“To another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:9; Amplified Bible).
Faith is believing in something that the physical senses can’t detect or deduct. Everyone believes something. It’s impossible not to have faith. Some have faith in evolution. They may call it science, but science is the same for the evolutionist and the creationist alike. Historical science data doesn’t change for anyone. The difference is how they approach the evidence. The interpretation is based on what they believe.
Faith in God is founded on what God says, just like faith in you is founded on what you say. For instance, I have no faith that you will pay my bills for the month. Why? Because you never said you would. If you said you would pay my bills, and I knew you to be truthful, I would believe you. I either have faith in your word or I don’t.
Faith in God is based on our knowledge of what God’s will is, and His will is found in His word: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
If we believe God’s word, we will act on what He says. We will say what He says, because we agree with Him, even when our circumstances are contrary to what He says. Why? We don’t have to believe something if we already have it in our possession. For instance, I don’t have to believe my wife is in the house with me, if she’s sitting beside me. But if I’m at work and she calls me and says she’s home from work, I would take her word for it and believe she is at home. I don’t see her at home, but I believe what she says. If someone were to ask me where my wife was, I would say she’s at home. Believing God’s word is the same way.
When I get to heaven, I don’t have to believe in heaven, because I’m there. Faith is believing in your heart something that you can’t prove in the natural. There may be evidence, but evidence calls out a possibility. In the end we must decide what we will believe.
Jesus said, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:22, 23).
Faith in God starts by saying what we believe in our hearts. Jesus didn’t say we needed to understand with our heads, but we must believe down deep from our hearts. Our hearts can believe when our heads doubt. The doctrine of the Trinity is a good example.
According to Jesus, faith in operation looks like this:
- We need to SAY what we believe. We can believe what God says because He doesn’t lie. Find what He says in the Bible and say what He says.
- We need to BELIEVE what we say. Just saying something doesn’t bring results. But the dichotomy is if we say something long enough, we will believe it. So we can say what God says because He doesn’t lie, and His word will grow in out heart until be believe it. On-the-other-hand, this spiritual law works for everything we say — good or bad, God’s word or satanic influence.
- We need to believe from our HEART. Our heads may not understand, but from down inside we believe.
- We must not DOUBT in our heart.
- We must believe in our heart that we HAVE IT when we say it, not when we physically have it. As I said before, if we physically have something, we no longer have to believe we have it.
This is how faith operates. This is how God did it when He created everything, and this is what Jesus did when He cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:12–14). This also is how we got born again (Romans 10:9, 10). This is the way faith in God works.
Understanding The Context
When the Bible speaks of faith it may be in the context of one of three ways:
- The faith. That is, the Christian faith as whole.
- General or saving faith. That is, our personal faith in God. The kind of faith that we use to get saved, our needs met, and prayers answered.
- And the gift of [wonder working] faith. That is, when God joins a measure of His faith with ours, whereby we can believe for something that we don’t have the faith ourselves to believe.
In order to get a better idea of what gift of faith is, we’ll review what “The Faith” is and what “General Faith” is.
In Peter’s commentary of “add to your faith” (2 Peter 1:5–9), he’s writing of adding to our Christian faith. Obviously, we’re not adding this to a prayer of faith: that is, a prayer that we believe we receive a petition when we pray (Mark 11:24). In Peter’s commentary we’re adding to our Christian walk a Godly lifestyle.
When we witness about Christ, we’re sharing the faith with others.
The Christian faith is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God come in the flesh as a man, boar our sins on the cross, was resurrected from the dead, and sits at the right hand of God.
General or Saving Faith
Saving faith is a gift: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Though the faith we get from God when we’re saved is a gift, it should not be confused with the gift of [wonder-working] faith, which is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
Saving faith comes by hearing God’s word (Romans 10:17) and is the faith God gives us when we’re born again. We can grow in saving, or general, faith (2 Thessalonians 1:3), and we are to use our faith in our prayer life (Mark 11:23, 24).
General faith connects us to “the faith,” and makes us a part of “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
The Gift of [Wonder-Working] Faith
The gift of faith is a supernatural manifestation of the Spirit of God to believe something that otherwise would be impossible for us to believe. It receives a miracle from God that is beyond our capability to believe for. We don’t grow in it as we can with saving faith, and it doesn’t happen by reading God’s word. It is a manifestation from the Holy Spirit working through a believer.
We’ll take up with gift of faith in the next lesson
Stay strong and prepared!