Summary: A Sermon dealing with the gift of Faithfulness
FAITHFULNESS: A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
1 Corinthins 3:1-2
We are continuing with the series on the fruit of the Spirit.
Today we are looking at the fruit of faithfulness or faith.
It is very close to the spiritual gift of faith.
But where one describes something that is within us, the other describes a characteristic of committment.
Faith as the gift is something that we are given.
It is something that is inside us.
It is something that we have.
Faithful, as a fruit of the Spirit, is a verb.
It is something that we must do.
It is a state in which we must remain, we remain faithful to a cause.
They are both closely related.
They both come from the same basic greek word.
The greek word that they come from, is the word "Pistis"
This word means "to be assured"
It has several close relative words as well.
"Patho", to persuade, to trust, to have obedience, to believe, to be confident in.
"Pistis" itself: "The conviction of the truth of anything believed in the New Testament, of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God or divine things.
This is Faith.
I have faith in God
Faithful, the fruit of the Spirit, is what we remain to God.
Because I have faith in something or someone, I remain faithful to that thing or person.
In the New Testament there is only one word that really deals with the concept of faith.
It has very few "Brother" words, or words that are related to it.
In the Old Testament there are four or five words that speak of faith, and being faithful.
They all however come from one basic word, however, and that word is "ah-man".
"Ah-man" means to believe, to have assurance in, to be faithful, to be established, to be verified.
Our faithfulness verifies the faith that we have.
If I say I have faith in God, but I don’t do anything to show my faith, then I am not showing myself faithful to what I believe.
Let me give you an example.
I have a lot of faith in the Montreal Canadiens.
I believe they are going to win the Stanley Cup, sometime.
If I start cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs, I’m not showing very much faith in the Montreal Canadiens, am I.
Because I have faith in that team, I am going to be faithful to that team.
I will support it in good times and in bad.
And believe me, right now we are in bad times.
The same thing is true in our relationship to God.
Because I have faith in God, I am going to be faithful to that relationship, in good times and in bad.
Our marriage vows are a covenant.
When we make our marriage vows, we covenant, not only to have faith in our partner, but to be faithful to our partner.
We already have faith in our partner or else we wouldn’t be getting married.
We covenant to be faithful to them alone.
We covenant to support them, and them only.
We covenant to a relationship and them only, and we are promising to be faithful to that covenant.
This is the difference between the fruit of faithfulness, and the gift of faith.
Faith as a gift is something that is within.
Faith as a gift is something that matures.
By a foundation of faith that was laid in the past, concerning things in the present, I can step forward into the future.
I have faith that God was with me in the past, that He is with me now, and I can use that foundation, as I walk by faith into the future.
Because I know God was with me in the past and present, I can have faith that God will be with me into the future.
Therefore, I have an obligation to that faith.
My obligation, is tied up in the verb, faithful.
I have to be faithful to God as He has been faithful to me.
That is the distinction between the fruit of the Spirit, and the gift of the Spirit.
One is something that we are given as a Gift of the Spirit.
The other is something that we offer.
We offer to God our faithfulness.
We offer faithfulness as an expression of our faith.
Faith speaks about a belief.
It is about a belief that we have in someone or something.
We all have strong beliefs in God.
We develop that faith to its maturity.
We use our present faith to build on the future.
That is the gift of faith.
To be faithful is an action based on faith.
It may be to a cause.
It may be to a person.
It may be to a thing.