Today we are going to look at the gift of extraordinary faith. The reason I call it extraordinary faith is because every believer is given what Paul called a “measure of faith”. This was the faith to believe that Jesus would save us. It was the faith that sparked being born again. In 1st Corinthians 12, Paul is not talking about saving faith, but about a spiritual gift given by the Holy Spirit. It is mountain moving faith. It is the type of faith that produces the miraculous. This gift is one of 3 gifts that are sometimes called power gifts because they demonstrate the power of God. The other two being the working of miracles and gifts of healings. The best way I have learned to discern when the gift of extraordinary faith is in operation is the profound absence of fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. It is at the polar end of the spectrum spiritually. So when you see something miraculous happen, coupled with the absence of fear, then you know it is the gift of extraordinary faith at work.
Before we look at this gift in more detail I want you to watch a short video concerning spiritual gifts and the reason why we do not see more of those gifts in operation in the church, especially the church that is part of the western world.
John Wimber – Signs and Wonders in the Western Church.
The gift of extraordinary faith in the life of Jesus and the early church.
Jesus operating the gift of extraordinary faith.
I can think of 2 examples off the top of my head where Jesus operated the gift of extraordinary faith. The first example is a very famous story of where Jesus calms the storm. In this example, Jesus tells the disciples to take the boat and cross the sea of Galilee to the other side. They start sailing and halfway across a huge storm arises. It is so bad that the boat is getting swamped. However what do we see Jesus doing? He is sleeping! Talk about no fear! It get’s so bad that the disciples wake Jesus and ask him if he even cares that they are perishing. His words to them indicate a lot. He asks, “Where is your faith?” As we all know, Jesus spoke to the wind and the waves and told them to be still. That was the working of extraordinary faith.
The second example is found in Luke’s gospel, chapter 4. Jesus is preaching in his home town. He tells them that the acceptable day of the Lord has arrived. He told them that He was the messiah. He then proceeded to tell them that because of their lack of faith, no miracles would happen among them. Well this ticked off the people and they proceeded to drag Jesus to the edge of a cliff preparing to throw him off the cliff. However Jesus again showed no fear, and just walked right through the people. Now I don’t know about you, but if I had a group of angry church people getting ready to throw me off a cliff, I would be just a little afraid and I am not big or strong enough to plow my way through the crowd. This was an operation of the gift of extraordinary faith.
The gift of unusual faith in the early church.
One of the greatest examples of this gift in the early church is the story of the stoning of Stephen in Acts chapters 6 and 7. Stephen was a man known for being full of faith. He ended up ticking off some religious leaders by telling them that they had crucified the messiah. Stephen knew that if He said anything to these people along these lines that they would get angry and stone him. Yet he showed no fear, and all the way through this experience he showed no fear. Although we do not see the same outcome as what happened with Jesus, we still see the miraculous happen as Stephen sees Jesus waiting for Him as he finishes his last breath.
Another example is found in Acts chapter 16 where Paul and Silas had been thrown into jail because they had cast a demon out of a girl who made money for people by fortune telling. Once again we see no fear. In fact, what we do see is Paul and Silas singing hymns while they are in jail. We see the opposite of fear. All of a sudden there is an earthquake and God enables a jailbreak! However, instead of making a run for it, Paul and Silas stick around, and the Philippian jailer ends up being saved, along with all of his household, and new members are added to the fledgling church at Philippi!
The use of the gift of faith in the church today.
There have been many instances of the gift of extraordinary faith in the modern church. Whether it has been those called to the mission field walking up to ticket counters with no money and at the last minute somebody giving them the exact amount they needed, or whether it has been those in countries antagonistic to the gospel, receiving the faith to face martyrdom. Extraordinary faith is alive and well in the modern church. There may be times where God will give you this gift. It may be something as small as standing up in front of your peers to give God glory, or it may be something else. Just be assured that if you are given this gift, then God will be there to perform the miraculous part. You just need to be the willing vessel.
- What Are Spiritual Gifts?
- Are spiritual gifts for today?
- The motivation behind spiritual gifts.
- What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- What is the word of wisdom?
- What is the word of knowledge?
- What is extraordinary faith?
- What is gifts of healings?
- What is the working of miracles?
- What is the gift of prophecy?
- What is discerning of spirits?
- What is the gift of tongues?
- What is the proper use of tongues in the church today?
- What is the interpretation of tongues?