Friday, June 24, 2005

The Spirit of Faith

I believed, therefore I spoke. (Psalm 116:10)
Paul quoted this verse and called this the "spirit of faith":
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believe and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak. (2 Corinthians 4:13)
Faith is a matter of the spirit, that is, of the human spirit infused by the Holy Spirit. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and the Word of God is given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). In other words, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Faith. John Gill’s comment on 2 Corinthians 4:13 brings this out well:
Now of this faith the Spirit of God is the author; this is not of ourselves, of our own power, it is the free gift of God, and a valuable gift it is; it is of the operation of God, and the produce of his almighty power; and of this the Spirit of God, in conversion, is the powerful operator: hence he is here called the "Spirit of faith.” (Exposition of the Entire Bible)
Notice how both the psalm writer and Paul describe the activation of faith: I believe and therefore speak. Paul similarly describes this operation in his letter to the Romans:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10)
With the heart we believe, with the mouth we confess. That is how faith works, always. The word “confess” means to agree with. That is, what we say with our mouth needs to be in agreement with what we believe in our heart. When they do not line up, our faith gets short-circuited and becomes ineffective.

Jesus taught this same principle to His disciples:
Assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the seas,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:23)
There is the believing with the heart, and there is the speaking with the mouth. The result? Mountains move! Faith-filled words spoken in agreement with our heart always have that effect.

In the Psalm text, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” the word for “speak” is the Hebrew dabar. It literally means to arrange, and in a positive sense means to subdue, declare, command, name or pronounce. In other words, when we believe the Word of God and speak in agreement with it, we are causing things to happen. Just as God subdued the darkness by calling forth light, our faith-filled words cause things to come into line with the Word of God.

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. With the heart you believe, with the mouth you confess. In this way, the facts of the world will be made to line up with the truth of God’s Word. For if you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, you posses the Spirit of Faith.