Gospel Insights

by Michael Smith

 

Chapter Thirty Four

THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD

 

The faithfulness of God is one of the most important things for us to understand.  His faithfulness can be grasped from His nature, His attributes, and His character.

God's nature is light, love, spirit, and consuming fire.  He is the only source of all life, of all love, of all truth, and of all justice.

God's attributes are self-existence and eternal existence (He has no beginning and no end), omnipotence (He is all-powerful), omniscience (He is all-knowing), and omnipresence (He is everywhere-present).

God's moral attributes are perfect holiness, perfect righteousness, perfect love, perfect grace, perfect mercy, perfect compassion, perfect trustworthiness, and perfect justice.

God's own character is the ground of His faithfulness.  It is manifested in His perfect counsel in which He fulfils His promises and keeps His covenants, executes perfect judgement, corrects His children and forgives our sins if we confess them, gives us a way out when we are tempted, defends His people from our adversaries and keeps us when we suffer for the faith, hears our prayers and answers them according to His perfect will, establishes us and completes the work of sanctification He has begun in us [1].  Though we are called to be faithful, as we are called to be holy, our sinful nature causes us to stumble and we fail the Lord many times.  And when we are faithless, He remains faithful [2].  Only in Jesus do we see God's faithfulness lived out completely and unwaveringly as He always obeyed His Father's will.  They were one in every way [3]. 


Great is Thy Faithfulness

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:21-23).

In no greater way has God shown His faithfulness than His act of salvation toward us when we fell in the Garden of Eden.

God's original plan for everyone was that they should grow and mature spiritually until they were ready to enter His immediate presence; to see Him face to face, and be with Him for ever.  But when man disobeyed God's instruction to him and fell short of God's master plan, he found he was unable to come into God's presence any longer, with the result that another plan came into being which involved God Himself coming to live the life He originally wanted us all to live [4].

Here on earth, everyone is born onto a battle field between good and evil, and must decide which of the two sides we will be on.  This situation originally came about due to a problem in heaven itself when some of God's holy angels led by a cherub called Lucifer rebelled against God, and so were cast out of heaven [5].  But long before that rebellion, God had already planned to create another sort of living being (human beings), many of whom would one day fill that gap left by the fallen angels.  He gives every person the wonderful opportunity of responding to the salvation He has provided for us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and eventually being included in that number "when the saints go marching in" to be with Him in heaven, or we can go our own way which will move us ever further away from Him and towards 'outer darkness' and an eternity in hell with the fallen Lucifer, now known as Satan, and his angels.

When will this happen?  It will occur when the number of those found faithful reaches the number of angels who forfeited their place in heaven, making themselves unending enemies of God and all mankind.  These fallen angels know their end is the 'lake of fire' wherein they will dwell eternally, and that the faithful followers on earth of the Lord Jesus Christ will take the places they occupied in heaven before they rebelled [6].

Let us thank and praise God for His perfect continuous faithfulness to each one of us; even when we get things wrong or are unfaithful toward Him, because in Christ, God gives us the priceless opportunity to become part of that company in heaven around the Father's throne [7].


A Hymn

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father; there is no shadow of turning with thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; as Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness, morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth; Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Thomas Obadiah Chisolm
(1866-1960)


God's faithfulness is infinite, unfailing, everlasting, and incomparable.  He is perfectly perfect and He will never change.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

GREAT is His Faithfulness!

 

Footnotes

[1]  Revelation 19:11-16.          [2]  Psalm 37:23-24.            [3]  John 14:8-11;  Revelation 19:11.          [4]  Romans 5:19;  1 Corinthians 15:20-22;  Ephesians 1:3-10.          [5]  Isaiah 14:12-20;  Ezekiel 28:11-19;  Luke 10:18;  Revelation 12:3-4a, 7-9.          [6]  Revelation 6:9-11;  Revelation 20:7-10.          [7]  Revelation 7:9-12.

 

 

 

Chapter Thirty Three   |   Chapter Thirty Five   |   Back to Contents

 

 

Michael Smith 2013