settings icon
share icon

What does it mean that God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9)?

God is faithful

Paul often includes a note of thanksgiving in his letters, and 1 Corinthians 1:9 concludes his thanksgiving in his letter to Corinth with these words: “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Here, Paul glorifies God for the spiritual blessings and gifts bestowed upon the church of Corinth (verse 7) and affirms his trust in God to uphold them steadfastly until the end (verse 8). In this context, Paul’s trust stems from God’s faithfulness, the solid foundation for all believers.

The Greek word translated as “faithful” is pistos, which also conveys the concept of being trustworthy. Therefore, when Scripture declares that God is faithful, it signifies His trustworthiness. When God makes a promise, it is unwavering. God’s trustworthiness hinges on His attributes, specifically His love, justice, and holiness. He will not break His promise.

The fact that God is faithful is readily seen in the Old Testament. For instance, God promised Abraham, who was initially childless, that “all people on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3). Despite seemingly impossible challenges, God fulfilled His promise by giving Abraham Isaac (Genesis 21:12). Through Isaac came Jacob, the forefather of Israelites, through whom the Messiah came, bringing the blessing of salvation to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles (see Galatians 3:6–9).

Another example of God’s faithfulness is His covenant with King David: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16). The Davidic Covenant appeared endangered by Solomon’s unfaithfulness (1 Kings 11:1–13), by Athaliah’s murderous rampage (2 Kings 11:1–3), and the Babylonian exile (2 Kings 24:8–17), but God was faithful. The promise to David is fulfilled in Christ, the Messiah (Luke 1:32–33). These examples prove God’s trustworthiness even when things seem unlikely.

We understand God’s faithfulness more when we know His character, revealed in His Word. Paul boldly proclaimed God’s faithfulness, especially in regards to our salvation. It is due to God’s faithfulness that Paul is assured that “he will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8). The church at Corinth faced numerous issues, including sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1–2), factions (1 Corinthians 1:10–13), misunderstandings concerning the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12), possible misuse of spiritual gifts (chapter 14), and spiritual immaturity (1 Corinthians 3:1–3). Paul handled these issues, sometimes with stern rebuke, but he never questioned the salvation of the church, and he believed God would sustain them till the end. In the epistle to Rome, Paul expressed a similar sentiment: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39).

God’s faithfulness in accomplishing His promises gives us confidence in Him and allows us to join in Jude’s doxology: “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 1:24– 25).

Return to:

Questions about 1 Corinthians

What does it mean that God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9)?
Subscribe to the

Question of the Week

Get our Question of the Week delivered right to your inbox!

Follow Us: Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon Instagram icon
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
This page last updated: December 5, 2023