Summary: Christ’s Principle of Developing Strong Faith - Strong faith in Christ provides answers to life’s most perplexing problems
Christ’s Principle of Saving Faith (Luke 7:1-10)
Illustration:Faith in God makes great optimists. Over in Burma, Judson was lying in a foul jail with 32 lbs. of chains on his ankles, his feet bound to a bamboo pole. A fellow prisoner said, "Dr. Judson, what about the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?", with a sneer on his face. His instant reply was, "The prospects are just as bright as the promises of God."
The Presbyterian Advance.
90% of the time people learn how to gain eternal life through the urging of a friend or family member. Seldom do people come to Christ without the aid of other’s advocacy.
When the Jewish elders came to Jesus requesting he come and save the life of a centurion’s slave, the Lord saw this as a teaching opportunity for the Jews and the Gentiles.
The Jewish elders said to Jesus, "This centurion loves our nation for he generously built a synagogue for us."
Obviously the centurion was a religious man who had moral principles, but we discover that he possessed greater faith than any Jew than Jesus had ever seen.
When the Centurion saw Jesus he said, "Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." Jesus said, "I will go and heal him." The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word and my servant will be healed…" Jesus said, "I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith… Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would!!!" And his servant was healed at that very hour.
Christ’s Principles of Developing Strong Faith
1. The Lord is approached successfully only with our own sense of unworthiness completely trusting in His power to deliver us from sin, problems and evil forces. The centurion’s humility so impressed Jesus that He contrasted this Gentile’s faith as greater than that of all Jewish people.
2. As the centurion’s concern for his servant led to his healing so the love we show will pave the way for our contacts to personally experience God’s blessings. Ask God to make you a channel of His blessings today.
3. The greater our request the greater must be our faith to trust God for His mighty intercession. William Carey, the father of modern missions once said, "Expect great things from God attempt great things for God." Jesus once told a sick woman, "According to your faith be it done for you."
4. The faith of the centurion impacted the lives of many around him. Anyone whose faith is not contagious probably has weak faith. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:16) Do not keep your light under a bushel basket.
5. Everyone will experience a time in their life when they need the help of an intercessor like the centurion. Develop a network of close friends who will pray for you and ask God to work on your behalf. Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in their midst." (Matt 16:18)
6. Never doubt God’s ability to accomplish the impossible. God said, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything to difficult for me?" (Jeremiah 32:17)
7. Use the influence of people who are connected to powerful men of God to entreat Jesus on your behalf.
8. Practically show your love for other people in ministering to their physical, social, emotional and cultural needs. Realize that the gateway to a man’s mind, will and emotions are often through human needs.
9. Pray in the name of Jesus, for His purposes, glory and will. He will accomplish far beyond all that you ask or think according to the power that works mightily within each believer. (Eph. 3:20)
10. When you are presented with a situation that seems so complicated that no human has an answer, rest assured that Jesus Christ has the solution to all problems. Jesus is greater than any problem, person or predicament. God finds a way when there seems to be no way
11. Even though the Jewish elders had much religious clout, they were helpless to accomplish the miraculous without Jesus Christ. It often times requires a great deal of humility before we can see God work.
12. The way we intercede for the welfare of others is a great evaluator of how mature our faith is. Without a deep concern for lost no one will be able to do evangelism and church planting in the power of the Spirit
13. Even though you may not be able to understand how God work through certain people try to involve the Godly in the corporate pursuit of the Lord’s purposes. Do not try to do God’s work by yourself.