Lesson 11

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

POWER PRINCIPLE FIVE: POWER, FAITH , AND WORKS

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Write the Key Verse from memory.

C Define faith.

C Identify levels of faith.

C Identify types of faith .

C Explain how faith can be increased .

C Summarize the relationship between power, faith, and works.

KEY VERSE:

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. (Acts 6:8)

INTRODUCTION

In Matthew 17, the disciples tried to cast a demon out of a child, but failed. When they brought him to Jesus, He was able to heal him .

The disciples asked Jesus, "Why could not we cast him out ?" Jesus answered . . .

. . . Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (Matthew 17:20)

In this incident Jesus shared an important principle of spiritual power: Power must
operate in faith in order to work the works of God. Faith is man’s response to God’s
power:

. . . All things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23)

This chapter deals with the relationship between power, faith, and works.

DEFINITION

Faith means to believe and have assurance of something. To believe means to have trust . The words "faith, believe, and trust" all mean the same thing in Scripture.

The Bible defines faith as:

. . . the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

The Amplified Bible adds to this definition:

Now faith is the assurance, the confirmation, the title deed of the things we
hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality–faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.
(Hebrews 11:1)

Faith gives assurance that things promised in the future are true and that unseen things are
real.

Faith is not the same as "mind over matter" which is taught by some religions. "Mind over matter" teaches that man can overcome all problems in the real world (the world of
matter) by using his mind, reason, or will. These teachings are man-centered. They rely
on self and not on God . "Mind over matter" is not based on the Word of God . Faith is
God-centered, not man-centered . Faith is not something man produces through the self-
effort of his own mind.

The faith of which the Bible speaks is not natural faith which is trust in things in the natural world which you have learned by experience are usually dependable. For example, faith that the chair on which you are sitting will support you.

BIBLICAL TYPES OF FAITH

There are different types of faith described in Scriptures:

SAVING FAITH:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

Saving faith involves true repentance from sin. You must hear, believe, and personally

accept the message of the Gospel. Saving faith requires a personal response toward God.

Faith is a gift of God to men to enable them to be saved:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. . . (Ephesians 2:8)

You cannot be saved without faith:

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

SANCTIFYING FAITH:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Sanctifying faith enables you to live a holy life after receiving Jesus as Savior. You must experience saving faith in order to receive sanctifying faith.

DEFENSIVE FAITH:

Faith is one of the weapons for defense against your spiritual enemy, Satan:

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16)

Satan will attack your faith by sending darts of unbelief into your mind. Faith in God provides a spiritual defense to these attacks.

THE GIFT OF FAITH:

There is a spiritual gift of faith given by the Holy Spirit:

For to one is given by the Spirit. . . faith. (I Corinthians 12:8-9)

A person with the spiritual gift of faith has a special ability to believe God. He knows God is going to do the impossible. He exercises this faith even when others around him do not believe.

THE FRUIT OF FAITH:

Faith is not something you can develop yourself. It is a spiritual fruit developed in your life by the Holy Spirit:

For the fruit of the spirit is. . . faith. (Galatians 5:22)

Faith as a fruit is character . It is an attitude of faith towards God . It is developed through the process of His life within you bringing spiritual growth.

While everyone does not have the spiritual gift of faith, the fruit of faith should be evident
in the lives of all believers . It is a necessary quality in order to experience spiritual
power.

LEVELS OF FAITH

The Bible reveals there are various levels of faith. Jesus spoke of people who did not use their faith as being faithless (Matthew 17:17). He spoke of those with little faith
(Matthew 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; Luke 12:28) and of those with great faith (Matthew 8:10;
15:28; Luke 7:9).

The Bible teaches that each person has a certain amount of faith which is given to him as a gift from God:

. . . according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)

But how do you increase this measure of faith to the level that will permit the flow of God’s power?

HOW TO INCREASE FAITH

The Bible tells how to increase faith:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

You increase your faith through hearing the Word of God. Saving faith comes by hearing God’s Word. You must first hear the Word of God in order to repent of sin and receive
Jesus as Savior. You cannot experience spiritual power unless you have experienced
saving faith.

After you are saved , Biblical teaching and preaching continues to increase your faith.

The more you hear the Word of God , the more your faith will increase. This faith will continue to conform you to the image of Jesus by the process of sanctification.

Sanctification is living a holy life . You must live righteously in order to experience

spiritual power. Continuing in known sin will prevent the flow of God’s power in your
life.

The more faith increases, the easier it will be to live a holy life and defend against the spiritual attacks of the enemy. Powerless Christians are defeated Christians.

Just a small amount of faith is very powerful:

And Jesus said unto them. . . For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (Matthew 17:20)

FAITH, WORKS, AND POWER

It is easy to see how faith affects the flow of God’s power in your life. Without faith, you are in danger of having merely listened to words without experiencing their power:

For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word

preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (Hebrews 4:2)

But there is also a vital relationship between faith, works, and power. To experience

power, you must have faith. To demonstrate power you must have faith. For faith and power to be effective in the spread of the Gospel, they must be demonstrated by works. James wrote:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith and have not works? Can faith save him?

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. ( James 2:14,17-18,26)

Faith and works are related as closely as the spirit and the body.

Stephen was full of faith and power which enabled him to do great works:

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. (Acts 6:8)

The works of faith are done with power:

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you

worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power. (II Thessalonians 1:11)

God wants to do works of faith with power in you and through you. When you exercise faith, it links God’s power with your works. "All things are possible," Jesus said, "to him that believeth!"