Bible Think Tank

This site is designed to help you interact with others about God's Word. I further some thoughts we developed during morning and evening gatherings at church. I have my NT translations from the original Greek to English. Also, I have book reviews and other current events.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

SGs - Faith

What is the Gift of Faith?

See the following Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 12:9

The spiritual gift of faith is a different "thing" than saving faith. All Christians possess saving faith and saving faith IS a gift from God (Eph 2:8-10). However, the spiritual gift of faith is beyond saving faith. Even in the text, we see this "to another is given the gift of faith by the same Spirit." Some have it, others do not have it.

So what is it? I think the best text which explains this gift is Jesus' words about faith in Matthew 17:14-21
14 When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15 "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 "I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him." 17 And Jesus answered and said, "You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me." 18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" 20 And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. 21 "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
So faith is described by Jesus as an ability to believe impossible things and trust God to accomplish them for His Name's sake. And how can it be done? Through prayer to God (v21). Notice in this passage it is certainly miraculous. The context is driving out demons. Jesus' other example is the moving of mountains (literal or figurative) Paul cites this allusion again in the very next chapter of 1 Corinthians in 13:2 "if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing."Again, Faith is believing that God will act in an impossible way for His Name's sake and asking Him to do it.

Who Had This Gift in the Bible?

The people that come to my mind are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Listen to what they said to the king when they faced the fiery furnace.
17"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." (Daniel 3:17-18)
Others who had this gift are listed in the faith chapter, Hebrews 11. Certainly many NT examples can be listed. Compare Zecahriah's lack of this kind of faith with Mary's possession of this kind of faith in Luke 1.



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