Faithfulness – Fruit of the Spirit
This word is translated in a few different ways in the New Testament. Faith, assurance, faithfulness, fidelity. 244 times in total, and nearly all of them are actually translated as ‘faith’.
A few are words that mean the same thing as faith. Titus 2v10 it is translated as fidelity. Romans 3v3 and Galatians 5v22 it is translated as faithfulness. In English we have two words for this relationship of faith – we have faith in one who has faithfulness. Faithfulness is God’s characteristic that we show in the fruit of the Spirit which is why the modern translators have chosen this word here rather than faith.
Our faith in God’s faithfulness
Because God keeps his promises. We see in Psalm 89
- God made a covenant with David (v3), to which he is faithful, and continues to keep today (Acts 15v16-17)
- Ethan trusted God, having faith in him, even though he couldn’t see at that time how it would be fulfilled – because he knew that God was faithful.
Think of other examples of God’s faithfulness, that we find throughout the Bible, and in our own lives.
The chief of these is our salvation through faith
- God has made a promise.
- We trust him.
Characteristics of faithfulness
- Patience – Matt 24v45
- Trustworthiness, keeping secrets – Prov 11v13
- Truthfulness – Prov 14v5
- Results in blessing – Prov 28v20
- Responsibility – Luke 16v10-12
- And more responsibility! – Luke 19v16-17
Is anyone faithful? See Proverbs 20v6. But we need to be!
Areas for faithfulness
a) Faithfulness to others
Wherever we have promises, commitments, etc
Think of examples – in family, at work, with friends, at church, in prayer, and the list goes on. The core of it is that when we speak, people know that it will be done. Our yes is yes, and our no, no.
b) Faithfulness to God
Half the verses we looked at are actually about this.
Read Matthew 25v14-30
Be good and faithful, not wicked and lazy Those are the only two options.
Faithfulness now results in the opportunity for more faithfulness, into the future.