I’ve heard of special faith and I have been trying to figure out what is special faith for weeks. 1 Corinthians 12:9 we’re all given faith it takes some form of faith to walk in this life, but in reading the Bible it speaks of faith given in spiritual gifts. So my question is what is special faith?
A mistake that is easy to make when reading scripture is in identifying words. What we have to remember about the Bible is that it was not originally written in English. Perhaps if it were many things would be worded differently. For example, there are at least 4 different Greek words in the New Testament that are all translated love. We see it lumped together but the writer chose specific words to portray a point. Some things can truly be lost in translation.
There are many places where these types of things can be misunderstood. That’s why we are thankful for scholars who study these out and teachers who teach them and churches to sit and learn. Did you know that simple translations of our Bibles are done by teams of scholars? This is why I believe it is important when studying scripture to review multiple sources.
With what it referred to as “special faith” it is not different. To throw a little curiosity bone to you, faith is like tongues. The “gift of tongues” is talked a lot about, however there are different forms and some people get confused thinking one is another. When it comes to faith, faith is always a gift but it comes in different forms.
Firstly, basic faith is trust in God. That’s it. In Hebrews 11:1-6 we see a great definition of basic faith. Psalms 37:3 says, “Trust in the LORD and do good…” This is basic faith. When ever you see the words as a command, either to trust or have faith, this is speaking of simple faith. It is within our control always or we would have never been directed to do it. Some people miss this and refuse it. Simple faith is easy and comes through our determination to trust God and His word. Simple faith is what saves us. Simple faith grows as we feed it and won’t grow if we don’t. We feed it by immersing ourselves in His Word. Romans 10:17 clearly tells us this, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
The thing you call “special faith” is different. I’m not sure if the phrase “special faith” is ever in scripture but it’s concept certainly is. I would present to you that there is at least two different types of special faith. There may be more but I think this will give us a good start. They are found in Romans 12:3 and as you said in 1 Corinthians 12:9. Now let me say this, neither of these “faiths” are things you can just have or muster up. These are God given and for specific purpose and they are different than simple faith.
While simple faith everyone can have, God determines these other two. First let’s take Romans 12. These scriptures are talking about things that equate more to God given abilities. I can draw. Some people can sing. Others just are able to recognize and fulfill a need. Still others possess a mass amount of wealth. These are all things that we didn’t necessarily conjure up but we know we have them. The ability to use these and to implement them into God’s kingdom requires a certain amount of faith. In fact, God requires that believers locate those areas of faith and also to utilize them. These are basic Christian operations. A Christian not utilizing something for God’s kingdom is just simply not a good Christian. We are all made to be used!
Now the faith talked about in 1 Corinthians 12 is different still. This is a faith that comes on a person that enables them to do something they couldn’t do before and may not be able to do again. In scripture, Jesus and Peter walking on water took special faith. Jesus didn’t make a habit of walking on water, there were plenty of times He was just in a boat. Directed by God, He was able to and so was Peter. I fully believe we have the example of Peter to encourage us. When the Lord tells us to step out, step out with assurance! I actually had this happen in my life, it was how I was able to marry my wife. In this case, it was God’s plan for us to be together and faith that I never knew rose up in me to bring it to fruition. I didn’t even know why I was so empowered but I can assure you I was. When it’s God it proves out!
So to answer the question, special faith is faith that God puts on a person to do something that was otherwise impossible. Special faith is how miracles are performed. The thing we need to absolutely stress however is that special faith is not something you can just make happen. It is God ordained and Spirit led. How do you know if you have special faith? If you’re wondering, you don’t. Though special faith is contingent on us acting (Peter stepping out of the boat and also sinking), God calling us to it is mandatory. In my case, I didn’t know it was special faith at the time but I was so empowered I didn’t need to know!
In closing I want to add that though we cannot make special faith happen, faithfulness will open the door to the possibility of it. God gives all gifts as He wills but He is always looking for places to give them. As we practice walking in simple faith God will open the doors of greater faith. Remember that the base word of faithfulness is faith. Faithfulness to God is an open door to the supernatural! We are the ones who decide to enter but He decides what we get when we do!