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Faith: a fruit of the Spirit

(3)

Sermon shared by Patrick Nix

August 2010
Summary: Faith is not something we can muster up or dig down deep to find. It is the fruit of God in the life of His surrendered child. In God, this is called foreknowledge. In us, it is the assurance of His foreknowledge. In Him, this is omniscience. For the
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Faith can be the difficult to find when you need it most. It is in the darkness of temptation and in the lonely, sinful distance we need its light most. In Ephesians 2:8, Paul reminds us that faith “is the gift of God” and that it comes from God – it is not something we can muster up or dig down deep to find. It is the fruit of God in the life of His surrendered child. In God, this is called foreknowledge. In us, it is the assurance of His foreknowledge. In Him, this is omniscience. For the Christian, it is reliance upon His omniscience.

Three Biblical ‘Kinds’ of Faith
Conviction – [Your faith is your body of doctrine & belief system.]
I love Christianity because it makes sense. Although it can’t always be explained by logic, it is never illogical to trust in a benevolent God! Other faiths require works for salvation and/or to please their Deity; Christianity requires only faith in its Deity. Other faiths require its followers to sacrifice (even die) for their Deity; Christianity is unique because our Deity sacrificed (even died) for its followers. America is benevolent & free b/c we still have some Christian principles!

Confidence – [Your faith is what you expect from God and what you depend God to do.]
Faith is the solid part of spiritual living; faith in the unseen realms is plainly and visibly evidenced in our world! And without faith, you and I cannot please God. (Hebrews 11:1,6) With each answered prayer and each silent miracle, God strengthens His case. He is the trustworthy Father, standing next to the play-set, calling for his son to jump into his arms. There is enough proof for me to know that God is not going to allow me to fall. He’s not going to drop me. He loves me. He can be trusted. I’d be a fool to try anything else.

Consistency – [A continual confidence & constant conviction brings a consistent faithfulness.]
This usage is the word ‘faith’ is the true meaning of the Spirit’s fruit of faith: consistency. Our faith brings faithfulness. Our dependence creates dependability. Our trust makes us trustworthy. This quality is what we will be judged against at the end of time: “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2

Four Basic ‘Steps’ of Faith
1. Request – Reliance on God brings an ever-present asking, seeking, and knocking. When we realize that ‘without Him we can do nothing’ and ‘with Him nothing is impossible,’ we begin looking in the right direction: up! “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” Matthew 6:33 (see also Matthew 7:7; Luke 1:37; John 15:5)

2. Rest – Trusting God allows us to relax. Too many Christians only the extremes of trusting God: either lazily, passively waiting on God to do everything –or– anxiously worrying about whether or not God will work things out. I know pastors on both sides of the fence. Some don’t do much of anything, expecting God’s sovereignty to outweigh their lack of interest and involvement. Some are dependent
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