Summary: This sermon is designed to encourage believers, to exercise faith so that they may see God’s manefested power on their behalf
How Great is your Faith
By Bishop Dr Perry Edison Newton Sr
Word of Faith Tabernacle
Word of Faith Church
There are many ways that one could define faith. But the Bible gives only one definition of Faith. In Hebrew chapter 11: 1 we fine the Bible or God’s version of what faith is. God says: “Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” (Authorized King James Version) The Living Bible states: “What is Faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.” The New International version gives the following rendition: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
How great is your faith? Do you need great faith to receive from God? My friends we do not need great faith to receive from God; But we do need faith.
The Bible records Jesus as saying or telling some of his disciples the kind of Faith that one needs. And obviously it was not a great Faith. Let us review the following scripture: “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man kneeling down to him and saying, Lord have mercy on my son for he is a lunatic and sore vexed; for often he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I besought your disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said oh faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart and said why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said unto them because of your unbelief (little faith) for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, Ye shall be able to say unto this mountain remove hence to yonder place and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:14-21)
From that scripture we may note that Jesus’ description of the size of Faith one needs, is equated to a mustard seed. I have never personally seen a mustard seed, but it is said that a mustard seed is small. Yet when it is planted it produces a large tree.
Christ is saying to us that if you believe, and hope for something, it will not come to fruition until you do something. If a mustard seed sits idly on a desk top, and is not planted in the ground, it will not come to life; it will not grow. Jesus qualified this idea as he spoke to Philip and other disciples; Let us review: “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast. The same came to Philip which was of Bethsaida of Galilee and desired him saying Sir we would see Jesus. Then Philip cometh and telleth Andrew and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them saying the hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily I say unto you, except a wheat of corn fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:20-24) In other words Jesus says, in order for a mustard seed to reproduce it must be planted. It will not germinate until it is planted. Like wise, no matter what the size of our faith or more specifically, the things we want of God, nothing will happen until we release or activate our faith.
Faith is activated by action. James in his General epistle gave us a vivid account of faithless faith and productive faith. Let us review. “ If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith if it hath not works is dead, being alone. Yea if a man says, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works and I will shew thee my faith by my works.... For as the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:15-18, 26)
So we see that Faith must always be accompanied by work. Faith that is not acted upon is dormant faith. On one occasion Jesus ask the disciples: “Where is your Faith” Let us review the occasion on which Jesus made this statement. “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them let us go over unto the other side of the lake (let us go over) And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him and awoke him saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered one to another, what manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. And they arrived at the country of the Gaderenes." (Luke 8: 22-26)