Investigate the Ground-Zero of Faith
Series, “Being Spiritual without being Religious” – Part 3
Pastor Jeff Christopherson
October 3, 2004
Start with Authenticity…
Preserve my Personality…
Investigate the Ground Zero of Faith…
Experience an unshakable faith based upon a personal God.
Do you Google your spiritual life?
‘Google-ing God’:57 million different websites
22 million different groups about God.
832,000 images of God.
“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.” Ephesians 6:20-21
the process of building an unshakeable faith…
1. Start by acknowledging that faith is 100% God’s Gift.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day … No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” John 6:37-40, 44
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
2. Grow in Enjoying God’s Presence.
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”… I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” John 6:35, 47-51
3. Give up the battle of my Spiritual Pride.
“At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph…” John 6:41-42
“On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” John 6:60-66
the journey to spiritual oblivion…
A. Minimize God’s activity around you…
“They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph…”
B. Moderate God’s call for exclusive allegiance…
“Does this offend you?”
C. Develop a ‘replacement faith’…
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”
D. Follow the God of your own making…
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”
"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, ’Something is out of tune.’" Carl Gustav Jung
4. Take an honest Inventory.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:67-68
5. Live what I Believe.
“We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” John 6:69 (NASB)
Faith (belief) always precedes Experience. Every time.
Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.
Digging Deeper @ Home Church: unshakable faith
1. How did you feel when you received your first ‘Dear John’ letter?
• Why do we find rejection so difficult to take?
2. Read John 6:11-15.
• When Jesus miraculously provided bread for the multitude, what was their reaction to Jesus?
• If you were one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, how would you feel after this event?
3. Read vs. 30-40.
• Why were these ‘would-be’ followers interested in what Jesus had to offer?
• Why is our motivation for following God a key to building an unshakable faith? Examples?
• How does enjoying ‘The Bread of Life’ answer our deepest spiritual desires?
4. Read vs. 60-66
• For those of us who (if we’re honest) tend toward being religious, why are Jesus’ teachings so difficult to accept?
• Why do you think these disciples were dissapointed with Jesus and ultimatelty rejected Him?
• When have you been dissapointed with God? What did you learn from your painful experience?
5. Read vs. 67-69
• Since Jesus was 100% human and 100% God, when He asked His disciples this question – how may have he felt?
• What is profound about Peter’s reply?
• When it comes to true faith, why does belief always precede experience?
6. Pray for one another in the areas where faith may be failing.
2004, Jeff Christopherson, The Sanctuary