God’s plan of salvation is marvelous. It glorifies God because “salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9) and not of man. From the first step of believing on Christ to the last good work before death, salvation is all of God’s grace. Ephesians 2:8-10 outlines God’s plan of salvation nicely: grace, faith and good works. God’s grace enables a sinner to believe. Faith is the gift, an instrument God uses to unite the sinner to Christ. The result of that gracious work of God in a sinner’s heart and life is good works.
Once God saves a sinner by grace, the sinner is able to participate in God’s plan of salvation (Phil. 2:12, 13). It is by faith that Christians begin to carry out God’s will. It is by faith that Christians overcome trials, temptations, and persecution. So faith is critical for every Christian and it is important that each believer understand what the bible teaches about faith.
The Lord Jesus Christ told the Roman centurion in Matthew 8:5-10 that he had “great faith.” Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 6:25-30 that they had “little faith.” In Luke 17:1-10, the disciples said to Jesus, “increase our faith.” Jesus told them that they only needed “faith as a grain of mustard seed” and they would be able to do great deeds. Although Scripture uses language that sounds like “faith” grows or increases from less to more or little to great, it is not faith that grows at all. God gives one size of faith to all His children. Initially, that faith embraces Christ for salvation, perhaps based on only the basic knowledge of salvation. As the new Christian learns more truth from Scripture, he can respond in a more Christlike way to the various circumstances of life.
If mustard seed size faith is enough to do great deeds for God, then the size of your faith is not an issue. The size of your knowledge of God is the key. The more you learn of Christ and His will and His ways in this world, the more likely you would be commended by Jesus as having “great faith” like the centurion. The centurion did not try harder to believe , he simply had a broad and deep knowledge of Christ that he could apply to his situation. If you have little knowledge of Jesus and His Words, you will have “little faith” like the disciples when they first began their journey with Jesus.
Look at your faith as a container; it never changes size. Look at Bible truths as slices of bread that go in that container. The more knowledge you gain, the more you fill the container. As you gain more knowledge of God, your mustard seed faith is more informed and able to do the will of God.
Faith is taking God at His Word. As you learn His Word, you will know Him better and know how to please Him under any circumstances.
Make it a priority to study God’s Word so you can grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18). A person with great faith is not a “super” Christian. He is one who has learned of Christ through persistent study of His Word.
Pastor Bob Dennis