Lessons on Faith- Part III

Services

Sunday - 8 AM & 10 AM, Wednesday - 6:30 PM

Nov. 18

Text:Hebrews 11:1

Introduction –

Be encouraged: the trial of your faith confirms that you have it! Jesus explains that it’s not about the quantity of your faith: it’s about the value of what you have (Matthew 17:14-20). That tiny bit of faith you have? It’s all that God requires us to demonstrate in order make great things His result!

And be even more encouraged by this: faith’s testing serves to strengthen it (James 1:2-4)! God wants us to understand that it’s a life of faith – not a life of emotional enjoyment of His blessings – that should be our aim. So, to get there, genuine faith, by its very nature – like steel – has to be tried.

Remembering that even small faith is quality faith: trust God for what He shows in scripture He’s able to do (Mark 10:23-27; Galatians 2:17-20).

  • There’s an old hymn titled, “Victory in Jesus!” Consider the message told in its first two verses and chorus:
    • 1 – I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory, how He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me; I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood's atoning, then I repented of my sins and won the victory.
    • 2 – I heard about His healing, of His cleansing pow'r revealing. How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see; and then I cried, "Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit," and somehow Jesus came and bro't to me the victory.
    • Chorus – O, victory in Jesus! May Savior forever! He sought me and He bought me, with His redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.
  • One key to winning the great spiritual battle in us is found in the relationship between those two verses: “Is the same God Who saved you through your trust in Jesus able now to do the even more-possible as we live in Him?”
  • The answer to that question is realized as we:
    • Battle through our feelings;
    • And address our fears;
    • Eventually coming into absolute faith in the LORD by remembering that He has already done what’s impossible with humankind: He has saved us!

How to win spiritual battles by faith.

  • A second key: exercise faith first to see results second.
    • We’ve already relied on what Jesus did by dying on the cross for our sin, professing with our mouths what we believe in our hearts (Romans 10:9-10).
    • For every believer – at minimum – there’s your mustard seedthat eventually is willed by God to become something even larger (Matthew 17:20; cf. 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19)!
  • We must break free of our demand that God gives us a sign before obeying His word in total abandon to Him.
    • We think a variety of things that actually hold us back from winning spiritual battles by faith.
    • Instead, we should think what faith in Jesus Christ claims and provides: He can present us faultless, pure, righteous, and spiritually acquitted of all charges before the throne of God.
  • To summate:
    • Don’t be an immature child of God, fearful that He who was able to save you is now unable to bless your obedient faith (Luke 19:20-27).
    • And don’t hyper-spiritualize how and when and where you’ll live in faithful obedience: do it in the everyday things first and bigger opportunities will follow (Luke 16:10).

Conclusion –

Psalm 103:2-5 read, “2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Have we forgotten or have we just never believed that in the first place?

Regardless, because of our prosperity, these are spiritually perilous days in America. And – not even realizing the source – the body of Christ is being shaken by comfort, distraction, idolatry, greed, and disobedience to God’s instructions-for-living. It's easy in a world full of things competing for our attention to get sidetracked then wander from the path God has placed us on the day we were born again.

So many people’s worlds seem to be in meltdown-mode these days. Many are overwhelmed to the point of spiritual paralysis. In the midst of it all, bear in mind that God's love toward us is why He authored the plan of salvation, and that after we’re born again, He calls each of us from spiritual infancy to maturity.

To experience that, remember: the first key in winning spiritual battles is belief and the second is acting, then, in faith.