Summary: How does the Spirit grow faithfulness in us?
Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness
What is Faithfulness?
In our culture: The opposite of “Unfaithfulness”
- Unfaithfulness is usually used in the context of marriage – to speak of an affair – going outside the marriage to find what should only be found within the marriage. – we vow to love & be faithful at the wedding.
- Unfaithfulness is more than adultery – If you are at your job, the pub, sports game, … when you should be home and present to the family, are you being faithful?
The Bible, particularly the Old Testament uses the analogy of marriage to describe God’s relationship with his people. So when the people worship other gods, it is described as adultery. God goes as far as calling his prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute to illustrate the unfaithfulness of his people.
Unfaithfulness is a descent into self – it is wholly about pleasing yourself, not your family, or the person you are unfaithful with.
Unfaithfulness to God may not look like worship other gods today in North America – it is relying on other things for things we should only rely on God for.
Faithfulness is much bigger than “the opposite of unfaithfulness!” – faithfulness has to do with being present, but it is also much more than that.
God’s faithfulness is one of His main descriptors – second only to loving?
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
The Psalms – we sing about God’s faithfulness too
Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
God will walk beside us no matter what the circumstance
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
New Testament – God doesn’t change his mind on forgiveness – he will always forgive
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
His faithfulness doesn’t depend on ours
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
Faithfulness is a quality that seems important to God as well. Jeremiah often suffered from discouragement and depression – with good reason – God was always asking him to do weird things, and the people hated him. At one of those down points he has the audacity to question God’s faithfulness: Jeremiah 15:18 Why is my pain unending
and my wound grievous and incurable?
You are to me like a deceptive brook, (wadi)
like a spring that fails.
God says, “hold on there Jerry, you straighten up & fly right, and everything will go fine.”
Pictures of faithfulness
David & Jonathan
Johnathan is faithful; to his friend David when it means that His father might kill him, and that he will not follow his father in being king.
David’s mighty men
2 Sam 23:1317
Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. 14 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.
15 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 16 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 17 “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it.