Fruit of the Spirit

(part 8)

 

Greetings precious people. In todayís article we will continue our look at the subject of the Fruit of the Spirit as revealed in Godís Word, the Bible. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." So far we have looked at the first five which are love, joy peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness and goodness. If you missed any of these and would like a copy of them, just let me know and Iíll send you a copy free of charge. Today we will examine the fruit Faith.

Faith is defined for us in the Bible, Godís Holy Word. In the Book of Hebrews we see both the definition of Faith and the importance of faith in the child of Godís life. Hebrews 11:1-6, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Another definition of Faith, which I really like, is derived from the context of Hebrews 11, it goes like this: Faith is obedience to God and His Word regardless of the feelings within me, the circumstances around me, and the consequences before me.

The Bible tells us that God has given to every person a measure of faith. Everyone from the most religious person to the strongest atheist has faith. It is all a matter of what or who that faith is placed in. Some people place their faith in a person, others place it in a system or organization, it seems that more and more people today are placing their faith in themselves (a Big mistake by the way). Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed. For those that are placing their faith in a system, organization, or person other than Jesus Christ the Lord, there is nothing but bitter disappointment that lies ahead. Faith placed in anyone other than Jesus Christ is misplaced faith at best.

Faith, true Faith begins in a personís life as they hear the Word of God and respond to it by trusting what it says. In Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." This is why it is so vital to get the Word of God out to people. I am so thankful to God for how He has touched the heart of the owner of this paper, Dee Dean, to allow the Word of God to be proclaimed through this paper.

Listen to what the Apostle Paul says just before the previously mentioned verse. In Romans 10:8-15, "But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith, which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"

I want to take a moment here to exhort all that are reading this article that are born again, to be more active in the sharing of the Gospel with those around you. We have been entrusted with the Greatest News in the entire world, do not keep it a secret. Share your faith more actively.

Faith is more than merely believing; it is trusting and entrusting. There is no one more worthy of our trust and entrusting our lives and all that we are and have, than the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Many that say they trust God for the salvation of their souls and for their eternal state have difficulty trusting Him with their day to day needs. This should not be for God has promised to take care of all of our needs.

Read the following portion of Scripture where Jesus uses a number of examples in order to impress upon us Godís faithfulness to take care of us. In Matthew 6:25-34, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

You who are faithful loving parents, how would you feel if your child spent his or her days worrying and asking you many times a day if there was going to be enough food in the house to eat, or if they would have clothes to wear, or even a house to come home to after school? You would no doubt feel quite hurt and irritated after a while for you have told them time and time again that you loved them and would take care of all their needs.

In like manner, when we do not trust God with "EVERYTHING", it is not pleasing to Him and does not honor Him. It is really an insult to Him for it brings His character and Word into question.

One of the byproducts of the fruit of Faith being developed in our lives, is that our lives bring honor and glory to God, and we are at peace and rest. Our lives are not full of worry and anxiety. This is one of the promises that God has for us in His Word. In Philippians 4:6-7, we are admonished to: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Dear precious people, do you know this peace in your life today? No matter what your going through at the moment or how you feel inside, or the consequences that you may face, trust in the one who loves you with an exceedingly great love. Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ the Lord.

Next time we will continue our study of the Fruit of the Spirit as we look at Meekness. Until then, may the Lord richly bless my beloved.

If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail ccalpine@juno.com

Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine