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leap of faith

Spiritual Gifts Series Part 4- The Gift of Faith

Episode 60

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Hosted by
Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

The Gift of faith is somewhat mysterious as it’s difficult to clearly define. The Bible speaks of ‘saving faith’ and faith is also described as a ‘fruit of the spirit’ (Gal 5:22) but what exactly is the ‘Gift of faith?’ Carl takes time to provide an accurate definition with biblical examples. Brother Kenneth E. Hagin coined it well when he said, “the fruits of the Spirit are for character and the gifts of the Spirit are for power.’ There are times when we need God’s supernatural intervention in our lives and this is where the Gift of Faith comes in. Join Carl now for this revealing study…

Here is a complete transcript of the podcast (below)…

Let’s continue our study of the nine spiritual gifts and today we will discuss the gift of faith. Let’s read our key passage once more:

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” 1 Cor 12:7-11.

Let’s talk today about the Gift of faith. As mentioned in my introductory broadcast of the spiritual gifts, the gift of faith is the first of the three power gifts. Let’s be very clear from the outset that faith could be described as the currency of God’s Kingdom. There is saving faith granted to each man to enter the kingdom of God as outlined in Rom 12:3. We also know that faith can be increased in one’s life by hearing the word of God over and over which Rom 10:17 makes clear. Jude 20 also demonstrates that faith can be built upon by praying in the Holy Ghost but none of these attributes of faith can be included within the jurisdiction of the gift of faith. The gift of faith is unique because it’s given supernaturally for a period of time, in contrast to general or saving faith mentioned in the Book of Romans.

It’s a gift given to the believer in order that he or she might receive miracles in their life. On the other hand, the gift of the working of miracles is a gift of the Spirit given to the believer that he might work miracles. So in essence, the gift of faith receives but in contrast, the gift of the working of miracles which is another power gift does something. It’s interesting that power gifts often work together as do the utterance gifts of the word of wisdom, knowledge and prophecy. It’s also significant to mention that all gifts of the spirit operate by faith and if faith in God is not applied, no spiritual gift can operate. It takes faith on the part of the believer to manifest the gift in question. That’s where our simple faith is involved.

Remember, ordinary faith comes by hearing the word of God but this is not the same as the gift of faith. One could call this gift special faith to receive a miracle in your life and it’s also separate and distinct from ‘faith’, mentioned as the fruit of the spirit in Gal 5:22. Friend I hope you are not confused right now (ha ha). Let’s recap. There is saving faith granted to every man in Rom 12:3. Then this faith can grow by hearing God’s word (Rom 10:17), then there is faith which is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit in Gal 5:22 and finally the topic of our discussion today, the gift of faith. So the gift of faith is special faith is given by the Holy Spirit for us to receive a special miracle when we need it, that our normal level of faith could not attain by itself.

Let me put it to you in simple terms so you can delineate between them all. I liked the way Brother Kenneth E. Hagin put it and I certainly can’t say it any better myself, “The fruits of the Spirit are for character and the gifts of the Spirit are for power”. Remember, fruit is something that grows. So faith is also a fruit that grows in the life of a Christian to establish him or her in godly spiritual character. As I have said, the gift of faith is distinct from the gift of the working of miracles, although both gifts produce miracles. Remember the gift of faith receives a miracle but the gift of the working of miracles gives out miracles or performs them. One of them is passive and the other is active. The working of miracles is active; the gift of faith is passive because it receives.

One OT example of the gift of faith in operation is when God shut up the mouths of Lions in the lion’s Den. When Daniel was in the lion’s den, he received a miracle and by definition, this was the gift of faith in operation. In those days as well as throughout history, there have been those who were thrown to the lions and the lions devoured them, especially in the coliseum in Rome. In the case of Daniel, the Bible says in Dan 6:23 that,” Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” There is no doubt that God gave Daniel special faith, a special manifestation of the Spirit to receive deliverance from these lions. Daniel didn’t do anything. He just lay down and went to sleep. His faith was passive rather than active, because he received the miracle. We don’t know exactly how this occurred. We know an angel was involved and presumably Daniel was witness to the angel’s workings, so he went to sleep after he saw the angel shut the mouths of the lions.

Throughout the Bible we see how the gift of faith worked primarily for people who were in danger. And through this gift, they possessed a calmness, quietness and assurance that can only be described as supernatural. One instance of this is when Jesus was asleep in the boat during a raging storm (Mk 4:35-41):-

And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Now friend I want you to catch this, Jesus was operating in the gift of faith here, knowing that God the father was taking care of the situation. Now some people might say, “Yes well that was Jesus, He is the Son of God and he can do anything“. It’s true, He was the Son of God, yet Jesus never did anything except by the power of the Holy Ghost. Jesus voluntarily stripped Himself of what power He had as the Son of God when He came to the earth (Phil 2:7). Jesus was just as much the Son of God before the Holy Ghost Baptism in the river Jordan, as HE was after He was anointed. He stripped Himself of the divine power vested in Him when he walked this earth. Remember, He never worked any miracles prior to the time He was baptized by John the Baptist. Despite false claims by Gnostic Gospels like the Gospel of Thomas or even the Quran, Jesus didn’t perform miracles until he was baptized with the Holy Ghost. If he had worked miracles by some power that was inherent in Him as the Son of God, He would not have told us we could do the works that He did. But remember, Jesus said plainly, in John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” So if Jesus did the works as a man anointed by the Holy Ghost, then certainly under the inspiration and anointing of the Holy Ghost, believers can do the same works that He commanded us to do.

So back to our text, while the raging storm swept the sea, and threatened the safety of the disciples in this passage, Jesus was fast asleep. He wasn’t bothered by the storm, just as when Daniel lay down in the lion’s den and slept in the face of danger in perfect peace and calm assurance. Why? Because Both Jesus and Daniel each possessed a faith beyond the simple general faith every believer can have through the Word of God and this, my friend, is the gift of faith in operation. It positions us to receive the miraculous from God that our normal level of faith will not enable us to acquire. One example, in my own life where I believe the gift of faith was in operation and this is a very practical example, is when I was working as a young Petroleum Engineer in Houston, Texas. I hadn’t been in the job maybe a few weeks working for Vastar Resources, Inc. and I mention the company because it’s no longer in operation. Anyway, I was handed 4 sizeable offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico as a Petroleum Engineer. To be honest, I felt out of my depth, because I was in charge of several thousand barrels of oil per day production, right out of college. To top that, my boss wasn’t always available to consult on key issues, not that he was a bad boss; he just wasn’t around that much because of the demands placed on him. Anyway, the point I’m making is this, I was given the task along with my Geologist and Geophysicist to drill an oil well on one of the assets. This cost about $5MM back in 1999 so you can see how important it was that we were successful.

To cut a long story short one well led to another and we took that asset from 800 bopd to about 7000 barrels of oil per day, within a 6-month period, which is almost a 9-fold increase of oil production and a sizeable gain in reserves beneath the ground, and heck we even came in well under budget for all the wells we drilled. As a result, this got the attention of the senior people within the company and I ended up presenting to the CEO on several occasions. I give God all the glory because to be honest, it felt like he was working miraculously through my career and the embarrassing part was that I would get grilled by some of the senior Engineers and management as to why I drilled in certain areas in the oil reservoir, but to be honest I drilled where the Holy Spirit told me too! Ha Ha, It was funny because I couldn’t always provide a logical explanation for their line of questioning, as to why I drilled in certain parts of the reservoir, which caused further frustration on their part. But I will also tell you that I had peace within my heart, despite my success, as I knew God was taking care of our drilling team and would grant us success as long as I honored Him. I didn’t always know how he was directing me, but I trusted Him nonetheless. This is the gift of faith, because I was operating supernaturally above my natural ability or my level of faith at the time and received miraculous oil production because of it. Friend, God can bless you on your vocation. You need to be dialed in to His Spirit. If you don’t have peace in your heart about a decision then stop. Many times in Engineering especially our exploration or development team would reach consensus of where to drill the next well, but my gut didn’t agree even though all our calculations lined up. I’m not saying I got it right every time either and I made some mistakes of course but the more attuned I was to my spirit man, the more successful I would be. 

This my friend, is possible in your life too. God can bless you miraculously and you won’t always know how or why. We got special bonuses that year because of our achievements and I sowed a fair bit of it back into the ministry because frankly, I wasn’t the one who deserved the glory, God did. I know this story might sound a bit crazy but it’s true and I will give you several more examples in the coming days. Stay tuned as we study the gift of healing.

Related keyword searches:

What is the Gift of Faith?
Does God do miracles today?
What are the Gifts of the Spirit?
Daniel in the lions den

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Episode 60