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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Faithfulness - Fruit of The Spirit

A. In his letter to the Galatians, chapter 5, vs. 22, the Apostle Paul writes, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," This morning we’re going to focus on "faithfulness."

God exhibits & honors faithfulness. Psalm 100:5 says, "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

Every time you see a rainbow, remember that God is faithful - He keeps His promises. Every time you pick up a Bible, remember that He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." [Matthew 24:35].

Every time you gather to worship with brothers & sisters in Christ, remember that He said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

Every time you partake of communion, every time someone answers the invitation, remember that He said, "lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:30

And when you stand on the brink of death, remember His promise, "In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” John 14:2-4

The songwriter is right:

"Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father...
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."

If we allow His Spirit to work within us, then the fruit of faithfulness will be real & evident in our lives, too. The more we yield to His guidance, the less fickle, the less vulnerable to discouragement & temptation we’ll become.

And as we are filled with His Spirit, others will find in us a reliability, a trustworthiness, a staying power through both good & bad, a faithfulness that the world doesn’t understand.


A. If you were going to define faithfulness, as Paul uses it in the N.T., how would you do it? Well, if you looked in the dictionary, you would find a technical definition that says, "To follow through with a commitment regardless of difficulty."

"Faithfulness is love hanging on." It is love saying, "I will not quit. There may be misunderstandings, there may be disappointments, there may be discouragements, but I will not quit." It is love hanging on.

ILL. And if someone says, "I really love the Lord," or "I really love the church," & then is unfaithful, then it’s hard to believe that he really does love the Lord. Because, you see, faithfulness & love always go hand in hand. Faithfulness is love hanging on.

You may get discouraged. You may be disappointed. But faithfulness says, "Even though there is discouragement & disappointment, I will not let go, I will not quit. I will keep on attending & giving & serving, because God has called me to be faithful."

B. Listen to what the Bible says. Here are some of the scriptures that challenge us to be faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 challenges us to be faithful in stewardship. Ephesians 6:21 talks about being faithful in service. 1 Timothy 5:9 speaks of being faithful in our marriages. Revelation 2:15 speaks of being faithful in witnessing. Romans 12:12 says we are to be faithful in prayer. Colossians 1:7 speaks of being faithful in ministry.

Revelation 17:14 says we are to be faithful in following the Lord. Proverbs 31:26 speaks of faithful instruction. 3rd John 3 says we are to be faithful in the truth. Revelation 13:10 speaks of faithfulness even in times of persecution. Revelation 2:10 says we are to be faithful unto death & then we’ll receive the crown of life.


A. To help us better understand it, let’s look at a demonstration of faithfulness in the Bible. Once again, the example is Jesus, & it is found in the 16th chapter of Matthew.

Vs. 21 tells us that Jesus brings His disciples together, & tells them that He is going to Jerusalem. He tells them, "I know what will happen there. I’m going to be arrested, & beaten, & crucified. But I’m going anyway."

You may remember that in the next verse Peter tries to stop Him. He said, "Lord, don’t go!" But Jesus says, "Get thee behind me, Satan." Now here’s the reason that He called Peter "Satan" - because Satan was using Peter to try to get Jesus to quit, to be unfaithful.

Again & again throughout His ministry Satan tried to tempt Jesus to be unfaithful. "Don’t go to the cross. Don’t die for their sins. Just quit. It’s going to be too tough. There will be too many obstacles, too many difficulties. Just turn around & quit."

Yet here the King James Version tells us that "Jesus set His face steadfastly toward Jerusalem." Jesus was determined that no matter what happened, He would be faithful to the mission God had for Him to do. So "steadfastly" He goes to Jerusalem.

George Muller began praying for 5 of his friends. He prayed 5 years before the first one was converted; for the next one he prayed 10 years; for the third one 25 years; for the fourth nearly 50 years. The last one was converted after 52 years, at George Muller’s funeral. George Muller was faithful, even unto death.


A. In order to answer this you need to realize that an apple tree doesn’t stand out in the middle of an orchard saying, "Now how do I develop apples?" An apple tree produces apples because that’s what apple trees do.

And when we are Spirit-led Christians, when we are a branch attached to the vine who is Jesus Christ, then we produce fruit because it’s the natural thing to do. We don’t have to sit around & think about it & analyze it. But we do have to be careful that our branch is never detached from the vine, or that some disease will destroy our fruitfulness.

B. So there are certain things that we need to be careful about.

1. We need to realize that temptations will come. Just as surely as Jesus was tempted to be unfaithful, we will be tempted to be unfaithful - in our marriage, in our relationship with the Lord, & in the church. That’s what Satan does. He will tempt us to be unfaithful.

2. We need to seek the Holy Spirit’s reinforcement & develop regular, positive, spiritual habits. This world is not a Christian world. This nation is not a Christian nation. And we’re being pressured on every side to develop negative habits, tempting us to be unfaithful in church attendance, to be unfaithful in prayer, & in studying the Word of God.

But if we’ll say, "Get thee behind me, Satan," & be determined to serve God faithfully, then people will be able to count on us. We’ll be consistent, & trustworthy, & reliable. We’ll develop these habits so they come automatically. And when Satan tempts us, we will not be severely tempted because we’ve developed the habits of faithfulness, & we will not quit.

3. We need to get back up when we fall or are knocked down.

ILL. Simon Peter is one of my heroes in the scriptures, but not because he always did right. Sometimes he made mistakes, even denying the Lord, & he wept bitterly because of what he had done. But every time he fell down, he got back up again. So when it came time to choose someone to preach the very first gospel sermon on the Day of Pentecost, guess who was chosen?

CONCL. I wonder, are you going through a painful experience? Do you feel that you’ve been knocked down, or maybe that you’ve fallen? Have you been irresponsible? Are you tempted to quit? Don’t stop. Keep pressing on. Hang in there, because faithfulness is love hanging on.


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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928