Faithfulness in the Time of Little Faith in God

Faithfulness
Summary
picture of dry river with mountains for the faithfulness bible study

Be faithful, love God and all people, live right, live in peace – 2 Timothy 2:20 – Kingdom life goals

God’s faithfulness is eternal

2 Timothy 2:19, 22; 3:1, 5 – 19But the truth of God cannot be changed. It says, “The Lord knows those who are His.” And, “Everyone who says he is a Christian must turn away from sin!” (NLV) 22 Shun youthful desires, and follow righteousness, faithfulness, love, peace, with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (Anderson)

2 Timothy 3:1, 5 – 1Remember this: There are some terrible times coming in the last days. 5 They will go on pretending to be devoted to God, but they will refuse to let that “devotion” change the way they live. Stay away from these people! (ERV)

Something to think about:
Are you faithful to God? We live in a time of little or no faith. People challenge and question the existence of God. It is easy to understand why some have little faith in Him. This Bible study will help you know what it means to be faithful to God.

People struggle with faithfulness

Humans (not you, but other humans) struggle with being loyal or dependable. The high priests and the disciples had problems doing what God told them to do. They all made mistakes. Which means they were not faithful. One of the many reasons God (Jesus) came in the flesh. He is the perfect / faithful / trustworthy high priest that will wash away the sins of people. Now we have faithfulness from the Holy Spirit to help us. Learn to use this quality of God.
2 Chronicles 36:14 And more than this, all the great men of Judah and the priests and the people made their sin great, turning to all the disgusting ways of the nations; and they made unclean the house of the Lord which he had made holy in Jerusalem. (BBE)
Hebrews 2:17-18 So Jesus had to become like His brothers in every way. He had to be one of us to be our Religious Leader to go between God and us. He had loving-pity on us and He was faithful. He gave Himself as a gift to die on a cross for our sins so that God would not hold these sins against us any longer. 18 Because Jesus was tempted as we are and suffered as we do, He understands us and He is able to help us when we are tempted. (NLV)
Key Points:
  1. Faithfulness – doing what is right at all times. The state or quality of being faithful, loyal or reliable. Strict loyalty to God’s rules and doing what you have to do to please Him. Let righteousness, faithfulness, love and peace be your focus and what you desire {refer to 2 Timothy 2:22}.
  2. Faithful – a person that can be trusted in all things. Especially devotion to God and in the workplace, home, family, among other examples. Revelation 17:14 …for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (KJV)
  3. Faith – complete confidence in God and the truth of His word without doubt proven by actions. Faith without actions (works) is dead (useless); prove (show) your faith by what you do (actions, works) {refer to James 2:17-18}.

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Faithfulness
Fruit of the Spirit
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Faithfulness comes from the Holy Spirit. Faithfulness is part of your spiritual DNA. Be faithful to God first.

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

Why “Faithfulness” and not “Faith”?

Both words come from the Greek word πίστις pistis (pis’-tis) noun. Translated: faith, faithfulness, belief and trust. Defined: Faithfulness points toward actions built on trust or firm belief in God. Therefore, the doings of a believer prove their loyalty.

We must keep in mind, the fruit of the Spirit are qualities of God. Old and New Testament Scriptures reveal God as being faithful but never does it mention God having faith. Who can God have faith in? We have faith in the faithful, God is the supreme faithful. The King James translators and at least 42 others use faith instead of faithfulness. The Bible clearly tells us faith comes by hearing the word of God.

Romans 10:13, 14 and 17 For [Joel 2:32 says], “Every person who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” [i.e., whoever appeals to God through obedient faith in Christ] 14 [But] how can they appeal to Him if they have not [first] believed in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have not [first] heard [about Him]? And how can they hear [about Him] if there is no preacher? (AUV)

You need faith to receive the Holy Spirit

Belief and faith in God is required to receive the Holy Spirit. Someone also must tell you about the Holy Spirit before you can receive it. One example to support this is found in Acts 19.

Acts 19:1-2 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland districts of Roman Asia, and went to Ephesus. There he found some disciples, of whom he asked: 2 “Did you, when you became believers in Christ, receive the Holy Spirit?” “No,” they answered, “we did not even hear that there was a Holy Spirit.” (TCNT)

Paul made it very clear in his letter to the believers in Galatia; the Holy Spirit comes by faith.

Galatians 3:2 “Here is the one thing that I want to find out from you — Did you receive the Spirit as the result of obedience to law, or of your having listened with faith? (OEB)

Galatians 3:14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised[a] Holy Spirit through faith. (NLT)

a Footnotes: 3:14 Some manuscripts read the blessing of the.
Bible Translation Variations Compared for Galatians 5:22
The word “faithfulness” is used in 52 of 114 Bible translations:

[ACV, ASV, AMP, AMPC, AUV, CAB, CB, CEB, CENT, CJB, CLV, DLNT, ERV, EMTV, ERB, ESV, EXB, GNT, GW, HNV, ICB, ISVNT, LEB, MNT, MRINT, MT, NAB, NASB, NCV, NET, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NOG, NRSV, OJB, REB, RKJNT, RSV, RV, SENT, TB, TDB, TGB, TEV, TLB, TNIV, UBV, VOICE, WEB, WENT and WPNT]NOTE: NASB, NIV and Bill Mounce Greek Concordances agree that this should be faithfulness and not faith.

Other English words for faithfulness

faith” is used in 43 translations: [AAEB, AKJV, ALT, BBE, BB, BRG, CPDV, DRA, DRC, ERRB, GB, GONT, GUV, LITV, HCSB, JST, JB2000, K2K, KJC, KJV, KNOX, JWNT, JST, LBAP, LDS, LITV, LV, MEV, MKJV, NHEB, NLV, NSB, NWB, NWT, PCE, SLT, TMB, UKJV, VW, WEY, WGCIB, WYC and YLT]

faithful” is used in 2 translation: [CEV, NIRV]

fidelity” is used in 10 translations: [CTNT, JWNT, MOF, MPSNT, WNT, LONT, PNT, PSNT, MNT and DBY]. Meaning faithfulness, loyalty, reliable.

trustfulness” is used in 3 translation: [NJB, OEB and TCNT].

trustworthiness” is used in 1 translation: [ISR].

being true” is used in 2 translation: [BWE and WWENT].

belief” is used in 1 translation: [ABP].

NOTE: the Bible translations that use these words are enclosed in square brackets.

Synonyms for Faithfulness

  • Conformity – Correspondence (consistency) in form or manner; resemblance; agreement; congruity; likeness; harmony; similitude (similarity).
  • Constant – Not changing; remaining the same; specifically, a) remaining firm in purpose; resolute; b) remaining steady in affections or loyalties; faithful.
  • Devout – Pious; very religious; sincere; earnest.
  • Loyalty – The state or quality of being faithful or faithful adherence to those persons, ideals, cause, duty, etc., that one stands under an obligation to defend or support.
  • Obedient – Submissive to authority; yielding willingly to commands, orders, or injunctions (directions or instructions); performing what is required, or abstaining from that which is forbidden.
  • Pious – Having or showing religious devotion; zealous (enthusiastic or fervent) in the performance of religious obligations; sacred, as distinguished from secular (worldly) or profane (temporal).
  • Probity – Tried virtue (value, quality, merit, or worth) or integrity; complete honesty; uprightness (incorruptibility) in one’s dealings.
  • Trustworthy – Worthy of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable.

The source of our relationship with God is the blood of Jesus. Obedience to His word keeps this connection strong. Always doing what is right is the key to faithfulness. It extends beyond church attendance. Show that you are faithful to God by living right. – Bishop Tim Pettiford

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Faithfulness
Little Faith / Unfaithful
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Do you know how to be faithful? Can God depend on you? – Faithfulness

Do you know how to be faithful, can God depend on you?

Matthew 17:17-21 Jesus replied [to the crowd], “You perverse generation of faithless people! How long must I be with you [i.e., before you understand]? How long do I have to be patient with you? Bring the sick boy to me.” 18 Then Jesus spoke sternly to [the evil spirit in] the boy, and it left him, and he was immediately healed. 19 Then Jesus’ disciples came to Him privately and said, “Why could we not drive out that evil spirit?” 20 He answered them, “[It was] because you had such little faith*. For truly I tell you, if you have faith as [small as] a mustard tree seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to that place over there’ and it would move. And nothing will be impossible for you [to do].” {[{[Some manuscripts contain the following verse: 21 But this kind [of spirit] can not be driven out except by praying and fasting.]}]} (AUV)

* Little faith – G3640 ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos (ol-ig-op’-is-tos) adj. 1. doubting, that is, lack of trust in Christ

Maintain a good relationship with the Lord

Is your relationship with God broken? Do you struggle with your faith in God? The moral decay of this age is spoken of in the Scriptures 2 Timothy 3:2-5; James 5:5-8. Often we lose sight of the real source of all things. We begin to rely more on our income, education and others and less on God. The more we depend on anything or anyone other than God, our trust in the Lord fades. Let us not forget that God is faithful and He wants us to be as He is, faithful.

2 Timothy 3:2-5 People will love themselves and money. They will have pride and tell of all the things they have done. They will speak against God. Children and young people will not obey their parents. People will not be thankful and they will not be holy. 3 They will not love each other. No one can get along with them. They will tell lies about others. They will not be able to keep from doing things they know they should not do. They will be wild and want to beat and hurt those who are good. 4 They will not stay true to their friends. They will act without thinking. They will think too much of themselves. They will love fun instead of loving God. 5 They will do things to make it look as if they are Christians. But they will not receive the power that is for a Christian. Keep away from such people. (NLV)

Before going further it is most important to cover a few of many actions that cause unfaithfulness to God: selfishness (lover of self; self-centered) ♦ lovers of money (greedy, never satisfied {1 Timothy 6:9-10; Matthew 6:24}) ♦ unthankful (not grateful; feeling that God and others owe you) ♦ not holy (sinful, wicked; no regard for God and His word) ♦ lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (we should not place fun and life choices before God; our joy comes from the Lord {Philippians 3:19; James 5:5; Psalms 16:11})

Friends with the world; Enemy of God

James 4:4, 10 You people who have become unfaithful to God, do you not know that being [intimate] friends with the world [of sin] means hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever determines to be an [intimate] friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (AUV) 10 Let yourself be brought low before the Lord. Then He will lift you up and help you. (NLV)

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Scriptures to read and study

Romans 10:14-21 (key verse: 17); Galatians 3:1-14 (key verses: 2 and 13-14); Romans 10:14-21; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (key verses: 21 and 24); 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16 (key verse: 13); 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 (key verses: 13-14); 1 Peter 1:22-25 (key verse: 23 born again thru the word); Mark 4:21-25 (key verses: 22-24); Luke 8:11-15 (key verses: 11 and 15); Matthew 17:14-21 (key verses: 17-21; {compare: Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-42}); 2 Chronicles 36:11-14 (key verse: 14); Acts 19:1-10 (key verse: 2); 2 Timothy 3:1-9 (focus verses: 1-5; key verses: 2-5); James 5:1-12 (key verses: 5-8); Romans 1:18-32; James 4:1-10 (key verses: 4 and 10); Revelation 21:1-8 (focus verses: 5-8; key verses: 7-8); 1 Peter 5:5-11 (key verses: 9-11); 2 Timothy 2:1-13 (key verses: 11-13); 1 Peter 4:12-19 (focus verses: 14-19; key verses: 18-19); Revelation 19:11-21; Hebrews 10:19-39 (recommended)

Faithfulness
Conclusion

Jesus is the perfect example of faithfulness; be like Him

2 Timothy 2:11-13 Here is a true message: “If we died with Christ, we will live with him. 12 If we don’t give up, we will rule with him. If we deny that we know him, he will deny that he knows us. 13 If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.” (CEV)

Revelation 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. The rider [ Jesus] on the horse is called Faithful and True, and he is right when [with justice/righteousness] he judges and makes war [Psalms 96:13; 98:9]. (EXB)

Reward for loyalty

One of the benefits of the Holy Spirit is to help us be like Jesus. He is the perfect example of faithfulness (read 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:29 and 12:1-2). Revelation 2:10c “…Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life“. Your loyalty to the Lord results in a reward.

1 Peter 4:19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (NIV) ♦ Hebrews 10:22-23 So let us come near to God with a sincere heart. Let us come near boldly because of our faith. Our hearts have been sprinkled. Our minds have been cleansed from a sense of guilt. Our bodies have been washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The God who promised is faithful. (NIRV)

Faithfulness is the constant active belief and trust in God without doubt. It is being firm in faith. Doing what you have to do with true and endless want to please God. Do not be one of the faithless or a pretender, be faithful to your heavenly Father and be blessed – Tim

Related articles:

Faith Test – Calm Through the Storm || Self-control; Is Jesus Pleased with Your Faith Life? || The Power of Faith

Question for “Faithfulness in the Time of Little Faith in God”: Can Jesus depend on you?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Published on: Thursday, March 10, 2016

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Copyright information:
(Anderson) Henry T. Anderson, The New Testament Translated from the Original Greek, by H.T. Anderson. Printed for the author at Franklin Type Foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1864. Is in the public domain. (http://www.bible-researcher.com/anderson1.html) | (AUV) It is our understanding that the An Understandable Version is in the creative commons via e-Sword | Bible in Basic English (BBE) Public domain. | (BSB) Berean Study Bible © 2015 by Bible Hub and Berean.Bible. Used by Permission. All rights Reserved. | Scripture quotations marked (CEV) are from the Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission. | (ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. | (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. | (KJV) King James Version – public domain. | (NIRV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com The “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ | (NIV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ | Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. | (NLV) It is our understanding that the New Life Version is in the public domain via New Life Version – studylight.org | Open English Bible (OEB) The OEB is under a Creative Commons Zero licence – that is, it is in the public domain. Read the current release of the OEB New Testament online. | (TCNT) It is our understanding that the Twentieth Century New Testament, copyright 1904, is in the public domain via Twentieth Century New Testament – wikipedia.org

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