Pistos – Faithful

Picture source: pioneeroutfitters

<< During Greek class, we stumbled upon a vocabulary list, which included the word “pistos” (πιστός). In our English Bibles, that word is often translated as “faith” but according to Essentials of New Testament Greek (by Ray Summers), the word means “faithful”. The teacher explained that its primary meaning is “faithful” and only the secondary meaning is “faith”. Of course one has to look at the context to know what translation fits for a certain Bible verse.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “pistos” means: “trustworthy, faithful, believing”.

So I instantly thought: ‘What if Jesus’ words in John 6:29 were actually meant to be translated as: “God wants you to be faithful to the one he sent.”, instead of “God wants you to have faith in the one he sent.” (CEV)? So that in accordance with Jesus’ call of “come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17, Luke 18:22) this was actually A CALL TO FAITHFUL ALLEGIANCE TO HIM. This would also be in accordance with the true nature of repentance: “when a person is truly saved, they have repented of all their sins and determine in their hearts to sin no more” [1] ).

This might have been the same requirement that was asked of the rich man. Without a doubt, Jesus asked allegiance from the rich man:

'Jesus said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” '
- Luke 18:22b, ESV).

Just as Yahweh asked allegiance (or faithfulness) of the Jews:

"Love the LORD your God, obey him, and be loyal to him. This will be your way of life, and it will mean a long life for you in the land that the LORD swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
- Deuteronomy 30:20 (GW)

As He asks allegiance (or faithfulness) of you:

'Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called“Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”


For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.'
- Hebrews 3:12-19 (NKJV) >>

Read also “Conditional Security“, “Synergism” and “Justification“, which explains in more detail, how justification, faithfulness and works, work together.


[1] quote by Jesse Morrell. Click here for a sermon by Charles Finney on true repentance. Click below to watch a video by Jesse Morrell on the nature of repentance:

Source: my youtube channel (visit for secondary sources).


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