Tuesday, 19 January 2016

THE GIFT OF FAITH 2


MEMORY VERSE: To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:9
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Amos 1-4
As we mentioned yesterday, there are three kinds of supernatural faith. The first, which we looked at yesterday, is the 'saving faith'. The second kind is faith as a 'fruit of the spirit'. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” This, kind of faith, comes as a result of our salvation: union of Christ. According to John 15:5, Christ is the Vine, and we ,Christians, are the branches. Anyone that abides in Him and He in them, the same will bring much fruit. From the time of our union with Him (the Vine) we have the potential of bearing fruit. Our faith (trust, belief) in Jesus is the work of God the Holy Spirit, and it is He who supplies the faith as we go along in the Christian life. Our part is to respond to Him. Faith in Jesus, both initial faith and continuing faith, is the basis for all other fruit and gifts of the Spirit. The fruit of the spirit called faith is brought about through the process of time. One doesn’t plant a tree, and the next day pick fruit, No! The tree must be cultivated, fed, and watered. This is exactly what ‘abide’ means which is to take up permanent residence. The result of abiding in Him is the fruit of a Godly Christian character.
The last kind is the gift of faith. It is a potential in the believer from the time of receiving Jesus, but like the other gifts, it becomes much more active after the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Unlike faith the fruit mentioned earlier, the gift of faith is given instantaneously. It is a sudden surge of faith, usually in a crisis, to confidently believe without a doubt that as we act or speak in Jesus’ name it shall come to pass. The gift of faith is distinct from the working of miracles though it may produce miracles. If the disciples in the storm-based boat had remained calm and assured in spite of their dangerous situation, they would have been manifesting the gift of faith. As it was, Jesus had to still the storm by a miracle. If Daniel in the lion’s den had slain the dangerous animals with but a gesture it would have been the gifts of the miracle. As it was, he rested unharmed in the presence of the fully active lions, showing an even greater amount of faith. Several years ago in Tanzania, some Christians gathered for Easter services, when suddenly an enraged lioness in a wild mood dashed out of the jungle, attacking everything in her path. She killed several domestic animals, then a woman and a child and headed directly for the assembled believers. She stopped only few yards from them, snarling ferociously. The people trembled with shock! The preacher shouted, “don’t be afraid – the God who saved Daniel from the lions is here – the risen Christ of Easter is here.” He turned to the lioness, and cried, “You lion, i curse you in the name of Jesus Christ!” From the scattered clouds, without a sign of rain, a bolt of lightning struck the lioness and she dropped dead. That day, seventeen people gave their lives to the Lord Jesus. The level of faith in which we are living may ebb and flow. Sometimes we find that we are strong in faith; the Holy Spirit in our spirit is allowed to work, and wonderful things happen in our lives. At other times the ‘hang-ups’, doubts, fears, and the ‘debris’ in our souls that the Holy Spirit is working to remove get in the way, and we are not able to function as we.
NOTE: Though the gifts of faith may be active from time to time in our lives, it should not surprise us if we also experience times of doubts. This should only serve to remind us of the scripture: “it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Expect the Lord to manifest his wonderful gift of faith through you, just as you expect the other gifts.
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Bro Samuel | Reaching the world

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