Faith as a Fruit of the Spirit

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly that he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

The gospel is a joint effort.  We endeavor to live godly, and the Spirit transforms us.  We learn from the Scriptures and the Spirit gives us understanding.  We learn and trust God’s promises, and the Spirit adds more trust as needed.  In this way, our spirits are merged with the Spirit of God (the definition of fellowship).

Using the Characteristics of Faith handout, some of the passages imply that the Spirit builds each characteristic, thereby building faith.

  • Understanding of the resurrection as evidence
    • Colossians 2:12   See 1:9 – 12.  The Spirit builds spiritual understanding and knowledge and wisdom so that the faithful may better understand the resurrection.
  • Recognizing the need for a sacrifice (and knowing what a sacrifice is)
    • Hebrews 10:10 – 22  The idea that our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience (10:22) makes it easier to recognize the need for a sacrifice instead of making excuses.
  • Acceptance of the Word of God as true
    • John 17:20 – 22  The glory given to future followers includes faith
    • Ephesians 6:17  Paul asks for prayers to increase his faith
    • 1 Thessalonians 2:13  The Word effectively works in those who believe
    • 1 Peter 1:23 – 2:3  We grow up to salvation through taking in the Word
  • A realistic hope of heaven
    • Romans 4:16 – 5:5  Love is poured out into our hearts by the Spirit
    • Romans 8:20 – 24  We have the firstfruits of the Spirit
    • Romans 15:4, 13  That you may abound in hope by the power of the Spirit
  • Trust in the promises of God (implies knowing what the promises are)
    • Ephesians 1:13 – 14  The Spirit is a guarantee, so we see the promises working as the Spirit allows us to do what ordinary humans cannot do.
  • Taking on the divine nature (the obedience of faith)
    • Romans 8:13  By the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the body
  • Evangelism
    • 2 Corinthians 4:1 – 5:21  (4:7)  Outsiders praise God because of the things we do.