Hebrews 11: 1...Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. KJV
The Bible and the dictionary are very close in the definition of the word “Faith”, so I will stick to the Bible as it was written long before Daniel Webster created the first dictionary.
So we find out that God views true faith as believing in something that you cannot see and putting trust into that thing that we are hoping for. Our beliefs of Christianity is built totally on faith. We believe in a God that we cannot see, touch, smell or even hear. We believe in a story told over two thousand years ago about how this Jesus, the Son of the God we cannot see, was born of a virgin, and died for ours sins, then rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, whom we cannot see. We believe that upon accepting God’s son, whom we can’t see, we receive the Holy spirit of God to reside in us, who we can’t see. So as Christians, we are expected to take one heck of a leap of faith to trust in a God Head that we can’t see, touch, smell or hear. The first thing that God asks of a sinner, or a non believer, is that they believe all of the above and in particular Jesus Christ in order to obtain salvation. We all know these examples but I will show them anyway.
John 3: 16...For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 10: 9 & 10...That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
“That whoever believes” and “Believe in your heart”, these are prerequisites to being saved, we must believe. We are saved through and by our faith.
God also tells us that without that “Faith”, it is impossible to please him once we are saved.
Hebrews 11: 6...And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
So now we know that we must have Blind Faith to be saved and we must have Blind Faith to please him. Just how do we get this Blind faith, where does it come from? Lets see what God says…
Romans 10: 17...Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
So our faith is born when we hear the message. What message? The words of Jesus Christ! From his message on salvation to be saved to his many promises he made to us believers when he said if you do X, I will do Y. How do we get to the Y, by blindly having faith and doing X. The whole word of God is set up on faith and the rewards we seek from him are obtained only by traveling down that road of faith that he has layed out. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians, that we walk by faith and not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5: 7...We live by faith, not by sight. NIV
2 Corinthians 5: 7... For we walk by faith, not by sight. KJV
We walk by faith, we live by faith…Our whole Christian life is based on FAITH. When you get time, please read on your own the 11th chapter of Hebrews, which is referred to as the faith chapter.
1 Timothy 6: 11 & 12...But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. KJV
Here, Paul is telling his young protégé Timothy, to fight the good fight of FAITH. We all know that Blind Faith is not an easy thing. Paul knew that faith was something that had to be fought with and fought for. You don’t just wake up one day with super natural blind faith. Paul also tells Timothy to lay hold on eternal life. Wasn’t Timothy already saved? Didn’t he already have “eternal life”? Yes he did but no he didn‘t. Timothy’s salvation would not be complete until Jesus Christ returned. Eternal Life was Timothy’s (and our) hope, it was what we were promised when we gave our life to him. Remember, Faith is “the evidence of things hoped for“…and hope is not hope if you can see it…Remember faith is, “the evidence of things not seen”. We hope for that salvation that we were promised even though it is off in the distance and we cannot see it. How will our faith come full circle? Lets read…
Hebrews 12: 2...Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus is the finisher of our faith…the perfection of our faith…
Ok, I’m sure that some of you by now are saying, Ok, Tim, we’ve heard this all before on faith because our preacher talks about it some and yada yada yada. Well, I’ve spent the first part of this lesson maybe in vain to some of you, who understand what faith is all about. You know the definition of faith because you know Hebrews 11:1 by heart and so you believe your faith is strong. Is it? Lets see what god says…
Matthew 17: 17- 20...O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me." Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
He (Jesus)replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Ok, hopefully, your inflated ego about your faith has come down a little, at least enough to where what I am about to say makes sense. Jesus first cut their legs out from underneath them by telling them their faith was small. Who was he talking to? The disciples and to us. Then Jesus tells them that if their faith was as great as a small mustard seed ( one of the smallest seeds ), then they could say to that mountain, be moved and it will be moved. Luke describes a similar example Jesus gave…
Luke 17: 5 & 6...The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.
Let me illustrate this the Tim way…If a mustard seed was put on a seed scale from 1 to 100, according to size with the smallest seed representing the # 1 and the largest seed representing the # 100, the mustard seed would be a 1...So what Jesus is telling us and the disciples is that our puny little faith isn’t even a one. Because if it was I’d be replacing the South Mountains in my back yard with the Alps or the Rocky Mountains or something- ha. We think our faith is great just like the disciples did, but in truth it doesn’t even appear on Jesus’ scale. I mean, Jesus wasn’t just blowing smoke here and making up funny little stories to tell his disciples. He literally meant that if your faith was as much as the mustard seed, you could literally say to the mountain, Move and it would move. So what does that say about us? It says we have a long way to go just to get on the scale!
Just think about this for a moment friends. Why don’t we see the power of God operating in super natural ways all around us in this Country? We are a Christian nation right? Even if our government has been moving quickly away from God, this Country is still filled with multiple millions of self proclaimed Christians, right? Where is his power? Where are the miracles? (and I’m not talking about Benny Hinn forehead slapping). I’m talking about the power of the living God being exercised in the life of all true believers. Why aren’t the lame walking? Why aren’t the dead being raised? Why is this Country still drowning in a pool of filthy sin? Why aren’t people being saved by the thousands like they were at the day of Pentecost? I’ve heard so many people say that “well God just doesn’t operate like that today”. Really!! Then please tell me what this verse means…
Hebrews 13: 9...Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
See God does not change, we do! God still wants to heal the sick and the lame, he still wants sinners to come to repentance. He still wants to raise the dead but he doesn’t have any mountain movers serving him. I’ll tell you why I believe that God isn’t doing any miracles among us today, better yet, I’ll let him tell you…
Matthew 13: 53 - 58...When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
“He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith”. I believe the same holds true today, we are offended by him, our faith is weak, just like they were at Nazareth. Today we think going to Church a few times a week and saying grace over our food constitutes a perfect Christian life. Where is the sacrifice on our part? I know that life is much simpler to live if you don’t walk by faith. You see, when we start enacting our faith, that old devil takes notice and it’s much easier and nicer to just let sleeping dogs lay, isn’t it. What wonderful power does God have planned for our lives? I don’t know but I do know this, we will never know until we start living for him and start walking by faith. Is just having faith in Jesus enough? No it’s not…
James 2: 14 - 26... What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Faith without works is dead! Only when we combine the two, can we really start making a difference in our world. Faith without works, dead…Works without Faith, dead…Works combined with Faith…Power!!! Why don’t we all agree today, to graduate from Mountain Movers 101, and go get our Masters degree in Faith….
If you came to this study today and don’t know Jesus Christ as your savior and you want to, pray with me wherever you are. Pray with a sincere heart and God will reach down from heaven, forgive your sins and give you new life….Lets pray…
Father God, I come to you in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Thank you for sending Jesus to die in my place on the cross. I know I am not worthy, but I ask you today to forgive me of my sins and give me a new heart. I make Jesus the Lord of my life from this day and forward. Teach me the love this study is speaking of so I can love others. Thank you for forgiving me, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray…Amen
If you prayed that simple prayer with a sincere heart, your eternal destiny has been decided. God tells us that he takes that sin and casts it as far as the east is to the west. So forget the past and press on in your new walk with Christ. If you need help, or need a Bible, please contact me through the group. Here are a few Bible verses to show you the pure simplicity of God’s plan of salvation…Tim
John 3: 16 - 18...16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Romans 10: 9 & 10...9. That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Ok group, now it’s our turn…Lets go to God in prayer…
Dear Heavenly Father, we ask you today, just like the disciples did, too increase our faith. We ask you Lord to forgive our lack of faith and help us to build our faith so we can be used for your glory. Show us the gifts that you have placed into each one of us. We know that faith is a gift that to some degree, you have put into each of us, we pray today that you magnify that gift in all of our lives. We pray these things in the precious and holy name of your son, Jesus Christ…A-men
Note…If you are a Benny Hinn fan, please do not take offense at my earlier statement, his was the first healing preacher name that popped into my mind…
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