â€œAnd my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of manâ€™s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.â€ (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)
When God grants the gift of faith that enables us at the point of salvation (Ephesians 2:8), it should not be seen as a static power that merely resides in our minds but rather an empowerment that is expected to grow into a dynamic and demonstrable â€œdivine natureâ€ (2 Peter 1:4-9).
Faith preserves and protects us. Jesus insisted, â€œHe that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto lifeâ€ (John 5:24). These words are precise. Once faith is exercised, an eternal transaction takes place wherein a person is â€œpassedâ€ from spiritual death to eternal life. This is an absolute change and eliminates the possibility of hell (John 10:28-29).
Faith is power for effective prayer. The â€œmustard seedâ€ promise in Matthew 17:20 does not refer to size or amount but to quality. The Greek comparative hoce, translated â€œasâ€ in that passage, refers to the same kind of faith as the mustard seed. Just so, the promise of Matthew 7:7 (that if you ask and seek, you will find) depends on our confidence (faith) in the heavenly Father.
Faith is our â€œshieldâ€ against the Enemy. The seven pieces of Godâ€™s armor identified in Ephesians 6:10-18 include â€œthe shield of faithâ€ that provides an ability â€œto quench all the fiery darts of the wickedâ€ (v. 16). That shield is defensive in the sense that it only provides protection when we use it to block the â€œdarts.â€ The active use comes when we â€œresist the devilâ€ (James 4:7) â€œin the faithâ€ (1 Peter 5:9).
Do you use faith as God intended? HMM III