The fruit of faithfulness
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. (Hebrews 3:1, 2)
He was also faithful to His followers:
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2: 17)
It is useful to observe that He received a glorious title in heaven that relates to this quality of His character:
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. (Revelation 19:11)
In order to be like Jesus we must be faithful to God and to others in all aspects of our lives. We must know what this really means. As we have done with the other character traits of Christ, we will begin an explanation of what faithfulness means.
The false fruit of faithfulness
Faithfulness does not mean that we are so set in our ways that there is no possibility of change or variation. It does not mean that we are so established in our minds that we are unable to learn anything new. This is nothing more than pride and stubbornness, elements that hinder the work of God.
God is always operating in new ways. Therefore, we should not be prisoners to patterns that impede us from relating to the new flow of His spirit.
The Pharisees thought that they were being “faithful” to their tradition, but in truth, they were bound to a religious legalism that put them in strong opposition to the Lord himself. This is not what the Bible means by the fruit of faithfulness. What do the Scriptures really say about this fruit of the Spirit?
The true fruit of faithfulness
The Greek word translated as the fruit of “faithfulness” is pistis. It is the same word used for the word “faith” and the two words are related. Therefore, it is necessary to be full of faith to be faithful. However if we consider the context or the setting in which each term is used we will see that there is a difference between these two words.
“Faith” is the most common use of this word in the Bible. It refers to the confidence and the belief in God, in His word and His works. Obviously, this is true in a special way concerning our salvation and its benefits.
The Scriptures use the word “faithfulness” when they refer to the fact that we must be trustworthy, responsible and above all loyal. It means that we are worthy of trust. Truly, this is a sign of a good servant that we can trust with the goods of others.
Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)
Paul, Peter and John referred to their helpers as being “faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 5:12; 3 John 1:5). The greatest assets that a leader can have are faithful, honest and trustworthy helpers. John spoke of the servants of the Lord that they would be “faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10).
We can perceive strength in this fruit of the Spirit, which is highly necessary for the work of God to be successful. We should not be surprised, therefore to find the enemy trying to oppose this quality of Christ’s character in any way possible.
The rotten fruit of the flesh
The characteristics of the flesh that oppose faithfulness include some negative qualities, such as untrustworthiness and disloyalty. We could add other defects of character however such as tardiness, sluggishness, procrastination, negligence in the small things and never completing tasks that we begin. These negative habits are difficult to be broken.
However, there is good news: there is victorious power in the fruit of faithfulness. The chains of old habits can be broken, but generally, it is by one link at a time. We can begin with the next task of responsibility that we receive. In the power of the Spirit of God, we can begin and finish at the appropriate time. We can deal with each small detail responsibly and carefully. When we do this, we will form new attitudes and habits, and they will become part of all areas of our lives – including our work for God.
Then in that day when we are before him, we will receive a reward from the mouth of the Lord himself:
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matthew 25:23)