2 I. A DEFINITION OF FAITHFULNESS The Seventh Part of the Fruit of the Spirit Means being full of faith, strong or firm in one’s belief, loyal, constant in the Performance of duties or services, true to one’s work, Reliable and dependable. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
3 II. Faithfulness is Not Optional God expects us to be faithful to Him, and He seeks men and women who will live so as to consistently carry out His will."Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever. 1 Sam. 2:35God actively looks for faithfulness in His servants. It is one of the qualities on which He judges His people. Jesus tried to help us understand God's great interest in our trustworthiness.His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’"--Matt. 25:21
4 II. Faithfulness is Not Optional (cont.) Everyone does not have the same opportunities. Nor do we all have the same abilities. But we all have something. We have the capacity to be faithful in our own condition (Matt. 25:14- 30). Yet all people do not prove trustworthy when tested. Jesus was reminding us of this very sobering fact.The Lord's servants are stewards. They control things in their own lives which belong to God--which is everything in their life and person. One example of a stewardship God is especially interested in is the caring for and feeding of His people. This is not a judgment we have arbitrarily made. The Bible makes this judgment for us:"Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. "--1 Cor. 4:1, 2
5 III. Then, Who is Faithful? There is only One Who has always been and will always be totally faithful to us, and that is God. Because of His perfect character, He can only be faithful. God will get us through easy times and difficult times. We can and should always rely on Him! Lamentations 3:22-23 Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. God’s faithfulness does not depend on what we do or don’t do; Christ paid the price for our sins on the cross. Jesus was judged for our sins. Sin is no longer an issue. God is faithful to believers and unbelievers. Romans 5:8 “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”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.
6 III. Then, Who is Faithful? (cont.) God’s faithfulness is shown when our faith is being tested. God will not allow us to be tested or tempted beyond what we can handle.1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.Even when we totally fail, God is faithful to us. If we don’t get back on the right track through the misery we bring on ourselves, He will discipline us! He knows what we need in that department! GOD NEVER QUITS ON US! Deuteronomy 7:9 Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God
7 III. Then, Who is Faithful? (cont.) God has made many, many, many promises to us. The Bible is full of promises. God is faithful in keeping His promises. We need to learn these promises, believe them, and trust in God! Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.Jesus is our best Friend and He has taught us through His word, Bible doctrine, how to be faithful friends, A true friend is reliable. He can be counted on to do what he says he will do. A true friend will be encouraging.Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
8 IV. HOW DO WE DEVELOP FAITHFULNESS? A. We need to keep the branch attached to the vine who is Jesus Christ, then we produce fruit because it’s the natural thing to do. We don’t have to sit around & think about it & analyze it. But we do have to be careful that our branch is never detached from the vine, or that some disease will destroy our fruitfulness.
9 IV. HOW DO WE DEVELOP FAITHFULNESS? (cont.) B. There are certain things that we need to be careful about We need to realize that temptations will come. Just as surely as Jesus was tempted to be unfaithful, we will be tempted to be unfaithful - in our marriage, in our relationship with the Lord, & in the church. That’s what Satan does. He will tempt us to be unfaithful We need to seek the Holy Spirit’s reinforcement & develop regular, positive, spiritual habits. This world is not a Christian world. This nation is not a Christian nation. And we’re being pressured on every side to develop negative habits, tempting us to be unfaithful in church attendance, to be unfaithful in prayer, & in studying the Word of God We need to get back up when we fall or are knocked down. Simon Peter is one of my heroes in the scriptures, but not because he always did right. Sometimes he made mistakes, even denying the Lord, & he wept bitterly because of what he had done. But every time he fell down, he got back up again. So when it came time to choose someone to preach the very first gospel sermon on the Day of Pentecost, guess who was chosen?
10 IV. HOW DO WE DEVELOP FAITHFULNESS? (cont.) C. Meditate on those who were faithful. Cain Noah Abraham Joseph Moses Job David