The Measure of Faith
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
The context of this passage relates to the gifts of the Spirit that God gives to individuals for the benefit of the whole Body of believers. The Apostle Paul writing to the Roman believers wants to dispel any notion among them that any person’s gifts make them superior to anyone else, and no gift of the Spirit, no matter how powerful, dazzling or popular it maybe, is to be more honored or more valued than any other, though he does say that it is better to prophecy humbly by faith than to merely speak in tongues without an interpretation for the sake of the church and particularly for the unbelievers.
sBut the prophet is not greater than those who exercise other gifts. Can the foot say to the hand I have no need of thee? Can the prophet say to the one gifted with faith I have no need of thee? Can the worker of miracles have no need for the discerner of spirits? No. All are dependent upon one another. Therefore, none can say to another I am superior to you.
The first and the final Determiner is God. And He has dealt to each one the measure of faith sufficient for the gifts he has been given. All the gifts operate by faith and without faith it is impossible to please GOD.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
If there is a simple handbook for daily Christian living it would be Romans 12. In this passage of Scripture there are simple straight forward instructions in how to exercise our gifts, how to live in the community of other believers, how to set and keep our motives pure and our attitudes in check. It’s all here.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:1-21
Today, let’s consider the measure of faith. Remember faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The measure of faith is the degree to which we act based on what we believe and know concerning God’s call to us to serve the Body of Christ. Faith is action. Faith without action is dead.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without James 2:18 thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" James 2:20
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26
That God has given to each of us the measure of faith means whatever the need that comes to our awareness and the Spirit prompts us to respond with whatever gifts of mercy and compassion we are prompted to render to others, whatever, word of cheer or encouragement we offer, a cheerful countenance, a loving embrace, a pat on the back, whatever we do to lift up those who are heavy burdened or in need of comfort and relief from the cares of this world, whatever the need, God has more than generously equipped us to be a blessing and to share of the surplus of what has been so generously ministered to us.
This Christmas time offers us more than ample opportunities to be a blessing and lift up someone who feels the sting of want, need and poverty more deeply during these days than at any other time of the year. As believers, during these days of remembrance and celebration of our Savior’s birth, we remember the world into which He was born, a world of great darkness. a world where evil, selfishness and greed reigned in men’s hearts.
But Jesus came to bring light to that dark world and for all time to come. He came to bring life and that more abundantly to all who would believe. Now we are the carriers of that light and that life, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. So, let us seize every opportunity to imitate our Lord and bring, joy, peace, goodwill and good cheer to all, to a leave a deposit of life and joy wherever we good.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light…” Ephesians 5:8
“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” 1Thessalonians 5:5