Summary: This sermon seeks to answer the questions, what is faith, what does faith do, and what does faith demand of us.
Answering some Questions About Faith II Cor. 5:7 Heb. 11:6
INTRO.: Jesus was approached once by His disciples who asked, "Lord, increase our faith." Jesus answered with a remarkable statement about faith which showed them how little they had and, at the same time, how little they needed. "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you." Luke 17:6.
Few of us will ever have the need to transplant a tree from dry land into the sea. However, like Jesus’ disciples, we may wish we had the power to do so by faith. We wish we had faith of this quality.
Faith works according to the power and wisdom of God and not at our whim. So we may never have the ability to move trees or mountains. But, there are far more important things needing done.
Let’s consider the concept of faith to be sure we have it, or to find out what to do to get it. I want to think about three questions regarding faith.
I. What is faith?
A. Faith is belief in an historical record. Heb. 11:6
1. The most basic things we need to believe about Him are He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
2. The record we must believe is God’s Word. "faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Romans 10:17
3. The record the Christian must accept: "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." I Jn. 5:11
B. Faith is trust in a Person. Acts 4:12 "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
1. God does not ask us to put trust in a human creed, institution, or plan.
2. We trust Christ for our salvation. His is the only Name that will save.
3. We know we can live for God in this sinful world and conquer death because Jesus did so.
C. Faith is confidence in a promise. "this is what he promised us--even eternal life." I Jn. 2:25
1. God promised eternal life before the beginning of time. Tit. 1:2
2. He kept His promise by sending His Son to die for our sins.
3. If God did not even spare His Son and has done so much for us so far, He will surely keep His promise by seeing us through to eternity.
II. What does faith do?
A. Faith sees the invisible. Heb. 11:23-27
1. Moses was a prince in the world’s most powerful empire. he left all the security and luxury of Egypt because he had a vision of God.
2. That vision of the invisible God enabled him to endure forty years of hardship and conflict in the desert.
3. By faith we recognize the existence of a power greater than anything we have seen.
4. "There is more to life than meets the eye" is a true saying.
B. Faith accepts the incredible:
1. Isn’t it incredible God should choose a nation of slaves to be His people, guide and sustain them for thousands of years, and take on flesh to be born among them.
2. It’s incredible that the Creator of the universe should submit Himself to death on behalf of His beloved creation.
3. It is incredible God should trust you and me with the task of spreading the good news of salvation to the entire world.
4. By faith we accept these ideas and much more.
C. Faith accomplishes the impossible.
1. Abraham’s life is a good example of a man who accomplished the impossible through faith. Heb. 11:8-12.
2. Heb. 11:32-35 gives a list of examples of those who accomplished the impossible by faith.
3. Faith is the only power able to change the human heart and conquer death.
III. What demands does faith make upon us?
A. Faith demands we obey God: Rom. 1:5
1. ILLUS.: in the early days of the Church a "large number of priests became obedient to the faith." Acts 6:7
2. James wrote "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." 2:26
3. We always act in accord with our beliefs.
4. One can’t claim to believe unless his belief changes his behavior. This is true in all of life’s pursuits.
B. Faith demands we serve our fellow man because it’s what God expects.
1. Gal. 5:6 speaks of "faith expressing itself through love."
2. Faith will always express itself. If we care about friends and relatives, it will lead us to tell them of our faith in Christ.