The Degree of Faith
For you to fully understand today’s teaching,you need to read the article I wrote before this:Click here.
My thesis:(a)Every man has a degree/measure of faith given to him by God so (b) if he is operating below this level,he has a little faith(oligopistos) but (c) if his response to challenges is equal to or higher than his capacity,then he has a great faith(either tosoutos or megas pistis).
In other words,it is expected that a secondary/high school leaver be able to solve simultaneous or quadratic equation but if he is not able,then he is below par.Conversely,if a primary school pupil is able to add and subtract fractions or reduce fractions to their lowest equivalent form,then he is said to be up to par.Now imagine a precocious primary school pupil that is able to solve a simultaneous equation!How do you describe such a pupil?He is said to be above par.
Let me start with the first highlighted part (a) of my thesis:Measure of faith given to us by God.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure(Greek:metron) of faith God has given you.”-Romans 12:3
Metron in Greek language means metres or degrees.Measures of faith then means metres or degrees of faith!
Every man has received a degree of faith from God so it is not a self-produced faith.The implication of this is that you are not the determinant of your measure of faith.God knows your capacity.He knows your elastic limits beyond which you will break down! Some would say,’God,I can’t have faith again oooo…This is too much for me to cope with’…No no no! You don’t know the measure of faith God has given you so your assessment is faulty!If anything challenges your faith(pistis),it means God has given you a metron(degree) of faith to tackle it.
Generally,He won’t allow secondary school math exam to be given to a primary school pupil to be solved and if at all it happens, it means He knows that such a pupil is very intelligent and has the capacity to solve the math! Let me support this with a scripture:
“No temptation (peirasmos) has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted (peirazō) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation (peirasmos) will provide the way of escape(ekbasis) also, so that you will be able to endure it.”-1Cor 10:13
Let me give the meanings of the italicised Greek words for us to have good understanding of the verse:
Peirasmos(temptation) : Means trial(putting something to proof),discipline,provocation, adversity.
Peirazō(tempted):Means to be examined objectively,scrutinized,proved.All these are done objectively not subjectively. Medical students who write clinical exams will understand the difference between these two words better.In a subjective exam,your attitude,dressing, personality etc matter when you are being assessed.For example,if the examiner doesn’t like your facial expression, you are in soup! Objective exams are not like that: No bias whatsoever.
Ekbasis(escape): Means an exit
Can you kindly go back and read 1Cor10:13 again for a better understanding?
The verse means every trial,adversity or test that comes your way is not beyond your capacity/degree of faith…it is common to man! However,you are not left alone,because God won’t allow an exam higher than your class to be given to you to solve even though the devil likes to do such.Meanwhile,God will allow the exam to be conducted objectively! This may put you through some inconveniences but thank God Christ has paid for all our inadequacies.Though God will allow the trial to last till He is sure you have been proved,yet during the process, He gives some palliatives to cushion the effects of the trial: Ekbasis(exit).
Did you notice the verse does not say God will remove the temptation? It says,”…but with the temptation (peirasmos) will provide the way of escape(ekbasis) also, so that you will be able to endure it.“
Bros/Sis… you ‘ve got to finish writing this exam! You just have to go through this phase of your life!!! However,God will make the conditions favourable for you!
“And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”-Romans 8:28
You need to be promoted and that can’t happen without test/trial/adversity.Your measure of faith attracts its own trial,discipline and adversity.It is not a question of whether the trial will come,it is a question of when? Are you prepared?
“But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.”-Mark 4:17(NLT)
NIV helps us to understand why the trouble comes:
“When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”
Hmmmmm,for every faith you have on God’s word,there is a trouble/trial that will come for it! If trial comes,praise God!!! I laugh when Christians try to change the words of this song: “Today ooo,I will lift up voice in praise,for I know you are always there for me…No matter what I face,when trouble comes my way”.They have now substituted ‘trouble’ with ‘success’.Anyways,nobody prays for trouble,but it is inevitable…’in this world(kosmos),you will have troubles’,says Christ.
Though trouble comes you have a measure of faith to tackle it.For God is faithful,He wouldn’t have allowed it if you didn’t have the capacity to cope with it! Are you finding it difficult to cope? Then,pay attention,there is an exit for every child of God going through trial!
What is it that is your present challenge? I want you to know that you can overcome it. Yes,you can! The challenge is for your degree of faith! Common! Go in the measure of faith you have been given by God and overcome the adversity…Yes,you can!
Whaooooo.Time is far spent.Tomorrow(on Sunday),I will be teaching on the b and c parts of the highlighted thesis.I will discuss them in relations to the disciples of Christ on one hand and the Centurion/Canaanite woman on the other hand.
Till then…Go and excel with your measure of faith!