Faithfulness in the Time of Little Faith in God

Learn to use faithfulness. You can be faithful to your spouse, to God, etc. The Holy Spirit gives you what you need…

Revised: Friday, November 17, 2017

Faithfulness summary

Picture of a dry river for the faithfulness bible study

faithfulness
firm faith in and devotion to God

But 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” [2 Timothy 2:19 (NLV)]! 22 Shun youthful desires, and follow righteousness, faithfulness, love, peace, with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart [2 Timothy 2:22 (Anderson)].

Remember 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 [2 Timothy 3:1, 5 (ERV)]!

Think about this:

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 how to use faithfulness (fruit of the Spirit).

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.

Which is 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.

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 [2 Chronicles 36:14 (BBE)].

So, for this reason, He (Jesus) had to become like His brothers in every way [i.e., except that He never sinned], so that He could become a merciful and faithful Head Priest in things related to God’s [service], [and] that He could provide a means of purifying [Leviticus 16:30] for people’s sins [i.e., make atonement for them]. 18 For since He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is [also] able to help those who [suffer when they] are tempted [Hebrews 2:17-18 (AUV)].

Key Points:

  1. Faithfulness

    Faithfulness is 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 faithful person can be trusted in all things. Especially in devotion to God. Additionally, they are dependable in the workplace, at home, to family (especially in marriage), and at all times. 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

    To have faith is to have 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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Fruit of the Spirit – Faithfulness

Picture of sunset over Colton for the faithfulness bible study

Faithfulness is part of your spiritual DNA via the Holy Spirit.

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 [Galatians 5:22-23 (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.

G4102 πίστις pistis (piy’-stis) n. 1. a trust; fidelity, i. e. the character of one who can be relied on. Note: fidelity according to Webster 1913: careful and exact observance of duty, or discharge of obligations.

We must keep in mind, the fruit of the Spirit are qualities of God. In fact, the ISBE says “Faithfulness is one of the characteristics of God’s ethical nature”. 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.

Faithfulness – Wikipedia definition: Literally, it is the state of being full of faith in the sense of steady devotion to a person, thing or concept.

Consider this

The King James translators and at least 42 others use faith instead of faithfulness. Keep in mind, the Bible clearly tells us faith comes by hearing the word of God.

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?

17 So, faith results from [people] hearing, and [their] hearing results from [the preaching of] the message about Christ [Romans 10:13, 14 and 17 (AUV)].

FYI
Before KJV 1611: Tyndale (1534), Coverdale (circa 1535), Matthew (1549), and The Great Bible (1540) use faithfulness. Bishop’s (1568) and Geneva (1583) use faith.

You need faith to receive the Holy Spirit

Belief and faith in God are 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.

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” [Acts 19:1-2 (TCNT)].

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

“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 [Galatians 3:2 (OEB)]?

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]</sup > Holy Spirit through faith [Galatians 3:14 (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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Little Faith in God; unfaithful

Picture of san Francisco and the bay at the golden gate for the faithfulness bible study

Do you know how to be faithful? Can God depend on you?
Faithfulness

Can God depend on you?

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.]} [Matthew 17:17-21 (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 and 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.

Time of little faith

For men (people) will be lovers of their own selves, covetous (lovers of money), arrogant, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful (ungrateful), unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, despisers of those who are good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Stay away from people like this [2 Timothy 3:2-5 (NSB)]!

Unfaithfulness

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) considered a work of the flesh in newer translations including NKJV [see Galatians 5:19-21 (20)].

♦ 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

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 [James 4:4 (AUV)].

10 Let yourself be brought low before the Lord. Then He will lift you up and help you [James 4:10 (NLV)].

Skip to the end.

Faithfulness wrap-up

Jesus is the perfect example of faithfulness; be like Him!

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” [2 Timothy 2:11-13 (CEV)].

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] [Revelation 19:11 (EXB)].

Reward for loyalty

One of the benefits of the Holy Spirit is to help us be like Jesus. Again I say “He is the perfect example of faithfulness” (read 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:29 and 12:1-2). Jesus said in 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. So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good [1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)].

The final message to you my friend:

And so let us come near to God with a true heart full of faith. Our hearts must be made clean from guilty feelings and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the hope we say we have and not be changed. We can trust God that He will do what He promised [Hebrews 10:22-23 (NLV)].

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 in all areas. Do not be one of the faithless or a pretender, be faithful to your heavenly Father and be blessed— Tim. ☺

Scriptures outline for Faithfulness

Note: parenthesis (#) encloses the key verse(s).

  • Summary

    • 2 Timothy 2:14-26 (19-20 and 22); 2 Timothy 3:1-9 (1 and 5).
    • Struggle: 2 Chronicles 36:11-14 (14); Hebrews 2:10-18 (17-18).
    • Key points: 2 Timothy 2:22; Revelation 17:7-18 (14); James 2:14-26 (17-18).
  • Fruit of the Spirit

    • Faithfulness vs. Faith: Galatians 5:16-26 (22-23); Romans 10:14-21 (13-14 and 17); Joel 2:28-32 (32).
    • Need faith to receive: Acts 19:1-10 (1-2); Galatians 3:1-14 (2 and 14).
  • Little faith

    • How to be faithful: Matthew 17:14-21 (17-21; {compare: Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-42}).
    • Maintain relationship w/Lord: 2 Timothy 3:1-9 (2-5); James 5:1-12 (5-8); 1 Timothy 6:3-10 (9-10); Matthew 6:24; Philippians 3:17-21 (19); Psalms 16:9-11 (11).
    • Enemy of God: James 4:1-10 ( 4 and 10).
  • Wrap-up

    • Jesus example: 2 Timothy 2:1-13 (11-13); Revelation 19:11-21 [(11) refer to Psalms 96:11-13 (13) and 98:7-9 (9)].
    • Reward for loyalty: 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 (18); Romans 8:18-30 (29) and 12:1-2; 1 Peter 4:12-19 (18-19); Hebrews 10:19-39 (22-23 recommended).

Related Bible studies:

Born Again; New Life With God Full of Hope || Adultery || Respect God

Source

Webster’s 1913 dictionary || International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)

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.

Copyright information:

B-E

(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.

N

(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.







Bishop Pettiford

Welcome to a different type of ministry; we are primarily internet-based, we NEVER ask for MONEY for anything we do. We are faith-based and solely rely on God to give what we need.

Your attention and time to check what we freely give is all we ask of you and that you be blessed by this ministry.

One Comment:


  1. Faithfulness - blue sky over Redlands w/Tim and Ann
    You have help from the Holy Spirit so, child of God, be faithful in marriage!
    #faithfulness.

    Message in the picture:
    Child of God be faithful in marriage – faithfulness

    Verse for the day:
    Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in every way, so husbands and wives should be faithful to each other. God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery.
    [GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)]

    Go to this Bible study; click on/tap the picture or link.
    Friday, November 17, 2017

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