Summary: 5 Kinds of Faith are discussed, as well as differing Degrees of Faith. PowerPoint template at website.
Measuring Your Faith
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These tremendous words were spoken by Jesus to two blind men. They were
greatly rewarded by their faith because their eyes were opened.
In one of his sermons, Dr. Vance Havner points out that Jesus did not say,
according to your "fate" or according to your "fortune"; nor did He say,
according to your "fame," "friends" or "feelings," but He did say, "According
to your faith . . ." (Matt. 9:29).
There are five different kinds of faith affecting our lives.
1. NATURAL FAITH. This is faith in a bank where money will be safe,
faith in a mailbox that our letter will be delivered, or faith in an employer
that we will be paid at the end of the week.
2. INTELLECTUAL FAITH. A woman baking a cake and following a recipe is
exercising intellectual faith. She believes that the cake will result from
pouring in certain ingredients.
Recently, we had an eclipse of the sun. Scientific facts led us to accept
by faith that the eclipse would come at a certain time and none of us were
disappointed, as it came right on schedule. The next one is scheduled to come
in 2024, and all of us believe that it will be on schedule, too.
3. HISTORICAL FAITH. We believe that Napoleon actually lived and
led a great army. We believe that George Washington was the first
President of the United States and that Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg
Address. This is historical faith.
4. SAVING FAITH. This is Bible faith that God will keep His promise
and save us by grace, through faith.
5. VICTORIOUS FAITH. This is the faith of a child of God that helps
him to exercise prayer and obedience in the Christian life, believing that God
will give certain rewards and benefits because He has promised to do so. We
read in the Scriptures, "And this is the victory that overcometh the world,
even our faith" (I John 5:4).
In this message we are not discussing natural faith, intellectual faith,
historical faith or saving faith; but let us consider victorious faith that
helps the Christian to do things for God.
DIFFERING DEGREES OF FAITH
The Bible speaks of a "measure of faith" and also of a "proportion of
faith." Our text says, "According to your faith." This seems to
indicate that there are various degrees of faith. Let us consider several
verses that help us to understand this truth.
1. NO FAITH. In the Bible, we read the statement, "How is it that ye
have no faith?" (Mark 4:40). Jesus asked this question of His disciples in the
boat when they feared that they would perish. Surely there are many defeated
Christians living without power and victory who have no faith.
2. LITTLE FAITH. In Matthew 8:26 Jesus said, "O ye of little faith."
This again is the account of the disciples in the ship.
3. WEAK FAITH. "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye . . ." (Rom.
14:1). Here the Apostle Paul is referring to an immature Christian who has not
been made strong yet. He is spoken of as being weak in the faith.
4. DEAD FAITH. We read, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead"
(James 2:17). Genuine faith brings forth action. There is proof when there is
faith. James admonished his readers to show him their faith by their works.
5. VAIN FAITH. The Bible speaks again of another kind of faith. " . .
.and your faith is also vain" (I Cor. 15:14). The word "vain" means empty or
of no avail.
6. GREAT FAITH. Jesus spoke to the Gentile woman who sought for crumbs
from under the table and said to her, "I say unto you, I have not found so
great faith, no, not in Israel" (Luke 7:9). In several places Jesus spoke of
those who had great faith.
7. FULL OF FAITH. The Bible says this of Barnabas: "For he was a good
man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith" (Acts 11:24). This early New
Testament Christian was a tremendous example and pattern for all believers.
What a great compliment, that he was full of faith!
8. STEADFAST FAITH. " . . .beholding your order, and the steadfastness
of your faith in Christ" (Col. 2:5). There is great peace and contentment in
being settled and relaxed about the promises of God. Israel continued in doubt
and unbelief, but Paul complimented the early Christians because of their
steadfastness of faith.
9. RICH IN FAITH. James speaks in his book of being rich in faith.
"Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith?" (James 2:5). He is