THE GIFT OF FAITH – 1

Bible Reading: Joshua 5:13-6:20

The gift of faith as a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit must be carefully defined and not confused with other aspects of faith. The main dictionary definitions of faith are “trust or confidence in someone or something,” and “belief.” A Bible definition of faith is, “to believe in, adhere to, trust in, and rely upon [John 1:12 Amplified Bible]. There are five kinds of faith:

Firstly, there is Natural Faith. We all have a measure of this kind of faith. Natural faith is exercised when we get on and off a bus, or sit in a chair. When I ride a bicycle I believe that the bicycle is well made and will hold my weight! We exercise natural faith in many ways and times each day.

Secondly, there is Creedal Faith. This is the doctrine we confess to believe, but is merely a mental or intellectual assent to a teaching or belief. It is a worthy thing to confess the Apostles or Nicene Creed, but merely speaking it or an intellectual assent alone is not saving faith.

Thirdly, there is Saving Faith. This is the basic trust that is needed for salvation. The faith that saves a person is a personal trust in Jesus Christ. Saving faith is to put confidence in God’s Son as our Saviour from sin and to receive the new life that He offers [see John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; Hebrews 11:1-4,6]

Fourthly, there is Faith as a Fruit of the Spirit. The nine aspects of the fruit of the Spirit are found in Galatians 5:22-23. The seventh aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is translated as faith in the King James Version of the Bible. Strictly speaking this is correct because the word used in this verse is ‘pistis’ which is the normal Greek word for faith. However, the word also carries the idea of fidelity, and most modern versions correctly translate it in Galatians 5:22 as fidelity or faithfulness.

Finally, there is Faith as a manifestation of the Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:9].

This kind of faith is given by the Holy Spirit and is therefore supernatural. It is faith that moves mountains and though not rational is certain that what God has promised will happen. We will take a closer look at this gift of faith over the next few days.

Questions:

Why is creedal faith alone not able to bring salvation? Could you describe in a few words what is the meaning of saving faith?

In what way is faith as a gift or manifestation of the Holy Spirit different to the other forms of faith that we have considered today?

Read Hebrews 11:30. In the Bible reading today we saw how the walls of Jericho fell down. In what way was faith involved in this amazing victory

Is faith, as a gift or manifestation of the Holy Spirit, something that any believer can have? What are the reasons for your answer to this question?