Before Easter, we started to look at the Spiritual Gifts. From a number of verse in the Bible, we can find a list that could take us well into the next summer, but I want to cover as many as possible before I return to the US. I believe that when we can see and understand our gifts that the Lord has given to His Church, the better we are to work for His Glory and for the health of the Body because we are working and living in our Giftedness.
So far, we have looked at Wisdom and Knowledge. If you want to look at them again, please go to ICCS’s web page and read over the two weeks of introduction and one week of instruction on these first gifts.
First, a quiz: 8 questions on Gifts,
The more important the Spiritual gift the more mature and spiritual the person. T/F
The major evidence of the Holy Spirit is a person’s life is his/her ability to speak in tongues. T/F
We must ask God for the Spiritual Gift we want. T/F
A person “under the influence” of the Spirit can’t help shouting out. T/F
Some Christians have little to contribute to the Church. T/F
In Church meetings, only the pastor should teach, because he’s usually the only one with seminary training. T/F
There is no real test for ‘spirituality.’ T/F
Some people are more important than others in the church as in every other situation. T/F
Again, it is important that we are not ignorant, as Paul put it, concerning Spiritual Gifts. When we look at this next GIFT, the gift of Faith, as a Spiritual gift, I find that it is way different than I first thought.
"Is anyone up there?"
"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe Me?"
"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can't hang on much longer."
"That's all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."
A pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"
There are many verses that deal with faith...
... Without Faith it is impossible to please God.
... Add to your faith…
... Lord, increase my faith…
... Unless you have works and faith…
... Faith alone!
All these verses deal with an overall giftedness of Faith. God gives Faith to His People. (All gifts are from His hand anyway…) It is one of the gifts that is given to each of us—each who have come to believe in Him as Lord and Master. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Therefore, FAITH, as it is, is ours—all of ours—to use, to add to and to grow in.
The issue of a special gift called the Gift of Faith goes much further. And one who has this special gift is really set apart from the others in the Body because of the depth of the gift. ... It doesn’t make them more mature, just gifted.
How it is used and how it develops is key. The main reason Paul brings this up to this church and in other places in his writings is to remind us that we are united in our ministries to the one Body: the Church. God’s Holy Spirit hands out or bestows these gifts “as He wills” (1 Cor 12:11) not as we will or want. None of us should complain about the gift they have nor should any believer boost about them either. One Body; One God.
The gift of Faith. This has to do with believing God for what He wants to do or accomplish in the Church’s ministry … and all for His Glory … that He will lead and provide for us along the way.
The problem is, we who have a Faith in God and a relationship with Him ALREADY have Faith. This gift was given so that we COULD believe. Apart from Him giving that to us, we would still be in darkness and in our sin. Forgiveness is one of the end products of Faith. It is impossible to please God without Faith. So is this something else? Something bigger?
How strong does an ability have to be before we call it a Spiritual Gift? How much teaching ability needs to happen before it is called a spiritual gift of teaching? Or with evangelism before it is recognized as a gift of evangelism? How many times would a person have to pray for healing and the person gets healed before it is considered a gift of healing?
The Bible does not answer that question. Paul does, however, speak of the gifts as being useful for the building up of the Church. [1Cor 14:12]
You can’t go through Life without it; Never leave home without it!
A person with this Gift is fast to believe God for things they may never see or experience. They would tend to be an optimist and have the trait of being strong on perseverance. They, as well, have a tendency to be future and change-oriented.
You would be great in new ministries or ones that are developing because you see those significant obstacles are not a problem for you. You are keenly aware of the Spiritual warfare around you yet you are not afraid. You tend to prosper on opportunities for prayer. You also might be fed up with the status quo and might be bored without a challenge before you.
ILL: Faith honors God and God honors faith!
It would be very important for you to understand the difference between intuition (insight-without actual evidence) and presumption (conjecture- based on incomplete information or experience). Faith in God is the belief in or devotion to or trust in the One Who made us!
The following are statements that fit with a person who has the Gift of Faith: Things they would feel and say.
“I find it natural and easy to trust God to answer my prayers.”
“I have confidence in God’s continuing provision and help, even in difficult times.”
“I believe that God will help me to accomplish great things.”
“I trust God in circumstances where success cannot be guaranteed by human effort alone.”
... Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends. ~ George Muller.
“I am convinced of God’s daily presence and action in my life.”
“I am regularly challenging others to trust in God.”
“I can move forward in spite of opposition or lack of support when I sense God’s blessing on an undertaking.”
Now, there might be some of you that could answer some of these questions to the positive but you really don’t see, in the practical life how that faith could be your gift. Join the club. We all have a gift. We all do not have the same gift. There are times we ‘might’ be stronger in one area at a certain time of your Walk of Faith. It might mean, for example, that you are expressing a gifting of Faith but not the gift of Faith.
However, if these statements ring true for you, you would instill great confidence in the Fellowship when you exercise this gift. When you are no longer ignorant of your spiritual gift. When you understand how to use this gift in the Body, all glory will go to the One who granted you the gift. As Paul encourages young Timothy in 1 Tim 4:14-Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Who has this Gift of Faith?
Faith in God makes great optimists.
Faith's duty: Romans 1:17--live by it. God's way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: . "The person in right standing before God by trusting Him really lives."
"The righteous will live by faith."