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Thread: The measure of faith

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    The measure of faith

    How should the following verse be interpreted?

    "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."
    (Romans 12:3)

    What is the "measure of faith" given by God that Paul refers to here?

    When we stand before the Judgment Seat, we will have retained only two things from our earthly life: what God gave us, and what we did with what He gave us.

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner55 View Post
    How should the following verse be interpreted?

    "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."
    (Romans 12:3)

    What is the "measure of faith" given by God that Paul refers to here?
    Each member of the body has it's specific part and role to play according as God has purposed each in the whole. Each relies on all the others for the body to be whole and pleasing to God. No one part is more important to God.

    For the cause of Christ
    Roger

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Faith is a gift:
    Ephesians 2:8-"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"

    We are all given a measure of faith:
    Romans 2:11-"For there is no respect of persons with God."

    I think it has to do with what we do with the measure of faith God gives us. Some grow in it and others don't.
    Faith that saves:
    Romans 10:9-10-"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

    and faith that has grown:
    Mark 11:22-24-"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

    I heard of a woman once who after she died, her children found her Bible. In many places they found the letters "T" and "P" written beside verses. As they searched her Bible they found a place where she had written: T-tried P-proven
    I think it's a good example in showing that this woman's saving faith grew to a place where her faith grew more and more.
    God gives it to us, what we do with it is up to us.
    .................The message of the cross divides the human race." ~MW~

    ........ ... " LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant..."
    .................................................. .................................................. ...Nehemiah 1:11a




  4. #4

    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner55 View Post
    How should the following verse be interpreted?

    "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."
    (Romans 12:3)

    What is the "measure of faith" given by God that Paul refers to here?
    I have only had two other posts, but I mentioned these following scriptures already:

    Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith. Hab 2:4

    But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. Rom 14:23

    Faith isn't just a passive, intellectual exercise. That is what James was pointing to when he said the demons believe as well (Jam 2:19). Faith is the Christian well spring from which everything we do (good) comes from, as the two verses above show (and yes feel free to tie that into Jesus being our well spring).

    The verse you are pointing out shows faith is not just a nice, even, blanket attribute that equally covers everything we do. Rather faith can very in strength. We all know Jesus described faith as a measuement of size (Matt 17:20). Here it is also stating you can have different measurements or sizes of faith which correspond to different gifts from God. If you are given a great measure of faith in prophecy, then you are able to exercise that gift quite a bit. But if you are given a less measurement of faith in prophecy, be content to prophecy just a little as that is what God has given you and what God wants from you.

    Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly; if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his servicing; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Rom 12:6-8

    This is the same teaching as Jesus about the slaves and different amounts of money given to each (Matt 25:14-30) except instead of Jesus' make use of what was given this is don't go beyond what was given. If you have been given $5 but you try to spend 25$ you are going beyond and trying to use not what God gave you but from yourself and you will fail and possibly cause harm. And with Jesus teaching if you are given $25 you better spend it all and not just use $5, that is an unfaithful servant.

    Also you may have been given much faith in prophecy, but nothing in speaking in tongues. Or whatever combination you can think of; the measurements of faith from which the gifts spring are different.

    And to tie it back into your question, faith is not just one single mass that you have. It is in aggregate of everything God has given you, everything that you live life with for God and for His glory. Faith isn't just saying and knowing Jesus died for my sins and rose again on the third day. It is believing that He did and trusting that Jesus took away your sins and trusting that you will infact raise up again just like Jesus. The demons don't put their trust in Jesus although they know he did in fact do so. And from this center (which can be different measurements) flow forth the gifts.

    As an example say a person greatly trusts God when it comes to dangerous situations as they traverse the Amazon forest, but really lacks trust when it comes to personal finances. I would say he is in the right spot to make use of his gifts and his faith (which is why God put him there). But if he were an investment banker I would say God is using that position to let him fail as he will be using his own flesh in that position and then using that failure to direct him where God wants him to go.

    One other point (which I think is the point you were after).

    Some try to separate saving faith from faith from which we live. One being from a person and one from God. But then that would be saying our saving faith has no place in our living faith for God. But if faith doesn't do anything, it is dead. So yes, that measure of faith you are referring to to is not only the faith we live by, but also our saving faith... because there is no difference between the two... there cannot be, otherwise that faith is not truly living as it doesn't do anything.

    I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Gal 2:20

    Saving faith = living faith
    If living faith = allotted measure, then so to must saving faith.

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Actually, my intent was to get feedback on the fact that the measure of faith was, according to Paul, "given" by God. Some see this faith as dispensed by God to the foreknown believers, while others see everyone having a God-given "capacity" for faith, which some choose to exercise, and some do not. I've checked the Greek text and about 2 dozen Bible versions, and the meaning is as it appears in the KJV: the faith Paul refers to, is given by God. My thanks to you two guys for responding.

    When we stand before the Judgment Seat, we will have retained only two things from our earthly life: what God gave us, and what we did with what He gave us.

  6. #6

    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner55 View Post
    Actually, my intent was to get feedback on the fact that the measure of faith was, according to Paul, "given" by God. Some see this faith as dispensed by God to the foreknown believers, while others see everyone having a God-given "capacity" for faith, which some choose to exercise, and some do not. I've checked the Greek text and about 2 dozen Bible versions, and the meaning is as it appears in the KJV: the faith Paul refers to, is given by God. My thanks to you two guys for responding.
    I'll try again then.

    Faith isn't given before, but when the Gospel is heard (Rom 10:17). Faith is reflection of how your heart responds to the Gospel. But it is given, as my first post above.


    Not everyone has the capacity to believe (or understand for that matter):

    Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. John 8:42,43 (see also John 12:39 and 2 Cor 4:4)

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    I'll try again then.

    Faith isn't given before, but when the Gospel is heard (Rom 10:17).
    It doesn't say faith is given when the gospel is heard. It says faith comes. Holistically, God gives a word or promise which gives man the opportunity to believe God. It's no different here. The way faith works didn't change from one testament to another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    Faith is reflection of how your heart responds to the Gospel. But it is given, as my first post above.
    The heart isn't doing its responding at all if it must first be given the ability to respond correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    Not everyone has the capacity to believe (or understand for that matter):

    Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. John 8:42,43 (see also John 12:39 and 2 Cor 4:4)
    This is true, but it doesn't mean they were born that way, or that they became that way by another arbitrarily.

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    I'll try again then.

    Faith isn't given before, but when the Gospel is heard (Rom 10:17). Faith is reflection of how your heart responds to the Gospel. But it is given, as my first post above.
    Not everyone has the capacity to believe (or understand for that matter):
    Well, faith in God's Word has existed since the time of Abel, and is manifested in Noah, Abraham, and a long list of people before the Gospel was preached by Jesus. I see Jesus as the Word of God manifest in the flesh, and the personification of what that faith was pointing to for thousands of years.

    Likewise, Cornelius certainly possessed faith even before he heard the Gospel, and learned about Jesus. His faith is the reason God sent Peter to him as the first Gentile convert. (Along with a means of purging the prejudice from Peter).

    It seems to me there must be some innate quality before conversion--perhaps a fertile heart from which the Gospel seed springs up. And I would consider that a capacity for faith.

    Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. John 8:42,43 (see also John 12:39 and 2 Cor 4:4)
    I understand your point here, but we must remember that most of Israel was stricken with spiritual blindness concerning Jesus, in accordance with the Lord's long term plans (Rom 11:25-32), so I don't know that the verse exemplifies your point.

    I agree completely that faith in Jesus comes as a response to hearing the Gospel, but I have to question the lack of a future believer's ability to believe beforehand.

    God bless.

    When we stand before the Judgment Seat, we will have retained only two things from our earthly life: what God gave us, and what we did with what He gave us.

  9. #9

    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirus View Post
    It doesn't say faith is given when the gospel is heard. It says faith comes. Holistically, God gives a word or promise which gives man the opportunity to believe God. It's no different here. The way faith works didn't change from one testament to another.
    What I was pointing out is that there is nothing that is given before the message is heard. No bodily/spiritual change in all people that happened at some previous time.

    And it doesn't say it creates an opportunity, it literally says "faith comes from hearing". And then the other half "and hearing by the word of Christ.".

    The ability to hear the message is from something as well.

    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18

    The message has power only over one group. Its like a key that must match a lock. Faith comes from hearing the message, and it is based upon being able to hear the message. If everyone had the ears to hear, then everyone would believe who heard the message, since the word has the power to save those that hear.

    To your last point that faith was of the same type in both testaments, I agree (Heb 11). Repentance, the fear of God, following God all come from the heart and all are said to come from God, even in the OT (Isa 26:11-13 Deut 30:6 Psa 86:11 1 Kings 18:37 (2 Tim 2:25))
    The heart isn't doing its responding at all if it must first be given the ability to respond correctly.
    Its either a good heart or an evil heart when it responds. It doesn't start neutral then become good or evil. God doesn't create neutral, He creates good (good in relation to Him not in relation to itself). From the heart flows good or evil (Mark 7:15) and if evil flows out it is evil, good then it is good (Luke 6:43). A heart responds with what it is.
    A good heart cannot produce evil and an evil heart cannot produce good.

    This is true, but it doesn't mean they were born that way, or that they became that way by another arbitrarily.
    It shows that they have an evil heart, just as verse 44 says "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. ...

    Their desire, what comes from their heart, is to do the devil's desire. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit.

  10. #10

    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner55 View Post
    Well, faith in God's Word has existed since the time of Abel, and is manifested in Noah, Abraham, and a long list of people before the Gospel was preached by Jesus. I see Jesus as the Word of God manifest in the flesh, and the personification of what that faith was pointing to for thousands of years.
    I can agree. Ultimately it is faith in God.

    Likewise, Cornelius certainly possessed faith even before he heard the Gospel, and learned about Jesus. His faith is the reason God sent Peter to him as the first Gentile convert. (Along with a means of purging the prejudice from Peter).

    It seems to me there must be some innate quality before conversion--perhaps a fertile heart from which the Gospel seed springs up. And I would consider that a capacity for faith.
    Faith is something all religions have. Anyone can believe, but not everyone can believe in the truth.

    One can even have a believe in Jesus and it be false (Matt 7:21-23 be sure to read v.15-20 before it good from good, evil from evil).

    I understand your point here, but we must remember that most of Israel was stricken with spiritual blindness concerning Jesus, in accordance with the Lord's long term plans (Rom 11:25-32), so I don't know that the verse exemplifies your point.

    I agree completely that faith in Jesus comes as a response to hearing the Gospel, but I have to question the lack of a future believer's ability to believe beforehand.

    God bless.
    I hope my post before this one answers this part.

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    Re: The measure of faith

    I accept that faith is born in an individual from a response of that individual, however said response can only come by Father's initiated mercy/grace first.

    So, who born that individuals faith ?
    ---> Ask the author and finisher of our faith, when Christ restores all things. <---


    Blessings.

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    What I was pointing out is that there is nothing that is given before the message is heard. No bodily/spiritual change in all people that happened at some previous time.
    Well this isn't what it is talking about and means anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    And it doesn't say it creates an opportunity, it literally says "faith comes from hearing". And then the other half "and hearing by the word of Christ.".
    Well, if you think it is some significant spiritual change then this of course is what you'd think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    The ability to hear the message is from something as well.

    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18
    Yes, but this does not constitute some significant spiritual change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    The message has power only over one group. Its like a key that must match a lock. Faith comes from hearing the message, and it is based upon being able to hear the message. If everyone had the ears to hear, then everyone would believe who heard the message, since the word has the power to save those that hear.
    Yes, the spiritual hear, the natural do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    Its either a good heart or an evil heart when it responds.
    I agree -the spiritual hear, the natural do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    It doesn't start neutral then become good or evil. God doesn't create neutral, He creates good (good in relation to Him not in relation to itself).
    Wrong. Vessels of honor and dishonor are made from the same lump of clay .
    It is good -that God made man innocent and neutral. "What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,"

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    It shows that they have an evil heart, just as verse 44 says "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. ...
    Yes, but how did they get the evil heart? Why is their father the devil, and why were there some that were the Fathers, were righteous, worshiped God, who did have His word in them so that they could hear and have a good heart? I said it is not arbitrarily done by another and all you did is state they had an evil heart.

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner55 View Post
    How should the following verse be interpreted?

    "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."
    (Romans 12:3)

    What is the "measure of faith" given by God that Paul refers to here?
    When we read the word "faith" we tend to think of the verb, "the confident belief or trust in the gospel". However, I think the word "faith" here, in this context, indicates the content of the faith -- the content of the gospel. The purpose of the spiritual gifts is to instruct the members of the church in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and to encourage each member in virtue and perseverence in the faith. As Notuptome has said, each of us plays a role in that endevor, which at times is a portion, a part, a measure of the content of the gospel.

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    Faith is something all religions have.
    because all have the ability of faith. It's not a false faith. It is faith put in what is false. This distinction is of utmost importance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful Loser View Post
    Anyone can believe, but not everyone can believe in the truth.
    There is truth in the morals of other religions. I dare say, many in other religions are much more righteous outwardly than Christians. It will not save them but there is no denying the truth found in them. This is because the truth is found within. All men hold the truth (law) and knowledge (law) of God.

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    Re: The measure of faith

    Quote Originally Posted by BroRog View Post
    When we read the word "faith" we tend to think of the verb, "the confident belief or trust in the gospel". However, I think the word "faith" here, in this context, indicates the content of the faith -- the content of the gospel. The purpose of the spiritual gifts is to instruct the members of the church in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and to encourage each member in virtue and perseverence in the faith. As Notuptome has said, each of us plays a role in that endevor, which at times is a portion, a part, a measure of the content of the gospel.
    You mean, in the context of an allocation or dispensation from God. Could be.

    When we stand before the Judgment Seat, we will have retained only two things from our earthly life: what God gave us, and what we did with what He gave us.

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