September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
We're so glad you're taking a next step to get connected! Login or create your Calvary account below.
Don’t have an account? Sign up ›
“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”—1 Corinthians 1:4–9 (NIV)
What does it mean to be faithful? It’s not a word we use much nowadays. In fact, you more often hear its antithesis—unfaithful—used. You hear about an unfaithful spouse. You read about the hometown hero pro athlete who ditches the team that drafted them in favor of a bigger contract and is now labelled disloyal and unfaithful by the local media. So, you could say we kind of have a basic, vague understanding of faithfulness based on our understanding of unfaithfulness. But is there more to it? Does it go beyond basic loyalty?
In the New Testament, the word for faithful is pistos. It means “unwavering reliability, consistency, and devotion.” It’s essentially a seal of guarantee, an ever-present constant that can always be counted on and never leaves room for doubt. It’s secure and unshaken by anything like the Shepherd’s tree whose roots go over 230 feet deep. Nothing is going to uproot a tree that’s planted that firmly and deeply into the earth. This is the faithfulness of God!
God is wholly faithful, reliable, unwavering, and consistent in His character because He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Word and His character aren’t wishy washy. He’s wholly faithful in His Word because when God says He will do something, He does it, even when it seems impossible. And He’s wholly faithful to His presence—never leaving us, never forsaking us, and never turning His back on us. He’s always with us no matter where we go or what we face. As believers, He’s with us every moment of our lives. He’s constant.
In today’s passage, we read how God’s faithfulness works in the lives of believers. Paul mentions first the grace given to us in Christ Jesus. There’s no clearer indicator of God’s faithfulness than His grace. Think about it: No matter who you are, where you’re from, what you’ve done, how far gone you seemed, how depraved you were, all who repent and believe are saved! And not only saved, but “enriched in every way” through the work of the Holy Spirit in us who gives gifts from God for our good, for the good of the Church, for the good of those around us, and for the accomplishing of God’s good will and purposes in the world.
But it doesn’t end there, because He’s also faithful to “keep you firm to the end.” What does that mean? It means that as He works in you and sanctifies you, He makes you faithful! He gives you His faithfulness to endure and persevere, to be rooted and stand firm. Why? Because “God is faithful.” And if He’s called you into fellowship with His Son, into union and friendship, given you His name and sealed you with His Spirit, you can be sure He will carry out an incredible work in your life and that He will never abandon you or cast you out.
So, what do we do with this? Three things:
Pause: What is faithfulness? How do we see this attribute in God?
Practice: Make a list of all the ways God has shown Himself to be faithful in your life. Be specific! Then, think of ways other believers have demonstrated this fruit. Finally, think of examples of how God has made you faithful and thank Him for all of it!
Pray: Faithful Father, thank You for being who You are! Your character, Your nature, Your presence, Your heart . . . You are wonderful in all Your ways. Thank You that regardless of who I was and what I’ve done in my life, You are faithful to receive me into Your kingdom because of the gift of grace through Jesus. Thank You that regardless of how unfaithful I may be, You’re faithful and just to forgive my sins and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Thank You that You are always with me, always near me, always working, moving, and redeeming. And Thank You that You faithfully and generously give the Holy Spirit to sanctify me and make me more like Your Son. May I abide in You, Lord, and see the fruit of Your faithfulness displayed clearly through my life to the glory of Your Son Jesus. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.