The Gift of Faith


1 Corinthians 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
Verse 7 calls the gifts “manifestations of the Spirit”.
Wherever faith “pistis” (Greek) ha dath (Hebrew) occurs in the BIble, it always agrees wih the definition in Hebrews 11:1:
Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
By these gifts operating in a believer, the presence of the invisible Holy Spirit in that believer is made manifest through that which is seen, or heard or perceived by any other of the senses. In each case, the results produced are within the realm of the senses.
The gifts are manifestations, not of the personality of the believer, but that of the Holy Spirit within the believer. Hence each  of these, including faith is supernatural: the results are higher than the believer could achieve by his own ability.
That is why the gift of faith is not something that can be produced by autosuggestion, or visualization, or “meditation”.
Like all the gifts, faith is distributed at the sovereign discretion and initiative of the Holy Spirit, not of the believer, neither of the person who laid hands on the believer.
Like all the gifts, faith is given for the common good. It has a practical end in view. It is a tool, not a toy (said Bob Mumford).
Let’s look at Jesus’ demonstration and teaching concerning supernatural faith.
Matthew 21:18  Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
19  And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
20  And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
21  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
The same incident in Mark:
Mark 11:12  And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
13  And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
14  And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
19  And when even was come, he went out of the city.
20  And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
21  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
22  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. (Literally, Have God’s faith).
23  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Other than faith, the only other condition is forgiveness:
25  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
In the exercise of the gift of faith, its quantity is not important, only its quality. If it is God’s faith, it doesn’t matter if it’s as small as a mustart seed, which is one of the smallest of seeds. Even that quantity of faith can, not just wither a fig tree, but even move a mountain!
Or calm a storm:
Luke 8:22  Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
23  But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
24  And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
25  And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
The implication is clear. Jesus’ rrebuking of the storm wind and the raging water was an action of faith. Since Jesus, though He was the Son of God, functioned on earth as a man, it must have been that He looked to His Father Who gave Him the “faith of God” with which to control the winds and the waves. Since he rebuked his disciples, the second implication is that if they had looked to His Father, they too would have received the faith of God.
At any rate, that is how it seems to me.
Getting things from God was what Jesus showed His disciples in His Prayer-Primer in Matthew 6, where He taught them what is commonly known as the “Our Father.”
He also showed them the importance of prayer by spending regular time alone with His Father in prayer.
Had the disciples followed His teaching and example, they would have developed The Fruit of Faith, and would have had to hear the Lord’s rebuke.
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