Summary: FAITH PROVIDES POINTS OF CONTACT BETWEEN THAT WHICH IS PRESENT AND THAT WHICH IS YET TO BE OR ALREADY HAS BEEN. There are three interesting advantages of faith.
July 17, 1994 - PM Service
A GRIP ON THE INVISIBLE
INTRO: (1) In John chapter three Jesus told Nicodemus that the wind was invisible. It can be detected but it cannot be seen. When someone first erected a sail on a boat and allowed the wind to push the ship across the water, he exercised faith in the wind’s qualities and the ability it had to make the boat move. In this way this person harnessed the wind, an invisible power. It was a manner of faith then that provided a means for getting a grip on the invisible.
(2) A Story of faith, (1) 132.2
Pete had become lost in the dessert and had been chasing mirages. He thought to himself I’ll follow this last one. It was a very deserted town with a well in the very center. his mouth parched from the intense heat he ran to the well with his last ounce of energy. He vigorously pumped the handle only to find no water come forth. Then he looked up to a note nailed to the post. It instructed its readers to “look behind the rock where a five gallon bucket of water will be found and warned against drinking or using it for anything besides priming the pump. For every ounce was needed and warned against drinking even one drop. After pouring the water down the pump, pump the handle vigorously and all the water you desire will come forth. One last instruction, please fill the bucket of water and place it behind the rock for the next weary soul who might happen to come along.”
How hard it is for people to give up a sure thing for something they cannot see at the time. Pete had a sure thing in the bucket of water and yet was instructed to pour it all down the pump.
We too have difficulty with letting go of the sure thing. It would seem to satisfy for the moment. It is what is needed, supposedly. How easy it is for people to sell out too quickly.
Faith comes by continuing to read His Word and trusting and obeying what He asks. For it is through that obedience that we see God’s promises being fulfilled in our lives to bring us to a deeper faith being expressed in further obedience.
Jesus never warned His disciples about having too much faith, but He rebuked them for having too little.
Would you, or are you pouring water down the well?
FAITH PROVIDES POINTS OF CONTACT BETWEEN THAT WHICH IS PRESENT AND THAT WHICH IS YET TO BE OR ALREADY HAS BEEN.
three interesting advantages of faith
I. Being creatures which deal so often with substance and evidence, we need faith to provide for us a grasp on the intangible (Heb 11:1).
A. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” Substance is that which stands under our hopes. In the words of Leon Morris, Faith “undergirds the Christian life.” Promises are not real artifacts but they are things upon which we base our hope if the one who promises is viewed to be reliable. Whenever we trust someone’s statement, we exercise faith in them. The foundation of a building is its substance. A title for a piece of property is the substance for claiming to own that property. The substance allows one to act on truth that is otherwise intangible. Wind has truths about it which are unusable unless someone acts on those truths and erects a sail to employ them.
Promises may be true but they are intangible unless someone believes them and acts accordingly.
B. Faith exists in different persons in different degrees, according to the amount of their knowledge or growth in grace. Sometimes faith is little more than a simple clinging to Christ, a sense of dependence and a willingness to depend. A limpet at the seaside can be knocked off the side of rock if surprised, but once warned he will stick to the rock with all his might. The limpet does not know much but he clings. He can cling , and he has found something to cling to; this is all his stock of knowledge and he uses it for his security and salvation. It is the limpet’s life to cling to the rock and it is the sinner’s life to cling to Jesus. Thousands of Christians have no more faith than this. Jesus is to them a mighty rock unmoveable and immutable. - Spurgeon (53-54) #15-17
II. Facing matters which are beyond us has no shortage of either threat or promise of failure, but faith yields an enablement for the impossible (Heb 11:2).
A. “For by [faith] the elders received witness” we are told in verse 2. When the OT saints in particular believed God for what He said, they created a good testimony by acting on what He said. The rest of Hebrews 11 is going to establish that fact. Today the believer’s challenge is to create that same kind of testimony. The things the believers of days gone by accomplished were impossible by earthly standards, but by believing and acting on the promise of God, they were done. Faith enables the believer for doing the impossible.