PR ISAAC CHANG
In recent months, I reflected on two words, our faith (Greek, pistis) in Christ and the faithfulness (Hebrew, emet) as in the divine character when the name of God was proclaimed in Exodus 34:6. And I find there is a possible close meaning between them.
Our “pistis” would be simply the “faith,” “trust,” or “faithfulness” (according to the theological dictionary) in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Having faith in Christ would be believing in Christ and obeying Him. We will continue to grow to trust Him and be faithful to Him. Beyond our faith in Christ, we will also faithfully proclaim the Gospel and serve God with faith. Christian faith is our understanding of God and response to Him. In other words, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1 KJV)
As for “emet,” God’s faithfulness, which was revealed by God Himself, it means reliability and truth. Despite the Israelites’ failure in the episode of the golden calf worship, God, in His mercy and grace, steadfast love and faithfulness, was slow to anger, and renewed the covenant with them after the intercession of Moses. God’s faithfulness carries the truthfulness of His divine character and the integrity of His words. Warning the Israelites' concerning their future faithlessness and infidelity, God, who calls Himself a jealous God, will not compromise His faithfulness. The truth to the matter, God fulfilled everything He said and brought them to the Promised Land.
Hence, in reflection of God’s faithfulness and our faith, let’s question ourselves, “Why do we do what we do about our faith? Are we consistent in what we believe?” Because the answers of our faith and conviction will be exhibited in our act of faithfulness. If we truly believe and have faith in our understanding and respond to Christ, we will surely experience Christ in our lives. And God, in His faithfulness, will never leave us unattended or out of His sight. He will show us the fulfillment of His word when we obediently put our faith in Him. Even “if we are faithless, He remains faithful — for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim 2:13).
At the end of Joshua’s lifelong service, he instructed the Israelites to “fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness” (Jos 24:14). We must do justice in why we believe what we believe. We need to refresh the integrity of our faith. We shall look to Jesus, the Author, and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2).
In the current context of returning to physical church service and living in a world without many absolute values, we need all the more to grow our faith in Christ, through Christ, and for Christ. We shall manifest our faith in Christ every day and everywhere, and to everyone we meet! There shall be no shame in sharing and showing our faith. God, in His faithfulness and truthfulness, has shown us the integrity of His words. God has revealed the fulfilment of His redemptive work through Christ. He will complete what He has started.
When we are faithful to Christ, we will live a faith-based life and not a boring Sunday Christian life. Meanwhile, we will never lose sight of God’s faithfulness in the past, present, and future. We shall continue to grow in faith and be faithful to God, who is truthful to us in all His faithfulness.