What does it mean to have faith? What are we speaking of when we speaking of being faithful? In Paul’s list of what the characteristics of spirituality are, he includes “faithfulness (Gal 5:22).”
Observe some of these synonyms for the word, “faithful.” To be faithful is to be true, loyal, constant, attached, trustworthy, sure. Observe some of these antonyms for the word, “faithful.” To be unfaithful is to be fickle, uncertain, unreliable, unstable, or false.
One of the most beautiful words descriptions of God in the Bible is the word, “hesed.” This is a Hebrew word that is hard to translate into English. Sometimes it is translated, “loyalty.” Sometimes it is translated, “lovingkindess.” Sometimes it is translated as “mercy.” Sometimes it is translated, “faithfulness.” Sometimes it is translated as simply, “love.”
One of the Psalms begins this way,
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting (Psalm 136:1).”
His lovingkindess is talking about his “hesed,” his faithfulness, his love. It endures forever. The Psalm goes on and sings praises to the way God shows his “hesed.” It praises him for creating the world, for delivering his people from bondage, and for leading and protecting them in the wilderness. According to the books of Exodus through Numbers, the people were anything but faithful. However, God remained faithful to the promises he made to the forefathers. So the Psalm concludes,
“And gave their land as a heritage, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
Even a heritage to Israel His servant, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Who remembered us in our low estate, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And has rescued us from our adversaries, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
Who gives food to all flesh, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness is everlasting (Psalm 136:21-26).”
So God never gave up. That’s what it means to be faithful. Never give up. If it had not been for the faithfulness of God, we would all be hopelessly lost. But, God did not give up, even though we have let him down many times. We owe our salvation to God’s faithfulness.
Is it any wonder, then, that Paul says, “…if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness … (Gal 6:1).” A spiritual person is one who is “faithful.” A spiritual person does not give up and God, and does not give up on trying to restore his beloved brethren when they are caught it some sort of sin.