“By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.”
our [the] faithful brother
There is a definite article in Greek before the word “faithful,” making it evident that Silvanus was well known for faithfulness. People knew him for his fidelity. Silvanus was trustworthy and dependable. He was a person who inspired trust and faith. People will grow faster in their faith if they trust their leaders.
Peter did not say that Silvanus was a genius, a wise philosopher, or an eloquent preacher. The core picture of Silvanus was that he was faithful. He may have been ordinary, but he was trustworthy. Everything else is of little consequence to Peter. Silvanus’ faithfulness was a manifestation of his faith. His faith inflamed him to serve. No one pushed him to act.
Timothy was also a faithful person.
“For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17).
Tychicus was a faithful minister.
“But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you” (Ephesians 6:21).
Onesimus was a faithful minister.
“With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here” (Colossians 4:9).
Epaphras was a faithful minister.
“As you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the Spirit” (Colossians 1:7-8).
Paul was faithful in his ministry.
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Timothy 1:12; 1 Co 4:2).
Faithfulness is a primary quality for any ministry.
No ministry can go very far without dependable people. Can your leaders count upon you to be faithful to your service? Can they depend on you?
“And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities’” (Luke 19:17).
God wants us to remain faithful even during suffering to the point of death.
“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
Paul said that when it comes to women, he was “trustworthy” in his relationships with them. This credibility is his claim for people listening to what he affirms.
“Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 7:25).
The Lord gave Paul grace to be “trustworthy” in dealing with women. He was careful about how he related to women. He was faithful and had the right to be heard with respect. His right to continue in ministry was, in part, therefore, due to his trustworthiness with women. God commissioned Paul because he was worthy of confidence in him about this matter.
Those in Christian ministry need to be faithful in delivering their ministry, and they must be steadfast in living with integrity in their ministry. Can people place complete confidence in both what you do and what you are?
Do you persistently do your task even though no one notices? Do you sit with your hands in your pockets because no one pays attention to you? Faithfulness does not depend on someone noticing us. “Well, I taught Sunday School, but no one noticed it, so I quit.” Faithfulness transcends personal recognition.
All the work that we do will ultimately become unnoticed in any case. Our glory will not last. Very few people will know about us thirty years after we are dead. What does human recognition amount to, then? It will matter little then whether someone gave us a pat on the back. Indeed, our reason for service rises above recognition if we live to the glory of God! You do no work that Jesus does not see.