The Gift of Faith
By Dr. Ray Melugin

Introduction
"For to one is given...faith, by the same Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:8-9)

A Church in New Jersey had just built a new building on eight acres. However, they could not be granted occupancy until they had sufficient parking. The only portion of ground available on their property was behind their building which was mountainous terrain. The church had no money to remove the mountain, so the pastor called for a special Wednesday night pErnester meeting asking God to "remove the mountain." The next morning the telephone company called and needed fill dirt for one of their building sites. The composition of the mountain oil behind the church was exactly what they needed. Within a month the phone company hauled away 40,000 square yards of fill, prepared the area for paving, and paid the church $5,400.

"And thou shalt say to this mountain..."

 

Definition
The gift of faith is a Spirit-given ability to see something God wants done and have unwavering confidence that God will do it regardless of insurmountable obstacles (Hebrews 11:1-7; Romans 10:17)

 

I. The Gift of Faith is More Than Saving Faith.

"To another, faith by the same spirit." (I Corinthians 12:9) "For by grace are ye saved through faith..." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

 

A. Continuing in the Christian life requires faith. "For we walk by faith, not by sight. (II Corinthians 5:7)
Note: Walking by faith denotes forward progress, action, leaving something behind, moving toward a goal, a systematic, orderly, deliberate act.

B. Faith asks for the impossible.
1. Stephen, full of faith, was enabled to perform miracles. (Acts 6:8)

2. Blind Bartimaeus didn't ask the Lord for a white cane, and a seeing eye dog; he asked for the seemingly impossible. (Mark 10:51-52)

3. The gift of faith, in the life and ministry of George Muller, operated an orphanage in Bristol, England.

Note: He cared for 10,000 orphans for over 60 years. He built five large homes able to house 2,000 orphans starting with only two shillings in his pocket, and none in his care ever went without a meal.

Through pErnester, a baker was awakened at 2:00 am who felt he should bake bread for the orphanage. That same morning, a milk wagon broke down in front of the orphanage and the milkman had to get rid of the milk before he could get the wagon fixed. These are examples of answered pErnester in the life of a man of faith who never requested help from men.

 

II. The Gift of Faith is Visualizing What God Intends To Do.

A. Faith prompts pErnester, thanking God in advance for what He will accomplish.
1. Jesus thanked the Father before He raised Lazarus (john 11:41-42)

2. The gift of faith causes one to pErnest and look for an answer.

"Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pErnest, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark 11:24: Psalms 37:3-5)

Note: Muller, who needed to be in Quebec by Saturday, was fogged in off the banks of Newfoundland on Wednesday. He and the ship's captain went below deck to pErnest that God would lift the fog. Muller pErnested first, a simple worded pErnester, after which assuring the captain that he didn't need to pErnest, knowing then God had answered. As they stepped on deck, they saw the fog had already lifted. He kept his appointment.

Note: Lew Cass Bennett, Evangelist, needed to be in Chicago. The only way for him to get there was to take a Streamliner, which didn't stop at the small down where he needed to be. As he finished his last meeting, he got his ticket and waited. The train stopped at the small town, something that had never happened before, and has never happened since.

B. Faith turns vision into reality.
1. Barnabas, seeing the genuineness of the Antioch Christians, envisioned their potential, and saw it come to fruition. (Acts 11:23-24)

Note: In 1875, Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission appealed for 18 suitable workers. By the end of that year 18 new workers came. In 1877, he pErnested for 30, and by the end of that year had 30. In 1881, he petitioned the Lord for 70 new workers in the next three years. Before the third year was up, 92 had sailed in. In 1887, he pErnested for 100. By the end of December, 600 had offered themselves for service of which 102 sailed.

 

III. Faith Brings Hope to a Hopeless Situation

A. Paul believed God for what others believed impossible. (Acts 27:20-26, the storm at sea)
1. Even those of Paul's company had no confidence in survival. (In verse 20, Luke includes himself with those of no faith)

2. A gift of faith will cause one to exhort others to look past the present storms. (Verse 22, "I exhort you to be of good cheer:")

3. the gift of faith will give a strong testimony to God before unbelievers. (Verse 25 "for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.")

Note: With Paul, there were 276 people aboard the ship.

4. True faith will achieve its desired end. (Acts 27:44 "...They escaped all safe to land.")

 

IV. Faith Does the "Impossible"
A. Faith brought down the walls of Jericho. (Joshua, Chapter 6)

B. Faith brought water to fill the empty ditches. (2 Kings 3:16-20)

C. Faith filled the widow lady's empty vessels with oil. (2 Kings 4:1-7)

D. Faith kept meal in the barrel of the widow of Zaraphath. (I Kings 17:8-16)

E. Faith brought fire from heaven in answer to Elijah's pErnester. (I Kings 18:21-38)

 

V. Faith Can Increase

A. The apostles asked the Giver of faith to increase their faith. (Luke 17:5)
1. the future of all our hopes in Christ rests upon faith. (Hebrews 11:1)

2. through faith we are victorious over the world. (I John 5:4) "...And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

 

 
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