The Fruit of the Spirit: "Faith" (Galatians 5:22-23)
1. The fruit of the Spirit consists of the 9 special characteristics listed in Galatians 5:22-23. 2. In this lesson we are concentrating on the 7th characteristic: "faith."
I. LET US FIRST DEFINE "FAITH"
A. In the Bible, "faith" has several different shades of meaning. B. "Faith" sometimes refers to belief and trust in God that is demonstrated by obedience to His will. 1. To illustrate, Abraham's faith led him to obey God's will (Hebrews 11:8). 2. According to Hebrews 11:6, this kind of faith is essential. C. "Faith" sometimes refers to faithfulness [fidelity, reliability, and trustworthiness]. 1. To illustrate, God is described as being faithful in 1 Corinthians 10:13. 2. According to 1 Corinthians 4:2, this kind of faith is also essential. D. The "faith" that is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) is faithfulness.
II. THE BIBLE STRESSES THE NECESSITY OF FAITHFULNESS
A. (Matthew 10:22) "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." B. (Matthew 24:44-47) When Jesus returns, His faithful servants will be blessed. C. The necessity of faithfulness is also seen in: 1. the reward of the 5-talent man (Matthew 25:21) 2. the reward of the 2-talent man (Matthew 25:23) 3. the punishment of the 1-talent man (Matthew 25:29-30). D. See Revelation 2:10 E. In addition to stressing the necessity of faithfulness, . . .
III. THE BIBLE ALSO WARNS AGAINST UNFAITHFULNESS
A. Hebrews 3:12 B. Hebrews 6:4-6
IV. SINCE FAITHFULNESS IS SO IMPORTANT, WE MUST BE CONSTANTLY STRIVING TO GROW IN OUR FAITHFULNESS TO GOD
A. To grow in our faithfulness, we must: 1. first make up our minds that we are going to do it (Proverbs 23:7 -- "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he") 2. pray and ask the Lord to help us (Matthew 21:22 -- "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive") 3. study and meditate upon God's Word regularly (Romans 10:17) 4. obey the Lord (James 2:17-18) 5. put God's kingdom and His righteousness first in our lives (Matthew 6:33) 6. always remember that God is faithful (Psalm 119:90 -- "Thy faithfulness is unto all generations"). B. To remain faithful, we must avoid: 1. turning our backs on our commitment to Christ (Luke 9:62 -- "no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God") 2. allowing our love for God to grow cold (Revelation 2:1-4) 3. relying upon our past reputation (Revelation 3:1-2) 4. becoming lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-16).
1. (Hebrews 10:23a) We are exhorted to "hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering." 2. (Hebrews 10:23b) One reason why we must do this is because "He [God] is faithful that promised." 3. Let us follow the instructions given in Hebrews 12:1-2a so we may remain faithful to God.