1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NKJV)
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
I pray that today’s message
transition from a head knowledge into a heart revelation
and through the power and the person of the Holy spirit
renew our minds and transform our lives with Your word
in the name of Jesus.
Paul’s opening statement to the Corinthian Church on the gifts.
1 Corinthians 12:1 (NKJV)
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant…
Q: Is it safe to say there was some ignorance when it came to the gifts of the Spirit in the church at Corinth?
Q: Is it also safe to say there is some ignorance when it came to the gifts of the Spirit in the church today?
Three Things faith is not:
1) Being in denial
Romans 4:17 (NKJV)
…God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did…
QUOTE by Jack Hayford: “Faith is not calling those things that ARE as though they are NOT. Faith is calling things that are NOT as though they ARE.”
2) Not a feeling
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Notice that faith is not the feeling of hope but the substance of things hoped for.
3) Not simple optimism or positive thinking
S: We need to be optimistic and positive but that is not faith!
James 2:17 (NKJV)
…faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NASB)
…for we walk by faith, not by sight…
Faith is just only what we believe, it’s how we walk!
Two Kinds of Faith
Although we will talk about several kinds of faith, I’m going to group all faith into two categories:
1) Faith From God
2) Faith Towards God.
While Faith From God is actually the Gift of Faith, Faith Towards God could be best described as simple obedience.
· To have Faith Towards God you must activate your Faith From God.
· But, if you want more Faith From God you must increase your Faith Towards God.
· In other words, you can’t have Faith Towards God without Faith From God.
· Once you have Faith From God your Faith Towards God will grow.
To sum this up…
From, Towards, Towards, From, Towards, From, From, Towards.
Got it? Good.
On a serious note: this is why we’re going to simplify the subject of faith today.
Even though “Faith From God or the Gift of Faith” is where all faith begins, I want to talk about faith towards God first today.
1. Faith Towards God
Hebrews 6:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
S: The writer of Hebrews is expressing a frustration at the immaturity in the church due to a lack of foundation.
S: Today I am expressing the same frustration, but in many ways, I’m upset with pastors because many are not teaching all of God’s words.
S: They are picking and choosing the areas of scripture that tickle the ear.
1) Trusting Faith
Faith Towards God requires trusting in His word… ALL of His word!
Q: Why are so many in the church struggling with Faith Towards God?
STUDY: George Barna, president of Barna Research Group, reported that a study exploring the religious beliefs of the 12 largest denominations in America highlights the downward theological drift that has taken place in Christian churches in recent years. The study found that an alarmingly high number of church members have beliefs that fall far short of main stream Christianity. ONLY 41 PERCENT OF ALL ADULTS SURVEYED BELIEVED IN THE TOTAL ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE. Only 40 percent believed Christ was sinless, and only 27 percent believed Satan to be real.
Q: How can we ever have Faith Towards God if we don’t trust in His word?
2) Action Faith
Faith Towards God also requires action.
James 2:14 and 14-22 (NKJV)
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
Greek word for Works translates: deeds or action
Ancient Hebrew Culture believed that action preceded faith. If I act God will act.
Modern Western Culture is the opposite and thinks if I only believe, God will move or act on my behalf. When God acts I will act.
What does the Bible teach?
Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV)
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Q: What if you don’t ask, seek or knock?
Luke 6:38 (NKJV)
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Q: What if you don’t give or what if you’re stingy when you give?
S: Faith Towards God is obedience to God’s will not a personal desire.
Story: some time ago, during worship, I was praying to God for more faith.
Since then, I’ve understood that for me faith is simply obedience.
2. Faith From God
God is the originator of all faith.
Romans 12:3 (NASB)
…God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
1) Saving Faith
I believe Romans 12:3 refers to a saving faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Q: What is “the gift of God”? A: The Faith From God to be saved!
“Not of yourselves”, not only refers to the gift of salvation but also the Faith or ability to believe in the gospel!
That’s what, “not as a result of works” means. We wouldn’t even have the capacity to believe something as far-fetched as substitutionary atonement the measure of faith given to each person from God.
God gives us the ability to believe that we can be saved and this is called saving faith.
2) Healing Faith
The same rule applies to all of God’s gifts.
None of His gifts are a result of our works; they are a work of the Holy Spirit or could you imagine the boasting!
Let’s replace the word “saved” with the word “healed” and see if it works biblically.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
For by grace you have been “healed” through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Q: Does that work? Is that true?
Q: Can we all agree that healing is a work of God?
Consider this: the gift of healing is not the gift of you healing someone or even believing God can heal someone; it is the gift of knowing that someone wants God to heal them and that God wants to heal someone!
I believe that this kind of faith comes when God wants to do something not when we want God to do something.
My prayer for the dead motorcyclist verses my prayer for the man with the withered leg in the Chinese restaurant.
This is why everyone who was prayed for in the bible was healed!
They didn’t have a special ability that we don’t have today; they didn’t pray for anyone that God didn’t want them to pray for!
The Gift of Faith is Faith From God to know what He wants to do when He wants to do it and with whom He wants to do it with.
The Gift of Faith is “not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works so that no one may boast.”
The Gift of Faith or Faith From God, empowers us to trust in His will in all things and Faith Towards God is only acting or working or walking according to His will in all things.
May God gift us all with that sort of faith.
Right now, right here, today, is your opportunity to exercise the gift of FAITH TOWARDS GOD, to believe unto salvation. You should know, what is happening in you right now is supernatural. Our natural (carnal) mind cannot conceive of a virgin virgin birth, sinless life, a vicarious death and a risen savior!! However, because God has gifted to you the faith you need to believe, today, right now, you can believe the impossible and be saved for all eternity!!!
In a moment I’m going to pray a prayer with you for your salvation. The Holy Spirit is speaking to you right now and you need to heed His invitation.
Prayer of Salvation
Heavenly Father, you sent you Son, your only begotten Son to die in my place. I know I could never be good enough to deserve such an act of love nut today I act on the measure of faith you have given me to believe unto salvation. According to scripture, I repent of my sins, I believe in my heart and right now I’m confessing that Jesus is my savior, my Lord, my King. I serve you now for the rest of my life. I am loved, I am forgiven, I am forever saved!!!!!