To wrap up our Fruits of the Spirit guest blog series, Pastor Ron Tucker shares with us about the spirit of Faithfulness. Pastor Ron serves as lead pastor of Grace Church in St. Louis, Missouri, who has partnered with Mercy for over 13 years.   

To understand faithfulness, a good place to start is in 2 Timothy 2.

2 Timothy 2:11-13

This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
 If we are faithless, He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

This creed follows a very simple if…then pattern. Three times Paul says that if we act a specific way, then we will experience a specific consequence. If we die for Jesus, we will then live with Jesus. If we endure persecution for Jesus, then we will get to reign with Jesus. But if we deny Jesus, then Jesus will deny us.

It’s a simple style: if this…then that. And Paul stuck to it three times in a row. But when he came to the fourth case, he did something different. Instead of telling us a consequence that will come from our actions, he told us that there is a situation in which our actions will have no effect at all on the other side of the equation. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful.” God’s faithfulness doesn’t depend on ours. Why not? Paul explains this very succinctly: God cannot deny Himself.

God’s faithfulness is not some external thing He possesses. It is actually a core part of His being. To become faithless for even a moment would be to deny His very nature. His faithfulness is a part of the very definition of God. It’s a key component of His DNA.

 Have you ever heard the old skeptic’s trap question: Can the all-powerful God create a rock that is too heavy for Him to lift? They think they’re so clever! If we say no, then they say He must not be all-powerful if He can’t create it. If we say yes, they say He can’t be all-powerful because He’s too weak to lift it. In reality, however, what they’ve really done is posed an illogical question. God, by definition, is all-knowing and wise. So He cannot do something illogical. He cannot create an unmarried husband because the definition of a husband is a man who is married. An unmarried husband is illogical. So too is the concept of God creating something that makes Him, not God. He cannot do stupid things because He is all-wise. He cannot sin because He is holy. And He cannot act faithlessly because He is faithfulness personified.

 God’s essence is defined by such attributes as holiness, purity, graciousness, mercy, love, and, as already noted, faithfulness. And that’s why we can trust Him.

God’s faithfulness enables us to have faith in God, to put our trust in Him. His faithfulness ensures us that He doesn’t change. Neither Malachi nor James could have declared this consistent, dependable attribute of God if faithfulness wasn’t core to His being. We can always count on Him.

Faith isn’t just about believing that God exists. It’s about trusting Him to be a rewarder of those who seek Him. It’s about trusting Him in a relationship. The demons believe God exists, but they don’t have the relationship in which they believe Him to be relational to them. They don’t believe in Him as their Savior. We do.

And because He has adopted us as His children and given us His Spirit, our DNA now contains the same faithfulness. It’s deep within our spiritual nature and is brought out into the open when we walk in the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is the produce grown through our spending time with God in worship, in prayer, and in the Word. As we behold His image in the Word and fellowship with Him in prayer, we gain more and more revelation of who He is and begin to reflect that in our own lives. That’s why the Apostle Paul was able to say, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”

Your faithfulness will stand out to those around you and give glory to God. People will come to see you as reliable, a man or woman of your word. They will see that you live up to your commitments. They will see that you remain steadfast concerning your integrity and morals. They will see your faithfulness to your spouse, your family, your employer, and to God. And that will open the door for you to share with them about God’s faithfulness and love.

Thank God for His faithfulness, and let’s lean into Him so that people will know God’s faithfulness by ours.

Ron Tucker grew up in a church where he learned to think of God as judgmental, demanding, and harsh. But as a young man in boot camp, he broke down and lashed out at God, declaring his decision to quit trying. That’s the moment he encountered God’s love and grace. He returned from boot camp a new man and immediately began telling his friends how much God loved them. They began meeting in his parents’ basement, and when they outgrew the basement, they became the youth ministry for a local church. A few years later, Ron founded Grace Church – Saint Louis, where he has served since 1978. Today he continues emphasizing the grace that brings us God’s love and to call Christians into a life of following Jesus. You can find Pastor Ron and Grace Church – Saint Louis on Facebook, YouTube, or their website linked here.

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