Lessons on Faith #2- Faith: Spiritual Gift or Cultivated Fruit?

Recently, I listened to a podcast of a Christian radio program where the guest on the show was recounting his recent encounter with a prominent Christian radio broadcaster. This particular broadcaster, who was once a professed Christian, had made somewhat of a spectacle out of his lack of faith, and was attracting much attention, both from his audience and the secular media. What made it interesting was the “faithless” broadcaster made a comment to the guest regarding faith. He said the guest must have the “spiritual gift of faith” because he believed strongly in the Bible as the Word of God.

So the question then arises, do we need the “spiritual gift of faith” in order to believe in God’s Word?

The Bible tells us that it is “impossible to please God” without faith. (Heb 11:6) This concept of “faith” is not simply part of a checklist in spiritual growth- it’s vital to our walk with God.

The “gifts of the Spirit”, as outlined by Paul in several places, are given out “severally as He (Holy Spirit) will” (1 Cor 12:11). In other words, it is the Holy Spirit who determines what gifts are given to people. In the same passage, we’re told of the other numerous gifts of the Spirit. Eph 2:8 says that faith “is the gift of God.” So was the “faithless” broadcaster correct?

Romans 12:3, also written by Paul, sheds some light on this question. He says, “…God hath dealt to every man a measure of faith.” No one can have more faith than is already given him, without cultivating the faith that is already given. When it is cultivated, the Bible says it “grows exceedingly” (2 Thess. 1:3).

So how do we “cultivate” faith?

Faith is the expecting that the Word of God itself will accomplish what that word says; and the depending upon ‘the word only,’ to accomplish what the word says. To cultivate dependence on the word of God, ‘the word only,’ itself to do what the word says, is to cultivate faith. – A.T. Jones

Faith is the capital God deals out to us to use in His economy. It is one of the “talents” we read about in the parable Jesus told. There is no danger in ever losing this capital, when we use it. And that’s precisely the lesson in the parable.

That must mean that the spiritual gift of faith, discussed by Paul in 1 Cor 12:11 is the enhanced faith the Holy Spirit distributes to those who cultivate the faith they’re given to begin with.

What then should our implicit response be to the “faithless” broadcaster? While he may not have much faith, “the word only” tells him that he does indeed have some faith. And in order to attain more faith, what must he do? He must cultivate the faith he has by depending upon “the word only.” And the Holy Spirit, through “the word only,” will indeed give Him more.


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