The Characteristics of a Christian, Part 7 – Faithfulness
Outline and Discussion Guide
What does success look like for you?
How does what you consider success to be guide your ambition your whole life? Or, how has your pursuit of success guided your life?
How does faithfulness as a Characteristic of a Christian shape and direct our view and pursuit of success?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23
What is faithfulness?
In the NT, the same word is used for “faith” and “faithfulness”, the variation is in our translation. How does this affect how we understand faithfulness?
Two ways that Jesus instructs us to learn faithfulness in our pursuit of success:
1) Jesus instructs us to learn faithfulness with our material resources (Time, Talents, Treasures)
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”Jesus in Luke 16:10-13
Why is this passage about faithfulness more than money?
When we use our time, talents, and treasures faithfully, we use them for the glory of God and good of others in addition to our own lives.
What are ways that we use our time, talents (abilities), and treasures (wealth and possessions) unfaithfully?
How does stewardship (earning, budgeting, giving, etc.) facilitate faithfulness?
How can we be sure that when we buy a house, car, gadget, etc. a faithful use of resources?
Does faithful use of our time require us to schedule every second of our lives?
What are some important abilities that often go unnoticed? (i.e. empathy, listening, or cooking)
How have you used an ability to glorify Jesus and benefit someone else?
2) Jesus instructs us in Matthew 23:23 to learn spiritual faithfulness by trusting in his work rather than our own religious and spiritual abilities.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.Jesus in Matthew 23:23
Why do we boast in our own moral or religious actions rather than the Gospel?
How is Christianity more than religion?
How does morality and religious duty fit into our relationship with Jesus?
Can we know if we’ve done enough for God to accept us? Why does God accept us?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9
What does it mean for God to be faithful?
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.Deuteronomy 7:9