Faith is one of the fruits of the Spirit, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Gal. 5:22-23. The Spirit calls us to faith to reflect that part of God's image, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Gen. 1:27, because God is always faithful, "But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil." 2 Thes. 3:3 and "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." Lam. 3:22-23.
What is this faithfulness God calls us to? Merriam-Webster defines faithfulness as steadfast in affection or allegiance, firm adherence to promises, or observance of duty. So, we must be steadfast in our allegiance to God and the family He is creating. We must keep our promises to God and to our neighbors. We must observe the duty created by our statement of love for God and our neighbor, "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." Lk. 10:27-28.
How can we have the faithfulness God calls us to?
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" Is. 46:10. He knows how this will end; and always finishes what He starts. We need to live like we believe it.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Rom. 8:28. We must always look for the good in everything that happens. This positive attitude draws us ever closer to God and keeps us from the traps set by the devil to lure us away from God.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 Jn. 1:9. We will all fall short of perfect faithfulness. However, when we do, we must confess our sins. For He remains forever faithful and He will forgive us.
"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." 1 Cor. 1:9-10. We must remain unitied and perfectly joined together in the fellowship of the body of Christ. So, we must belong to a community of believers.
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Pet. 3:9. He is patient, and no matter how many times we fall, He gives us the time we need to repent and receive His grace. He sets the example, and we must be faithful by showing the same patience to our neighbors.
"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." 1 Pet. 4:19. He wants us to keep doing good even when we suffer. For He has promised us eternity, "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Rev 2:10.
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Heb. 13:8. He never changes, He is not a moving target, so we can see Him and work faithfully to continue to change all that is in us that does not already reflect His image.
Ray Ortlund describes how our faith and God's grace go hand in hand, "We hold up our empty hands of faith before the Lord and we receive grace, without end. So, we can always be sure of His promise in Phil. 1:6, 'Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:'" This is the faithfulness of God displayed in one verse.
Ultimately, on that great day of judgment, when we stand in front of our God, we will all want to hear, "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Matt. 25:21.
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