Fruits of the Spirit: Faith

 

We come now to one of the most precious of the fruits of the Spirit. The KJV lists faith as a fruit of the Spirit. The word faith in this instance has to do with a character quality more so than saving faith. It is used as an adjective to describe a person of faith. “In its adjectival form Paul used this word in his instructions to Timothy concerning the appointment of church leaders: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim 2:2, KJV). For those who are called to serve as leaders of God’s people, now as then, faithfulness should be a far more coveted mark of ministry than temporal success, ecclesiastical recognition, or popular acclaim. After having served in India for eight years with few visible results to show for his efforts, William Carey wrote to his friend John Williams, Pray for us that we may be faithful to the end.”[1] When a believer is living a consistent spirit-filled life, he or she will be considered as a faithful person. It is the desire of every true believer to be found faithful. The question to consider is, ‘how can I remain faithful?’ The obvious answer to this question is found in being filled with the Spirit. For as we recall, the fruits of the Spirit is a natural outflow of a Spirit-filled life. However, what about the more practical side? How can I be a faithful believer? How can I be filled with the Spirit in order to be a faithful believer? The answer is found in practicing the seven basic spiritual disciplines. A review of these disciplines is most helpful in considering how we can live a life of faithfulness.

 Worship

As believers in Christ, we need to understand that we were created for worship. God created us for the sole purpose of bringing glory to Him. We were created for His glory. The Bible is very clear that in everything we do, we are to worship Him. John 4:23-24 mentions that we are to worship God in spirit and in truth. To worship God in spirit is to worship Him with every fiber of our being. It is to worship Him whole heartedly. To worship Him in truth is to live a life of obedience to the truth. As believers, everything we do in life should be considered as an act of worship to God. We should discipline ourselves on a daily basis to live a life that brings glory to God.

Prayer

Not only are we to live a life of worship to God, but we are also to live a life of prayer. Too often we miss out on what God desires for us simply because we do not pray. As believers, we should consistently maintain a lifestyle of prayer. We should have a time and a place where we get alone with God every day simply to pray. We should constantly pray throughout our day, living in an attitude of continual prayer. We must also not neglect cooperate prayer. Praying with other believers is vital to our growth and to the edifying of the body of Christ.

Meditation

 

In addition to living a life of prayer, we should also set time aside for meditating on the things of God. Meditation is a spiritual discipline that is rarely discussed or even used. However, throughout the book of Psalms, for example, we have many references to meditating on the Word of God. (Ps. 1:2 ; 63:6 ; 77:12 ; 143:5) One of the major obstacles facing the body of Christ today is the ever increasing demands on our time. Life is not as simple as it used to be. Unfortunately, we have fallen into the trap of today’s fast-paced, technology driven world. As a result, we have very little moments of silence and contemplation. When we do have moments of quiet, we tend to have a smart phone or some other device in our hands. We desperately need to relearn the art of getting by ourselves in a quiet place with nothing to distract us and just simply listen to the Spirit of God speaking to us.

Bible Study

2 Timothy 2:15 tells us that we are to study the Word of God. Daily Bible study is essential to the growth and development of the believer. Such Bible study should include a systematic plan for studying the great truths of God’s Word. This plan should consist of: daily personal Bible reading, participating in a small group Bible study (Sunday School), listening to sermons, and (if possible) taking at least one year to attend a Bible College or Institute. Careful and organized Bible study is a crucial spiritual discipline for every believer.

Giving

2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us that God loves a cheerful giver. Throughout the pages of scripture we see this theme of giving. We are to give of our time, talents, and treasure. The time we have on this earth is a gift from God. We should use our time wisely and efficiently. God has also given every single person certain gifts, talents, and abilities. We all have something to contribute in the work of the church. We are blessed with resources. We live in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. We are to give of our treasure, our finances to the work of the Lord. When it comes to giving we need to understand that it is not really giving until it hurts. There must be sacrifice. Do you give of your time, talents, and treasure in a sacrificial way?

Church Attendance

This is a spiritual discipline that many neglect without even knowing it. In Hebrews 10:25 we are taught that we are to not forsake the assembling together of believers. We are commanded to assemble together more and more the closer we get to the return of Christ. Attending every regular church service at the church we attend is crucial for our spiritual growth and the benefit of the church body as a whole. We should make it a priority to be present at every church service (Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Mid-week prayer meeting, etc.) Such faithful attendance brings encouragement and strength to the entire church family. Your presence is needed. Just being there goes a long way in building up your church. Make a personal commitment to attend all the services at your church every week.

Witnessing                

Acts 1:8 along with the Great Commission describes our elected purpose as God’s people. You and I are on this earth for the sole purpose of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Telling others about Jesus should be a part of our daily lives. Everywhere we go, we should be mindful of those around us and take every opportunity we have to share the Gospel. We should show the love of Jesus to the world both in our words and in our actions and behavior.

It is in practicing these spiritual disciplines that we are found faithful. However, the motivation for practicing these disciplines is our love for God. The empowerment we need to practice these disciplines come from a Spirit-filled life. When we are living a Spirit-filled life we will naturally be faithful in the spiritual disciplines and when we are faithful in the spiritual discipline we become more Spirit-filled.

 

[1] George, T. (1994). Galatians (Vol. 30, pp. 403–404). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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