Understanding Bible Faith! Do I Have All the Faith I Need For Right Now? Part 13
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 13 in a series of Bible studies answering the questions about the Reality of Bible Faith. What it is, where it came from, how I get it, why it is important and how you can use it. I have taught many things in this series so I will not attempt to repeat them all again today. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back to Part 1 and start reading there first. In previous lessons I taught that faith was measurable meaning every Christian believer does not possess the same amount of faith. That teaching raised the question that many people have; does that mean I need more faith if the situation that I am facing is greater or more severe? Well I listened to a TV preacher this week that said that every Christian already had all of the faith of Jesus available to them right now. This preacher then implied that the only problem that a Christian possessed was simply that they did not know how to use the faith that they already had. In a way I agree with those statements and when I heard only his Bible verses that he gave he made a very convincing lesson. But he also failed to mention or take into account all of the other scriptures that I have given you that contradicts what he was teaching. The Bible is way too complicated for us to take one set of truths and attempt to make them the entire truth. If we do this then we are claiming to be smarter than God and choosing to ignore what else God says on the subject. There are over 220 verses in the New Testament alone that directly mention the word “faith” and then there are many other indirect related verses that must also be considered on the related dependent subjects of believing, beliefs, confidence, expectation, fear, doubt, unbelief and worry to name a few. In order to confidently teach any subject we are going to have to know the majority if not all of the verses that are related to the subject of faith. For example here is one verse that my TV preacher brother must have ignored on the subject of faith:
2Co 10:15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
Paul in writing to the Corinthian church and is looking down the road to the future when their faith would be increased in order that they can become a greater blessing to others. Wow, I do not know if you heard what I just said. Paul does not tell the Corinthians that they already have ALL FAITH and that they just need to learn how to use it. Paul clearly says your faith is growing and you need to continue to allow it to grow. The Greek word translated as “increased” means to grow, increase or enlarge. If you can enlarge your faith, then you do not have all of the faith that you could have. There is a definite statement of conditionality placed upon their faith increasing. It is very clear to me that they do not possess enough faith to accomplish what Paul is looking for or expecting for them to use right now. Do you understand this? Faith is like a growing plant or even the fruit on a tree. Spiritual growth is like natural growth. When you are born again as a spiritual child you do not yet possess the fullness of all love, joy, peace or any other fruit of the spirit. Spiritual fruit grows on spiritual trees and it is not something that just magically appears and is there instantly. People are the spiritual trees that will produce the spiritual fruit, if they feed their spirits and water their spirits with the word of God to allow this fruit to grow. The word “faith” is included as one of the nine fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5. Planting seeds and getting harvests is how practically everything in the spiritual realm works. The concept of planting seeds and growing fruit is a natural concept that applies directly to the spiritual realm. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit and not something that you have all of the moment you become a Christian.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
In an earlier Bible lesson on faith I taught you about how faith comes. Reading in Romans 10:17, we know that Bible Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Therefore Bible faith has a staring origination point that is totally dependent upon you first hearing God’s Word. If there is no hearing, then there is no ability to have faith in God. When you were saved it was because you heard a preacher tell you the truth about Jesus Christ and you believed it and you accepted and confessed Him as your Lord. Does this concept of hearing God’s Word and getting faith carry forward beyond salvation or does it end at salvation? In other words is a Christian when they are born again automatically given all the faith that they will ever need as my Christian brother was teaching? Or is faith still based upon the foundational principle found in Romans’ 10:17 of hearing God’s Word and getting faith? According to my TV preacher friend, you already have all of the faith given to you by God and you just need to learn how to use it or to apply it. If that was true, ignoring Romans 10:17 Christians would never need to hear the Word of God again after they were saved. There would be no need to go to church, no need to study the Bible and no requirement to listen to another preacher. Just go get saved and you got it made. Unfortunately this is not how I have discovered that spiritual things work.
The problem with this philosophical doctrine of automatic faith maximization is that it relieves Christians of any further responsibility to learn more about faith and it reduces or oversimplifies the truth that you only need to learn to use what you have already been given by God. Think with me about the children of Israel looking into the Promised Land of God. Did God not say I have given you the land? Did they automatically possess this land? Obviously they did not and they still had personal responsibilities to perform in order to possess what was clearly given to them by God. My point is that just because God has given you something does not mean that you have it in your possession and can use it. One of the verses that my TV preacher brother used was the one that I already addressed in this series so I will not repeat all of that information again. This verse was found in Romans 12:3 and it is one that many preachers like to jump onto and claim that every Christian has been given the same exact measure of faith by God and they therefore reason that there is no need to try to increase it, just use it. What we need to understand is that the Bible holds more than one truth on any given subject. We are therefore required to learn them all and then to balance each of them to become aware of the actual overall truth. I keep saying this and I will continue to say it, the Bible is much more complex than you think. Let me show you another verse in the Bible about faith and then you tell me how this verse conflicts directly with what the unnamed TV preacher said:
Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Can you read? Can you understand the words written in this verse? If God had given to everyman the Measure of Faith why is there differing proportions of faith that is required to prophesy? The Greek word translated as “proportion” means a piece or a part and not the whole amount. I guess you could reason away this verse by saying that you have all faith, but that it only requires a small part of the whole to prophesy. That is certainly one way to look at. However, I do not believe that is what God is saying. If it was, then you should stand up in church next Sunday and start to prophesy and see exactly what comes out of your mouth and if any of it actually comes to pass. If it does not happen like you said then you are a false prophet. I personally believe whatever we do for God is done by our faith in Him. But that does not mean that we already have all of His faith. It means we need to learn to use the small part that we do possess and then allow it to grow into a greater quantity. The usage of the word proportion clearly implies growth potential to me. I guess you could choose to look at it differently if you want to. Let me show you another potential set of conflicting verses with contradictory information for my TV preacher brother:
1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Paul is writing about spiritual gifts that come from the Spirit of God that have been given to different men and women in the church. It is very clear that some have some of these gifts and probably many others do not. The Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge are two impartations of the Spirit of God that I have seen demonstrated by only a very few preachers. These are very clearly not spiritual gifts that everyone possesses, only a very few. Now we continue to the next verse 9 and it says to another meaning not the same one as before God has been given the gift of Faith. Uh oh? That seems to be a major problem for my TV preacher brother. This verse is NOT saying that God has given to every man this gift, is it? Why is it even necessary for God to give any man this spiritual gift of faith if God has already given to EVERY man “the measure of faith” as the TV preacher has claimed? I think that is a very excellent question to try to figure out the answer to. My TV preacher brother probably could not answer this question or didn’t think of this question, so he must have just ignored this information. What is the gift of faith? For that matter what are any of the gifts that are mentioned in these verses referring to? If you do not know what they are then you are certainly going to write them off as being unrelated or unimportant. Every spiritual gift mentioned in these verses is a SUPERNATURAL manifestation of the Spirit of God through a human being to accomplish a divine purpose on the earth. Why is this necessary? Wow that is another excellent question we need to answer today. I believe it is necessary because God can only accomplish things that we cannot in our own ability or power if we cooperate and believe. God occasionally gives to us spiritual gifts such as the working of miracles to confirm His word that has been taught. God will also use the Word of Wisdom or the Word of Knowledge for a sign to help those present. God will use other of the spiritual gifts as ways to strengthen, build up and to edify the body of Christ.
Let’s go back to faith and leave the other spiritual gifts alone for now. Why if a Christian already has all the faith of Jesus would it be necessary for God to give them this spiritual gift of faith? In one of my faith lessons I taught that Jesus always claimed that it was the individual faith of the person receiving that was the determining factor mentioned for anything supernatural that occurred on the earth. If you do not understand this concept you better go back and reread that lesson again. This meant that nothing happened supernaturally on the earth unless a man or a woman believed God and His word and placed their faith in only those factors. This is why everything in the Old Testament occurred. This is why everything in the Gospels occurred. This is why everything in the modern church still occurs today. For example in the O.T., the deliverance of Israel from Egypt was based upon the faith and obedience of Moses. If Moses did not have any faith in God and would not have believed what was spoken to him then the children of Israel would still be in captivity or God would have had to find another deliverer who did believe Him. What about Noah and the great flood of the planet? Could God have saved Noah anyway, the animals and the blood line of Christ if Noah had not believed God and obediently built the boat instructed by God by faith? You see it was only Noah’s faith and obedience in God’s word that caused the supernatural power of God to manifest. I probably will get some people, who disagree with me, but you go through the Bible and you see the involvement of the partnership of man with any major event of supernatural demonstration of the power of God and then you tell me one (other than creation before there was a man) that God did independently from man. Even the virgin birth required Mary to believe in the words of an angel sent by God. It was clearly her faith that allowed God to come into the world in the flesh. What I’m getting at is that faith allows God access into the world and the lack of faith prohibits or reduces His ability to do anything. I know I’m going to get a lot of religious commenters from these statements that try to tell me that God is sovereign and that He can do whatever He desires at any time. Ignorant people often say things that are problematic to others who actually know more about the subject under discussion.
Understand what the gift of faith is. The gift of faith is the supernatural faith of God present inside a man to accomplish something that a man would not normally be able to accomplish without it. Also note that none of these spiritual gifts are resident full time in anyone. They are there temporarily as the Spirit wills to accomplish a single goal and never given at the will of the man or woman using them. They are given by God for a short time and they are then dormant. Even Jesus Christ who was God in the flesh and had the Spirit of God without measure could not operate in all of the spiritual gifts all the time. You go through the Gospels and read them very closely. You will see every manifestation of the spiritual gifts (except tongues and interpretation) mentioned in the ministry of Jesus Christ at one time or the other. But at other times Jesus could not do any miracles because of the unbelief of the people present (Mark 6:5) and then other times Jesus did not even know who it was that touched his garment and got healed (Mark 5:30). The presence of Jesus at the porches healed only one man and there were probably hundreds of others who did not get healed (John 5:2-3). It clearly shows the manifestation of the Spirit of God was totally dependent upon the Spirit of God and not the man that was given the gifts. I hope you understand these concepts. If not, please ask me questions and I’ll try to answer them more clearly.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I’ll wrap this lesson up with this verse for today. I find this verse very interesting in the chosen phrasing of the translators. Jesus Christ is called the “Author” of our faith. Clearly this implies to us that our faith has a starting or originating point. The Greek word “author” technically means a chief leader. However I love the use of the word “author” in this verse. In the English language the term author means the writer of words. Since we learned that faith comes by hearing God’s Words earlier we know that faith is a spiritual word based system given to us from God. Without God’s words there would be no Bible faith on the earth. In the context within this verse Jesus is also called the “finisher” or “completer” of our faith. It sounds like a man writing a book. It sounds like the book was started at some point in time and then progressively grown through phases or chapters to an ultimate end of completion. Writing a book is like growing a garden of words. This is what God is doing whether you realize it or not. That is how I view our faith and God’s Word. I believe that the hearts of men and women are the new writing tablets of God’s divine authorship and I can give you Bible verses to back that belief:
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Did you see what God says in Hebrews 8:10? God says I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their spirits. How does God get His words into or onto your spirit? Is that an automatic one time occurrence or is that an ongoing continual process? My personal faith in God had a starting point and my faith is now increasing based upon my knowledge of God’s word and it will eventually be completed because of the continuing work of the Spirit of Christ within me. This is the continuing ever increasing faith and that represents a state of transitional passage from faith to ever increasing faith (Rom 1:17). This tells me that we are responsible for participating in the spiritual growing process of our faith. This tells me that it is not automatic or that we have already been given all of the faith that we need. If our faith was already complete, we would no longer need a Jesus to be our finisher. Wow, I hope you understood what I just said. I am still awaiting a completed work of my savior Jesus Christ and I hope you are also. But, I also have a role to play. It is only with my involvement that God will continue to write on my heart His Word. Jesus is the Author, His word is the spiritual ink, my heart represents His blank pages and I get them written onto my heart by hearing them over and over. This is how things work and when you understand that you will be on the path to growing up into a faith giant killer like David.
I have attempted to teach you another basic faith lesson today. No you do not have all of the faith that you need to do everything that you need to do for God. If you did, then we would all be in heaven right now. Ask yourself this question, do I know and understand the entire Bible? If you answered no, then you do not have all of the faith that you could have. We are all still growing in the knowledge of Him and we better all be building our faith in increasing stages. I really did not talk directly about how much faith you need for each situation. I believe that it takes greater faith for bigger situations. In other words there are people today that have faith for millions of dollars that at one time they did not have faith for even two dollars’ worth of food. My TV preacher friend was one of those individuals. His testimony was that he and his wife went a long time without food because they had no money when they first started in the ministry. Now he teaches on TV and it costs him literally millions of dollar to pay the costs of TV time. Truly it is self-evident that his faith has increased over the years because his knowledge of God’s word also increased over the years at the same time. So if you want to be a TV preacher and think it is automatic success, just try it and we will watch you fail. I have seen many preachers on TV fail and they are no longer around. It is very clear to me that those who succeed are those that believe God will supply the need and those that fail are those that ask for donations from people. Faith is always the factor for success. But faith as we saw in Romans 12:6 is proportional. God said for us to do thing according the proportion of our faith. It was implied that we could overextend our faith and fail. If you want to start a TV ministry, first start with a group in your house and build your faith to grow to the millions of viewer level. If you fail with 4 in your house then you will fail even more with 4 million on TV. So faith is a factor and faith grows but there is also another matter that needs to be taken into account. Jesus taught us that even with a mustard seed size of faith we could move a mountain (Mat 17:20). A mountain represents a symbolic great obstacle or problem. So we must balance the fact that we do not have all of the faith that we could have with the fact that we just might have enough faith to solve at least some of our problems we are facing right now. What I recommend is that you prioritize your problems. Maybe they are financial, marital, children, or job related, emotional or even physical health related. Then go find all of the scriptures you can find on that subject that you deem to be your greatest need. Finally, feed your spirit on them daily speaking them out loud to yourself so that you can hear them to cause faith to come. There will come a time very soon after you do this continually that faith will become resident in our heart to solve your problem in that area. I also recommend that you do not start with the greatest most severe problem and combine every related need at the same time. To overwhelm your faith can be disastrous. It is usually best to start with the smaller things first and then work to the larger things like my TV minister example. Get faith for your daily natural food needs and then grow your faith to the millions of dollars of TV time costs. My TV preacher brother did not start on TV, he spent many, many years not on TV learning God’s word and growing in faith. It is like David in the Old Testament. He started watching sheep and grew to be King of Israel. David killed lions and bears before he ever tried to take down the giant facing Israel. Grow in faith and learn how faithful God is with your small successes and then greater things will come to allow you to have larger victories.
I hope and pray that you have learned more about the subject of Bible faith than you knew before. This is always my goal. I want to provide spiritual knowledge and insight to help you to grow spiritually. Thanks for taking the time to study the Bible with me today on the subject of faith. My guess is that I’m not even close to being finished with this topic but it will help me to know if you have any specific questions in any area. So drop me a comment and share anything that you might be struggling with and I will do my best to try to be a blessing to you. So until next time, may God continue to bless you with all the knowledge and spiritual wisdom of Jesus Christ. Amen.
If you would like to continue to study in this series you may go to “Part 14“.
Posted on July 25, 2011, in Bible Study, Faith, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Faith, God, Jesus, Life, Religion, Truth. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.
I just want to say Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that’s within me praise His Holy name.
Thank you so very much.
You are certainly very welcome. God bless you.
Thanx fr the wonderful teaching. Would u say christians who have anxiety or ocd have no or little faith in God?
Love you Agapegeek… Your insight to the Word of God is none to compare.
Thanks for making the Word very simple for me to understand. I have learnt a lot that i knew nothing about.
Thank you and God Bless.
We are blessed indeed
Thank you and God Bless you.
I looked at John 5:2, Im confused. The man didnt know who Jesus was when he had faith in what Jesus told him to pick up his pallet and walk. They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk ‘?” 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.
I understand that jesus is the word of god,and that the man did what the word said,but without the knowledge of who was speaking, how is this mans faith part of the equation? It seems to me most everyone else that was healed knew who Jesus was or had heard of what he was doing before they where healed.
Does one need to know God and Christ to be healed . It seems to me this man had no idea who jesus is. Agian Im confused
This is not really that complicated if you understand what just happened in John 5. The man’s faith played no major part with his healing. There is a N.T. reality called “the working of miracles” and “the gifts of healing”. If you go and read 1 Cor 12:9-10 you will learn that this is a gift from the Spirit of God given to men to minister to others mostly in the unsaved world. This man qualified to receive the gift and Jesus being the head of the church operated in these spiritual gifts at times. This was one of those times when the working of miracles was given to help this man. I hope this makes sense now and hopefully this knowledge will clear any confusion. Thank you for you question and God Bless.
I’m loving these lessons on faith! There’s a pastor who I listen to quite frequently and respect very much and I thought you would be interested in hearing a message of his. You said above to look through the Bible and if we find any scriptures that show Jesus performed miracles without the partnering belief of man to tell you, and in this sermon this pastor brings up at least 3 or 4 examples. Take a listen and let me know your thoughts if you have time, because I love to compare how different pastors interpret scripture!
Thank you brother for your comment and question. I did listen to this link but could not agree with much of it. I liked his enthusiasm and heart for God. I’m not going to debate this man nor am I going to become a critic of his statements. There are explanations for what he says and thinks that he does not fully comprehend about spiritual things, faith and spiritual gifts. I am not responsible for what he teaches and he is not responsible for what I teach either. We will both give an account to God for our own words. We are all ignorant just about different things. Only God knows it all. If you have any specific questions I will attempt to answer those otherwise I will give no further comment about this Christian brother or his message. God Bless.
Okay well thanks for listening and replying! I guess a specific question would be this: where would you say is the belief of the people in the raising of Lazarus in John 11? Would you say the disciples believed because they followed Jesus? Or that Mary and Martha believed because they took Jesus to the tomb and opened it for Him when He asked? I’m not trying to be challenging, I’m just trying to make sure that I understand faith correctly. Thanks!
I do not know how anyone cannot read this story in John and not see faith in almost every verse. Just because the word “faith” is not mentioned does not mean the subject is not there. The entire Bible is a faith based system created by God. Practically everyone mentioned is someone that is either a positive or a negative example of faith. The positive examples we learn from what we should do but the negative ones we also learn from about what not to do. Perhaps I will be led to do a Bible lesson on the resurrection of Lazarus in the future. I could then get into the faith in more depth. God Bless.
thanks for sharing the word of God.
Thanks for being a blessing! God Bless you tremendously!