The Fruit of the Spirit is Faithfulness

by Austin Thompson

Faithfulness is essential to holy living. In his book, The Fruitful Life, Jerry Bridges defines faithfulness as, “that which is firm and can be counted upon—synonyms include dependable, reliable, trustworthy, and loyal.”

Before we can examine the fruit of faithfulness produced in our lives by the Spirit of God, we must consider its source. Every blessing in the Christian life flows from the faithfulness of God. Why are we alive? God faithfully sustains everything that causes us to live—the creation, every breath we take, the beating of our hearts, etc. Why do we go through trials? God is faithfully making us more like Christ. Why will we go to heaven when we die? When we stand before God on judgment day, the whole basis of our salvation rests in our belief that God is faithful to His promise—that if we have faith in His Son we will not be cast into eternal hell but instead will enter into eternal life.

God has revealed Himself as the faithful God, and since God cannot lie, we must believe that it is a true revelation of His character. Deuteronomy 7:9 reads, “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness….” Believers are called to place their hope in the faithful God who keeps His promises. Consider these specific ways that Scripture reveals God’s faithful activity towards us: He delivers us from temptation (1 Cor 10:13); He sanctifies us (1 Thess 5:23-24); He saves us (1 Cor 1:9); He forgives us (1 Jn 1:9); He delivers us from trials (1 Pet 4:19); He empowers our perseverance (Heb 10:23); He protects us from evil (2 Thess 3:3); and He carries out the purpose of His Word (Isa 55:11). Perhaps the most encouraging reality of God’s faithfulness for the believer is that He remains faithful even in our unfaithfulness (2 Tim 2:13).

In light of God’s faithfulness, believers are called to exercise faithfulness in their daily lives. In one of my favorite passages of Scripture, Paul succinctly summarizes the call of every believer: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Cor 4:1-2). While God requires faithful stewardship in all things, here are five specific areas of focus for our consideration. 

We must be faithful stewards of the Word of God — Paul was adamant in his instruction to other believers about their stewardship of the Word of God. Believers were to be stewards of the mysteries of God preserved for them in His Word (1 Cor 4:1). Writing to a young pastor, Paul explained accurately handling of the Word of truth that would enable Timothy to stand before God without shame (2 Tim 2:15). Take pains to wisely structure your time during the current circumstances by regularly setting aside time for immersion in the Word of God.

We must be faithful stewards of our resources, talents, and giftedness — Jesus taught that the one who is able to practice faithful stewardship with little will also be able to practice faithful stewardship with much (Luke 16:10). God has given resources, talents, and giftedness of varying degrees to all of His children for the purpose of glorying Him, edifying the saints, and witnessing to the lost. Therefore, we must diligently seek appropriate occasion during this time to employ the gifts that God has blessed us with for the furtherance of His kingdom.

We must be faithful stewards of our relationships — Regardless of our circumstances, our relationship with God is always of first importance. Jesus promises those who are faithful to Him unto death will receive the crown of life (Rev 2:10). While the present conditions are as good as any for cultivating a supreme love for God (Matt 22:27), this is less true of our relationships with others. Praise be to God for technology that enables us to continue to foster our relationships with others while we are sequestered to our individual households. In this way, we can continue to fulfill the ‘one another’ commands that are expressed throughout the New Testament as best we can.

We must be faithful stewards of our words — The book of James has a great deal to say about the words we choose to speak. Words can be used to bless God as well as curse men made in His image (Jas 3:9). Words can be used to boast about the future (Jas 4:13-17). Therefore, we must be diligent to watch over our words so that we don’t prove ourselves to be self-deceived about our spiritual lives (James 1:26).

We must be faithful stewards of our responsibilities The Medo-Persian satraps were unable to bring any accusation against Daniel because, “they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him” (Dan 6:4). While the logistics of our responsibilities have changed, we must still labor to ensure that we complete the tasks set before us with God-fearing intentionality.

May the God of mercy provide us all with the necessary strength to be faithful in all our ways.

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