Faithfulness, loyalty and allegiance – Today these are almost obsolete, antiquated words that the younger generation would not include in their vocabulary. They certainly would not entertain them as having the possibility of being the basis for principles of living to be put into practice. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule.
In our fast-moving times we are intimately affected by advances in technology and the Internet which facilitate global communications and connectivity at the push of a button, and the publishing of many books (Ecclesiastes 12:12). Because of this there have been rapid changes within societies, noticeably destabilising them. With the ease of travel between continents and countries, we have become exposed to cultures and religions of which we previously had little knowledge.
With these unparalleled rapid changes and consequential challenges there is a need for constant reassessment (1 Thessalonians 5:17) of what we believe and value to ensure they are not eroded or destroyed. Satan must be rubbing his hands as he relishes the destruction and devastation apparent in many parts of the world – the Arab spring, for example. Demonic principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12) are at work intent upon changing our values. A prevailing world view is that truth is no longer truth and the new morality trumpets loudly things of which God abhors (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1: 26, 27) declaring them to be good and worthy of being practised.
For the Christian there is only one Truth (John 18:37, 38) and that is God. Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). His Word is the truth (John 17:17), and He is the Word (John 1:1). His disciples adhere and cling to Him because they love the Truth. The only true morality is found in Him. The only valid way of life is living in Him by His Spirit, which is impossible unless one has been born of the Spirit (John 3:5, 6). Only then can a person know the Truth (John 7:28, 29).
Christ was faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9; Revelation 1:5). He was faithful to His Father and perfectly did all His Father sent Him to earth to do (John 5:49, 50; 14:31). He came to sacrifice Himself for His people and to be raised to life for them, so that they too would be raised from the dead in His likeness.
The original man Adam was formed in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:26), but He was unfaithful. He did not honour the command of God not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16; 3:6, 7). Consequentially he had to die spiritually and physically. His fallen nature was, and is inherited by all of his offspring; therefore they are incapable of being faithful to God. Only when man’s spirit is enlivened by the Holy Spirit can he have the propensity for being faithful to God. Hence we find many instances in the Scriptures where the Prophets of both the Old and New Testaments exhort those they address to be faithful to God (Colossians 1:7) and to one another.
All sin is punishable by death, but there are degrees of sin (Luke 12:47-48; John 19:11; James 2:10) and degrees of punishment (Mark 3:29; 12:38-40; Matthew 11:23, 24). Unfaithfulness is a treacherous offence of which Judas Iscariot was guilty. The severity of the offence and the punishment for it must be horrendous (Hebrews 10:26, 27). Iscariot himself was remorseful (Matthew 27:3), but with no real repentance. He felt guilty and sorry for himself and took his own life (Matthew 27:5; Acts 1:18).
His treacherous act (John 18:2, 5; 19:11) was the epitome of unfaithfulness; whereas the obedience of Christ was the pinnacle of faithfulness (Revelation 1:5; 3:14; 19:11).