Fruits of Faith

Teaching of Virtue

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Fruits of Faith

By divine faith, one apprehends harmony with God’s will on earth and eventual union with God in Heaven as the supreme good and ultimate end. At this, one is infused with the virtue of hope. By faith, one also apprehends the unconditional power of God’s love—and is moved to be an expression of that love. Upon this, one is infused with the virtue of charity (God’s love). “And now,” as Scripture says, “faith, hope, and love abide…and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Charity (which is love) is indeed the greatest of virtues, but faith is still the first, for hope and charity are the fruits of faith, not the other way around. Faith that abounds in hope, and is a reflection of God’s love, is true and living faith.

Faith of this kind puts one in right-relationship with God, self, and neighbor—assenting to the Holy Spirit to begin the sanctifying work of spiritual formation—ever molding, directing, and bringing one’s intellect, will, and passions (the entirety of one’s being) into conformity with the will of God. Throughout this lifelong process, Christ takes ever-deeper-root in the believer, progressively freeing them of their sinful traits, and bringing to full-flower the character qualities of Christ.

Upon faith then, stands not just the act of believing, but the rightly-ordered way of living; the way of love. Faith inspires action. Hence, the fruits of a virtuous life, by grace, spring from the fountain of faith.

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Related Scripture

“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NRSVCE)

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” — John 15:5 (NRSVCE)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.” — John 15:1-2 (NRSVCE)

“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” — John 15:8 (NRSVCE)

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” — ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬-‭5‬ (‭NRSVCE‬‬)

“...‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” — John 7:38 (NRSVCE)

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." — Lamentations 3:22-23 (NRSVCE)

“...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..." — Galatians 5:22-23 (NRSVCE)

“You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name." — John 15:16 (NRSVCE)

“so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God." — Colossians 1:10 (NRSVCE)

Related Quotes

“As soon as I believed there was a God, I understood I could do nothing else but live for him, my religious vocation dates from the same moment as my faith: God is so great. There is such a difference between God and everything that is not.” — St. Charles de Foucauld

“The fruit of faith is love.” — St. Teresa of Calcutta

“Living a Christian life provides for the growth of faith. There have been many saints who have gone before to guide us, but I like the ones who are simple, like St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus…she did ordinary things with extraordinary love.” — St. Mother Teresa

“Few souls understand what God would effect in them if they should give themselves entirely into his hands and allow his grace to act.” — St. Ignatius of Loyola

“Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.” — Max Lucado

“The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Assurance is the fruit that grows out of the root of faith." — Stephen Charnock

“Continually exercise this virtue of faith, for it places thee near to thy last end, after which thou strivest, and brings thee near to the object of thy desires and thy love.” — Mary of Agreda

"The fruit of prayer is the deepening of faith, and the fruit of faith is love, and the fruit of love is service, and the fruit of services is peace. Works of love are works of peace." — St. Mother Teresa

"The truth is that, though we were justified by faith alone, the faith that justifies is never alone [it always produces fruit, “good works,”…a transformed life]." — J.J. Packer

"Biblically speaking, faith and faithfulness stand to each other as root and fruit." — J. Hampton Keathley

"We are responsible to clothe ourselves with Christlike character, but we are dependent on God’s Spirit to produce within us His 'fruit.'" — Jerry Bridges

"The Spirit never lies dormant and idle within the soul: He always makes His presence known by the fruit He causes to be borne in heart, character, and life." — J.C. Ryle

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Lesson Plan

For your family, small group, or personal reflection.

STEP 1: Introduction

Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of the fruits of faith. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."

STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)

Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.

STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection

  • When your faith increases, do you also experience an increase of hope and charity (love)? If so, in what ways? (please explain)
  • Why is faith the first virtue, even before charity (love)—the greatest of virtues?
  • What fruits do you see in your life when you make nurturing your faith a priority?
  • Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?
  • Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer

Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.

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