First Baptist Church Laredo
8-4-19 - First Sunday Fellowship
  • Galatians 5:22–23 CSB
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.
    So far, we have looked at love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. This month in our studies, we are going to consider faithfulness.
    So far, we have looked at love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. This month in our studies, we are going to consider faithfulness.
    Faithfulness is first an attribute of God. The writers of Scripture speak about the faithfulness of God more than 60 times. Let me list for you some of the way that we are dependent on the faithfulness of God.
    We are dependent

    We are dependent of the faithfulness of God:

    1. for salvation ()

    2. for deliverance from temptation ()

    3. for sanctification ()

    4. for the forgiveness of our sins ()

    5. for deliverance from suffering ()

    6. for eternal life ()

    We are completely reliant and dependent on God to be faithful to us. You might even say the entire Bible is dedicated to revealing God’s great faithfulness. Jeremiah, even in the middle of expressing his sorrow about God’s judgment on Israel said,
    Lamentations 3:23 CSB
    23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!
    Faithfulness is a chief characteristic of God; therefore, it should be a chief characteristic of his people. However, faithfulness in people in not natural.
    Proverbs 20:6 CSB
    6 Many a person proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy person?
    Many people will ask for your trust, but few people do the work to earn it. For followers of Jesus, faithfulness is an essential part of our character.

    Faithfulness - that which is firm and can be counted on; dependable, reliable, trustworthy, and loyal

    The word speaks to someone who is completely honest.

    “A faithful person is someone who is dependable, trustworthy, and loyal; who can be depended upon in all of his relationships; and who is absolutely honest and ethical in all of his affairs.” (Bridges, p. 112-113)

    (Bridges, p. 112-113)
    The opposite of faithfulness is corruption and negligence.
    Daniel is an example of a biblical character who was completely faithfulness. How do we know this?
    Daniel 6:4 CSB
    4 The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.
    They actually tried to find something to hold against Daniel, but could find nothing. He was completely faithful. He was completely honest.

    To be faithful is to be completely honest.

    Brothers and sisters, we must be completely honest is all we say and do. We should not pretend to be something we are not. We should never cheat in any way, this includes even our taxes. Our lives must be characterized as honest.
    <story of breaking Karen’s vase, tempted to not tell her, not to lie, but to let her think the cat did it>
    You might think that it is a small lie and no big deal, but again consider Daniel. They tried to find something, anything to hold against him, but could find nothing. It would be like having an FBI background investigation. A whole team of people, just focused on exposing something salacious in your life. Something they could use against you to discredit you, but they could find nothing.
    Honesty beings in the little things of life. If you are not honest in the little things, you will not be honest in the big things.
    Jesus said,
    Luke 16:10 CSB
    10 Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.

    To be faithful is to be completely honest.

    To be faithful is to be completely dependable.

    Daniel was not corrupt nor negligent. People could count on him. No doubt he was on time for his appointments. He kept his commitments. If he said he was going to do it, consider it done. He was a man of his word.
    In our culture, selfishness, personal desires, and convenience have become prioritized over dependability. To be constantly late is a character issue and it speaks to our dependability. Dependability is not just a social curtesy, it is a spiritual discipline.
    Psalm 15:4 CSB
    4 who despises the one rejected by the Lord but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his word whatever the cost,

    To be faithful is to be completely honest.

    To be faithful is to be completely dependable.

    To be faithful is to be completely loyal.

    Have you ever heard the term “a fair-weather friend”? It is used to talk about a person who is only around when it is in their interests to be around? Like the guy who heard you got a new boat and wants to all the sudden be best friends with you. Like the woman who only wants to come over to your house when she needs something from you. There really is not such thing as a fair-weather friend. They really aren’t your friend at all.
    Loyalty is not about being blind to a person’s faults. Loyalty is about speaking the truth in faithfulness and love. Loyalty says that you care enough about a person to not allow them to continue down a path that will be harmful to them.
    Faithfulness is to be like Daniel. Are you completely honest? Can others completely depend on you? Do you stick by your friend, even when the going gets tough? Will you confront your friend in love when he or she is wrong?
    Brothers and sisters, I may step on a few toes this morning, but it needs to be said. One of the biggest witnesses we can have to our culture here in Laredo is to be known as people who are faithful. It is the cultural norm to always show up late for things. We can show people faithfulness by being on time. It is the cultural norm to skirt the truth, maybe we are thinking we don’t want to hurt anyone. We think, “It’s just a white lie.” We can show people faithfulness by being completely honest. It is the cultural norm to live in the land of mañana, which doesn’t mean tomorrow. I have learned that! We can show people faithfulness by being completely dependable. It is the cultural norm to disappear when things get a little uncomfortable or difficult. We can show people faithfulness by being completely loyal.
    When we show people faithfulness, we are being witnesses to God’s faithfulness. People will see that we are different and we will have opportunities to share with them why we are different. It is not because we are good people. It is because we are reflecting the God we love and serve who is always faithful.
    Consider the reward for faithfulness
    Matthew 25:21 CSB
    21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’
    You might say, “Well isn’t that talking about faithfulness to God?” Yes it is, but faithfulness to God includes being faithful to people. We need to seek to grow in our faithfulness.
    Introduce Bible Study Teachers.
    If you do not have a Bible Study that you attend, fill out one of the cards or go and meet one of the teachers; they will be standing in the back as you exit.
      • Galatians 5:22–23CSB

      • 1 Corinthians 1:8–9CSB

      • 1 Corinthians 10:13CSB

      • 1 Thessalonians 5:23CSB

      • 1 John 1:9CSB

      • 1 Peter 4:19CSB

      • Hebrews 10:23CSB

      • Lamentations 3:23CSB

      • Proverbs 20:6CSB

      • Daniel 6:4CSB

      • Luke 16:10CSB

      • Psalm 15:4CSB

      • Matthew 25:21CSB

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