What is faith, and how do we live a life of faith?
How many of you have moved a mountain lately? Let's see the hands. Raise hands. Anybody in here who has moved a mountain lately? That must mean, that there's not even a grain of mustard seed of faith in any of us. Does that mean that when Jesus Christ comes back, He's not going to find any faith on this earth?
I want to read you a quote about a person who had faith. This story is told by a Captain of a ship on which George Mueller of Bristol was traveling. During his life he received more than one million pounds from the Lord. Without advertising, every penny came as an answer to prayer. "We had George Mueller of Bristol on board" said the captain. I had been on the bridge for twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me and said: "Captain, I have come to tell you I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon." "It is impossible," said the Captain. "Then very well, if your ship cannot take me God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement in fifty-seven years. Let us go down to the chart room and pray." I looked at the man of God and thought to myself, what lunatic asylum can this man have come from for I never heard of such a thing as this. Mr. Mueller said: "Do you know how dense this fog is?" "Mr. Mueller I said, do you know how dense this fog is?" "No he replied, my eyes are not on the density of the fog but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life." He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers. When he had finished I was going to pray but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to pray. He said: "As you do not believe, He will answer and as I believe, He has, there's no need whatever for you to pray about it." I looked at him and George Mueller said: "Captain I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, there's never been a single day when I failed to get an audience with the King. Get up Captain, open the door and you'll find the fog has gone." The Captain said: "I got up and the fog indeed was gone and on that Saturday afternoon George Mueller kept his promised engagement in Quebec."
Faith is something that we all wish we had more of and particularly we wish we had when we're in dire straits; when we're suffering, when there are life and death issues involved, when there's a need of a miracle. We're all looking to see if we can conjure up, whip up some faith and often times we say: "I wish I had more faith, I just wish I had more faith." You know brethren, is it you only need faith when you need a miracle? Is faith only shown by some spectacular event that is accomplished such as moving a mountain? Is it needed for an outstanding miracle? Is it faith when you sit down at the end of a workweek after you've received your wages and write a check out for one tenth and give it knowing you have to live off of only 90%? Then you put another 10% in your second tithe and live off of 80%? Then you give a few offerings along the way to help the poor and live off of maybe 77% or 78%? Is that faith? Is it faith to read a book, the bible that you never saw God write and order your life according to it? Is that faith? Is it faith to knell down and pray in a room to somebody that you've never seen and expect an answer? Is that faith? Is it faith to order your life every day according to the scriptures; to walk and live according to them? Is that faith?
What is faith? You might be surprised to see what faith really is. It is my intent to try to help you see what faith is. What are the dynamics and what are the dimensions of faith? And then just give you some suggestions on how you can be more faithful because as you see faith is what we need in order to live life. Faith is what we need in order to be saved. You cannot be saved without faith in the grace of God. You cannot be saved without faith in Jesus Christ and I submit to each one of us none of us has seen Jesus Christ. None of us saw Him sacrificed. None of us saw Him live a perfect life before He was sacrificed. None of us saw Him after He was resurrected and yet we must believe and have faith.
Let's see what faith really is. It's one of the big three that Jesus Christ spoke about where He said mercy, judgment and faith is what people needed the weightier matters of the law. In the Old Testament the word for faith is emuwnah and it's not used very many times. Faith and again the word believe which is the verb of faith, those are used in the Old Testament about 150 times roughly and most of the time it's more having to do with faithfulness, it's more having to do with faithful, it's more having to do with being truly. But in all events of faith, real faith involves an unseen factor. See I don't have to have faith that I'm going to receive a bible. I already have one. I don't have to believe I'm going to receive it, I already have one. But if I don't have one and I need one I can kneel down and pray and believe that I could receive one and then go actively searching to receive one. Not just kneeling down and saying God give me one and don't do anything else. As we will see faith has a couple of dimensions.
Let's look at Hebrews 11 because Hebrews 11, verse 1 gives us a biblical definition of what faith is.
The author of Hebrews I believe to be Paul. I'm using old King James.
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 is what we have when we don't have what we're looking for. Faith is what we have when the reality is not here. Do you have faith? Do you believe?
Verse 6: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, (So in order to please God, we must have faith. Faith is absolutely requisite for our lives and for salvation.) for he who comes to God must believe that He is (you must believe the He exists) and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Now there are two sides of faith and in the New Testament. By the way the Greek word is Pistis. Pistis and Pistos is used almost five hundred times in the New Testament; believe, faith, faithful, faithfulness. It's used almost five hundred times versus about one hundred forty to one hundred fifty in the Old Testament. Faith in the New Testament carries with it this understanding: two aspects, (1) I know (2) I do. (1) The intellectual, the mental (2) The active. So it has two dimensions; intellectual and active or I know and I do or mental and physical.
Living faith is required for salvation is not just some thought in your mind. It's not just some feeling that you conjure up but it is actually combined with the physical side of it, the active part of it because you see, if I believe something and I believe it down to my toes, if I believe it with all my heart, I act according to that belief. So it is coupled, it is intellectual faith coupled with active faith that makes living faith. We'll see that expounded as we read James a little later.
To understand a little bit more about this, let's take a look at Hebrews chapter 11 and read some of these heroes of faith and see what they had, see if any of them moved very many mountains, see if there are any great miracles attached to these men that are listed in the faith hall of fame chapter, Hebrews 11. Let's take a look and see and see how faith was coupled with action and if you go through and you mark in your bible all the active verbs you'll see how many active verbs there are when it talks about these individuals having faith.
Hebrews 11:4 Hebrews 11:4By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.
American King James Version×By faith Abel offered (by faith Abel did something. Again, you had to have not only; I believe God wants me to give this offering, yes I really believe He wants to give this, you've got to do it. Faith has coupled with action.) to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain (then Cain did).
Verse 5: By faith Enoch was translated (Why? Why was he taken away? Notice the last part of that verse.) because he pleased God.
Why was his faith recognized by God? Was it just because he had some nice thoughts, some powerful thoughts, and some convicting thoughts? No, because he did something with it, he pleased God.
Verse 7: By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, (No, he didn't see any rain coming when he was building that ark out in the desert and everybody saying to him: "You're a lunatic, building an ark out here that big, we've never had a rain, we don't even have a lake near by that's going to carry that big ship that you're building, what on earth are you doing?" He couldn't see it but notice what he did.) prepared an ark (he moved with fear and he prepared an ark.)
Verse 8: By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Have you ever moved? Probably many times. Did you think that was a faithful thing that you were moving for the service of God to do better for your family, to be able to worship and honor God better? Maybe you were in a community that wasn't conducive to your children being able to worship God and being able to grow in Godliness? Maybe you moved away from that community. Did you ever think of that as an act of faith? Probably not, you didn't move a mountain that time did you? You weren't miraculous healed of some death threatening illness and yet look at what these men did.
Verse 9: By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents, (He lived in temporary dwelling places because he knew this was only a brief span that he would be here.) with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.
Verse 10: For he looked for a city (his faith led him to look ahead, to look for something) whose builder and maker is God.
Verse 11: By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed and she delivered a child. She didn't just have it, she just didn't conceive a child she had to go through the birth process and deliver it. God didn't let it come out some miraculous way. She had to go through that birthing process as well.
Verse 13: These all died in faith, (these are heroes, have we seen any supernatural miracles that any of them did? Well you can say, maybe Sarah being conceived in her old age, which could be looked on as a pretty good miracle. What about the rest of them? They moved, they offered an offering to God, they reached out. Every time you have a holy day and you give an offering, does God say: "Wow, that's an act of faith, write their name in this book." Yet every time you give an offering to the unseen God, you have performed an act of faith. Remember the little child is thought that when they were passing the plate down the aisle he said we're going to give an offering to God and he thought I guess it was Mr. Jenkins because he was kind of balding and his parents told him God was old and whatever when He was alive and this little kid saw Mr. Jenkins after church, after a holy day and he said: "Hi God" and he thought that's who he gave the offering, so I'm speaking up here and he thought he was God, he was told you're going to give your offering to God. Every time you give an offering to someone you've never seen, you're exercising faith.) not having received the promises, (Now they didn't receive the promise, of what promise of what? Of a better world, a better kingdom, a better city.) but having seen them afar off (but they did see them, they saw them through the eye of faith and notice what they did) and were persuaded of them and embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
They did the same thing you're doing. You see a kingdom. It's not here yet and you order your life as one who's living as if that kingdom were here already. Living for God now. A foretaste of the wonderful world tomorrow in your personal life. They confessed they were strangers, you're not putting your stock in this old world are you?
I almost gave a sermon on the assault on marriage. I did a lot of study last night on that and I backed off but it does bother me. As I was watching the news last night with O'Reilly or one of them, they said I'll give this world five years, I'll give the United States five years if it doesn't shape up because of the anarchy, because people are taking things into their hands, because all you have to do is start something, get enough people behind you to do something wrong, evil, sinful, have enough people doing it and convince enough liberal people that that's o.k. and they'll make it alright. You do know that homosexuality was considered a mental disorder only about thirty years ago, a mental disorder. Now they're granting, because it's been taken off that, too many people want to do it, they won't call it a disorder anymore, they just call it normal and now they're performing marriages. We live in a sad world. You want to put your stock here? Abraham didn't. Those who were men of faith didn't. Every day you don't, you're saying I'm faithful.
Let's take a look at verse 14.
Verse 14: For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
Verse 17 it talks about Abraham, when he was tried and tested, he offered up Isaac. Now that wasn't a great miracle, he was just willing to sacrifice, willing to sacrifice his son and God spared him because he believed. He said God can even raise my son from the dead if I have to kill him. God will raise him from the dead.
Verse 20: By faith Isaac blessed Jacob (does it take a lot of faith when you blessed your child? Do you think of it as it being a real faithful thing when you do something good for your child, when you bestow upon them a blessing? Yet Isaac blessed Jacob.) and Esau concerning things to come.
Verse 21: By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph and worshiped.
Wow, we're putting him in here because he worshiped? What are you doing today when you come before God as a community of people? You're worshiping God when you stand up and sing, when you bow your head to prayer and when you listen to a sermon. You're worshiping God. Should your name be written in here?
Verse 22: By faith Joseph, when he died, (it made mention before he died when he was about to die) made mention of the departing of the children of Israel and gave a commandment concerning his bones.
Joseph was so certain he gave them a commandment: "Now when you leave here and God's going to take you out of here. When you leave Egypt, take my bones with you."
Verse 23: By faith Moses (really it was his parents) when he was born was hidden three months because they saw his parents, saw that he was a proper child so they hid him.
Wouldn't you do the same thing? If you had a child, wouldn't you take care of your child every time? You take care of your child because you think this is a child that's going to be dedicated to God, a child that's born in the image of God, a child that has an opportunity for eternal life. Every time you do that, you don't think that as being faithful? What was so good about Moses' parents hiding him?
Verse 24: By faith Moses when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.
I hear of lots of young people who could have lots of things, lots going for them but refused to do it because of the Sabbath issue, because they wanted to obey God rather than man. Lots of people; people giving up jobs because of that, refused to go along with this world, refused the liar, cheat, refused to subvert on their jobs and lost them.
Verse 25: Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
Verse 27: By faith he forsook Egypt.
Again he left Egypt. Don't you run away from sin? Don't you try to abandon sin?
Verse 28: By faith he kept the Passover.
You know what? You're keeping the Passover in about six weeks. Do you ever think when you go to keep the Passover you're showing faith?
Verse 29: By faith they passed through the Red Sea.
Oh that's really great, every time you drive down the freeway. I passed by the Red Sea going to Columbus last week. There are people out there shooting at you. It's not a pleasant sight, not a pleasant thought or feeling. I watched every overpass and every underpass. I took my 357 (no I didn't) with me for protection but I watched. My wife watched. Somebody was standing up there as I was coming to a screeching halt and I'm calling the police on them and people are looking now for this guy or whoever it is shooting. So again, through faith they passed through the Red Sea.
Verse 30: By faith the walls of Jericho fell down
Why? Because they were compassed about seven days. Have you ever done a walk for some worthy cause? Is that a faithful issue? By faith they walked. They didn't just say: "O.K. God, let the walls fall down." He said: "No you just get out there and walk, you walk around those walls."
Verse 31: By faith the harlot Rahab perished not (didn't die) with them who did not believe, when she received the spies with peace.
Why didn't she die? What was her faith? She said you know what? "I knew God was on your side, I heard about your God. When He comes through I want protection. I know if I'm nice to you maybe your God will be nice to me." By faith she was hospitable.
Verse 32: And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets.
Notice what they did.
Verse 33: Who through faith
See faith is doing something with what you think, faith is doing something what we believe. It's not just sitting back and thinking, it's not just sitting back and trying to work up a feeling; it's what you do day in and day out with what you know. It's the mental being translated into the physical. It's the intellectual being put into action through the active. That's what it's about. Faith with works.
We used to write two booklets. Back we had two booklets out in the early years. One was "What is Faith?" and the other was "What kind of faith is required for salvation?" Really I'm talking more about what kind of faith is required for salvation. It is a living faith, it's not just a belief; it's not about just having some miracle performed. It's about living life every day because of the conviction you have in your mind is translated what you do with your feet. That's what it's about.
Notice what he says in verse 33.
Verse 33: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Verse 34: quenched the violence of fire, escaped (All those are verbs. Because of faith they escaped, because of faith they stopped they closed the lions mouth, because of faith they were made strong and they stood up and fought) the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
It talks about them; they would rather be tortured then give up on the faith that they may attain a better resurrection.
Faith is what and yet verse 39 says:
Verse 39: These all died having obtained a good report through faith, did not receive the promise.
Faith meant what you think is translated into what you do. That's what faith meant. You know James 2; the apostle James brings this same lesson out in verses 14 thru 26. In the book of James alone there are: (let me see how many times) Hebrews 11 there are 24 times, faith is used in James 16 times and in Romans 39 times, faith and faithfulness. Notice.
James 2:14 James 2:14What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
American King James Version×What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? In other words he says he has, you know intellectual faith, thinking faith, what good does it do him if it's not put into action? What good does it do him if what he's thinking doesn't affect what he does? What good does it do if he has faith but not works? Can faith save him?
Verse 15: If a brother or sister is naked or destitute of daily food,
Verse 16: and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,"
"I've got a coat and I've got some food, well I hope you have a nice time on your way, I'll be praying for you, hope you find some food, hope you find some clothing and I'll pray for you as you leave." Faith is, won't you do something? Isn't it in your heart and your faith that you have to do something with that? And one of you said to them: "but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? " See I have faith God's going to take care of you, let me help you because I'm a servant of God, an agent of God, a person of God, a Christian, I'm going to help you and I trust my God will do the same as opposed to be on your way because God's going to miraculously put a coat on you as you walk down the street. He'll miraculously have a golden spoon appear with some porridge in it or something and you can be fed."
Verse 17: Even so faith if it has not works, is dead.
What he means is the intellectual side of faith, if it isn't coupled with what you do with it; it's dead, intellectual and active. If the mental isn't coupled with the physical both, if it doesn't translate from your head to your feet to your action; it isn't worth anything, it's nothing; even so faith if it has not works is dead. Dead. What good does anything dead do us? Nothing. Being alone.
Verse 18: A man may 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."
You know when those men wanted to bring this man with the palsy to Jesus Christ and there were so many people around Him, they came to this hut and said: "Oh look, there's a thatched roof there, we can break it up and let him down." So they climbed. Pretty noble act; right? They had to climb up on the roof, they had to pull apart (you wouldn't be too happy if they'd been taking apart your roof) but they took apart his roof and they managed to get this person up in the stretcher and in the meantime sent the other two guys through the crowd and they lowered him on the stretcher in front of Jesus Christ and said: "When He saw their faith, when He saw their faith." Is your faith seen? Is your faith just something you keep personal inside of you? If our faith is not seen, it is not the faith God is looking for. It's not the faith that James preached, it's not the faith of the heroes in Hebrews, chapter 11 where it says, yea a man may say you have faith and I have works, show me your faith without your works and I'll show you my faith by my works.
Verse 19: You believe that there is one God. (You intellectually think about there's only one God, there's one God, I believe in God) You do well. (But not as good as the demons) Even the demons believe and tremble. Their belief in God leads them to know that I'm doing wrong and God's going to get me. No wonder they're trembling. I'm doing wrong and God's going to get me. There are a lot of Christians out there who say there's a God but they don't believe there's a God strong enough to do anything to them or God's strong enough to bless them.
Verse 20: But will you know oh vain man that faith without works is dead?
Once again, if the intellectual side is not coupled with the active side, if they both aren't fitting together it's not the faith that is essential.
Verse 21: Was not Abraham our father justified by works (wait a minute, the bible says you can't be justified by works, you're justified by faith. What did he mean by that? He meant his works showed his faith. The works that he did showed that he believed in God and he goes on to say that) when he offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Verse 22: Don't you see how faith was active with his works, (The intellectual side was active with the physical side) and by works was faith made perfect.
Because you see I could believe all I want but if I don't do anything about my beliefs, it's empty, it's dead.
Verse 23: And the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God (but it says he did works) and it was imputed to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.
Verse 24: You see then how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only.
Intellectual faith; just thinking about it is not enough. Not enough. We've got to do something as well.
Verse 25: Likewise, also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received
She did something. "I believe in God, I believe in God, o.k. I'm going to hide the spy's here in my house." And she sent them out another way.
Verse 26: For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
So James nails it on the head. Hebrews 11 tells us.
I want to read something to you. It's rather interesting. It talks about two oars, faith, and works.
An old Scotsman operated a little rowboat for passengers. One day a passenger noticed the old man carved on one oar faith and on the other oar works. Curious, he asked the reason. The old man being a Christian said: "Well, I'll show you." So he dropped one oar into the water and used the other just works and the boat ran around in circles. Then he dropped the other oar he just grabbed the one of faith and he used it and it went around in circles the other way. Then he used both oars and the boat fell swiftly over the waters. He explained: "One without the other will get you nowhere. But faith and works pulling together makes for progress."
It takes faith and works to have the living faith that God says is essential for salvation
Romans 4, verses 20 and 21, here we see and many times brethren you know you can't make God do something. You can't make Him do it. You can't make Him heal you. You can't make him do something. It takes Him to do it; His graciousness but you know what you can do? You can believe that He can do it and you can act as if you know He's going to do it but you can't make Him.
I've been in the same position as you and I wish I could have made it happen and I couldn't. "Oh God, give me this faith, give me more faith." You know what else I've seen and noticed? That there's a gift of faith which is an extra dosage I believe that God gives to people. I've seen people go through trials that I would never want to go through and think I'd probably fail in that trial. For some reason, they sail right through it and I say why? Because I believe God gave them an extra dose of faith, that gift of faith to help them through.
You see we have a faith that is a trust in what we've learned to bring us to God. It's a faith of our own. Then we're baptized and we have the faith of God through the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. One of the fruits is faithfulness. Then there's a gift of God which is faith beyond listed as one of the gifts. Having the Holy Spirit says we should yield in our lives the fruit of faith. The gift of faith, that comes from God as an extra dose. I've seen people and I say how do they do that? How do they go through that? How do they handle that? I couldn't have handled that. How'd they do it? Faith and a little extra dose. But you know what? They didn't work it up inside. They just did what they believed. You see faith is saying I know my God can do it.
Remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego when they were put in a situation where they needed to be faithful? You know what they said? "You know King, I know you want me to bow down and worship you and when the band strikes up if we don't we're going to be toast literally and you're going to have this furnace heated up for us but you know what? We want you to know we're not going to be careful to even think about this because the God we serve is able to deliver us even from that fiery furnace. But we want you to know just in case He decides not to we would never worship your dumb idols anyway for you. We know He can do it!" Faith is believing God can do it. It's not making Him do it, believing He can do it.
Romans 4:21 Romans 4:21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
American King James Version×(Notice Abraham) And being fully persuaded that what He (God) had promised, He (God) was able also to perform.
It's a wonderful description of faithfulness. I know God can do what He has promised. I can't make Him do it otherwise it would be a wage, I would earn it but I know He can and that's what faith is.
Romans 1:17 Romans 1:17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
American King James Version×(This scripture was taken by Martin Luther and perverted a little bit because he said we must live by faith alone. He tried to fight this works business.) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written: "The just shall live by faith."
The just shall live by faith. It must be the way we live.
Now let us ask ourselves; what do you do every day? Do you show any faith? Is there faith on this earth? Jesus Christ said: "When I come back am I going to find any faith on the earth?" Let's see, every day you aim your feet in the direction of God's way, you show faith. Why? Because the bible tells us it's not in man that lives to know how to walk right.
Jeremiah 10:23 Jeremiah 10:23O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.
American King James Version×O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Every day you aim your feet to walk in the direction God prescribes, God has laid out, in the way of God. Every day you aim your feet there; you show faith. Every day you pray to someone you cannot see, you have faith. What is faith? Evidence of things not seen. Do you kneel down in that room and think you're praying to the ceiling? No you have a feeling, there's somebody up there who's listening to you don't you? You know the feeling somebody is there. You believe somebody is there. You just don't knee down and say, look I feel these little speckles on the ceiling here. You know there's somebody up there listening to you. Every day you study the Bible, God's word, you show faith. Why? Because it says it was God-breathed. Every scripture was inspired by God-breathed by Him, His inspiration put upon it. Every day you study it, every day you look it, you read it, you act accordingly; you show faith. Every day you live God's law. Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×says the carnal mind is enmity against the law of God, neither indeed can be. Every day you walk according to the law of God, the way of God, you show faith. Every day you overcome and grow, you show faith. Why? Because the normal man says: "There's a way that seems right to me." Most people out there folks are not doing what seems wrong to them. Most people in this world say: "Let me see, I think I'll do what's right today. I think I'll do what I think is right." That's the way that ends in death. Every day you don't go in that direction, every day you overcome and grow, you show faith. Every week or month you tithe you show faith because the bible says where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Every time you live in a world going one way and you go the other that takes faith. The bible talks about this world being wicked and perverse. Every day you reject it and you turn to God, you show faith. Every day you seek God's Kingdom you show faith (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×says seek first the Kingdom of God) but you know what? You've never seen the Kingdom of God, neither have I. We've never seen it and yet God promises it every day. Every year you take the Passover, you show faith because you see you're taking that Passover because you believe in Jesus Christ. You believe in His perfect life. You believe in His sacrifice. You believe in forgiveness of sin. You believe in commitment for another year. Placing yourself in His hands once again.
Let's just turn to John 6 real quickly because we're coming up to Passover. Every year you take the Passover you show faith, faith in God, trust in God.
John 6:35 John 6:35And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.
American King James Version×Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."
We have to believe on somebody we never saw.
Verse 40: This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees he Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
Notice in verse 47.
Verse 47: Verily, verily I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
Verse 48: "I am that bread of life."
If you want to live forever, I am that bread of life. Live and walk according to My ways. Honor and glorify me by what you do and remember how Jesus Christ said we bring honor and glory? How do we do it? You are the light of the world. Let them see by your what? Good works. Glorify your Father which is in heaven. Not by your good thoughts, not by your good words. By your good works.
Verse 49: "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead."
Verse 50: "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die." This is the second death.
Verse 51: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
Verse 52: The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
They knew He was talking about eating flesh.
Verse 53: Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you."
But you believe that that bread and that wine represent it.
Verse 54: "Whosoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day."
Verse 55: "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed."
Verse 56: "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him."
Verse 57: "As the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me."
Verse 58: "This is the bread which came down from heaven – not as our fathers ate the manna and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
Every year you take the Passover you say: "I believe in God, I believe in His plan. I believe in what Jesus Christ did for me and I plan to continue to go to Him every day to ask Him for forgiveness, to ask Him for guidance to want to walk in His steps."
So brethren, every day we live in a Christian way, we are showing faith every day of our lives. It's not some special thing about going out and moving a mountain. You know what? Some of the people upon whom I've seen miracles performed, I mean absolute miracles are not in the church today.
Think about the Israelites who walked through the Red Sea, think about the Israelites who saw the dramatic miracles that were done at the hands of Moses and Aaron; what did they do? Living faith is doing what you believe with all your heart; walking with God with what you know up here in the intellect. Every day we live in a Christian way, we show we have faith.
II Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Because when you walk by faith, you can't see. You can't see. You can't see why you're doing this except you know that God told you. You can't see the outcome of why you're doing it for you walk by faith and not by sight.
So let's all ask God, ask God in prayer. Remember the man in Mark 9 verses 23 and 24? When his child was ill and he asked Jesus to go with him and Jesus said: "Just believe and he'll be o.k." And he said: "I believe, help my unbelief." In Mark 11 verse 22 we read that you need to have the faith of God, not your own faith. Our own faith only brings us to God, after that we need His faith. How do you have His faith? His Holy Spirit dwells in us, that's one of the products of the Holy Spirit dwelling in your life. How do you have that faith? Because you ask God for it. It says if we lack wisdom, ask God, he'll give it. If you lack faith, ask God, he'll give it. Then, study the word of God. I want to read you this last one, next to the last quote. Study the word of God.
Almost a century ago an old man was traveling on the train in France. A much younger man sitting across from him in the same compartment watches the old man reach into his traveling case and took out a bible and began to read. After a while, the younger man decided to strike up a conversation. The young man asked: "What are you reading?" The old man replied: "I'm reading the sixth chapter of Mark in the New Testament." The young man asked: "What does it say." "Well, it's the story about the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. The gospel writers telling about a vast crowd that had followed Jesus because of the signs He was performing for the sick. Jesus then preached to the crowd until it was dark and they were hungry. With only five barley loaves and a couple of fried fish Jesus fed the entire crowd of five thousand people. When the people had finished eating, the leftovers filled twelve baskets." The younger man asked a bit scornfully: "Do you really believe that?" The reply came back: "Yes I do." The younger man answered: "Well I can see you've been brainwashed by ancient superstitions. That can never happen to me, you see I'm a Scientist. Everything that happens in this world can ultimately be accounted for. What you are saying is your fantasy. Give me facts, provable facts. As a man of science, I have no faith in miracles but I cannot expect you to understand that." At this point, the train began to slow down and the young man said: "Here's where I get off Mister, I'm sorry I didn't get your name." The old man handed him his calling card bearing the name Louie Pasteur, one of the greatest Scientist the world has ever known.
The bible is a book that can help us have faith. Why? Because what I read God did for others, He can do for me. It builds your faith by giving you confidence. Romans 10:17 Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
American King James Version×says faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God. That's faith. You know if God cares enough because the guy lost an ax head when he was trying to chop down something and he said: "Lord, Lord, what can I do." So to Elisha, "Lord, Lord, I lost this ax head and I borrowed it and I'm going to have, where am I going to get an ax head to put on this empty handle." "Don't worry." Up comes the ax head floating to them. If God can do that, God can do anything for you. Faith is believing He can do it and acting on the faith that you have; believing God, counting on God, counting that having that faith that lets God know you're there and doing it, acting on it.
Luke 18: 8 (Jesus Christ said) I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?
Won't Jesus Christ find faith on the earth? Well, I believe He will. I believe Jesus Christ will find faith.
I'm going to read you one quote before I conclude.
D.L. Moody once said. If all the time that I have spent praying for faith were put together, it would be months. I thought that someday faith was going to come down and strike me like lightning but faith did not come. One day I read in the 10th chapter of Romans: So then faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God. I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now open my bible and I began to read God's word and faith has been growing ever since.
God will give us faith if you're willing to ask Him, if you're willing to study His word and if you're willing to take what your head hears and sees and put it into action with your feet.
Revelation 14:12 Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
American King James Version×(When Jesus Christ comes back will He find faith on the earth? Yes, He will. I can confidently state that because I remember Mr. Herbert Armstrong used to say: "I cheated, I looked in the back of the book and we win." Look in the back of the book. Will there be faith?
Here is the patience of the saints, (who are the saints? God's people) here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
There will be faith on the earth because God's people will be living a life of faith. They will have the faith of God. May all of us practice that living faith so that one day God will say to each one of us: "Well done you good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord eternal life."