Faith – the Fruit of the Spirit

Study Series on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22,23

DATE: 24 Nov, 2002 AM          PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction


A.      There are NINE fruits placed in the life of the believer at salvation.


1.        On the very day you got saved, the Holy Spirit indwelt you (1Cor 6:19).

2.        On that day, God put His Holy Spirit in you and there He will remain.

3.        But He doesn’t sit idly by. He does two things


a.       Changes you from the inside out

b.       Exchanges your old works, with something he calls FRUIT! The fruit of the Spirit


B.       These are God’s replacements for the seventeen WORKS of the flesh as listed in Gal 5:19-21.

C.       The fruit of the Spirit is a direct result of my personal walk and relationship with Jesus Christ in His word – it’s not complicated. It just takes effort and focus (Gal 5:25) on your part! God help us ALL to have personal love-life with the God of this Book!

D.      If you do not have these fruits in your life, it is because of two possible reasons:


1.        You don’t have the Holy Spirit in there – you only fake it

2.        You have let the devil in there, and he just keeps trampling down all the growth in your garden, like a kid with a lawn-mower!


E.       So far, we have studied the fruits of Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, and Goodness

F.       None of these are not natural in our lives – not like anything this world has to offer – but completely supernatural!

G.       This message will focus on the seventh fruit of the Holy Spirit: Faith!

H.      These 9 fruit are grouped into three directions


1.        The first three are for the believer

2.        The second three are given by God for others

3.        The last three are given to me to use towards God!


I.         It’s a shame when God only sees a generation without faith (Dt 32:20)


II.       Message


A.      The Biblical Meaning of Faith (Acts 27:25)


1.        It means, “to believe”, to Trust, or to have confidence in something, or in someone. To be fully persuaded in your mind AND heart. Firm Conviction.


a.       Most people have one of two kinds of faith

b.       A confidence in their mind, but not heart – always doubting

c.       A confidence in the heart, but not mind –

d.       A true Christian has a confidence in BOTH


2.        The opposite of faith, and belief: Distrust, doubt, scepticism, unbelief

3.        The truth about “faith” (Lk 18:8; 2Thes 3:2)


a.       Not everyone has faith – even though they may claim that they do

b.       The closer we get to the Second Coming of Jesus, the less real faith there is on the earth!


4.        If a person lives by the flesh, they will end up with only “heresies” (work of the flesh). Heresies include (1Tim 4:1-5):


a.       Seducing spirits – lustful spirits

b.       Doctrines not of God, but of devils

c.       Hypocritical lies

d.       No conscience

e.       Forbidding people to marry – celibacy

f.        Commanding people to abstain from eating meats – especially on Fridays

g.       These are just SOME of the heresies that people hold to in the place of real BIBLICAL Faith!


5.        The Holy Spirit gives us the right kind of faith to follow God, and live for Him faithfully to overcome all the heresies of the world


B.       The Source of Faith


1.        How do you get faith? You don’t pray for faith


a.       Faith is not produced in trials.  There it is proven.  It is like a kiln.  A kiln will not cause problems in a piece of clay pottery, but it will reveal them.  Heat in an engine doesn’t cause too many problems, but it may reveal weakness. Thank God, that He only allows only the right amount of heat or trial so that you can bear it, and so that you can know the condition of your faith.

b.       Faith is not produced by self hypnosis or even positive thinking.  You can talk yourself into anything, but that is not faith.

c.       Faith is not repeating something to yourself so many times it becomes a part of you!  It is not positive reinforcement nor is it visualizing a desire!


2.        What you are supposed to do is nurture the faith that God already gave you at salvation, by feeding on the word of God. Romans 10:17 makes it clear that faith is a product of the Word of God (Luke 16:27-31; 1Thes 2:13; 1Pet 1:24)

3.        I know people talk about “the church” being the repository of “faith” but that cannot be true.


a.       The only repository of faith is found in the words of God (Mt 4:4)

b.       The purpose of any church is simply to preach those words, and none else (1Cor 1:18-21)


4.        It is not “the faith” of any church that we need to get, but the faith of JESUS CHRIST (Gal 2:20). Always measure your confidence in God according to Jesus’ confidence in His Father! That’s why God became a Man – to show us how to live by faith!


C.       Four Kinds of Faith


1.        Demonic Faith (James 2:19)

2.        Dead Faith (James 2:17-26)

3.        Saving Faith (Eph 2:8,9; Rom 5:1,2)

4.        Determined Faith (Heb 11:6)

5.        Explanation


a.       Most people have only the first two kinds of faith – demonic faith or dead faith – all in the head faith

b.       And so, most people die in their sins, even though baptized, and catechized, and homogenized

c.       All because they won’t exercise simple, child-like Saving Faith

d.       I thank God for people getting born again! But that only saves your soul – determined faith changes your life – makes you truly Christian! People who are only saved, are miserable people indeed!

e.       Everyone needs to not only be saved by faith, but LIVE by faith (Rom 1:17)


D.      Three Levels of Faith


1.        Faithless – agnostic, or atheist

2.        Little Faith – not in size, but in strength - weak, and limp

3.        Great Faith – great confidence in God according to His written word. Jesus said size does not matter (faith the size of a mustard seed). Just the object of our faith (GOD’S PROMISES) – now THAT matters!


E.       The Examples of Faith


1.        Abraham (Rom 4:13-25)


a.       God’s blessings upon Abraham back in Genesis 12 was not on the basis of him fulfilling the law, but by living by obedient faith (Heb 11:8)


1)       The law required good works – and therefore nullifies faith

2)       The law only reveals how sinful we are and brings wrath

3)       Faith and grace go hand-in-hand, and Abraham’s faith, not his lifestyle is what we all need to be after!


b.       The testing of Abraham’s faith


1)       To believe that God would really give him children, yet being too old

2)       Against all earthly, normal hope, believed in God’s word (hope)

3)       Abraham just believed God, that it would be as God said – faith

4)       Fully persuaded – that’s what we need – only comes when we delve DEEP into this Book

5)       Therefore, THAT faith was all God needed to make Abraham, even though a sinner, a righteous man – forgiven, and born again!


c.       The same is therefore true to all who believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ for us on the cross!


2.        The Thief on the Cross (Lk 23:29-43)


a.       Natural thing to do in that situation was give-up, and start blaming everything for your troubles

b.       But the one thief broke down, and by simple faith, rested on what Jesus said – rested on the ability of Jesus Christ. The thief knew that Jesus wasn’t dying for good, but would only enter into the kingdom that He had preached about – the thief believed what Jesus said

c.       Jesus turns to him, and gives that thief eternal life, right on the spot!

d.       There was no way for the thief to earn his forgiveness – had to obtain it only by his faith in what Jesus said!

e.       It works still today!


F.       The Fruit of Faith in the life of a person – by their fruits, ye shall know them


1.        First, real faith obtains life, eternal life from God (John 3:16)  begins here

2.        Secondly, real faith begins to live for God by faith (Rom 1:17)


a.       To believe God even in the most awful of circumstances – as Paul did so many times, especially in the midst of being ship-wrecked, and stoned, and hunted down!

b.       Living by faith has never been easy

c.       But there is no greater life than one lived by faith, instead of heresies

d.       Anything that is outside of this Bible is a heresy! Period!


3.        Thirdly, real faith starts to love Jesus Christ (1Pet 1:8)


a.       Your love for God is directly connected to how much time you study this Bible

b.       All the efforts FOR God will crumble when there is no sweet, intimate, close devotional time WITH God


4.        Lastly, real faith develops loyalty or consistency to the Work of God


a.       People come and go – always looking for something better

b.       But the ones who stay, and dig-in, only do so because of great faith, obedience to God’s will, because they just believe God

c.       And they stay at it – like the apostle Paul – until the day they die

d.       Because, when it all boils down, our faith is given to us so that we can: believe God, and obey God, and be faithful to God, all the days of our lives


III.     Conclusion


A.      A lot of people have some kind of faith. But most have the worthless kinds: demonic, or dead faith.

B.       Is everyone in this room today trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ, as described in the Bible? If not, your faith is wasted! If you are, then praise God!

C.       How about your daily life? Lived by the seat of your pants, or by faith in God’s word? Big difference!

D.      How is your consistency? Faith, slowly transforms itself in the life of the believer into faithfulness.

Craig Ledbetter

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