It’s something very key.
Though it’s not exclusive to the church, it’s something the Bible talks about.
What is loyalty? It’s simply the quality or the state of being loyal. Since it’s the state of being loyal, we need to define what “loyal” is. Loyal is to have complete and constant support for anything. It may be a person or something. It’s not complete or constant, rather, the support is complete and constant. The support is to the fullest – not necessarily to the exaggerated end but at least to the best of capacity. When it comes to being loyal, it actually demands to stay to the very end.
Here is another definition – all of them are basic definitions and not Spirit-inspired: “unswerving in allegiance”, i.e. there is allegiance and you are unswerving. What does it mean to swerve? When a car is on the road and a kid or goat just popped into the road and a car goes out of its normal course just to avoid that obstacle or object and then continue on his normal course – that’s swerving. To be unswerving in allegiance means: there is allegiance and you stay on the normal path, i.e. you stay on that course. You can also say one who is loyal is faithful in allegiance to one’s ruling authority. The foregoing is defining to detail what has been said earlier. When you are faithful in allegiance to one’s ruling authority or to a private person, you are loyal. An example of allegiance to a private person will be a spouse, parent-child relationship – someone private. It can also be an allegiance to a cause, an ideal or an institution. So if you are faithful in allegiance to your ruling authority, your private person to whom fidelity is due, an ideal, an institution, that summarises being loyal.
Interestingly, if you search your bible, you will not find the word “loyal” or loyalty”. However, it exists in another shade. The Bible clearly gives us examples of loyalty and clearly teaches us to be loyal. The word exists in the word “faithfulness”, i.e. to be faithful in allegiance. The bible clearly teaches on faithfulness. A subject as this is what you teach in a workers’, ministers’ or pastors’ meeting. However, it’s always good when the average believer knows these things. It does help and distinguishes that believer. Look at Gal 5:22:
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such, there is no law.
When it says the fruit of the Spirit, it doesn’t confer on you a responsibility to go bear these fruits – not in Gal 5:22. Where it tells you to allow these things to be evident in your conduct is in Gal 5:16 where it says “work in the Spirit”. However, verse 22 tells you the things that your spirit produces naturally. It tells you the product of your Spirit. Because your Spirit is in union with the Lord, you’ll have products like love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
The word “faith” in verse 22 is better translated “faithfulness”. That’s because if you look at all the things listed, they are things the bible encourages, admonishes, or instructs that they should be found in your conduct. For me, I feel if you’ll have faith included in the list, then you should have power. However, the listing tells you things that should be seen in your conduct: love, joy, peace, longsuffering… Long-suffering doesn’t mean to be poor for a long time or be sick for a long time. It doesn’t mean to not have money, public power, etc. for a long time. Long-suffering is to suffer long, i.e. to bear something for a long time. It doesn’t suggest that God gave you cancer so that you can be faithful to him for a long time or that you are poor so you are bearing poverty – no. long-suffering can mean endurance, perseverance, to stay awhile. Someone may say “but that can also happen when you are sick…” Well, the Bible doesn’t say it tolerates sickness or poverty. The bible actually says “work”. If there is poverty, you ask God for ideas. If you are working all round, i.e. 24hrs job and there is not much coming in, then you trust the Lord for ideas or a better platform to work that brings in more money. The bible doesn’t say we should sit and trust God to take away poverty. Many today, without Christ, have never seen poverty, an event to the fifth generation.
The man in Christ can actually be faithful. It’s an ability of your spirit that you can stay through to the course, that you can be faithful in allegiance and be loyal. In Colossians and Ephesians, the bible clearly says “obey your masters”. It’s talking to believers and it’s saying “let your master find you faithful in your service to him.
1Sam26:23: The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand today, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed.
The word “faithfulness” in that verse suggests “firmness, stability, to be steady, to be able to stay through a course no matter how long”.
Psalm 36: 5: Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
Psalm40: 10: I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
Psa 88:11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
You should know this psalm is a psalm for the sons of Korah – David didn’t write this one.
By “thy faithfulness in destruction”, it’s saying “Lord, you are a good God” [just trying to explain this verse]. “God, you always do good”… “Your mercies endureth forever”… “You’ll always be good”. He then asks the question: “should we now see your faithfulness in destruction?” i.e. “you are now steady in destruction”, i.e. “if we see destruction, it’s you”. If you look so far, it’s clear that the Lord is faithful. You’ll see that clearly in Psalm 89: 1, 2, 5, 8, 24, 92:2, 119:75, 86, 90, 138,
Psalm 143:1: Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
From this passage, we can categorically say that the Lord is faithful.
Isaiah 11:5: And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
Isa 25:1 O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Lam 3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.