The Bible has a lot to say about different levels of faith. While some types of faith are somewhat related, others are distinctly different, with names such as, common, great, genuine, and one we all hope to avoid, wavering.
Christian faith is based upon God's promises, rather than feelings, or things visible. Great faith holds fast regardless of outward appearances.
"And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform," (Rom 4:18-22).
The one who truly believes and has faith, will act on God's Word, with perfect assurance that his request will be granted.
A faith commonly or mutually shared by all Christians, that believes mankind can find salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ the Messiah, Savior of the world.
In Titus 1:4, it is referred to as, "common faith;"
"Titus, a true son in our common faith..."
In Romans 1:12, The Apostle Paul uses the word, "mutual faith"
"That is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me."
"And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb," (Rom.4:19.
"Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables," (Rom 14:1-3).
Examples from the Bible of weakness in faith, were of those who considered it a sin to eat meat. In our day, a person weak in faith might continually argue over areas of the Bible he/she does not properly understand, but has formed a personal opinion.
For someone to constantly forbid and condemn the things he considers to be sin, when there is no clear leading in scripture, would be sin.
"But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin," (Rom 14:23).
A person of little faith will find limited opportunities to benefit from the Gospel, and very little of the peace and joy that should accompany the Christian life.
Those who are strong in faith are told to accept the weak:
"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves," (Rom 15:1).
An unrelenting, totally persuaded type of faith, that does not give up until the request is granted.
A Centurion who had asked Jesus to heal his sick child, and whose faith was so great that he said,
“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed." "When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (Matt 8:8-10)
And there was the woman from Canaan, a Gentile, (not a Jew). The Gentiles as a rule, had very little, if any faith in God.
This woman requested Jesus to heal her severely demon-possessed daughter. When Jesus refused, saying that He had only been sent to the Jews, she persisted, and demonstrated a faith so great that it brought the following response from Jesus:
“...O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire..." (Matt 15:21-28).
Great faith will always move God to answer.
This kind of faith permits no deception, pretense, charlatans, or braggarts. It is a genuine and sincere faith that flows from a true heart, with the desire to do what is right.
"when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also."
(2 Tim 1:5)
"Doer of the Word," (James 2:14-26; Heb. 10:19-38).
This is the level of faith that goes into action, as the Word of God is understood. It is actively doing and living in faith, as though the things requested of God, although not yet seen, are a reality. Active faith is a requirement for receiving from God.
Answered prayer is perhaps the greatest faith building experience possible. How great to pray to Almighty God, and to have Him answer. This is God's plan, and it can happen to each and every child of God.
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you,"
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5).
According to 2 Cor 5:17, anyone in Christ is a new creation; old things have passed away; all things have become new.
You must become aware of your new life in Christ.
You have the Spirit of Jesus within you, as well as His love and nature. His power flows through you to bear much fruit. Jesus died to make this possible. Cling to His promises, allow His Words to give you the faith to ask and receive.
Do not waste these benefits, be a doer and not a hearer only. Being in Christ gives you the right to act on the Word in order to bear fruit in obedience to Jesus. Faith is a mighty force that knows no defeat.
"Faith without Works"
"But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works," (James 2:18).
A faith without works passively believes and accepts the Bible literally, but without action. Many people believe and have faith that God can do all His Word says. They believe in miracles, yet fail to act on His Word.
Sincere, Unbendable - (opposite of wavering) - To believe God without question.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (Heb. 10:23).
Unwavering faith is to count those things that be not as though they are, (Rom.4:17; Mark 11:22-24).
There is no need for God's Children to be trapped in fear, weakness, poverty, or despair.
In order to receive from God we must believe and hold to our faith without wavering, (Heb 10:23).
"But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways," (James 1:6-8).
All things are possible with God, nothing is beyond His power. Unwavering faith gives thanks for the answer from the moment it asks, then looks forward to it's fulfillment with child-like expectation.
When you really believe, you have acted. The act of believing is a necessary step in getting what you want from God. Faith is action, in counting those things that be not as though they were (Rom 4:17; Mark 11:22-24).
"Having an unwavering faith and trust in God is crucial to sustaining self control, rebuking fear, standing on the Words of the Gospel in faith, working through love.
Faith, hope, love and trust compliment each other. When brought into a relationship with God, in complete devotion, inevitably makes the Christian believer a powerhouse for God, with many miracles.
"To bend," "to be insincere,"
James encourages believers to put their faith in action: "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed," For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, (James 1:5-7, KJV).
A wavering faith is one that doubts, and is unstable in all his ways. Unbelief is either refusing to act, or ignorance of the Word of God. Regardless of how impossible the situation the answer is, unwavering faith.
A wavering level of faith is also double-mindedness, which means, "two souled," a constant changing of the mind, (Vines).
A double-minded person cannot maintain a consistent course of action, but wavers back and forth, both in faith, and in their actual requests of God. Their double-mindedness prevents them from holding tightly to their requests until they have received the answer.
Fearful, displaying a lack of total trust; was used by the Lord as a tender rebuke for anxiety and fear." (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary)
"if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matt 6:30)
"But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm, (Matt 8:26).
"Faith Without Root"
Jesus spoke of having faith without root. It is the kind that springs up quickly, and beautifully, but because it has no depth, fails just as quickly when temptation and trials come along. For the most part this is because the soil has not been properly prepared by digging and searching for knowledge, guidance, and truth, in God's Word.
"...the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away" (Luke 8:13).
Jesus used the Scripture from the Old Testament as one of four witnesses, to prove that He was the Messiah, the "Son of God:"
"You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me,"
The scriptures Jesus used to persuade the Jews will also speak to modern day man. Fulfilled prophecy and manuscripts, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, provide proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be.
Historical levels of faith are bound to the records contained in Gods Word. The proof is there for anyone willing to do the research.
"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God,"(Rom 4:20).
Abraham had a faith that refused to surrender or be defeated. Following the faith of Abraham is the way to receive what might be considered impossible and unprecedented.
Strong faith will not be turned away. Regardless of the situation or outlook, it digs in and holds fast until it receives what has been asked of God.
Most Christians desire this kind of faith, but it seems that only a few can maintain faith, while thanking God for the answer in advance.
I believe another term for strong faith might be, "Ruthless Faith." The kind that refuses to doubt and waver when things do not seem to be going as requested of God. This is the way to get tangible answers from God.
"He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Rom 4:20-21).
"Human Level of Faith"
Is the exercise and determination of man to have confidence in any object or person, as he chooses, including the Word of God. He can choose to have faith that a chair will support him, that which another person tells him is true, or, that the sun will continue to rise each morning.
The devil caused mankind to fall in the Garden of Eden, and is the one who brings doubt and unbelief today. He doesn't mind if you chose to believe in a chair, or the word of another person, but will do all in his power to destroy your faith in God's Word.
A growing faith steadily progresses from a weak little faith to a strong great faith.
A growing faith is pleasing to God:
"We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly..."
(2 Thes 1:3, ESV)
To the Christians in Rome:
"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,"
(Heb 5:12–14 (ESV).
Paul was clearly disappointed when the Corinthians failed to grow in their faith:
"I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,"
(1 Cor 3:2, ESV).
Nutritious milk helps a baby to grow strong and healthy; Spiritual food will help a baby Christian grow into a deeper level of faith.
Samuel L. Mills
I am impressed with your brake down of level of faith. I now know where I need to improve. thanks.
Hi there! Calvary greetings. Well....thanks for sharing these levels of faith. I feel blessed reading what you have shared. Be blessed. Noor
Your sharing on the levels of Faith is quite useful for examining myself and for preaching.
Definition of Faith: