What it means to have the spiritual gift of faith

Becca Garvin

Many people find the idea of spiritual gifts confusing, scary, or weird. But the Holy Spirit is not meant to spook us. He is God within us, and His gifts help us to build up each other and the church in supernatural ways.

God — because He is just this cool — gave each of us an opportunity to be part of bringing His kingdom to earth. When we are in sync with the Holy Spirit and humbly using the spiritual gifts He’s given us, others get a glimpse of God’s presence through us.

The idea that we have spiritual gifts, abilities that are literally not of this world, can be hard for our human minds to grasp. But the Bible helps us understand what spiritual gifts are, why they exist, and how to use them.

God gives all Christians saving faith.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 lists a number of spiritual gifts, including the gift of faith: “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit …”

The gift of faith enables some people to have an extraordinary amount of faith that God uses to show us His power in ways that create joy and encouragement for others. We might see someone with the gift of faith as a superior Christian, but that is far from the truth.

What The Spiritual Gift of Faith Is

Throughout the Bible, we see people demonstrate supernatural confidence in God’s promises, power, and presence. Their faith equips people to take outlandishly heroic stands for the future of God’s work in the church.

Take a look at the men and women in Hebrews 11. Noah’s faith was an example to his family (who helped build the ark) and ultimately saved humanity from dying out in the flood.

Joshua’s obedience in marching around Jericho showed his men what bold faith looked like, in turn putting God’s faithfulness, power and protection on display for his people and their enemies.

The gift of faith displays God’s power in ways that create joy and encouragement for others.

Through faith, Moses charged bravely into many situations that should have led to death. Every time he dared to step forward on nothing but God’s promise of protection, miracles ensued. Not only did he eventually lead the entire population of Israel to freedom, he showed the power of God to thousands of Egyptians as well.

This list of names shows us fascinating stories of odds that were defied through someone’s miraculous faith. And here we are, thousands of years later, still reaping the benefits of their extraordinary, supernatural faith.

What The Spiritual Gift of Faith is Not

An extra measure of salvation

Romans 3:23-24 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” God gives all Christians saving faith. There is no way to be “extra saved,” because Jesus paid the same price to save every single one of us.

Something given only to “the best” Christians

In God’s kingdom, there are only two statuses: dead to sin or alive in Christ. We are all equally in need of God’s mercy. As Billy Graham once said, “'The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”

There is no way to be “extra saved,” because Jesus paid the same price to save every single one of us.

The Bible tells us that each member of the church is necessary and important: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). Our gifts are not personal accreditations, they are intended to work together to bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 12:15-26).

Something we achieve by striving for a closer relationship with God than everyone else

By definition, a gift is freely given; we don’t strive to attain it.

There is no such thing as access to a “closer” relationship with God because God is just as close to each of us, regardless of whether or not we choose to walk closely with Him. God’s love knows no limits. His love is unconditional, and He desires to be just as close to every single one of His children.

We all have spiritual gifts. God has intentionally chosen specific gifts for each of us (1 Corinthians 12:28-31), and He has specific plans to work through them (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). But first, we have to be alive to the reality of the Holy Spirit working in us and confident in who God has made us to be.

The supernatural ways God wants to use each of us can turn this world upside down and send us on journeys we never dreamed possible — if we’ll stop comparing our gifts to others or explaining away what they don’t understand.

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