But the righteous one will live by his faith.
As we continue to look at the benefits and working of the Holy Spirit; we will look at faith and the three main types of faith we find in the Bible. It is important to recognize and understand these types of faith, because “the righteous one will live by his faith.”
The Bible is full of faith actions and teachings about faith, but we must recognize there are different kinds of faith. The three main types or categories of faith we will examine to understand and apply are: Given Faith, Chosen Faith, and Supernatural Faith.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
The Apostle Paul wrote often about faith. In this passage about unity in the Body of Christ through the differences of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; he writes that faith has been distributed by God to all believers. Before looking at the different gifts that come from the Holy Spirit for the teamwork and cooperation of the Body Paul points out that everyone has this type of faith.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Romans and Ephesians paint the picture that this first type of faith has NOTHING to do with us, but it is a gift given by God for the salvation of His people. This is what is often called saving faith. It allows all people the ability to come to Christ for repentance and salvation. Salvation can only be through faith in Christ and nothing we can do to earn it as it says, “not by works.” This measure of faith has has been given to all people but it is their obedience that accepts it.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Every person must make the choose to take that step and believe the staircase is there. Once a person takes that first step to accept the gift of faith from God into salvation they begin a new journey of daily choosing faith.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Through the Christian life faith becomes a journey or a process of growing. God has poured out faith for salvation, but then faith can be renewed and grown everyday from hearing the word of God. This is the choice we make to continue growing or as Jude wrote…
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit
The faith is already given as a gift but we can begin to grow or build ourselves up in faith through a daily process of listening to and reading the Word of God.
Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.
Throughout the Bible we see examples of people who chose to put their faith in God’s words and not weaver.
Abraham had faith in the promise that God was going to make him a great nation that when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac he was willing to obey.
Moses had faith that God was leading them into the promised land, he obeyed God when He said to hold up his staff over the red sea.
Joshua had faith that they would win the battle against Jericho so they obeyed in walking around a city…and the list goes on!
The Disciples were learning what faith is when they were in a boat with Jesus and a storm arose and they found Jesus sleeping and became upset they thought He didn’t care about them. Then Jesus said…
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
Their faith had not grown beyond the gift God had given them. They had not chosen to believe that when Jesus said they going to the other side that is what was going to happen.
We have a choice everyday to have faith or loose faith. This is faith that is James is talking about when he wrote…
17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
This kind of faith must be accompanied by deeds or actions or it is not true faith. This faith is a continuous walk of obedience to the Word of God through Scripture and the Holy Spirit’s voice.
However this faith is still not from your strength. This growing and building of faith is a “confidence in God’s grace.”
If you put too much effort into being the most faithful and you start to believe you have great faith you may have began putting your faith in your faith instead of the Holy Spirit power at work in and around you.
This is why faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Chosen faith is faith that chooses to let go more or continues down those steps when you STILL can’t see the staircase!
The third type of faith is supernatural faith. This goes beyond the faith for salvation and the faith that we work at growing everyday.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
In the New Testament there are a few examples of this Supernatural faith. This is a faith that is given by God, like the faith for salvation. However, it is faith for something else. One great example is when it was connected to the supernatural healing in Luke.
43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
She had a faith that was not built up, but it was simply a full supernatural belief that even the edge of Jesus’ cloak would heal her. This is supernatural faith of something who was at the end of her rope. She had nothing left, but faith. This kind of faith is often connected to a gift of healing or miraculous protection and provision. If you desire to have this supernatural faith; simply listen. All faith comes by hearing; listen to the Holy Spirit as He gives you a vision, a dream, a burning in your heart. If you ask Him to give you supernatural faith to accomplish His call on your life He will. This does not mean you can ignore the other two types. Without the other two you will not be able to receive supernatural faith. This does not replace your daily working in faith, but He is willing to give you supernatural faith or belief in something if you are willing to dive in. But you will only be ready if you have been building yourself up in the most holy faith daily along the way.
Where are you at in this faith journey?
Have you accepted the gift of faith, are you building your faith, or are you longing for supernatural faith for a situation?
Throughout all of these steps of faith the key you MUST remember is Obedience!
The only thing we can control is our obedience to accept, to listen, to read, to watch for what God is doing and speaking through His word and through the Holy Spirit.
For the next few minutes ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about your faith journey and be obedient to His voice.