Fruits of the Spirit: Faithfulness

by: Bill Bratt


The apostle Paul admonished true Christians to "walk in the Spirit" and if we do then we will "not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16.) So how do we walk in the Spirit? Paul continues in the next five verses in telling us what the "works of the flesh" are and then he answers the question of how do we walk in the Spirit when he says: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23.)

Let’s take a look at ‘faithfulness’ which is the seventh in the list of the fruits of the Spirit.

The Greek word for ‘faithfulness’ in this verse is ‘pistis,’ from Strong’s Concordance 4102 and defined as: "persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation: assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity."

Fidelity is another way of describing one who is careful to preserve that which has been committed to his trust. Years of experience has shown that those who are converted are increasing in the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit and are the ones who remain faithful to God’s laws, His Sabbaths and way of life, who have their hearts in the very work of God, those who, in whatever way they are able, have an active part in helping to fulfill Christ’s commission to His Church (Matthew 28:19-20.)

What is Faith?

Faith is the substance, assurance or confident belief in what we hope for (Hebrews 11:1.) Faith comes before we possess it. Once we received what we hoped for, we then no longer hope for it. Faith is the evidence of things not seen and it precedes the actual receiving of what it was that we had ask for. Faith is the evidence that we have it or we shall have it and is totally trusting God. Faith is not an emotion and has nothing to do with our five physical senses. Faith is a spiritual matter and without it, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6.) Faith is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8.)

God is Faithful

Moses recorded that God is the faithful God: "Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 7:9.)

The apostle Paul also records that God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9, 2:18) and he tells us the following about God: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13.)

We Must Have Faith In Jesus Christ

God's righteousness comes through Faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-26) and it is only through faith in Christ that men can become the sons of God: (Galatians 3:26.) We have a fantastic promise from Jesus Christ that we can become sons of God. In His Sermon on the Mount He included the following statement: "Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). In Luke 20:36 Jesus stated that the sons of God would be the sons of the resurrection.

The apostle Paul adds to this by saying that the sons of God must have the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14.)

To be a son of God we must have faith in our saviour Jesus Christ. The apostle John gave the definition of patience in his prophetic book of Revelation: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Rev 14:12). Notice that this definition of patience ties in with the faith of Jesus.

We must have faith in Jesus Christ because it is only through Him that we can have salvation. It is only through His name that we can be saved (Acts 4:12). It is only through Him that we will be resurrected to eternal life (Luke 20:36, John 6:44). Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Paul said: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20.)

Through faith in Jesus we can have boldness and confidence (Ephesians 3:12.) Peter, John and the disciples prayed to God that they could have boldness in preaching His word (Acts 4:29-31.) Boldness comes from having faith in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:13.)

Be Faithful

We must live by faith (Romans 1:17, Hebrews 10:38) because we are commanded to (Mark 11:22, 1 Timothy 6:11-12.) We must contend for the faith that was once delivered to the Saints (Jude 3.) How do we do that?

James recorded that faith without works is dead (James 2:20-26.) He gave the examples of Abraham and Rahab the harlot and that they were justified by their works. We have to be doers and not hearers only (Romans 2:13, James 1:22, Matthew 25:31-46.)

In the Old Testament we find there is not so much a doctrine of faith, but examples of it (1 Corinthians 10:1-6.) In the New Testament in Hebrews 11 we find many Old Testament examples. All of the Old Testament examples that are given in Hebrews 11 died in the faith not having received the promises (Hebrews 11:13) but that they might obtain a better resurrection ( Hebrews 11:35.)

In Conclusion: Faith is not a feeling or an emotion. It is spiritual and it involves our belief, trust and loyalty to God that what God and Jesus promises in the Bible is true and there is no reason that we should doubt it. Whatever God has promised, He will do it!

If you are a Christian, you have made a commitment to God and Jesus Christ and you must be faithful to that commitment.

We need to go to God the Father in prayer and ask Him for the fruit of His Spirit: Faithfulness.