The Mortification of Sin: The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

The key verse in the Book of Habakkuk is 2:4 which says, “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” This verse is restated three times in the New Testament (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38) to not only refer to the basis of our relationship with God but also the believer’s perseverance in that relationship.

In explaining Romans 1:17, Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Paul intends to prove that it has always been God’s way to justify sinners by grace on the basis of faith alone. God established Abraham as a pattern of faith (Rom. 4:22–25Gal. 3:6–7) and thus calls him the father of all who believe (Rom. 4:11, 16). Elsewhere, Paul uses this same phrase to argue that no one has ever been declared righteous before God except by faith alone (Gal. 3:11) and that true faith will demonstrate itself in action (Phil. 2:12–13). This expression emphasizes that true faith is not a single event, but a way of life—it endures. That endurance is called the perseverance of the saints (cf. Col. 1:22–23Heb. 3:12–14). One central theme of the story of Job is that no matter what Satan does, saving faith cannot be destroyed.”

God calls the believer in Christ to live a life of faithfulness. Faithfulness (πίστις; pistis) in this context, and in harmony with the definition of faith, means to be a person who trusts in, depends upon, is committed to and honors and worships the Lord Jesus Christ by grace alone in His person and work. Additionally, it also means to be an individual who is trustworthy, dependable, committed and honorable.

A faithful person is a person of integrity. He is an undivided individual. What they say is what they do. What they do verifies what they say. It is a person upon whom you can trust, depend, commit to and honor.

A faithful individual is a blessing when they are your husband, wife, son, daughter, father or mother. What a joy to have grandparents who are known by their faithfulness.

Proverbs 3:3-4 says, Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” Do you want to leave a legacy of favor and good success? Do you want to be remembered as a successful man? Then be a man of faithfulness.

Consider the faithful legacy of Onesiphorus. Is he unfamiliar to you? I’m sure he is to many. However, he was a man one could trust, depend, commit to and who was honorable. This is what the Apostle Paul had to say about Onesiphorus in 2 Timothy 1:15-18.

“You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.”

Paul knew the pain of unfaithful people like Phygelus and Hermogenes. They were among the many who proved to be unfaithful not only to Paul but also to the gospel.

However, Onesiphorus was one of the few who proved to be faithful. He refreshed Paul while the apostle was in prison. He was not ashamed to be seen with Paul. He also earnestly searched to find Paul upon arriving in the City of Rome. Onesiphorus had also served the Lord in Ephesus. He demonstrated to the apostle and to the church that he embodied faithfulness.

Are you known by your faithfulness to the Lord and to others? Are you striving to not only live, but also leave, that kind of legacy? What a heritage to leave for those who follow is a life of faithfulness.

May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!    

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