Now we are going to look at the fruit of the Spirit called faith.
First of all let’s see what this faith as a fruit of the Spirit is not.
It is not the faith in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This kind of faith is faith in God and His Word.
Nor is it one of the gifts of the Spirit the gift of faith, found in I Corinthians 12:9. That is a supernatural gift of God in which He allows us to operate in at His will which receives a miracle of God. An example is Daniel having the gift of faith to go to sleep in a den of lions.
Man that takes a supernatural faith from God indeed.
However what the fruit of faith is in the original Greek translation: Firm and unswerving loyalty to a person to whom one is united by promise, commitment, trust and honesty.
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We can sum up the fruit of faith by saying it is FAITHFULNESS.
Faithfulness to the Lord and the things of His Church.
How do we show faithfulness to God and His church?
There are many ways for Christians to show faithfulness including serving the Lord in our daily walk with Him, daily reading the Word and prayer, taking time to praise and worship the Lord, attending Church each week, giving our tithes and offerings to the Lord, asking the Lord what He would have us do in our local church, encouraging others both the saved and the unsaved and witnessing to them about the Lord, leading others to the Lord.
These things that I mentioned are never to be viewed as a laundry list of works. We can’t work our way to heaven as Ephesians 2:8-9 states: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
We should also never think that works make God love us more or get His favor. We already have God’s love and favor.
The things I listed above should just be normal things that we want to do because we have faithfulness to the Lord and His Church. These are things that we do because we love the Lord not trying to impress Him or get on His good side.
As I have mentioned in the past I was born again as a young teenage boy and from then to now I see a lack of faithfulness among many Christians to the Lord and His Church. It is widespread among many Christians. It’s a shame. Much more teaching is needed in the church to teach that we should have faithfulness to the Lord and His Church and how we do that.
I am also talking about faithfulness to even come to church on Sundays without coming 1 week and missing 2 and then back again for 1 or 2 Sundays then missing again. If there is a work assignment or sickness that is explainable. But this happens constantly from Christians that just lack the desire to attend church regularly. (Hebrews 10:25) If they had such absences at their place of employment they would be fired. Why not give God our best not what’s left over, Amen?
You virtually never hear a message in the Church on faithfulness, it is like a hot button to many pastors and church leaders but there is a way to present faithfulness that will encourage the congregation. Then they will want to be a part of what the Lord is doIng through their local church. It can be presented in a way that they will take pride in their local church and want to be a part of it.
Of course the key word to present it to a congregation is to encourage them through the Word of God in the area of faithfulness and show them what the fruits of faithfulness will do for them and their church. It will give them a sense of pride and not, “we have to do this” mentality.
In previously pastoring a church I realized it started with me as a pastor. I needed to show enthusiasm and a love of God in being faithful to Him. It was easy for me as I already had that love to serve God and enthusiasm. As a shepherd I taught my congregation what the Word of God said about being faithful and showed them what great rewards there were in faithfulness to the Lord and His Church and my congregation followed me.
What that did among my congregation was to make great leaders for the Lord. I had the privilege of pastoring a congregation of people who were from different denominations. That may seem like it was quite a challenge but I found it to be such a wonderful mix of people that were hungry for things of God and gave testimonies weekly of what was happening in their lives out on the byways of life.
“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” I Corinthians 4:2
A steward is an overseer. They are responsible for people, places or things.
Every one of us as Christians are called to be faithful stewards of our fellowship with the Lord in worshipping Him, reading the Word and pray time each day, our time, talents, money, ministering to others. That also includes serving in some position in our local church.
In the beginning we see that Adam and Eve were called to be faithful to the Lord as overseers (stewards) of the Garden of Eden. It was given to them to enjoy but also to take care of it.
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:15
So we see right from the first creation of man that God asked Adam and Eve to take care of the Garden of Eden. They were stewards and were called of God to be faithful in what God had asked them to do. This is the very first example of stewardship (faithfulness) in the Word of God.
Things have not changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament age of which you and I live in.
In Luke 12:41-48 in my Bible it is entitled “THE FAITHFUL AND UNFAITHFUL SERVANTS.” You see our Lord is still requesting that we be faithful stewards over all that He has called us to do. Every one of us as Christians have things that God has called us to be faithful to from our time with the Lord in pray and reading the Word, attending church and taking the position of helps in the Church that God has called you to, telling others about the Lord and whatever else He has spoken to you that He wants you to be faithful to.
We are not all called to the 5 fold ministry gift of, Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher but we are all called to be faithful stewards of what the Lord has called us to do.
There are many blessings from God for being faithful to what He has called you to do: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19
In the church we attend I was asked of my pastor to give an announcement that we needed help in our church as far as serving in different areas. I told the Church that this request was for opportunities for them to be blessed by serving others.
A man came up to me after I gave that request and said that the Lord spoke to him to take a position in the Church after my request for the opportunity to serve was given.
A couple of Sundays ago I went up to that man and I told him, remember when I gave that announcement for people to have opportunities to serve in the Church. He said yes I do. I told him I was thinking of you this last week and the Lord impressed upon me to tell you that you have been faithful in what God called you to do and you are and will be blessed. He smiled at me and heartily agreed with what I said. A wonderful man of God.
Then before that there were some people in the church that I noticed were extremely faithful at what God had called them to do in the church. I had approached both of them over the time they were in those positions and told them that they were and will be blessed for their faithfulness.
Both of these people have since got better jobs than they have ever had and they tell me that they are very thankful and happy.
Does God reward faithfulness, you bet He does. Payday with God may not come every Friday but payday will come and it will be bountiful and not just in finances but in every realm of your life. That includes spiritually, socially, mentally, physically and financially.
God is the greatest giver we could ever imagine and He blesses those that are faithful, big time.
Remember Isaiah 1:19 “If ye be willing and obedient, you can eat the good of the land.”__
Let’s look at that verse again.
God’s Word say this concerning His promises: “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
What is that saying to you? All of God’s promises belong to you as you are faithful.
Many of God’s promises in His Word have conditions to fulfill before there is a blessing.
Isaiah 1:19 says if you are WILLING AND OBEDIENT then you shall eat the good of the land, right?
When I was going to Bible college a brother in the Lord was teaching us one day and said that it is possible to be obedient but not be willing at the same time.
It seemed like a play on words when he first made that statement but then he explained himself through an experience in his life.
He explained that there was a time in his life that he knew he was doing all God called Him to do but for some reason he was not walking in the blessings of God.
One day he asked the Lord why he was not being blessed the way he knew God had promised to bless him through His Word. He told the Lord I have done all you have called me to do? As you can imagine it was a very frustrating time for this brother in the Lord.
Then the Lord spoke something to him that somewhat took him back. The Lord said you have done all that I have called you to do. You have been obedient but where the problem lies is that you have not been willing.
When he first made this statement it made me think. I thought what he is saying is that we can go through the motions of doing what God has called us to do but at the same time we are dragging our feet and not really wanting to do it.
Our heart has to be connected with our doing. We need to have a joy in our hearts to serve the Lord in what He has called us to do.
The brother in the Lord then stated when the Lord spoke to Him about this he immediately made an adjustment in his attitude and that ended the fact that he had not been willing.
Sometimes in your life you may go through a time of serving the Lord but you are really not getting any joy out of it because you are obedient to God but you are not willing.
Your heart is not in what you are doing for the Lord.
But just like that brother in the Lord said it only took a second to do an adjustment in his attitude toward what God had called him to do and then the blessings started flowing in his life.
What a great teaching from that brother in the Lord on being faithful and at the same time having an obedient attitude toward the Lord for what He has called you to do.
So let’s exercise the fruit of the spirit of faith (faithfulness) with joy in our hearts toward the Lord and receive the wonderful blessings that He will give for those that are faithful.
Of course we are to be faithful to the Lord in our Christian walk out of a motive that we love Him but at the same time He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
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Blessings to each one of you,
We look forward to you being with us next Monday as we continue with the Fruit of the Spirit, it will challenge your spiritual life to higher heights AND allow you to be used by the Lord in a greater way as you take on the characteristics of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In the service of the King, Jesus Christ
Conrad and Nita Freiholtz
Conrad Freiholtz Ministries
PO Box 11806
Tempe, Arizona 85284