There are two kinds of faith: I call these Faith Given and Faith to Pursue. A similar thought is chronicled in earlier religious writings as a general faith and a special faith.
Faith Given is a redemptive faith. Paul wrote in his epistle, “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God.” Considering something of this magnitude, namely our redemption, it is of great comfort that we are not left to ourselves. The faith that brings us into right relationship with God is a free gift without merit. This kind of faith cannot be mustered-up or manufactured, it is a gift from God. This faith comes from above.
Faith to Pursue is the faith that lays hold of the promises and benefits God has for us. Jesus encouraged us to pursue our spiritual development and his promises when he said “ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be open.” This kind of faith cultivates integrity, optimism, perseverance, emotional stability, kindness, decency, humility, a forgiving disposition toward others and ourselves, and a host of other attributes in addition to a willingness to contribute to charitable undertakings. This kind of faith comes from within and from above. It could be described as a working partnership with God.
Over time, as I understood that there are two kinds of faith, I have had more clarity about many of the confusing aspects of what I was hearing, reading and thinking about faith. In short, there is the gift of faith that enables us to embrace the promise of redemption and the free gift of adoption. On the other hand, once God has received us into his favor He gives us many special promises and benefits. This kind of faith is manifested when we pursue these benefits and promises by asking, seeking, and knocking. In my view, faith although in essence the same, a Faith Given and a Faith to Pursue and they lack undivided similarities.
Joe Hutchison / Executive Director / Christian Counselor Directory /