[Hebrews 11: 1-3]
“Now faith is the assurance of [things] hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the second session of the measure of faith. The first session and this session serves as the introduction of the whole sermon series on ‘measure of faith’.
It explains what faith really is before actually explaining the measure of faith.
It is by faith that we are saved and go to the heavenly kingdom and pray to God and receive the answer.
But this faith has to be spiritual faith that God can approve. Even though we confess, “I believe,” unless it is spiritual faith recognized by God, we cannot receive either salvation or the answers to prayers.
So, in the last session, I explained about fleshly faith and spiritual faith to help you understand what spiritual faith is that God approves.
With spiritual faith, you can believe even though things do not agree with your own theories and thoughts. It never changes in any circumstances, and it does not remain as just knowledge but is followed by action.
If we have this spiritual faith, we can command a mountain to be moved from here to there, and we can receive answers to the things that are impossible by human ability.
However, men cannot have this kind of spiritual faith as they want.
Romans 12:3 says, “For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
As said, we can have spiritual faith according to the measure of faith that God has allotted to each one. If men can have spiritual faith as they want, there will be so many problems in this world.
For example, if a merchant says, “Lord, let no costumers go to my neighboring shop, let them come to me only.” Or if somebody who hates his neighbor so much prays, “Let that man face a traffic accident.”
If these people can have spiritual faith with which they can receive the answer by themselves, the world will be a chaos. Therefore, God of justice gives the faith to receive the answer only to those who have the qualifications to receive the answers.
Of course, those who have this kind of spiritual faith will not pray for something evil.
Today, I will talk to you about the way to have spiritual faith given by God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, through this message, you will receive answers to whatever you ask and receive blessings by having great spiritual faith, so that you will give glory to God in everything.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in Mark 9:22, one father whose son is demon-possessed came to Jesus and said, “And it has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
Here, what this father said, “if You can do anything take pity on us and help us!” is not a confession of faith. He was not asking with faith that God is almighty, but he was hoping for a luck.
So, Jesus said to him, “‘If You can!’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and [began] saying, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
First, he said, “I do believe,” but then he said, “help my unbelief.” So, this may seem to make no sense. But it is not that it makes no sense. It is just that the spiritual meaning contained in each expression is different.
When the man said, “I do believe,” it was confession of his fleshly faith. Namely, it means, he heard about Jesus and knew it as knowledge. He actually heard a lot of news about Jesus.
He heard that Jesus drove out demons, made the blind see, deaf hear, and mute speak, manifesting wondrous powerful works.
Because he heard the news and was aware of what was happening, he confessed that he believed with his knowledge.
Next, he said, “help my unbelief.” By saying this, this man asked for spiritual faith to receive the answer, because he realized that he did not have spiritual faith to receive the answer although he had the faith as knowledge by hearing.
When Jesus saw this man asking with humble heart like this, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” So, the demon left and the boy was healthy.
The father of this son first had faith as knowledge only, but by asking Jesus, he came to have spiritual faith. And with this spiritual faith, his son was made complete by the work of God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in order for you to meet and experience God, you must have spiritual faith, but not everybody has great spiritual faith from the beginning.
It starts from faith as small as a mustard seed. Namely, you first hear the gospel and accept the Lord to receive the Holy Spirit, and gain the faith to receive salvation.
From this time, your spiritual faith grows as much as you hear God’s word and make it your spiritual bread. Then, how can you have spiritual faith?
First, you have to demolish all thoughts and theories that hinder you from having spiritual faith.
As said in 2 Corinthians 10:5, we have to “destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”
As explained in the last session also, not all your knowledge, theories, way of thinking and values are right. Only the word of God is the everlasting truth.
If we insist on our own knowledge and theories to be right, we cannot either accept the word of God or have spiritual faith.
If the things that you learned from the world do not agree with God’s word, you have to deny them and trust the word of God alone. But because you don’t do this, you cannot have spiritual faith.
By the way, you Manmin members have more chance to demolish your knowledge, theories, framework, and thoughts than any other people.
Many of you have gained great extent of education in the world, but what is the reason that you receive the message with the ‘Amen’ and lead an enthusiastic Christian life?
It is because you experienced God’s works that go beyond worldly knowledge and theories. Only if you attend this church for just a month, you see and hear so many signs and wonders every week.
Especially, so many incurable diseases and infirmities are healed by the power of God, and we cannot even count the numbers. Furthermore, we have the following medical documents to prove that these healings really took place beyond human ability.
Because you experience countless works of God every week, you cannot insist on your theories and knowledge before the word of God.
Romans 8:7 says, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able [to do so];” I hope you, those who are listening to this message, will get rid of all thoughts and theories that hinder you from believing the word of God, even just by seeing the works that God is showing to us here.
I hope so that you can receive all the words of God with only ‘Amen’.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in order to have spiritual faith, secondly, we have to hear and learn the word of God diligently and practice it.
Romans 10:17 says, “So faith [comes] from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” As said, first we have to hear and learn God’s word and fill our heart with the truth.
If you fill your heart with the truth, what is opposite of the truth, which is untruth will go out from you and you will have clean heart.
To the extent that you make your heart clean, God gives you greater spiritual faith.
1 John 3:21-22 says, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” Also, in the Bible, there are many of God’s promises of this kind.
God certainly keeps His promises. Therefore, He gives spiritual faith to His children who fill their heart with truth and live by the word, and when they ask with faith, He surely answers to them.
If your field of heart is very good, you can believe as you hear and learn the world, so your spiritual faith will grow very quickly.
But in most cases, when you hear the word, you first keep it as knowledge and then begin to change it into spiritual faith.
In order for the word of God stored as knowledge to be filled as spiritual faith in our heart, there is a process. That is, there must be the act of obeying the word of God as it is.
For example, even though you memorize the musical score of a piano performance, it does not mean you can play the piano very well. Even though you read textbooks on golfing, it does not mean you can golf well.
You have to practice playing the piano and golf according to the textbooks.
It is the same with God’s word. No matter how much you read and hear God’s word, it is of no use if you do not act by it.
To those who do not act by the word, the word of God remains as just a piece of knowledge, just as letters written in the Bible. But when you practice the word, it becomes living and active, and it comes out as beautiful fruits of answers and blessings.
It is because God gives you spiritual faith looking at your deeds of obeying the word.
Of course, even though you try to obey, there are times when you cannot immediately obey.
You try to love others according to the word of God, but you cannot cast off your hatred from your heart and you sometimes get angry even though you try not to.
Then, you have to pray fervently and receive the strength to obey. If you cannot obey even with prayers, you can offer vowed prayers, night prayers, or even fasting to receive the strength.
If you seek God’s grace and power from your true heart, God definitely gives you the strength to enable you to obey.
You can have spiritual faith only when you keep on obeying the word. Once you gain spiritual faith by practicing the word, blessings come on you as God promised.
Your soul will be prosperous, you will be healthy, and the desires of your heart will be answered.
After you experience these blessings, you can obey even greater things, and through that process, you can gain greater faith.
Romans 1:17 says, “For in it [the] righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘BUT THE RIGHTEOUS [man] SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.'”
As said, “faith to faith” we can go on from faith as knowledge to spiritual faith and proceed from little faith to greater faith when we obey as we hear the word.
Let me give you an example for a better understanding. How do you quench your thirst? You can just drink water, right?
The statement saying, “Your thirst will be quenched if you drink water,” is like faith as knowledge.
Do you believe this fact in your heart? You seek water when you are thirsty because you believe so.
But let us say there is person who knows as knowledge that his thirsty will be quenched by drinking water, but does not actually drink water because he has doubt whether water will really quench his thirst.
Then, can we say he really believes? He knows it as knowledge, but he does not believe it in his deep heart. If he does really believe, his action of actually drinking water will follow.
The fact that one’s thirst will be quenched by drinking water was faith as knowledge for you in the beginning.
Now, you acted according to your knowledge. Then, your thirst was really quenched. This becomes your experience and later if you are thirst, you will naturally seek water.
Through one action, you come to believe in deep heart, so from next time, your action follows automatically.
It is the same with God. When you hear the words of the Bible, if you obey even with faith as small as a mustard seed, you will gain experience of faith as you acted. Through that experience, you can gain spiritual faith.
Then, to the extent that spiritual faith is given from above, you can more easily act according to the word from the next time.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if your spiritual faith grows and it reaches the full measure, you can obey anything even though God commands you to do something completely impossible.
For example, Abraham obeyed the command of God telling him to offer his only son Isaac whom he begot at the age of 100, as a burnt offering.
For an ordinary man, it would have been impossible to even imagine such a thing, but he obeyed immediately without any hesitation.
Abraham had assurance that God is almighty, and he believed that God would revive his son even if he offered him as a burnt offering.
When he obeyed with faith something impossible like this, he received such great blessings. He was established as the patriarch of faith and the source of blessings, and was called as a friend of God.
I hope you will obey all the words that you hear like Abraham and show the evidence of your faith with your deeds.
I urge you, by doing so, to please God and gain greater measure of faith continually, so that you will experience the power of the Almighty God each moment.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, I explained two ways to gain spiritual faith.
First, I told you we have to demolish all thoughts and theories of men that hinder us from believing God’s word.
Then, secondly, we have to obey the word of God because spiritual faith is accompanied by deeds. If you fill your heart by keeping God’s word, you will gain greater spiritual faith to the extent that you fill your heart with truth.
After all, the measure of each one’s faith is decided according to how much one’s heart is filled with truth and how much he is sanctified.
Then, after hearing this, some might wonder, “I am not living by the word completely and have only little faith, so does that mean I cannot receive answers to my prayers?”
But it is not true. Regardless of the measure of faith of each one, only if your vessel is ready to receive the answer to a particular problem, God gives you spiritual faith about that matter.
For example, when a person wants to be healed of his disease, he should not just confess with lips that he believes but he has to show the evidence of his faith and prepare the vessel to receive the answer.
Namely, he has to offer prayers, fasts, and all-night prayers, and give offerings, and diligently do the things that can please God.
Once the vessel for the answer is ready by storing up the deeds of faith, God gives him true faith in his heart, and through that faith he will be healed.
When God fills spiritual faith into the vessel for the answer that we prepared, we receive the answer from God.
In this process, those with greater measure of faith can prepare the vessel for answer more easily than those with little faith.
For example, when praying to receive a certain answer, the aroma of prayer of those with greater faith will be much thicker and more beautiful than that of those with little faith.
This is the reason why some receive the answer just by praying for one day and others for more than a week, when praying for the same title.
Thus, even those with little faith can receive the answer to their prayers, but it is much better to have greater faith.
But more important reason for you to have greater faith is that your heavenly dwelling places will be different according to your measure of faith.
Your measure of faith is the standard to decide the magnitude of beauty of you your heavenly dwelling place and heavenly glory.
I will explain about measure of faith from the next session, and I hope you will gain great and spiritual faith through the messages.
May you receive answers to whatever you ask and give glory to God, and enter into the most glorious heavenly dwelling places, I pray in the name of the Lord!