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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT:

VII. Faith (Faithfulness)

(Galatians 5:22)

A. The fruit of faithfulness is one of the most important characteristics that as Christians should try to obtain, maintain and perfect. The Bible has much to say about faithfulness in all areas of our lives. Again understanding that the fruit of the Spirit is first of all Love, faithfulness is a direct result of our love relationship with the Lord.

1. (Proverbs 3:3) - Let love and faithfulness never leave you

B. The word faithful, or one of its derivatives is found 109 times in the Bible.

1. It is used in the Old Testament as meaning stability as well as truth.
2. Also, it is used in a moral sense as to be true or certain. This word is interchangeable with the phrase found in (Isaiah 30:21) - "...turn to the right..." which refers to the going to the right hand of God, down the right path.

C. In the New Testament it is found being used as trustworthy, sure and true (referring primarily to Jesus.)

1. As well as these, it is more profoundly used as a verb meaning to convince by inward certainty, to make friends by persuading their trust to yield.

2. Obviously this refers to Jesus Christ. (Revelation 19:11) - whose rider is called Faithful and True.

3. (Revelation 1:5) - "...Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness..."

D. All too often we want to experience the blessings of the end result without going through the process.

1. Faithfulness through the pain and through the process is where the blessings of God are found, NOT just in the end result.

2. Seeing that the biblical foundation of carries with it the strong emphasis on being trustworthy, loyal, reliable and the ability to remain steadfast, the question stands: are we being faithful throughout our lives with the tools that our Lord has given us...

a. (Proverbs 28:20-a) - A faithful man will be richly blessed...

b. (1 Corinthians 4:2) - we must prove faithful.

c. (Revelation 2:10) - Be faithful, even to the point of death.

E. Faithfulness is much more than just an appearance, it is more than just showing up. Jesus rebuked the religious sect of their time for their lack of faithfulness.

1. The Christian who is faithful will first be faithful to God.

a. (Matthew 23:23)

2. Second, faithful to his family and to his church, remaining a faithful steward of the gifts and talents that God has given to him.

a. (Matthew 25:14-30) - The parable of the talents. It's not about needing other things to be faithful, are you faithful with what God has given you.

b. (Matthew 16:10-12) - Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.
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