Faithfulness Topical Study

<h2 class="heading-lg"><strong>What does the Bible say about faithfulness?</strong></h2><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Exodus 34:5-7</a>, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Exodus 34:6</a>, God&#39;s faithfulness to Israel</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Deuteronomy 7:9</a>, our faithful God maintains covenant loyalty</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Samuel 12:24</a>, serve the Lord faithfully</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 25:10</a>, &quot;All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 26:3</a>, &quot;I walk in faithfulness to you.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 36:5</a>, &quot;Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 85:10</a>, love and faithfulness will meet</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 89:1-2</a>, &quot;I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 111:7</a>, God&#39;s works are faithful</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Proverbs 3:3-4</a>, &quot;Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Lamentations 3:22-23</a>, &quot;The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Hosea 2:19-20</a>, &quot;I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Hosea 4:1</a>, condemnation of unfaithfulness</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 25:21</a>, &quot;Well done, good and trustworthy slave.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Luke 16:10</a>, &quot;Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful aslo in much.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 3:3</a>, will our faithfulness nullify the faithfulness of God?</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Corinthians 1:9</a>, God is faithful</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Corinthians 10:13</a>, in God&#39;s faithfulness, he will not let us be tested beyond our strength</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Galatians 5:22-23</a>, fruit of the spirit</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Ephesians 1:1-2</a>, greetings to those who are faithful in Christ Jesus</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">2 Thessalonians 3:3</a>, the Lord is faithful and will strength us</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Hebrews 2:17</a>, Jesus is our faithful high priest</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">John 1:9</a>, faithful in forgiveness</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">3 John 2-4</a>, faithfulness to the truth</span></li></ul><h2 class="heading-lg"><strong><font color="#0077c8">Sermon ideas about faithfulness</font></strong></h2><h3 class="heading-sm">A communicable attribute</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Theology students learn early on that when it comes to God&#39;s nature, there are some attributes (or characteristics) of God that are incommunicable &mdash; that is, human beings cannot share them. God alone is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. But God also has a set of communicable attributes, characteristics that define God and that human beings can share. These include (among others) love, mercy, and certainly faithfulness. God is the premier promise keeper. God stays true to his word no matter what. God can be counted on to come through. Although human beings cannot be perfectly faithful as God is faithful, we can strive to be promise keepers and faithful servants who do what we say we will do, who can be counted on to follow through, to tell the truth, and to be reliable in all things.</span> </span></p><h3 class="heading-sm">Signature trait</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy">Biblical authors attribute faithfulness to God very frequently. Often paired with love or righteousness or justice, faithfulness is one of God&#39;s signature traits. Whether in his works, judgments, plans or covenant dealings, God is the one who may be relied upon to maintain a steady course. God&#39;s people are often very trying to God and to each other, but God keeps on with them.</span></span> </span></p><h3 class="heading-sm">Faithfulness and covenant</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Especially in the Old Testament &mdash; but continuing in the New Testament through the new covenant in Christ &mdash; there can be no missing the snug fit between the faithfulness of God and God&#39;s covenant. Begun with Abram in Genesis and then extended and renewed through Moses and David, God promised to become the Savior of all nations. God would provide a way, through Israel initially, to bring redemption to a world that had run off the original creation rails. Of course, covenants involve two parties, and so Abraham and then later his descendants in what became the nation of Israel promised to hold up their end of the bargain by following God&#39;s ways, obeying God&#39;s Law, and so providing a consistent and transparent witness to the one true God. But Israel repeatedly failed. They did not keep covenant with God, and although God punished the people for their sins, God did not let down his side of the covenant. Once it was clear that God would have to keep both ends of the covenant if the covenant was ever going to achieve its purpose, God sent his only Son to this world to take Israel&#39;s place as the faithful human covenant keeper the people could never be. Through Christ&#39;s faithfulness that led him all the way to death on the cross, the covenant was fulfilled and salvation was achieved. God is the ultimate covenant keeper not only from his side of things but, vicariously through Christ, also from our side!</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Gift and model for human beings. God&#39;s faithfulness is a gift and model for human beings who are then duty-bound to show it back to God and outward to others. Human beings&#39; faithfulness is spotty, to say the least, whether in obedience to God, in justice toward each other or in self-giving love. People become idolatrous, uninterested, double-minded, ungrateful. They turn their back on God. They cheat each other. Yet God keeps turning toward them. The texts quoted from Hosea mark the contrast. In fact, a big piece of the Bible&#39;s metanarrative is of God&#39;s faithfulness to faithless sinners.</span> </span></p><h3 class="heading-sm">Faithfulness and truth</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">When we think of faithfulness, we tend to think of relationships, and that in turn makes us think about being promise keepers. But for God, being faithful is also connected to truth. God is reliable because God will always know the truth, tell the truth, and embody the truth. God&#39;s ways are never false, his decisions never wrong, his declarations never in error. God and the true nature of the universe line up in a perfect 1:1 correspondence such that it is not the least bit of an exaggeration to say &quot;God is truth.&quot; For human beings this implies that faithfulness to God means not just following God&#39;s commands but also speaking the truth and embodying the truth. The people of God live, speak, and act in accordance with the nature of God and with the way in which God set up the universe. Christian living is supposed to provide a faithful witness to God&#39;s truth through speaking about God&#39;s nature, God&#39;s salvation, and God&#39;s plans in ways that are transparent to and in alignment with how things look from God&#39;s vantage point. In part this involves faithfulness to Scripture as the revealed Word of God in which the truths about God, creation, and their relation are set forth. Christians should never pretend they know the whole truth about God, but insofar as God has revealed his character, ways, and plans in the Bible, Christians faithfully walk according to the light Scripture provides.</span></span></p><h3 class="heading-sm">Jesus&#39; faithfulness</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Jesus plays his own special role in the narrative. The scene on Golgotha tells us how fearful a thing atonement is, even for the Son of God. All his securities had been stripped away, including his clothing. The gospels tell us that priests plotted against him, that Judas betrayed him, that three disciples fell asleep on him, that witnesses lied about him, and that Peter denied him. Each was a stake in Jesus&#39; heart, long before the Romans drove them through his hands and feet. And yet he went through with it to the end, all for the sake of sinners. Not even centuries of retelling this story diminish its magnificence.</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Faithfulness is not an exotic or dramatic virtue. Nobody advertises it. Storytellers avoid it. And yet. No marriage, family, family business, church, or nation can endure without it. Every day the heroes of faithfulness keep plugging away with little notice and little applause. They do their job even when they don&#39;t want to. They stick with the spouse they&#39;re stuck with. They obey God even when they can&#39;t make any sense of the evils God sees fit to permit in the world. They stand by a shamed son or daughter. They defend unfairly attacked preachers. They write to missionaries. They vote. They give. They give back. They put up with in-laws that make them crazy. They pray. They sing. They sing &quot;Great is Thy Faithfulness.&quot; And when their longing for God loses steam, they long to long again.</span></span></p>