WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 29, 2022
TOPIC: WHAT TYPE OF FAITH DO YOU HAVE?
BY T. O. BANSO
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 New King James Version).
Faith is very important in the life of a child of God. The Bible says that the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). Also in Habakkuk 2:4, the Bible says the just shall live by his faith.
Faith is so important that Jesus said, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”(Luke 18:8b New King James Version).
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). But the Bible qualifies faith in certain ways. Thus, we can talk about different kinds of faith and each person should ask himself what type of faith he has.
Types of Faith
1. No faith. This refers to a condition when there is no faith at all. That was the condition of the disciples in Mark 4:36-41 when Jesus was talking to them after He had rebuked the wind on the sea and it obeyed him. “But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40 New King James Version). No faith! The disciples could have done exactly what Jesus did and calmed the wind.
2. Little faith. Matthew’s account of the rebuke of the disciples by Jesus when He rebuked the wind and it obeyed is recorded in Matthew 8:23-27. In this account, Matthew uses the phrase “little faith” instead of “no faith” used by Mark as you have seen previously. “But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm” (Matthew 8:26 New King James Version). Jesus also talked about little faith in Matthew 6:30, Luke 12:28, and Matthew 14:31, 16:8. Little faith!
3. Mustard seed faith. “So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you’” (Matthew 17:20 New King James Version). Jesus told His disciples this because of their inability to heal a demon-possessed boy.
When they asked Him in private why they couldn’t cast out the demon, He said it was because of their unbelief. He said if they had faith as a mustard seed, they would be able to remove a mountain and nothing would be impossible for them to do.
In Luke 17:5, the disciples of Jesus asked Him to increase their faith (give them more faith). But Jesus replied by saying that if they had faith as a mustard seed, they could tell a mulberry tree to be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey them (verse 6).
How big is a mustard seed? Jesus said in Matthew 13:32 that a mustard seed is the least of all the seeds. But He said faith as a mustard seed would remove a mountain! However, the disciples lacked this type of faith even though in Matthew 10:1, Jesus had given them the power or authority to cast out the demons and heal every kind of disease and illness.
However, some Bible scholars believe that when Jesus talked about faith as a mustard seed, He was not talking about the ‘smallest faith’ but an increasing faith considering what He said about the mustard seed in Matthew 13:32. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches” (Matthew 13:32 New King James Version). Mustard seed faith!
4. Great faith. Jesus described as great the faith of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was demon-possessed and she brought her to Jesus to heal. Initially, it appeared that Jesus would not heal the daughter because, as He said, He was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24). The woman was a gentile and, therefore not qualified! But she came and worshipped Jesus, pleading that He should help her. Jesus said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” (verse 26 New King James Version). But the woman replied: “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (verse 27).
Jesus told the woman her faith was great and it would be to her as she had desired (verse 28). Because of her faith, her daughter was healed that same hour.
Earlier in Matthew 8, the Bible talked about the centurion who had a great faith that made Jesus marvel. He said Jesus shouldn’t come to his house to heal his servant because he was not worthy that Jesus should come under his roof. Instead, he said Jesus should speak one word and his servant would be healed (verses 8-9). He spoke based on his training as a soldier who understood authority. In response, Jesus said He had not found such great faith, even in Israel (verse 10). Luke 7:1-10 also records this centurion’s story.
Jesus told him, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you” (Matthew 8:13 New King James Version). His servant was healed that same hour. Great faith!
5. True/sincere/unfeigned faith. The Bible also talks about sincere faith which can also be called true, genuine, or unfeigned faith. Paul says, “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5 New King James Version). The American Standard Version uses the phrase “faith unfeigned”
Verse 6 says some strayed from this true/sincere/unfeigned faith and turned aside to idle talk, no longer teaching sound doctrines. Paul also described the faith in Timothy, his son in the ministry, as genuine faith (2 Timothy 1:5). The American Standard Version uses the phrase “unfeigned faith” instead of “genuine faith” used in the New King James Version. Genuine faith!
6. Shipwrecked (ruined) faith. Writing to Timothy, Paul said some people having rejected faith and a good conscience made a shipwreck of their faith (1 Timothy 1:19). Shipwrecked faith is ruined faith.
Verse 20 gives two examples of these people, namely Hymenaeus and Alexander whom Paul delivered to Satan that they might learn not to blaspheme. In other words, they were excommunicated from fellowship so that their flesh may be destroyed and their spirit saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. It is like the phrase “deliver such a one to Satan” in 1 Corinthians 5:5.
Use the measure of faith God has given you (Romans 12:3). Build your faith. Let it grow or increase. Remember that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 New King James Version). Live by faith. Have faith in the Word of God. Act upon the Word of God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to keep building my faith. Let me not reject faith and a good conscience. My faith will not be shipwrecked in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, empower me to continue to have faith that will help me to please God. Help me to live by faith and not by fear or unbelief.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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