To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:2)
A number of years ago during an introduction of a lecture speaker Colly Caldwell referred to the man as a “faithful gospel preacher.” The significance was not so much the man as the term “faithful” that resonated with me. It was not a suggestion this individual was of a better cloth than other men but a simple manner of describing the character of the person. Paul used the term often in his writing calling the brethren “faithful.”
Trying to define the character of faithfulness takes a broad brush. The manner of life is one that is consistently trustworthy and loyal. This is a spirit Christian’s should use in every part of their life. As soldiers of the cross we define our service with a devotion to live each day fighting the good fight. Disciples of Christ are students of His word daily implanting the riches of the knowledge of God in their hearts. Courageous men of God stand in the gap serving the King with courage. Women of God refuse to wear the mantle of this world clothing themselves rather in garments of righteousness.
Faithful brethren show loyalty by example. They do not shrink back from opportunities to serve Christ. To be a child of faith the saint is set apart in the manner of speech, dress, attitude, duty and examples before others. Jesus implored His disciples to be salt and light so that others can see the Father in them. Faithfulness springs from the salty lives of those who stand as beacons of light in a dark world. It is not enough to be brethren. There is a need in the church today to be filled with brethren that are faithful.
Faithful brethren struggle but they persevere. The race is long, battles hard but the faith is kept with a devotion of courage withstanding the constant assault of Satan. Being a child of God is not an easy task. Jesus illustrated devotion to the Father as bearing a cross. Daily there is a need to reinforce the spirit to be faithful. Consider the alternative: unfaithfulness. This is defeat, destruction, hopelessness. The Hebrew writer rallied the early Christians to fight on because they were not those who drew back to perdition but those faithful brethren who believed to the saving of the soul. Be faithful. Stand fast. Have courage. The victory is assured. We serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
There are many accolades given by men. To be called “faithful” is eternal. One of the greatest joys we will ever hear is when standing before the Lord we look into His eyes and hear Him say, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). Faithful. What else matters?
Devotion, which is a derivative of the Latin word for ‘to vow,’ means to yield oneself, to commit oneself, to consecrate oneself to the object of devotion, without regard to the sacrifice of suffering involved. (Douglas V. Steere, Door Into Life, 1948)