Summary: Faithfulness is what God s looking for!
• 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.