The Fruit of Faithfulness
If you’ve spent any significant time in Scripture, you’ve almost certainly encountered the word “faith” (or pistis in Hebrew). Mentioned several hundred times, both our faith in Jesus and God's faithfulness towards us is vital to our relationship and understanding of God.
What does the Bible say about faithfulness? As one of the fruits of the Spirit, the fruit of faithfulness requires firmness in conviction and the keeping of promises. As Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) explains, faith is “… the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” But to understand how the Holy Spirit works faithfulness in us, we must understand how God shows Himself faithful.
From the very beginning of His Word, we see God faithfully keeping His promises. Joshua 21:45 (NIV) states, “Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” Similarly, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (ESV) says, “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”
One of the ways God makes promises to us is through His covenants. The major covenants are the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants—the three that promise the coming of Jesus—and the Noahic and Mosaic Covenants.
In the Abrahamic Covenant, God promises Abraham and his descendants land, children, and blessings. God showed His faithfulness by blessing his barren, 90-year-old wife, Sarah, with a son and preserving that son and his future descendants.
He fulfilled the rest of His covenant in bringing Abraham to the Promised Land and bringing redemption through Jesus. Abraham also showed his faithfulness to God by trusting His promises—even nearly sacrificing his promised son, Isaac, on the altar.
In the Davidic Covenant, God promises to bless David’s line with the Messiah. This promise was fulfilled with the coming of Jesus, who is a direct descendant of David.
In the New Covenant, God promised to free His people from the Law by Jesus’ death and resurrection. This covenant would bring the forgiveness of sin, renewed hearts, and access to God through prayer. The fulfillment of this covenant was also the fulfillment of the Davidic and Abrahamic Covenants.
In the Mosaic Covenant, God establishes His Law with the people of Israel after He led them out from under the slavery of the Egyptian pharaohs. This covenant promised blessings if the Israelites were obedient and curses if they were disobedient. Throughout the Old Testament, you can see how God keeps this promise through the various struggles Israel encounters whenever they stray.
In the Noahic Covenant, God renews creation and promises to never destroy Earth again with a worldwide flood. This promise came in the form of a rainbow, the symbol of God’s covenant.