This Is the Teaching for November 2006:

Faith: Mental, Emotional, or what?


"I won't believe unless I can see it!" This is a statement made by many or us. Thomas, a disciple of Jesus said: "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." (John 20:25 NIV). Then one week later we read: "Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'" (John 20:29 NIV)

Thomas had head faith or mental faith. He saw and believed. Jesus did not commend him for this kind of faith. Another kind of faith is emotional. An example of this is seen in the book of Acts. "Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, 'In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.' Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?' Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding." (Acts 19:13-16 NIV).

These seven sons of Sceva were excited about seeing Paul deliver people afflicted with demonic spirits. They tried to do the same without building up their own faith. The results were disastrous. Faith is of the Spirit. Man is three parts, mind, body, and spirit. The mind can contact the knowledge of this world, the body contacts the senses, and the spirit of man contacts the spiritual world where God's power is.

The Bible expects us to grow our faith. In II Thessalonians 1:3 we read: "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren