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FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT - FAITHFULNESS

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FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT - FAITHFULNESS

When you think of faithful, what comes to mind? Probably a dog if you’re a dog person or even a cat person because we all know cats aren’t faithful. What about marriage and a spouse? Faithful and faithfulness are even part of a lot of wedding vows. The Greek word Paul used here comes from a root word meaning to believe and to have faith; to have full trust. Some define it as trustworthiness in your relationships and full loyalty. Oxford defines faith as complete trust and confidence in someone/something; faithful is defined as remaining loyal and steadfast – faithfulness then comes from a place of complete trust and loyalty. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Fruit of the Spirit #7: Faithfulness
“But the fruit of the Spirit is faith [faithfulness]” (Gal. 5:22).
Our guiding question today is, “Am I trusting God in the midst of suffering and sorrow or doubting His perfect and persistent love?”
I. FAITHFULNESS OF GOD
A. God is Unchanging
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Lamentations 3:22-23 – The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
B. God is Loyal
Exodus 34:6 – The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
Psalm 89:22 – But I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 – He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
C. God is Trustworthy
Deuteronomy 7:9 – Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 – But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
II. FAITHFULNESS IN LIVING FOR CHRIST
A. Disrespect—If one truly loves Christ, he will obey and respect Him.
Luke 6:46 – “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
B. Disregard— We cannot truly say we love God, but not practice our love for Him.
1 John 1:6-10 – If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
C. Deliverance— Christ sets men free from all sin. After we accept God’s gift of salvation, we must do something on our part—we must resist sin and temptation, keeping ourselves pure.
John 8:32, 34-36 – and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
34-36 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
D. Denouncing— We are to put aside all things that may hinder us from looking unto Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.
Hebrews 12:1, 2 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
1 Corinthians 1:9 – God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
III. FAITHFULNESS IN LOVING CHRIST
A. Complete love— Loving God first, we will love others as we love ourselves.
Matthew 22:37-39 – And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
B. Controlled love— We can have a love strong enough to put Him first in all phases of our lives.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
C. Consecrated love— Here is a very simple, yet safe rule to follow as Christians.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
D. Compassionate love— A love for Christ will lead to a love for the lost.
Acts 20:31 – Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.
IV. FAITHFULNESS IN LEARNING OF CHRIST
A. Learning God’s will— It is easier to find God’s will than to do His will.
Psalm 143:10 – Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
Romans 12:1-2 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
B. Learning God’s Word— Paul tells us to study God’s Word
Psalm 119:11-16 – I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Joshua 1:8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Proverbs 3:3-4 – Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
C. Learning God’s way— As we follow Him, He will make us what He wants us to be.
Matthew 4:19-20 – And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
How has God shown He is unchanging in your life?
How has God displayed His loyalty to His believers?
How have you experienced God’s trustworthiness in your life?
How do you live out your Faithfulness in living for Christ? Of disrespect, disregard, deliverance and denouncing which one do you struggle the most with and why? Which is your strongest and why?
How do you show your love for God is above anyone or anything else?
What area of your life do you struggle to trust God with? Why is that?
How do you compassionately love those who do not love you?
How do you live out 2 Timothy 2:15 - Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth?
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