Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Gifts of the Spirit 3

Once again we revisit the "manifestations" of the Spirit- this time regarding the gift of faith. The term used by the Apostle Paul for manifestation is phanerosis means to "bring to light" or "shine forth". We are confronted by Paul's understanding of the "manifestation gifts". These spring forth and reveal the character and nature of God. These are Spirit-imparted and reveal themselves in the corporate gathering of believers (usually). When we speak of the NT 's use of the term faith we see that it is a fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5 where it should likely be translated faithfulness. We know also that Paul understands saving faith to be a gift from God (Eph 2.8-10). But what he has in mind here is a sort of turbo charged trust in God. There are those times when we are out of our depth in God and need to walk through deeper waters than our experience in Jesus has prepared us for. God gifts us with a faith beyond ourselves. Recall the stories of men and women of faith who stood in the face of adversity and believed. You can imagine the need for this in a congregation of saints who will soon come under persecution for their allegiance to Christ. This may manifest itself in the purchase of property, in the trusting for healing or raising the dead.

Some confuse this with extraordinary faith of individuals who habitually trust God for great things.But this is inspirational. In brings in the God-perspective on a specific incident. The gift of faith lifts one from the natural realm and shows a divine perspective. Of course, nothing is impossible with God. Yet, it seemed that Jesus' own miraculous ministry was weakened by the lack of faith in his home town (Mark 6.5-6). Lest the body of Christ be limited in performing the will of God, the Almighty has provided this great and glorious gift. It springs forth and reveals the path of faith from within the believers. We this faith manifest itself in the peace that allowed Paul and Silas to sing hymns at midnight after being beaten and imprisoned.

Certainly, God wants us to be open and seeking this gift. May he fill our hearts with supernaturally derived faith as well as the growing trust in the faithfulness of our Savior.

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