Weapons for the Believer 5.1 – The Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Faith
According to Paul, there are weapons of warfare.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (ESV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We are considering ten weapons that the Believer has at their disposal. We looked at the first four in previous posts. If you haven’t read them I encourage you to do so.
The next weapon on the list is another list. These are referred to as The Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healing, Working of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits,
Different Kinds of Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues.
When our faith intersects with the Spirit’s power, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished in those moments. I do not believe these are given permanently as some teach. I do not believe that some “posses” these gifts, but instead are given in the moment when needed. Consequently any or all of these may manifest in each Believer as the Spirit chooses.
There are nine gifts list by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12. Traditionally these have been divided into three groups: The Power Gifts, The Revelation Gifts, and The Speaking Gifts.
The Power Gifts: Faith (or special faith, as some have described it)
Gifts of Healing (the only plural gift)
Working of Miracles
The Revelation Gifts: Word of Wisdom
Word of Knowledge
Discerning of Spirits
The Speaking Gifts: Prophecy
Interpretation of Tongues
Today we will look at the first of these in more detail: Faith. This Gift of the Spirit is also referred to as Special Faith, or Miraculous Faith. The reason is because everyone is given “a measure of faith.” This is known as simple faith, or saving faith. Without it we would not even be able to respond to God.
Romans 12:3 (ESV) For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
So clearly there is a difference between saving faith and Faith as a Gift of the Spirit. There are times in the life of the Believer that extraordinary faith is needed to accomplish the purpose God has placed in them. One example of this is found in the life of Barnabas.
Acts 11:23-26 (ESV) When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
While most were fearful of Saul (Paul) after his conversion because of his history of killing Christians Barnabas, in Faith, went to Saul and basically endorsed his ministry in Antioch. The result was many grew in their faith, so much so that they became known as Christians (Christ followers). Barnabas was able to move beyond his own fear and emotions, empowered by Faith given by the Holy Spirit, and helped change lives forever.
It is possible that Paul and Silas were operating in the Gift of Faith when they were imprisoned. If not, they were at least totally convinced of their salvation through Christ.
Acts 16:25-26 (ESV) About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.
I do not believe it is God’s intention for us to rely on “miraculous” things for all of our Christian life. I believe it is His intention for us to grow, not only in our knowledge of the Word of God, but also in our ability to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. I believe that is one use of the Gifts in the life of the Believer. The Spirit uses them to help us in moments where we have not yet allowed the full expression of the Holy Spirit to manifest in our life.
This is not to imply that we ever “attain” to a level where we no longer need the extraordinary work of the Gifts of the Spirit in us, but I do believer there is an expectation of maturity as we grow in Him.