Don’t Neglect Your Spiritual Gift (Part Three)
The Gift of Faith
1 Cor. 12:9
The next Spiritual Gift mentioned in 1 Corinthians is “The Gift of Faith”. So in this lesson we will deal with what the Bible tells us about faith in general and just what this “gift of faith” might be.[Eph.2:8-9] We all know this to be “saving” faith, believing in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation plus nothing. [Rom.3:22] righteousness of God by faith [Rom.10:9-10] Paul makes it very clear that “thou shalt be saved” by believing unto righteousness. [Rom.12:3] “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” Every man has been given by God the measure of faith needed to believe the gospel. This is not the Spiritual gift of faith in 1 Corinthians. [Luke 17:5] The disciples asked the Lord to “increase” their faith, so you faith can be increased.
Little faith – [Matt.6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8] Great faith [Matt. 8:10, 15:28]
So our faith can be small or great and we can increase it. How? [Rom.9:17] “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”[Heb.11:1] The definition of faith, is believing in something you hope for, and have evidence of, but cannot see. You believe in Jesus Christ and what he has provided for you, although you have never seen him. You do have evidence of this hope in the written word of God, your Bible. [1 Pet. 1:8-9]
So what is the Spiritual gift of faith? Hebrews 11 is commonly called the “Faith Hall of Fame”. The men and women listed in this chapter had a supernatural faith when compared to ours. I believe they had the gift of faith.[Heb.11:7] Noah having never seen rain, acted by faith on what God told him to do, and spent 100 plus years making it happen. [Heb.11:8-19] Abraham obeyed God by faith even to the instructions to sacrifice his own son. [Heb. 11:23-30] Moses obeyed God by faith and forsook all to deliver Israel.
Your Bible is full of men and women that had a gift of faith that is far beyond our average faith. Once again their faith as a gift glorified God and not themselves. [1 Cor.12:7] [2Cor.8] This church went “beyond their power” to complete a gift that they had promised. This church may have been given a gift of faith” or a few of the members had the gift.
In “Fox’s Book of Martyrs” are many examples of the Spiritual gift of faith. Let’s look at just one: William Tyndale. One of the heroes of the story of the publication and spread of the Bible is William Tyndale. He lived in England in the 16th century, a time when there was such evil even amongst the church leaders of his day.
Tyndale asked permission of the Bishop of London to make a translation of the Bible but was refused. To another churchman, Tyndale said: “If God spares my life, before many years I will cause a boy that drives a plow to know more of the Scriptures than you do.”
Blocked in his efforts in England, he went to Germany. There he began his work of translation and in the year 1525 published two editions of the New Testament which were then smuggled into England. To Tyndale we owe the first printed edition of the New Testament in English.
This Bible became instantly popular and perhaps 15,000 copies were circulated, although the authorities tried to destroy them by public burnings. Sometime later, Tyndale himself was caught and burned at the stake. His dying words were: “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”
The Lord did. You have a copy of the Authorized Version of the King James Bible today because of the uncommon faith of many men before you. They died for what they believed a great example of the spiritual gift of faith.
I believe that there are points in a Christian’s life where a “gift of faith” from God supplies the faith needed to deliver you through the trouble you are in, as long as the result glorifies God.