The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New
Course: The Fruit of the Spirit
Lesson Title: Faith
Lesson Goal: …the student will understand what the fruit of faith is and cultivate it in his or her life.
Text: 'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,'
Theme: Faith is the life of the believer resting in the arms of the Lord.
Introduction: Faith (Greek: pistis).
In connection with the fruit of the Spirit, faith means faithful or trustful.
It is a total reliance upon the promises of God in our everyday lives.
It is living our lives trusting fully in the Lord.
· It is being faithful to Christ in the most difficult situations because His Word can be relied upon.
· It is trusting the Lord at all times and in every circumstance knowing that everything is working together in His plan and purpose. Romans 'And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.'
Faith in the believer's life is a beautiful fruit because it rests in the Lord.
Paul rejoiced when he found a living faith and love one for another in the churches.
Ephesians 1:15-16, ‘Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;’
Colossians 1:3-4 ‘We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,’
2 Thessalonians 1:3 ‘We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all toward each other abounds;’
Question: What did Paul hear about the Ephesian believers that showed their faith?
Steadfastness under trials
Trust in daily life
Resting not worrying
Introductory Story: Personal Testimony: Tried in the fire 1 Peter 1:7 ‘That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:’
· The fruit of faith will keep us steadfast in what the Lord wants us to do.
· The Lord will allow trials to test our commitment and
· He will allow people to speak against us to see what is in our heart.
The works of the flesh will seek an opportunity to react against the trials and accusations, but the fruit of faith rests in the plan and purpose of God.
Question: What is the difference between the gift of faith and the fruit of faith?
· The gift of faith will empower us to do great things at a particular time.
· The fruit of faith will enable us to live a victorious Christian life.
Difference between the fruit of faith and the gift of faith.
The fruit of the Spirit remains constant in the life of the believer.
The gift of faith is momentary and is according to the will of the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:11.
The fruit of faith will rest in difficult circumstances.
The gift of faith will bring change to a particular circumstance.
The fruit of faith will look at the mountain and say 'my help comes from the Lord', Psalm 121:1-2.
The gift of faith will look at the mountain and say 'be removed and cast into the sea', Mark 11:23.
The fruit of faith
1) Rests in the Lord,
2) trusts in the character of the Lord,
3) relies upon the Word of the Lord, and
4) overcomes in the Lord.
1. Faith rests: David wrote Psalm 4:8 'I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety.' Faith has total confidence in the Lord.
Illustration: Learning to swim. Gaining confidence in the water. Someone who struggles because of fear cannot learn to swim until they rest in the confidence that the water is able to hold them up.
a) Faith learns to rest through maturity.
b) Resting means being dependent upon Christ alone. Resting in our relationship with the Lord.
c) Resting means trusting Him without regard to our own welfare.
2. Faith trusts in the character of the Lord.
a) When we know His nature and His character we have confidence to trust Him.
Trust in His loving kindness because He is merciful. He delights to show mercy (Micah 7:18).
Trust in His unfailing love because He is love. 1 John 4:8, ‘He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.’
Trust in His righteousness. Faith is not anxious but seeks to obey the Lord in all circumstances.
Abounding in goodness and truth
Firstly he worshipped (Exodus 34:8)
Secondly he interceded (Exodus 34:9)
b) Trust develops through relationship '…The just shall live by faith', Hebrews .
c) Levels of Knowing Him (1 John -14)
d) There are always greater heights to be reached in knowing Him.
3. Faith relies upon the word of the Lord. Psalm 119:49 ‘Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.’
a) The fruit of faith is produced through growing confidence in the promises of God.
b) Faith does not doubt the promises of God.
The promises of God are certain. 1 Corinthians ‘For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.’
c) Faith is not affected by difficult circumstances
· Faith trusts the promises of God even in the face of great difficulty. Psalm 91:2 ‘I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust’. Faith trusts even when things appear to go in the wrong direction. Job 13:15a ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:’
· Faith rejoices at all times in the Lord. Philippians 4:4. Looks beyond the situation to the Lord. Faith rejoices knowing that the Lord is in control even of the worst circumstances. Faith looks neither at the wind nor the waves but rejoices in the Lord.
· The fruit of faith allows the Christian to be a generous giver in the face of great difficulties, 2 Corinthians 9:7 'Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.' It allows the Christian to show kindness without regard to self interest. It rests in the knowledge that the Lord will supply all our needs, Philippians 'But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' A fearful Christian does not produce the fruit of faith. Fear will block up the channels of generosity. Our needs will take priority over anything else. Life becomes a bondage in which we live to provide for ourselves.
4. Faith is always victorious because in Christ we are more than conquerors. Romans , ‘…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.’
a) The Greek word for more than conquerors means literally ‘above an overcomer’ (hupernikao).
· We overcome the world through faith. 'For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.' (1 John 5:4) The world means the system of the world that is controlled by '…the lust of the flesh; the lust of the eyes and the pride of life', 1 John .
b) It is the life of Christ in us that overcomes.
1) The fruit of faith rests in the Lord.
2) The fruit of faith will trust in the character of the Lord.
3) The fruit of faith relies upon the word of the Lord
4) The fruit of faith allows us to be victorious in all things.
What should the student do?
1) Learn to rest in the Lord as a swimmer learns to rest in the water.
2) Get to know the Lord and learn to trust in His character.
3) Be saturated with the scriptures and rely totally upon the promises of God.
4) Let His life in us make us victorious in every situation.