Introduction: 1 Corinthians 12:7-10
- Three Different Kinds of Faith
Saving Faith – (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:17) = Gift Certificate
The Fruit of Faith/Faithfulness (Galatians 5:22 KJV) = Pineapple
The Gift of Faith (1 Corinthians 12:9) = A small, boxed gift w/ mustard seed inside
Romans 12:3 – A Measure of Faith! Paul is not thinking of saving faith in this passage.
Throughout scripture, salvation comes by grace through faith. This “saving faith” is so central to the gospel that we may automatically assume that every biblical mention of faith means “saving faith.” In Romans 12:3 however, saving faith is not what Paul has in mind. We can be confident of this because he applies the concept of quantity (measure) to this particular use of “faith”.
If there were different measures of saving faith then there would necessarily be different degrees of salvation. But scripture is clear: there is one flock (John 10:16) and “there is neither Jew nor Greek…slave nor free…male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) You are either born again or you are not. No believer can be more or less born again than any other believer, and likewise cannot be more or less saved than any other believer. As such, saving faith cannot be what Paul has in mind in this verse.
So, if Paul is not talking about saving faith, what does he mean by talking about a “measure of faith” assigned by God? In the context of Romans 12:3-8; Paul introduces the idea of a “measure of faith” in the context of God equipping every believer with:
Unique gifts with which to build up the body of Christ!
The amount of faith required to use their gifts effectively!
God Fully Equips You for Effective Service!
- The Gift of Faith (Little Gift Box with Mustard Seed) – (Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:5-6; 1 Corinthians 13:2)
The faith which we are talking about is — special faith — it’s something other than general faith or saving faith. It is a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit whereby a believer is empowered with special faith, or wonder-working faith, and it is beyond simple saving faith.
The gift of faith is the greatest of the three power gifts. And this gift is miraculous just as the rest of the gifts of the Spirit are miraculous.
The gift of faith is a gift of the Spirit to the believer in order that he might receive miracles. The working of miracles, on the other hand, is a gift of the Spirit given to the believer that he might work miracles. One gift receives, the other does something.
The working of miracles is active; it actively works a miracle. The gift of faith doesn’t work a miracle, but passively receives a miracle. In other words, the difference between the working of miracles and the gift of faith is that the gift of working of miracles actively does, and the gift of special faith passively receives.”
Daniel in the Lions Den (Daniel 6:23) He received a miracle.
Jesus exercised this gift in Mark 4:38 – sleeping the raging storm.
Daniel wasn’t bothered by the Lions in the Den.
Jesus wasn’t bothered by the storm.
Three Hebrews weren’t terrified by the furnace.
Throughout the Bible we see how the gift of faith worked primarily for people who were in danger. And through this gift of the Spirit, they possessed a calmness and quiet assurance that was supernatural.
Wigglesworth = “if you will take a step of ordinary faith, when you come to the end of that faith, very often this supernatural gift of special faith will take over.”
We often don’t receive/operate the gift of faith because we haven’t even exercised the faith we already have.
The Purpose of the Gift of Faith.
To Raise the Dead.
The three power gifts, or the three gifts that do something — the gift of faith, the gifts of healings, and the working of miracles — will very often work together. In the case of raising the dead, all three of these power gifts — the gift of faith, the gifts of healings, and the working of miracles — operate together.
To raise the dead, it takes supernatural faith — the gift of special faith — to call a person’s spirit back after it has left the body.
Then it takes the working of miracles because the body would have started to deteriorate, as in the case of Lazarus (John 11:39).
Raising the dead also takes gifts of healings because if the person who was raised from the dead wasn’t healed, whatever he died from would still affect his body and he would die again. So, the person would have to be healed too.
Therefore, all three of the power gifts are in manifestation when someone is raised from the dead.
- To Cast out Demons
In casting out demons, the gift of discerning of spirits and/or the gift of the word of knowledge, as well as the gift of faith, are in operation. If you don’t discern or see the spirit, very often the presence of the evil spirit is revealed through the word of knowledge. But the gift of faith still has to be exercised in casting out the spirit.
We can’t deal with the devil in our own strength. But God has given us His Word, His power, His authority, and all the spiritual equipment necessary to enforce Satan’s defeat in our own lives. And a part of that spiritual equipment God has given us is this supernatural gift of faith.
- To Sustain You in unusual circumstances. (1 Kings 17:3-6)
- To Protect You (Daniel 6)
- To Confer Blessing (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob)
- To lay hands on others to receive the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:5)
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he itby the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
The Gift of Faith
Elijah – controlling fire (I kings 18:38)
Elijah – fed and sustained (1 Kings 19:4,6)
Daniel – protected (Daniel 5:22)
Peter – inward calm – (Acts 12:6-11)
Closing: Hebrews 11:1-39 & Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV