Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Faith = Trusting God and Those Who Lead Us

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Faith = Trusting God and Those Who Lead Us

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Faith = Trusting God and Those Who Lead Us

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Paul tells us in Romans 1:17 "The just shall live by Faith." This is a quality lacking amongst many in the old testament. What can we learn about how to live by faith? We should welcome trials and tests as opportunities to strengthen and stretch out our faith and trust in God because we will need a lot more faith and endurance as the end time approaches.

Sermon Notes

10-16-10 Faith = Trusting God & Those Who Lead Us 

Introduction – My topic today is one of the 3 most basic “enduring qualities”—a quality that we must have in order to endure to the end, and lack of which was the main reason for the failure of the first generation of OT Israel that God led out of Egypt. NKJ Romans 1:16 Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
American King James Version×
¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." 

• NLT 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. • Faith is the foundation of life for God’s people. SPS – What does it mean to live by faith? NKJ Hebrews 11:1 Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
American King James Version×
¶ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

• Faith fills in the gap or the void from lack of visual evidence of what God promises. NLT Hebrews 11:1 Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
American King James Version×
¶ Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. NET NIV 2 Corinthians 5:7 2 Corinthians 5:7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
American King James Version×
for we live by faith, not by sight. 

• That requires unconditional confidence and trust in God. NKJ Romans 4:21 Romans 4:21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
American King James Version×
Abraham was “fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” NLT Genesis 15:1-6 Genesis 15:1-6 [1] After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward. [2] And Abram said, LORD God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? [3] And Abram said, Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, see, one born in my house is my heir. [4] And, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir. [5] And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said to him, So shall your seed be. [6] And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
American King James Version×
¶ Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, "Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great." 2 But Abram replied, "O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don't even have a son? Since you've given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir." 4 Then the LORD said to him, "No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir." 5 Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, "Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That's how many descendants you will have!" 6 And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. 

• But Abraham had to wait many years before there was even any evidence that God would perform what he promised to do. 

• However, he continued believing and trusting God. • We often have to wait for God to provide what He has promised to us. NKJ Hebrews 10:36 Hebrews 10:36For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.
American King James Version×
For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: NLT James 1:2 James 1:2My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations;
American King James Version×
¶ Dear brothers and sisters,1 when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. God also tested Israel with the goal of doing good for them. Deuteronomy 8:15-16 Deuteronomy 8:15-16 [15] Who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought you forth water out of the rock of flint; [16] Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers knew not, that he might humble you, and that he might prove you, to do you good at your latter end;
American King James Version×
15 "who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 "who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end. 

• But unfortunately, they failed the tests. NKJ 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 [1] Moreover, brothers, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; [2] And were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea; [3] And did all eat the same spiritual meat; [4] And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. [5] But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
American King James Version×
¶ Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. NKJ 1 Corinthians 10:11 1 Corinthians 10:11Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come.
American King James Version×
Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 

• What is the lesson for us? 

• What was the basis of Israel’s failure? Exodus 14: 5-9) Pharaoh & his armies pursue the Israelites. 10) The Israelites were “very afraid.” 

• That is certainly an understandable human reaction. 

• The physical evidence told them that they were trapped and doomed to die. 11-12) Israel accuses God & Moses of ulterior motives—seeking to kill them. 13ff) God opens up the Red Sea and delivers them. Exodus 15: 1-20) Israelites sing praises to God. • But their faith didn’t endure (not even to the end of the chapter). 22-25) Israel “murmured” against Moses. Exodus 16: 1-4) Israel again accuses Moses of killing them with hunger. NLT Exodus 17:1-7 Exodus 17:1-7 [1] And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. [2] Why the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said to them, Why chide you with me? why do you tempt the LORD? [3] And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Why is this that you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? [4] And Moses cried to the LORD, saying, What shall I do to this people? they be almost ready to stone me. [5] And the LORD said to Moses, Go on before the people, and take with you of the elders of Israel; and your rod, with which you smote the river, take in your hand, and go. [6] Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. [7] And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
American King James Version×
¶ At the LORD's command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin 1 and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. 2 So once more the people complained against Moses. "Give us water to drink!" they demanded."Quiet!" Moses replied. "Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the LORD?" 3 But tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses. "Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?" 4 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, "What should I do with these people? They are ready to stone me!" 5 The LORD said to Moses, "Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you. 6 I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai.1 Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink." 

So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on. 7 Moses named the place Massah (which means "test" ) and Meribah (which means "arguing" ) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the LORD by saying, "Is the LORD here with us or not?" Numbers 13-14 – Israel’s final failure Numbers 13: 1, 17-20) 23-33) The Israelites react to the visual, physical evidence. Numbers 14: 1-4) Israel makes plans to return to Egypt. 5-9) Only Caleb and Joshua trusted God to lead them to the promised land. 26-38) The tragic result—only Caleb & Joshua spared. Hebrews 3:5-19 Hebrews 3:5-19 [5] And Moses truly was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; [6] But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. [7] Why (as the Holy Ghost said, To day if you will hear his voice, [8] Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: [9] When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. [10] Why I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. [11] So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) [12] Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. [13] But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. [14] For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end; [15] While it is said, To day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. [16] For some, when they had heard, did provoke: however, not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. [17] But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? [18] And to whom swore he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? [19] So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
American King James Version×
5 Moses was certainly faithful in God's house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. 6 But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God's entire house. And we are God's house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.1 7 ¶ That is why the Holy Spirit says, "Today when you hear his voice, 8 don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. 9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years. 10 So I was angry with them, and I said, 'Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.' 11 So in my anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter my place of rest.' " 1 12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters.1 Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. • “warn” = Gr. parakaleō – can also mean to comfort or encourage, as in ref. to the resurrection. NKJ 1 Thessalonians 4:18 1 Thessalonians 4:18Why comfort one another with these words.
American King James Version×
Therefore comfort one another with these words. 

NLT 1 Thessalonians 4:18 1 Thessalonians 4:18Why comfort one another with these words.
American King James Version×
So encourage each other with these words. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. 15 Remember what it says: "Today when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled." 1 16 And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn't it the people Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn't it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? 18 And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn't it the people who disobeyed him? 19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. 

• They didn’t trust God and they didn’t trust Moses—the man that God provided to lead them. NKJ Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version×
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:7-12 Hebrews 11:7-12 [7] By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. [8] By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went. [9] By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: [10] For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. [11] Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. [12] Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
American King James Version×
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 

• Where was the evidence of an impending flood? 

• Can’t you imagine the ridicule and scorn of his neighbors? 

• Ex. – Field of Dreams – turning a cornfield into a baseball diamond solely because of the conviction that this was what he was supposed to do. 8 ¶ By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. • Likewise, Abraham followed God’s instruction to pack up and leave at age 75 with no explanation of details. 11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude -- innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. 

• Sarah trusted God to give her a child despite the fact that was well beyond the age of childbearing. Hebrews 11:17-19 Hebrews 11:17-19 [17] By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, [18] Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall your seed be called: [19] Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from where also he received him in a figure.
American King James Version×
17 ¶ By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. 

• Abraham passed the supreme test of faith & trust in God by following instructions that made no sense and were contrary to what God had promised earlier. 

• But he knew that God would still fulfill His promise. Hebrews 11:20-21 Hebrews 11:20-21 [20] By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. [21] By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning on the top of his staff.
American King James Version×
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 

• Without trust in God, these blessings would simply be well-wishes. Hebrews 11:22 Hebrews 11:22By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
American King James Version×
22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones. 

• A simple request based on his assurance that God would come through on His promise to give Israel into the promised land. NKJ Genesis 50:22 Genesis 50:22And Joseph dwelled in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.
American King James Version×
¶ So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father's household. And Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim's children to the third generation. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were also brought up on Joseph's knees. 24 And Joseph said to his brethren, "I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." 25 Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here." 26 So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. NKJ Exodus 13:18 Exodus 13:18But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
American King James Version×
So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt. 19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you." 

NLT Hebrews 11:13 Hebrews 11:13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
American King James Version×
¶ All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 

• They believed and trusted God and based important decisions in life on God’s promises. 

• But they had to endure for a long time before seeing results, and of course they all died without yet receiving the promise of eternal life. NKJ Hebrews 10:36 Hebrews 10:36For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.
American King James Version×
For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: NKJ Matthew 24:12 Matthew 24:12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
American King James Version×
"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved. NET Matthew 24:12 Matthew 24:12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
American King James Version×
and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the person who endures to the end will be saved.21 NLT Matthew 24:12 Matthew 24:12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
American King James Version×
Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. NLT James 1:2 James 1:2My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations;
American King James Version×
¶ Dear brothers and sisters,1 when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 

• We should welcome trials and tests as opportunities to strengthen and stretch out our faith and trust in God, because we will need a lot more faith and endurance as the end time approaches. NLT Hebrews 13:17 Hebrews 13:17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
American King James Version×
¶ Obey (“trust, have confidence” in) your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. NLT Ephesians 4:11 Ephesians 4:11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
American King James Version×
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. 

Conclusion – Living by faith involves believing and trusting God and the leaders that He has provided to see us through the trials and tests of life and to protect us against the subtle strategies of Satan the Devil. • We all need God and we need each other. 

• Much can be accomplished by trusting God and our leaders and working together as a team. 

• Ex. recent rescue of miners in Chile. 

• “If you’ve ever doubted the importance of teamwork and collaboration, just look to the rescue of the miners in Chile.” 

• “Miners’ Rescue Shows what Teamwork can Do” (Vancouver Sun article). 

• Our calling involves helping Jesus Christ rescue a dying world. 

• This also requires teamwork—trusting God and our team captain Jesus Christ and also trusting those that they designate as our leaders. 

• This, plus living our lives based on the laws and promises of God is what it means to live by faith. 

• The just shall live by faith—not only in this life but for all eternity.