That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. (Hebrews 6:18–19—NKJV)

Faith is a crucial word that must be understood by every Christian. The English word finds its roots in the Latin word fides, meaning to trust and to confide in. A related Latin word is fidelis, meaning loyalty and devotion. It was the custom in olden days for vassals to pledge fealty to their lord. This action was to obligate oneself to be faithfully loyal and devoted to the king.

The word faith is found in several phrases even in these pagan days. One may act in good faith or bad faith (demonstrating honesty and sincerity, or demonstrating dishonesty and duplicity). He may keep faith or break faith (acting out of loyalty and allegiance, or acting with disloyalty and breaking promises). He may also keep the faith or abandon the faith (live in hope remaining loyal to one’s belief and principles, or distancing oneself from promises and drifting from former beliefs and behaviors).

Applying these concepts to a believer’s relationship with his Lord and Savior is not a difficult task. Every man who will be born again must come in submission and proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord (Romans 10:9–10). This is much like the submission of a vassal to his king. The new believer is pledging his fealty, his faithful loyalty and his unquestioning allegiance. Every believer pledges to act in good faith, keep faith, and keep the faith for the rest of his life for he now claims a new Master that replaces the old masters of flesh, sin, and the devil.

Even believers are pretty poor representations of the lofty ideal known as faithfulness. Men generally have one of several reasons for keeping their word. Keeping faith may be for the sake of debt or obligation for some benefit received from another, or in honor to another person who is held in high regard, or out of care for one’s personal reputation, or perhaps out of a self-imposed standard of honor. A believer may rightly act motivated by any one of these considerations. But a better motivation—indeed, the best motivation—is the desire to follow His Master’s example. Hebrews 10:23–24 reads, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

Our text tells us that it is impossible for God to lie. He is faithful and none of His promises will fail. 1 Corinthians 1:8–9 states, “Who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3 declares, “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 adds, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

The Old Testament reveals this same quality of faithfulness in our God. Deuteronomy 7:9 commands, “Therefore know that the LORD our God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Just two chapters later God reveals to Israel that it is not for their goodness that God removed the Canaanites before them as they entered the Promised Land, but because of the wickedness of the native people and because God fulfills His Word of promise (9:5). The Psalmist also extols the faithfulness of God (36:5, 89:1, 105:8, among many other verses). Our God is faithful, not because of reputation, obligation, regard, or mercy. He is faithful because He is (Revelation 19:11)! Even when believers are faithless, God cannot deny His own (2 Timothy 2:13).

Believers are to mirror God’s faithfulness in everything. Three Bible passages provide the path every saint must tread:

  • Be devoted in faithfulness—“good faith” (Revelation 2:10, “You may be tried, and you shall have tribulation…be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life.”).
  • Be loyal in faithfulness—“keep faith” (Matthew 25:21, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”).
  • Be confidant in faithfulness—“keep the faith” (1 Peter 4:19, “Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”).

You will reap His blessing if you faint not, for He faints not (Galatians 6:9–10)! Trust and obey.