9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
As Christians, one of our greatest consolations is that we have an unchanging, ever dependable, true and faithful God. Our circumstances may change, people whom we have relied on for a long time may change; but He who has called us “unto the fellowship of His Son” will unchangeably remain as our endless help and strength.
God will also remain faithful to all His promises. He will not fail to perform what He has promised. We can trust Him to keep every word He has promised. He will not deceive us. He will not commence anything which He will not perfect and finish. Our confidence in the blessed hope that Christianity gives to us is wholly built upon the faithfulness of God.
The apostle Paul’s purpose in presenting the truth about God’s faithfulness here is to provide the proof for his earlier statement that the believers will be kept blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, their ultimate bliss in heaven is guaranteed by the fidelity of God. As Paul said in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”.
Paul also reminds the believers that they have been called by God. He said to them, “ye were called”. It is God who called them. The word “called” here does not refer merely to an invitation, but what the theologians refer to as “the effectual calling”. When the Gospel call is given to repent and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, some hearers will reject it. But some others would experience a deep-felt, inward call to repent and believe on Christ. Those who are effectually called do not just receive the external call of the Gospel, but also the inner call of the Gospel by the working of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. Westminster Shorter Catechism explains effectual calling as “the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel” (Q & A: 31).
When God calls us, He leads us into a close fellowship or communion with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then onwards, we shall enjoy a warm and abiding relationship with Christ. Let us always seek to walk with Christ.