Faith: Two Varieties of the Same Fruit (Fruits of the Spirit part 7)

"The fruit of the Spirit"

"For I say...God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." (Romans 12:3). This is remarkable to me and "I partly believe it". Okay, I do believe it. But if everyone has "faith" then why isn't everyone believing in and knowing Jesus? I think the reason may be that they've misplaced their faith. Not that they don't know where it is, no. They just aren't putting it where it belongs. They aren't using it to believe on Jesus. Simple enough right?

What about where it says that "not all people have faith" (2 Thessalonians 3:2). Is one contradicting the other? Not if you see that there are two types of faith.

Any unknown quantity—or quality for that matter—needs faith in order to fill up that space. Think about it. If you take a look at any problem in your life, the impetus that propels you to overcome that problem is faith. More than optimism, more than a positive outlook, faith is all of this and more. "Faith" keeps you moving forward. You believe that the thing in question—whatever it may be—can work out. "Faith" as the writer of Hebrews expressed "is the substance of what things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". (Hebrews 11:1).

This simple rudimentary faith described in the preceding paragraph is the platform for the type of faith that Paul lists in Galatians—one precedes the other. The faith that God gave everyone (mentioned in Romans 12:3), when applied to Jesus, will produce salvation. The faith that Jesus gives us after we have believed on Him, however, produces victory in our life. Over whatever circumstances that seek to hem us in and keep us down. And this second type of faith, is the faith that Paul identifies as the seventh fruit of the Spirit. This type, this fruit, is not available to the non-believer. That is, until they invest the faith that they already have, in Jesus, where it belongs.

It says in Hebrews (12:2), Jesus is "the author and the finisher of our faith". The type of faith that Paul is referring to in his letters (He may or may not have been the writer of the letter to the Hebrews, not sure.) is meant to keep us striving, as Christians first, through the inevitable difficulties ("for it must needs be that offences come" Matthew 18:7) of our life to take hold of the promises that God has provided to us through Jesus.

The life of faith is one of waiting on and believing in God to do what He's promised. The Holy Spirit is the one who grows this faith in us as we continue to believe.

"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)

And it’s "faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6)

If anymore clarification is needed, here's a post script. Anyone making strides to better themselves and improve their lot in life will be blessed by God because they’re showing respect and gratitude for the process that He set up.

Meekness: Reviled with a Smile (Fruits of the Spirit part 8)

My Goodness! (Fruits of the Spirit part 6)