may be justified in Your words and triumph when You judge. (Romans 3:3, 4 HCSB)

The comparison is obvious. It is not possible for God to lie while we humans often have a difficult time with the truth.

3. He Is a Faithful Creator

The God of the Bible is not only the Creator, He is a faithful Creator. Peter emphasized this as he wrote to those who were suffering. He put it this way.

So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you. (1 Peter 4:19 NLT)

The Creator of all things has showed Himself to be faithful. He will never fail those who are His. Never!

4. God Is Faithful to Forgive

The God of Scripture is faithful to forgive believers when we confess our sins. John wrote the necessity of confession of sin as well as what the Lord does in response.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 HCSB)

God’s faithfulness can be seen in His forgiveness. He forgives when we confess. Therefore, it is necessary that we admit to Him our sins.

5. Jesus Is a Faithful High Priest

Jesus Christ is a merciful and faithful High Priest who answers the prayers of His people. The writer to the Hebrews stated,

Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17 NRSV)

The faithfulness of God is seen in Jesus acting as our High Priest. He acts as a go-between between us and God the Father.

6. God Will Not Abandon His People

The Bible also stresses the fact that God will not abandon His people. We find that He kept all of His promises in which He made to the nation Israel. We read in the Book of Deuteronomy about this aspect of God’s faithfulness.

For the LORD your God is merciful—he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors. (Deuteronomy 4:31 NLT)

When the Lord makes an agreement with individuals or nations, He always keeps His part of the bargain. If there is any failure, it is always on the human side.

The leader Joshua wrote about the faithfulness of God in delivering Israel from their enemies. He said,

So the LORD gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The LORD gave them rest on every side according to all He had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the LORD handed over all their enemies to them. None of the good promises the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled. (Joshua 21:43-45 HCSB)

The Lord gave His people victory over their enemies. Israel had to be reminded of this. They were not to forget that none of their enemies could stand against them because the Lord was with them. He was faithful to His promises.

The prophet Daniel acknowledged in prayer that God has showed faithfulness to His people. He stated it this way.

I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and keep your commands.” (Daniel 9:4 NLT)

The fulfillments of God’s promises are recorded in Scripture.

For example, as he was about to die, we again read of Joshua reminding the nation of Israel of God’s faithfulness to them.

“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” (Joshua 23:14 NIV).

The God of Israel had promised not to abandon those who are His. Joshua told that people that God was faithful to these promises. Indeed, He had never failed them in the past.

7. He Will Remain Faithful Though Believers May Deny Him

Even if we are unfaithful to Him, He remains faithful to us. Paul emphasized this truth when he wrote to Timothy He said,

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV)

For the believer, there is much comfort in the knowledge that God has been faithful to His promises. Since God’s word is always truth, the Christian can place complete trust in His promises. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians,

God, who calls you, is faithful; he will do this. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NLT)

Through everything, God is faithful.

8. God Desires Faithfulness from His People

The faithful God desires faithfulness for those who have trusted Him. Paul wrote the following to the church at Corinth.

Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2 NLT)

This is the key for believers; faithfulness to what God has entrusted to us.

Paul told Timothy that faithful men should teach others the truth of the Word of God. He put it this way.

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2 NASB)

To be faithful to God’s promises, we need to pass His Word on to others.

In the Book of Galatians, Paul declared that believers share Abraham’s blessing because of faith in Jesus Christ.

And so it is: All who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. (Galatians 3:9 NLT)

From the totality of the teaching of Scripture, it is clear that God has always been faithful and that He will always be faithful. As the psalmist put it so well, God is faithful in everything that He says or does.

For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule generation after generation. The LORD is faithful in all he says; he is gracious in all he does. (Psalm 145:13 NLT)

As He is faithful, God wants us to be faithful. This is one of the attributes of God which believers should constantly mimic. Indeed, He is looking for faithful people.

Summary – Question 8
Is God Faithful?

The God of the Bible is faithful. Indeed, we find the Bible emphasizing the faithfulness of the Lord. Scripture lists a number of different ways in which God has shown His faithfulness. They include the following.

First, He is totally trustworthy in everything that He says. He is faithful to His Word; He does not lie. Indeed, the Bible says that He cannot lie. This means whenever we come across a promise of God in Scripture which is written to us we can claim that promise for our life.

The Lord is the faithful Creator. As the Creator, He has made us for a purpose and He is faithful in bringing out that purpose in the lives of those who are His.

When we sin against the Lord we are to come to Him for forgiveness. We also find that God is faithful to forgive those who sin against Him. Jesus Christ is called the faithful High Priest.

God’s faithfulness is demonstrated in the fact that He will not abandon His people. Indeed, one of the great promises of Scripture is that the God of the Bible will never abandon or forsake those who are His. He will never leave us!

Finally, He will remain faithful to those who deny Him. Indeed, He is faithful even when we are not.

Because He is faithful, God desires faithfulness from His people.

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