• SLIDE #1
• We are getting closer to putting the finishing touches on our fruit salad. Today we are going to add the fruit of faithfulness to the salad that we have been making over the last few weeks.
• When we give our lives over to Christ, He does some wonderful things in our lives through His Spirit which is within us.
• The fruit of faithfulness is a fruit makes your fruit salad taste even sweeter. It is a fruit that if missing can cause your fruit salad not to taste very good.
• This fruit when it is growing in our lives will make our lives and the lives of those around us so much better; it will be something that other people will take notice of, it is a fruit that other people desperately want to see in the lives of those around them.
• Faithfulness is a fruit that seems to be sorely lacking in our society and in the church.
• Let us look at what it means to be faithful today.
I. WHAT IS FAITHFULNESS?
• In order for us to be able to do something, we need to know what we are to do.
• The word translated “faithfulness” is the same word translated “faith”. The word can mean one of two things. Let us look at the first
1. A conviction about something.
• This deals with believing something. It is a conviction based on the sufficiency of the evidence.
• It is a conviction that leads us to some sort of action.
• SLIDE #4
• Hebrews 11:1 (NASB) 1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
• This assurance is based on the belief in the resurrection, it is not based on something we make us in our minds.
• Faith is the act of trusting God.
• If we believe something enough, it leads us do action. LIGHTS ILLUSTRATION.
• The whole 11th chapter of Hebrews talks about how the faith of the saints of old caused them to act.
• SLIDE #5
• Hebrews 11:7 (NASB) 7By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
• Noah knew, or he trusted that God would do what He said He would do, so Noah built the ark based solely on belief.
• We can find many other examples just in Hebrews 11.
• Let us look at a second definition of faithfulness, and this is the one that is spoken of in Galatians 5:22
• SLIDE #6
2. Fidelity or trustworthiness.
• Faithfulness is staying true to someone or something, being trustworthy, being someone who can be counted on.
• While the Greek word is most often translated as “faith,” the act of trusting or believing God, in this context most versions translate it as “faithfulness,” the virtue of being trustworthy and dependable. The reason for understanding the word this way is the company in which it is found in this passage. The other eight virtues are ethical qualities, and it is more likely that “faith/faithfulness” should be an ethical quality as well. The person who is becoming a partaker of the divine nature will be faithful and loyal,
• As this fruit grows within us, we become more trustworthy, we become more focused on serving God and God alone. We will not be double-minded.
• We will have a steady faith, one that is not shaken by every bad thing that happens to us.
• When we are unstable in our ways, God is not happy with us.
• SLIDE #7
• James 1:6 - 8 (NASB) 6But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
• A faithful person is one whom can be trusted and depended on. Trustworthiness is the characteristic of the man who is reliable.
• Let us look at the foundation for our faithfulness.
• SLIDE #8
II. THE FOUNDATION OF FAITHFULNESS.
• There are many reasons why we can be faithful, but I want us to consider three. What is the foundation of our faithfulness? What do we base our faithfulness on?
• SLIDE #9
1. God is faithful.
• We can be faithful because we serve a faithful God.
• God always done what He has said He will do. If God says something you can count on it happening, good or bad.
• SLIDE #10
• 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NASB) 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
• WE can look at passage after passage concerning God being faithful. When God promises you something you can count on it.
• If we are dealing with temptation, God is faithful. We can resist temptation because God is faithful. Look at 1 Corinthians 10:13.
• SLIDE #11
• 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB) 13No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
• When we are told God is faithful, you can count on God providing you a way os escape, you do not have to fall prey to temptation.
• Even if we are faithless, God is faithful.
• SLIDE #12
• 2 Timothy 2:13 (NASB) 13If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
• God’s faithfulness does not depend on us. Our faithfulness should not depend on what others do either.
• SLIDE #13
2. Jesus is faithful.
• How many times is our faithfulness based on circumstances? We will be faithful as long as everything is going well.
• Jesus was faithful to the end, He did not run from His calling when it got tough.
• SLIDE #14
• Hebrews 3:1 - 2 (NASB) 1Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house.
• Jesus was faithful to the Father and because of His faithfulness we get to enjoy the opportunity for salvation!
• WE can be faithful because the one we serve was faithful even though His faithfulness lead Him to death on a cross.
• SLIDE #15
• Philippians 2:7 - 9 (NASB) 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
• The third reason or foundation for our faithfulness is:
• SLIDE #16
3. God’s word is trustworthy.
• WE can trust God’s word. God’s word will not lead us astray.
• You can take any area of your life and in God’s word, you will get advice and council that you can trust.
• SLIDE #17
• Psalms 119:105 105Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
• God’s word will not lead you down a dark alley, it will not lead you over a cliff, you can trust His word.
• God’s word will give us all we need for life.
• SLIDE #18
• 2 Peter 1:3 (GWT) 3God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness. This power was given to us through knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and integrity.
• You can be faithful because you have a strong foundation on which to stand true!
III. AREAS OF OUR LIFE WHERE WE SHOULD BE FAITHFUL.
• There are many areas of our life in which faithfulness should be the rule, but here are three important areas.
• SLIDE #20
1. We are to be faithful to God.
• God expects us to be faithful to Him. He has done so much for us, He has been so faithful to us, why wouldn’t we want to be faithful to Him.
• Being faithful to Him means that we must follow Him daily. It means we are Christians each and every day.
• God should be able to depend on us to do what He has called us to do.
• If we refuse to reach lost people, who will? God expects faithfulness, nothing less.
• SLIDE #21
• Revelation 2:10 (NASB) 10‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
• If we really trust God, we will be faithful to Him. There is a lot on the line.
• God has never wanted us to accept the gift of salvation and then just fade away and then show up in the judgment line after we die and expect entrance into heaven.
• God expects faithfulness.
• SLIDE #22
2. We are to be faithful to others.
• Norman Geisler, as a child, went to a VBS because he was invited by some neighbor children. He went back to the same church for Sunday School classes for 400 Sundays. Each week he was faithfully picked up by a bus driver. Week after week he attended church, but never made a commitment to Christ. Finally, during his senior year in High School, after being picked up for church over 400 times, he did commit his life to Christ. What if that bus driver had given up on Geisler at 395? What if the bus driver had said, "This kid is going nowhere spiritually, why waste any more time on him?" Max Lucado, God Came Near, Multnomah Press, 1987, p. 133.
• WE are to be faithful to our families. There are too many parents who are not faithful to their children. There are too many husbands and wives who are not faithful to each other.
• SLIDE #23
3. We are to be faithful to the church.
• We must be faithful to the church. The church family needs to be able to count on each and every one of us.
• WE need faithful people to man the programs of the church. If I do not do what called has called me to do, then who will? If you do not do what God has called you to do, who will do it?
• We need to be a person who can be counted on.
• As the fruit of faithfulness grows in us, we will become more and more of a blessing to God and the kingdom.
• A salad without the fruit of faithfulness is not a good tasting salad.
• Let God work in your life, let Him use you to the fullest!
• SLIDE #24
• Are you a faithful person?