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Summary: Are there times when you doubt the things of God? Belief in God is not complete understanding of God but is rooted in our hearts. This sermon explores this further, with the hopes of demonstrating that many who struggle with belief really do in their hear

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TITLE : BELIEVING IN THE HEART

TEXT: Romans 10:10

AUTHOR: Fr. Christopher M. Nerreau

“For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.”

INTRODUCTION:

• I’ll bet I know a deep dark secret of yours…I’ll bet that there are times where you doubt the things of God.

• Did the Snake really talk? (I wasn’t there)

• Did Jonah really live in the belly of a whale? (Seems impossible)

• Did Adam live several hundreds of years? (That does not happen)

• And I’ll bet you often feel guilty about the fact that you doubt. You try to push these thoughts back into the recesses of your mind

• Or maybe you simply try to force yourself to believe…  (I am not a prophet, I struggle to.)

PROPOSITION: The reason you may struggle is because you may not fully understand what it means to believe.

ORIENTATION: Today I want to help you to understand what it means to “believe” in Christ as we address:

I. THE SOURCE OF BELIEF? (GODS REVELATION)

II. THE SPACE OF BELIEF? (THE HEART)

III. THE SURENESS OF BELIEF? (SANCTIFICATION)

TRANSITION: So lets start to understand by looking at our first point…

I. THE SOURCE OF BELIEF (MT 15:16-17)

EXPLAINATION:

• Christ Asked Peter (Mt. 15:16-17 “Who do you say that I am)

o Peter responds correctly – “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”

o How did Peter come to understand this?

 NOT FROM LOGIC OR REASON

• “For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you” v.16

• To believe in Christ is not the work of man -“flesh and blood”.

• We do not in and of ourselves have the ability to simply manufacture belief.

• THE REVELATION WAS OF GOD

• “but my Father who is in heaven” v.17

• Belief is revealed to us by God. God gives us the revelation and that is where belief begins.

• In this sense belief in Christ begins with God – The apostle

Paul said - Romans 12:3 - “Each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.”

ILLUSTRATION:

o I did not have the ability to believe my sister in-law was pregnant until someone revealed to me that it was so. Then I simply agreed with this revelation.

o In a similar way, we could not know Christ apart from the revelation of God, directly in our hearts. We are simply called to agree with Him.

APPLICATION:

• Do you struggle with believing?

o Remember we are simply called to agree with God’s revelation. To be open to what God writes upon our hearts.

• Also, remember that you cannot “MAKE” yourself believe anything, nor are you called to. Our goal is to be receptive to what God is telling us (sermons, scripture) God will make it real.

II. THE SPACE OF BELIEF – (Romans 10:10)

EXPLAINATION:

• COMMON CONFUSION

o I think the greatest challenge to overcoming unbelief is understanding where it resides.

o Most of the time people who are struggling will tell me they – “don’t understand this or that”

o Unbelief has very little to do with the brain, it has everything to do with the heart.

o God has never said – “There’s a man after my own brain…” its always after His Own – “ heart.”

• THE SPACE OF BELIEF – The heart

Mark 11:23 – “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”

Mark 16:14 – “Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.”

John 14:1 - “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.

Acts 4:32 - “Those who believed were of one heart…”

Romans 10:9 - “if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:10 - “For man believes with his heart and so is justified”

ILLUSTRATION:

Trying to explain love is very difficult, but experiencing love is not. Because love is of the heart, not the brain. The same is so with God, He is of the heart, He desires your heart.

APPLICATION:

• This does not mean that we are mind numb robots, but belief begins in the heart. I want to ask you – What if someone were able to persuade you that God was not real. Picture yourself at home, all alone and having lost your faith in God. How would you feel?

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