Sermon on Sunday February 2, 2014 by Pastor Thomas Tate
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF FAITH?
GOD IS NOT DEPENDENT ON OUR FAITH
- You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ears have not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth. For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely. See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
– For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.
- 1 Samuel 12:22
- if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
WHAT IS FAITH?
- Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF OUR FAITH?
- 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.
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith
- And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”
- And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”
- Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.
- Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.
- Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
- The Lord spoke to Moses that very same day, saying, “Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. “Then die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. “For you shall see the land at a distance, but you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving the sons of Israel.”
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us…”
- Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! “Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”
- “If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. “Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?
- When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He *came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and *said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.
- Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth…” Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go back” seven times. It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’ ” In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.
- Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord according to the directions of King David of Israel. They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His loving kindness is upon Israel forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.
- “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
- “It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
Sermon-based Bible Study Questions
Community Groups exist to Help Encourage Relational Depth
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF OUR FAITH?
1. What does a life of faith look like to you? What is the key component of faith? Share a time when you had to take a big leap of faith?
2. Is God dependent on our faith to act? Read Isaiah 48:8-11; 1 Samuel 12:22. Why does God not destroy His people for being so unfaithful? Whose faith holds us together in our relationship with God (read 2 Timothy 2:13)? How does this affect your assurance of salvation?
4. What do you think of the statement, “Jesus isn’t dependent on our faith but He requires our faith to act”? Read Mark 6:1-6. How do you feel about the part of the verse that says, “He could do NO miracle…”?
5. Moses and the older generation missed out on the blessing of entering the new, promised, land due to lack of faith (Deuteronomy 32:48-52; Numbers 13:30-31,14:1-4,8-11). The older generation constantly wanted to go back to the old ways (in Egypt), how did God feel about this?
6. Faith is hoping for things unseen (not yet experience, new) and trusting that God knows what He’s doing and having the confidence to let go of the past and receive His future (Hebrews 11:1-2 paraphrased). All the great people of faith listed in the Bible had to let go of what they knew and enter into the unknown. When is a time you had to let go of the past and trust God with the future? When have you failed? When have you trusted and what was the result?
7. Read Ezra 4:10-13. How should of they all responded to the new thing God was doing? Why didn’t the older ones rejoice? How are we like the older generation in this story? How is the church like this? How can we change our response (read Mark 9:22-24)?