Summary: Is there a difference between every day faith and Spirit given faith in 1 Corinthians?
1Co 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says Jesus is a curse, and that no one can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.
1Co 12:4 But there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Co 12:5 And there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are differences of workings, but it is the same God working all things in all.
1Co 12:7 But to each one is given the showing forth of the Spirit to our profit.
1Co 12:8 For through the Spirit is given to one a word of wisdom; and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 and to another faith by the same Spirit; and to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 and to another workings of powers, to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; and to another kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues.
1Co 12:11 But the one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing separately to each one as He desires.
As Christians we have faith. Each one of us knows that we have been saved through the blood of Jesus. We know this because we have read it. And we have faith in what we have read or been told. This is an everyday faith in our salvation. It’s a faith like a farmer has when he sows seeds during the spring knowing that he will reap the harvest in the autumn. It’s a faith based on knowledge and experience.
In the Scriptures we have just read, Paul in his letter to the Corinthians speaks of a gift of faith. Faith given to us by the Spirit. If we look again at these Scriptures we find that the gifts that Paul refers to can be broken down into 3 groups, each with 3 gifts.
We have the gifts of revelation: this group contains the gifts of knowledge, wisdom and discerning of spirits.
We have the vocal gifts: these are prophecy, tongues and the interpretation of tongues.
And finally we have the gifts of power, these being the gifts of miracles, healing and faith. It is through these three gifts that God demonstrates His power, strength and love not just to those who believe in Him but to those who don’t. It is only when things happen that has no human explanation that God can clearly been seen at work.
The gift we are going to look at now, one of the power gifts, is the gift of faith. What is it that makes the gift of faith so very different from the everyday faith that we all have in Jesus?
Can we go to Matthew 17:15...
Mat 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and grievously vexed; for oftentimes he falls into the fire, and often into the water.
Mat 17:16 And I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.
Mat 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him here to Me.
Mat 17:18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and he departed out of him. And the child was cured from that very hour.
Mat 17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus apart, and said, Why could we not cast him out?
Mat 17:20 And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Move from here to there. And it shall move. And nothing shall be impossible to you.
We should not assume that in this last verse where Jesus tells his disciples that they have unbelief as meaning that the disciples had no belief. Lets not forget that previously they had been out on mission healing the sick, performing miracles and spreading the news of Jesus. Many of the early manuscripts translates unbelief as littleness of faith. And this is more likely to be true. The disciples had faith but were still unable to cast out this particular demon. Jesus went on to say that that particular type of demon only came out with prayer and fasting, but could there have been something else that prevented them from curing the child. Scripture tells us in James 5:15 that the prayer of faith will cure the sick.. So why did Jesus say ‘because of your unbelief’?
What was it that happened which prevented the disciples from releasing the child from his affliction. The father brought the child to nine of the disciples. We know this because the child was brought to the disciples when Jesus was with Peter, James and John on the mountain during the time of transfiguration.