Summary: This is the 6th is a series on fruits of the Spirit, namely The Character of a Christian: Faithfulness.
I. What does the word faithful mean in today’s society?
A) always faithful
B) sometimes faithful or
C) seldom faithful?
Maybe you apply it to certain topics:
What about to your job, or employer: A) always faithful B) sometimes faithful or C) seldom faithful?
How about when we apply it to your family, to your marriage: A) always faithful B) sometimes faithful or C) seldom faithful?
Or to your Church? Or more specifically to God? A) always faithful B) sometimes faithful or C) seldom faithful?
What about when you apply it to your hobbies or your favorite things to do: Drinking? Sports? Clubs? Activities? Organizations: A) always faithful B) sometimes faithful or C) seldom faithful?
And yet, one of the very core characteristics of a Christian is "Faithfulness". Paul writes to Timothy and said (para) "that he is glad that God has found him "trustworthy" even though he had previously scoffed at the name of Christ". That is very exciting, God can even find someone faithful, that once had been faithless.
Rick Warren points out in "The Purpose Driven Life", that putting on the character of Christ doesn’t happen overnight. It is the Holy Spirit at work in us to "produce Christlike Character in us..." "This process of changing us to be more like Jesus is called sanctification". (p. 174). A good Weslyian Methodist word, of the Holy Spirit of God at work in us, loving us to become more Christlike in every way. "But most of the time the Holy Spirit’s power is released in your life in quiet, unassuming ways that you aren’t aware of, or can’t feel. He often nudges us with "a gentle whisper". Christlikeness," Warren states "is not produced by imitation but by inhabitation." We allow Christ to live through us. "For this is the secret: Christ lives in you."" (p. 174).
When I began to research this word "faithfulness", the referances in the concordance were all refering to the character of God. "Great is Thy faithfulness" (Great is His Faithfulnesss); Faithful is God when He makes a promise. One can count on the "Faithfulness of God". It was about His character the Bible speaks, and as He is faithful, so to are we to become like Him in the character of Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul even speaks of that to Timothy "Oh, how kind and gracious the Lord was! He filled me completely with the faith and love of Jesus Christ." (vs 14). Christ came to save even the likes of Paul who had persecuted the Christians. His grace is even for you and for me. He is faithful, and we are to put on that faithfulness as part of the core character of who we are.
A. We are to be "committed to God". "Always Faithful" Luke 12:31 "But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. " Faithfulness is seeking first the Kingdom of God. "While effort has nothing to do with your salvation, it has much to do with your spiritual growth. At least eight times in the New Testament we are told to "make every effort"... toward becoming like Jesus." (p. 175). Real commitment; real faithfulness is not "part time".