What is the spirit of faith? What is the Apostle Paul talking about in 2 Corinthians 4:13? Surely our faith isn’t an individual, nor is it it’s own entity. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, not an entity.
So, what is the spirit of faith? I don’t think that this is a lofty language Paul decided to use in an effort to wax poetic. Rather, the spirit of faith is that spirit which we have received by faith. Faith in the Lord by Christ Jesus, that he is Lord.
Read along, and discover why that is the conclusion in this installment of our 2 Corinthians Bible study.
2 Corinthians 4:
11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
These four verses have a lot to say, and I’ll do my best to cover as much as I can, as the Lord leads. But first I’d like to speak further about the question posed about the “spirit of faith.”
What is the spirit of faith if not the Holy Ghost?
Deduction and reasoning are powerful tools when it comes to trying to figure out what the Lord is talking about in His Word. Without a doubt, the Holy Ghost leads us and opens our eyes to things that we’d never notice on our own. But there are times that He allows us to do some digging on our own because it is the glory of kings to search out a matter.
So, to figure out what the Lord is telling us in the scriptures above, particularly verse 13, let’s determine what the verse isn’t talking about.
The Holy Spirit
Due to the wording of verse 13, it’s easy to assume that Paul is referring to the Holy Spirit. And why not? Doesn’t every Born-Again Christian have the Holy Ghost dwelling within them?
Yes, we do. The Holy Ghost is a promise from Christ Jesus, to dwell within us.
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And, we are all of the self-same Spirit-
1 Corinthians 12:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
These are all scriptural reasons why some would believe that in 2 Corinthians 4:13, the Apostle Paul is speaking about the Holy Ghost. Despite the realities of these verses, they don’t apply to verse 13, and there’s one major reason why I can say that with surety.
The text literally says, “We having the same spirit of faith.” If it were the Holy Ghost (aka Holy Spirit) he was referring to, that “s” in the word “spirit” would be capitalized.
It’s not capitalized, so it isn’t the Spirit of the Lord Paul is talking about. The “spirit of faith” is something different than the Spirit of the Lord.
Is Paul Being Figurative?
Has the Lord preserved this to be used as a verb? In other words, the word “spirit” being used to describe an attitude or a way of being. The same spirit being similar to referring a bunch of people being of the same mind, when they are all in agreement on the same thing.
Is that what is going on with the spirit of faith? I’d say no.
The reason being, faith itself is not the same from person to person. Some people have greater faith than others, and then there are people who place their faith in things that they shouldn’t more than others.
BUT, it only takes enough faith, to be born anew, and this is the spirit of faith that Paul is making reference to.
The Born Again Spirit
The spirit of faith is that spirit which is obtained through faith. Within us is the Spirit of the Lord, as well as a spirit of our own, born anew when we believe on He who was sent- Christ Jesus the Lord.
The reason why I concentrated on this aspect of the four verses above, is because once we understand what’s being spoken of regarding the “spirit of faith,” all four verses fall into place much easier.
We can relate to it better and have an easier time applying the scriptures to our lives. Our newborn spirit comes from Christ Jesus. Without him, we’re spiritually dead. Let’s apply some of these thoughts to the verses above, and see how it plays out.
Applying Principle to the Scripture
The following are the same four verses from 2 Corinthians that are above, but I’ve inserted what I’ve attempted to describe above in red letters. I didn’t do this to switch up the scriptures, but to demonstrate the importance and capture the intent of the message.
2 Corinthians 4:
11 For we which live (being alive in Christ through our new spirit) are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake (carnally), that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh (through that spirit which he has given us). 12 So then death worketh in us (carnally), but life in you.
13 We having the same spirit of faith (being given a spirit through faith), according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. (He will raise us up by what he’s given us, our forgiven and clean born again spirit; done so through the Spirit of the Lord by Jesus).
These verses speak toward the importance and also the utility of our born again spirit in a way that we don’t normally hear spoken of. As many of us understand, being born again is a literal term.
If any of you who are reading don’t understand what it means to be “Born Again,” check out an article written about the matter called “What is a Born Again Christian?” and if you’d like to have first-hand experience having a newborn spirit of your own, check out the “Revelation of Salvation” page.
I guess it is safe to say, that this isn’t really an in-depth study into the four presented verses. However, it is kind of cool to see how one small phrase can either change, clarify, or open up scriptures that might otherwise be kind of tough to grasp. I believe this to be true on the four pieces of scripture above, once we understand what the spirit of faith is. The rest almost becomes self-explanatory.
The Word of the Lord is an amazing work that has been preserved for generations by the Lord himself. Were it not so, it never would have survived this long. As it says- the Word of the Lord endures forever!
The Apostle Paul wrote his epistles by the lead of the Spirit of the Lord. Could he have known the depths and multi-layered meaning that his works would be presenting? I’d guess that he didn’t know the half of it.
I’d also guess that none of the writers of any book of the Bible were aware of the tri-fold meanings behind their work.
How people try to carnalize the Word of God always blows me away. People actually believe that dozens of different authors spanning thousands of years could write a complete work that is able to apply and make sense to us today on multiple levels- a bunch of guys making up stories. No way, don’t ever buy it.
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- The Lord is that Spirit – 2 Corinthians 3 Part 6
- Stand Firm in Faith – 2 Corinthians 1 Part 11
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 8 P.71 – Spirit of Truth
- In God we Trust – 2 Corinthians 1 Part 7
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 8 P.84 – The Spirit of Life