Wednesday, June 4, 2014

God Is Faithful and True

The Rock—His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true. Deuteronomy 32:4 (HCSB)

God is faithful and true. This means God is reliable and can always be trusted (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 31:5). In fact, God will never prove unfaithful to those who wholeheartedly trust in Him and what He has promised (Hebrews 10:23). The true and living God is faithful to His promises and everything God does is just and fair (Jeremiah 10:10; Lamentations 3:22-25). Indeed, the essence of true faith is taking God at His Word and relying upon Him to do as He has promised in His Holy Scriptures. God is not a human, so He does not lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). Because God is true and faithful, we can be safe and secure in His biblical promises (Numbers 23:19).

Be imitators (followers) of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us . . . For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth). Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-9 (NIV)

In a society that is increasingly careless with truthfulness, believing Christians are to imitate God and take great care to assure that our words are always truthful (Colossians 3:9-10). In others words, honesty and uprightness must be our daily goal as believing Christians. Like God, we should love truth and hate falsehood (Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20). Moreover, believing Christians are to be people who are genuine, loyal, and filled with integrity because God is truth, and we are to strive walk in truth (Ephesians 6:14). As noted by the apostle Paul, good character and not brute force wins all battles against evil and wickedness. In this own ministry, the apostle Paul sought to practice absolute truthfulness and faithfulness (2 Corinthians 4:2).

All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be My children. But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. Revelation 21:7-8 (NLT)

Lying can be so destructive and disruptive as it hurts relationships and lead to serious conflict (Ephesians 4:25). Thus, the Holy Scriptures encourages everyone to be committed to telling the truth. In fact, God is pleased when His people put away lies, falsehood, and deception (Proverbs 4:24; Proverbs 13:5) and speak the whole truth from our hearts (Psalm 15:2; Psalm 19:14). Only truth is acceptable to God. When we pray, sing, speak, or serve, nothing closes the door of God's approval more than hypocrisy, lying, or deception. To draw close to God, always be genuine and truthful with Him. God commanded His people through the prophet Zechariah: “Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this, declares the Lord” (Zechariah 8:16-17, NIV). These commands by God are given because God loves truth and hates falsehood (Exodus 20:16; Proverbs 12:22; Isaiah 59:3-4). Therefore, “fear (honor) the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart” (1 Samuel 12:24, NKJV) as we all seek to “speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ” (Ephesians 4:15, NLT).

So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. Ephesians 4:25 (NLT)

Falsehood and lying come not from God but from the evil one. Evil always delights in falsehood, deception, murder, hatred, and lies. “He (the evil one) was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44, NLT). Evil fights with lies, and sometimes his lies sound like truth. Truth is far from those who follow evil. A person’s hatred of truth, fraudulent actions, and their murderous intentions reveal one’s alliance to evil and not a holy God. Thus, our attitudes and actions clearly identify a person either as a follower of God or evil.

Do not lie to each other. You have left your old sinful life and the things you did before. You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One (God) who made you. This new life brings you the true knowledge of God. Colossians 3:9-10 (NCV)

God is truth and God is characterized by truth (John 4:24; see also Psalm 31:5; Isaiah 65:16). In John’s Gospel, we are called to worship God in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Even more, truth is associated with Jesus Christ (John 1:14). Jesus Christ is called “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6) and He is filled with “grace and truth” (John 1:14). The Holy Spirit is also associated with truth and is called the “Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17; John 15:26; John 16:13). Everyone on the side of truth listens to God (John 18:37; 1 John 4:6) and walks according to His truth (1 John 1:6-7). Besides, “truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed” (Proverbs 12:19, NLT). Because truth is connected with God's unchanging character, truth is also changeless.

The truth of God is reflected not only in God but also His Holy Word (the Bible) (Psalm 119:160). In fact, God’s Word (the Holy Bible) is true and faithful (2 Samuel 7:28; 2 Timothy 3:16). The standards for honesty and truth come from God and His Word, not society. “God’s Word is true, and everything He does is right” (Psalms 33:4, NCV). All God's Word can be trusted because the Holy Scriptures contain the words of a holy, trustworthy, and unchangeable God. The Holy Scriptures teaches that lying is wrong not only because of the great harm that comes from lies, but when we tell lies and other tales we dishonor God and His glory. Lying acts in a way that is contrary to God’s character as God is the source of all truth and can never lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18-19).

Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to Your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor You. Psalms 86:11 (NLT)

Life Application Study Bible. Carol Streams, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2005.
Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. Indianapolis, IN: B.B. Kirkbride Bible, 1993.
Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008.
Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994.
Butler, Trent. Holman Bible Dictionary. Broadman & Holman Pub., 1991.

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