A Faithful Saying

What is a faithful saying?  It is a saying, statement or doctrine that is true and you should trust what it says without any doubt or hesitation.  Also, it is worthy of being received by all because of the value of the saying.  It is worth knowing, repeating and perhaps committing to memory.  I am sure that there are many faithful sayings, but in the Bible we find that the Apostle Paul gave four faithful sayings to Timothy and one faithful saying to Titus.  Let us look at these.

The first is found in 1 Timothy 1:15 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”  This is one of the greatest truths that we should believe and accept.  It is reinforced by the words of Jesus himself in John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” God does not want people in the world to be condemned and perish.  Instead, He wants them to be saved and have everlasting life with Him.  For this purpose, He sent His Son so that whoever believes in Him should have everlasting life.  It is indeed a faithful saying that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  I believe that the words “of whom I am chief” are the Apostle Paul’s assessment of his own prior life.  You also should see your sinfulness before salvation.

The second faithful saying is found in 1 Timothy 3:1 “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.” The word bishop means overseer.  The apostle Paul spoke to the elders at Ephesus and told them in Acts 20:28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” From this we learn that elders are to be overseers (bishops) and shepherds (pastors).  So elders, overseers, bishops, shepherds and pastors are all words describing the same position or work in the church.  The faithful saying is that if a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.  This faithful saying does not seem to have the same importance as our first faithful saying.  And yet, it is important.  The church needs good elders/bishops/pastors.  Such leadership is needed to make the local church strong and healthy.  When done correctly, it is not an easy work.  For a man to desire this work demonstrates his desire for the success of God’s kingdom.  I hope more men will desire this work and prepare themselves to be qualified to serve.

The next faithful saying is found in 1 Timothy 4:8-9 “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.”  Godliness is reverence and devotion to God.  It describes an attitude that is centered on God and does that which is well-pleasing to Him.  Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  We are not saved by works, but God has saved you so that you will do good works.  The life that pleases God, or godliness, promises a good life here and now and it also promises eternal life that is to come.  To be reminded of that makes this is a faithful saying.

The next faithful saying is found in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 “This is a faithful saying:  for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.  If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”  Here are other scriptures that support this faithful saying.  Romans 6:4-5 “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”  Revelation 2:10b “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  Matthew 10:33 “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”  Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

The last faithful saying is found in Titus 3:8 “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”  This faithful saying emphasizes godliness and is somewhat similar to the faithful saying in 1 Timothy 4:8-9 quoted above.  You should be careful to maintain good works.

Here are the five faithful sayings.   “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”  “If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”  “Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”  “If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.  If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”  “Those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.”  I encourage you to accept these as faithful sayings.