Spiritual gifts are extraordinary. They are from God, beautiful and out of this world. However, we often times disregard some of these heaven-sent souvenirs as ordinary abilities– nothing special. But we’re wrong. We’re very wrong.
It’s the most crucial aspect of being a believer and follower of Christ Jesus. It is absolutely, desperately, indisputably necessary. Why?
For many reasons, each equally important:
It is how we are justified (Galatians 2:16).
It is our shield (Ephesians 6:16).
It is how we are guarded (1 Peter 1:5).
It is our standing ground (Isaiah 7:9).
But the primary and most paramount reason, which gives way to everything other essential, is that it is our lifeline.
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV).
We cannot live without it. Without faith, we are solely void vessels wandering endlessly toward greater nothingness.
“to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:18 (ESV).
Now we know that Jesus dying on the Cross for our sins, raising up again, and ascending into Heaven with the Father is a gift. That’s what we’re all so thankful for. But rarely do we recognize that having faith in that – believing that it truly happened and that it is worth all that God says it is worth – is a gift. Yes, faith is a gift. It even says so in the Word.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit…to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…to another faith by the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:4,7,9 (ESV).
It is a gift given to us by God, and we are only able to hold onto it because of the Holy Spirit in us. It would be impossible to do it on our own. What exactly is faith?
Dictionary.com defines it as:
(n): 1) confidence or trust in a person or thing.
2) belief that is not based on proof.
What does that mean for us in relation to Christ?
We don’t see Him, and we weren’t there when He died on the Cross, yet we’re supposed to believe that it happened, and to trust the Scripture, the Holy Book that the Lord God gave us while we’re still here on earth. We’re called to have confidence that Jesus is who He claims to be, that He can do all that we’re told that He can do, and that everything recorded in His Word is trustworthy.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV).
How the heck are we supposed to have complete confidence?
Oh, we cannot. It’s impossible. No, we can’t do it on our own.
I’ve had trouble trusting people that I’ve known for years, and people that I see in the flesh, here and now. They are right in front of me, yet I still doubt even them. How then will I be able to have faith?
Because it’s a spiritual gift, from God, by the Holy Spirit. And so I can have faith, because I have the living God in me.
Faith is how we are saved, forgiven, and sanctified. It is vital. And it is the last thing that we would consider a spiritual gift, but it is – and it is the most important one.
And what more? You have access to it. You may not know it, but you do. If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, then you have the Spirit alive in you, making you alive and giving you the ability to have faith.
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 (ESV).