Q. The following quote is from your lesson of October 18, 2008:
“The only reason Paul performed greater miracles than we do is because he had bigger faith. The only reason he had bigger faith is because he fought bigger battles”
Really? If I had the same amount of faith as Paul I could perform the same miracles? Is this “level” of faith available to all believers? If so, how do I know when I “arrived” at this level? How do I “work” toward this achievement? I thought we are saved by grace not by works lest any man should boast.
Maybe the truth is I cannot perform the same miracles because I do not have the same gifts and it has nothing to do with the amount of my faith? Maybe you need to read I Corinthians 12, where Paul says not all Christians have all gifts, and different Christians have different gifts, yet ALL are valuable members of the body of Christ.
A. In John 14:12 Jesus said, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” He was speaking about His miracles. He didn’t add any conditions like “providing they have the same gifts I have.” He made a similar statement in Matt. 21:21-22.
To me this means the variable is not our gift but our faith. But even if it did depend on the gifts we’ve been given, we would all be doing things in the area of our giftedness that are as great as those Paul did in the area of his.
Paul’s level of faith is available to every believer. It begins with the faith we were given that allowed us to believe and be saved (Ephes. 2:8-9), and it grows from there depending on how we exercise it. In Paul’s case he walked away from the life he had built up for himself and became a voluntary servant to the Lord, depending on Him for everything. (For a summary of his life in ministry read 2 Cor. 11:24-29). We are not all called to live a life like Paul’s but one of the benefits that came from exercising his faith to such extremes is that he received the ability to do the truly miraculous.
However, we are all called to walk away from our pre-Christian life and give our entire being to the Lord depending on Him for everything. In this way we can discover His will for us and become fully empowered to exercise the gifts we’ve been given (Romans 12:1-8). Not many believers have done that.