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Q&A "Gift of Faith"

Q&A from last post, "BELIEVING, and RELYING, and TRUSTING Him":

Q: "Thank you for sharing this! I really enjoyed reading it and I believe there are people in my life who can really benefit from this understanding. I do have a question though, how would you explain the gift of faith and the Holy Spirit’s role in giving that to believers?"

A: "I assume you're referring to I Corinthians 12:9-12, Kelsey. You'll notice his whole subject is "diversities of gifts" here; “manifestations of the Spirit" that are distributed VARIOUSLY throughout the body according to the Lord's will for the profiting of all. Here, "the gift of faith" is mentioned as just one of several gifts that are NOT given to every believer (very important!). Remember, he's speaking to believers, here, and EVERY believer is required to have faith. But the "gift of faith" he"s referring to is a specialized spiritual gift that is given only to SOME, and NOT to every believer uniformly (anymore than all believers were given the gift of healing, or the working of miracles, or prophecy, or the discerning of spirits, or speaking in tongues, etc.). The whole point of the passage is the diversity in the body, the uniqueness of each diverse believer and his own particular gift, and our mutual dependence on each other because each makes up what another lacks (I recommend you read the whole chapter to fully see this). This is not the same as the justifying faith of Romans 3:21-5:1, or living the life of faith EVERY believer is called to in Hebrews, etc. This specialized "gift of faith" in I Corinthians 12 is also undefined in the text. He doesn't tell us exactly what it is (or was)! It seems it was likely the capacity and propensity to believe God for greater things than usual, in the context of a church that was witnessing and experiencing miraculous healings, words of prophecy, etc. (See I Corinthians 13:8-10, and compare that time in the earlier days of the church with I Timothy 5:23; II Timothy 2:20). The faith I'm speaking of in this post is the general faith of Romans 4 and Hebrews 11. You'll see in those passages and many others (II Corinthians 5:7; James 2, etc.), the responsibility for faith is laid squarely on each one of us, and NOT on the Holy Spirit to supernaturally engift (or "zap") us. However, many make the mistake of not "rightly dividing the Word," and applying the gifting thought of I Corinthians 12 to the more general faith that is required of ALL, and that is a huge problem and a big part of why my friend struggles, and why I wrote this. II Timothy 2:15 'Context . . . IS KING!!!'" 😉

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