What Is Faith
What is Faith?


As we start a new series on “Building Your Faith”, it would be beneficial to understand what faith is. Much like a few doctrinal concepts like love, faith is best understood by considering what it does rather than what it is. Classically, faith has often been defined by Hebrews 11:1 as: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. As we proceed in this lesson, may the Lord grant us an understanding of faith by the revelation of His essence. In our attempt to describe what faith does, we will consider the story in Daniel 3.

Main Text: Mark 11:22-24

Faith in the Fiery Furnace

Here is a summary of the narrative in Daniel 3. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made an image of gold and demanded that all worship it. Daniel’s friends – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego disobeyed the king by not worshipping the image because they believed in the King of Kings. The result – the three Hebrew men were thrown into the midst of a burning fiery furnace, but God rescued them. However, before this episode, they made this startling statement of faith:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” – Daniel 3:17-18 NKJV

God Can Do It

Faith asks us to depend on God because He has the ability to do all things (Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:27, Luke 18:27). Several stories in the Bible confirm this and we have experienced His works in our lives too. He can save (Romans 5:8). He can heal (The woman with the issue of blood, Luke 8:43-48). He can give life (Lazarus, John 11). He can take life (Ananias & Sapphira, Acts 5:1-11). He can set the captives free (Israelites, The Book of Exodus).

God Will Do It

“God will do it” means that we can expect Him to do it. Faith in this sense, therefore, means expectation. To have faith in God for something means to expect that He will do it.

The emphasis is not on that it will happen, but that God will do it. If we are on God’s side, we can count on Him to show up when we need Him. How do we know that God will grant our request? Anytime He promises, He fulfils (Hebrews 10:23; Abraham, Genesis 15:4, Genesis 21:15).

Will God Do It?

“If God does not do it” is not a question of God’s ability and willingness, but a question of how far we are willing to believe in Him and His saving power.

If we are waiting on God for an answer to a request and it seems not to be coming forth, could it be because He has said “No”? Could it be because He has said: “Wait”? Does God ever say “No” or “Wait”?

We may not yet fully understand the whole dynamics of prayers and answers, but the Bible is very clear about how God responds to our requests.

  • Ask, believe, and receive (Mark 11:24). Ask in faith and don’t go back on your request. Don’t receive it today and ask for it tomorrow.
  • Ask in the name of Jesus (John 14:13-14). We may ask for anything (a certain thing) in the name of Jesus within the confines of His will.
  • The most important thing is to abide in Him (John 15:7, Daniel 3:17 – “…our God whom we serve…”). Even if for whatever reason, He seems not to grant our request, or we do not receive the answer, we are confident that he is working on our behalf, for our good (Romans 8:28) and that He is our exceedingly great reward (Genesis 15:1). He is your inheritance (Psalm 16:5, Psalm 73:26, Ephesians 1:18) because you are loved (John 3:16, Galatians 2:20), forgiven (Psalm 103:3), redeemed (Galatians 3:13), holy (Hebrews 10:10), set apart (Jeremiah 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:21).


In today’s lesson, we have looked at the meaning of faith, especially from the point of view of what it does, rather than what it is. Faith asks us to believe that God can and that He will, but it also demands that we go all the way with God even when there are ups and downs, things don’t line up, and our expectations seem not met. In the subsequent lessons in this series, we will be looking at how to build our faith. However, we should let the story of the Hebrew men serve as a challenge to us. Can we stick our necks out for the Lord? Can we sacrifice for Him when compromising situations arise?

The Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

In the last study, we began a study of the specific gifts of the Holy Spirit. We looked at the revelation gifts – Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge and Discerning of Spirits – and the differences between these gifts. Today, we will be studying in detail the power gifts of the Holy Spirit – Gifts of Healings, Working of Miracles, and Faith. May the Lord incline our hearts to His Word. Amen!

Main Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Significance of the Power Gifts

The revelation gifts we considered last week are manifested for the Christian to know something God wants him to know. While the vocal gifts we will be considering next week are gifts the Christian can exercise to speak God’s will. Power is simply defined as the ability to do something; hence, power gifts are used by the Christian to do God’s will.  Thus, this set of gifts are quite important. Why? James 1:22, Matthew 7:24. The power gifts are useful for (a) doing the Father’s will (b) offering service to humanity (c) edifying the body of Christ and (d) living a victorious Christian life.

The Gift of Faith

What is Faith? Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) How is this gift used to “do” God’s will? Faith is the fuel that causes us to believe the unseen and do the impossible. All the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 did remarkable things because they were not low on this fuel. How is the gift of faith different from the fruit of faith? The gift of faith, as other gifts of the Holy Spirit, is primarily for the edification of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7) while the fruit of faith is the result of God’s presence within us and is primarily for our personal walk with God (Galatians 5:22-25). Is the “mustard seed faith” prescription in Matthew 17:20 for those with the gift of faith or for every Christian?

The Gifts of Healing

It is interesting to note that the Bible says the “gifts” of healing in verse 9, suggesting that there are different components of the healing and different types of healing (some translations say “the gifts of healings”). God is interested in healing every area of our lives – mentally, physically, spiritually, socially and financially. Is it mandatory for the sick person to have faith as well for healing to manifest?

Matthew 8:1-3; Luke 4:31-35, Luke 5:1-7

The Gift of Working of Miracles

A miracle is an extraordinary event that cannot be explained by natural/scientific laws. Is it possible for a miracle to occur in your life even without you having faith? Consider Moses and the burning bush. Because God is sovereign, He can work miracles as He chooses. When He does these, they are usually to draw our attention to Him.

John 2:1-11; Luke 7:11-17; Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew  14:13-21

Relationship between the Power Gifts

The gift of faith is the foundation on which the other two power gifts are built (Matthew 14:28-31; Matthew 17:14-20). Is it possible for someone to have either one of these gifts without first having the gift of faith? Also, some healings that do the impossible are miracles themselves. So, we can say there is an intersection between the gifts of healing and the gift of working of miracles. Hence, it’s possible for a Christian to operate in both power gifts.

Power Gifts' Relationship
Power Gifts’ Relationship

How Can I Build up my Faith?

Given that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit become manifest through faith, we should desire to build up our most holy faith. We can do this by hearing and reading the Word of God (Romans 10:17), praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20-21), and getting associated with people who have great faith (Proverbs 27:17).