Summary: The Christian life begins with one Trusting Jesus and we are to continue to walk by that same rule for the rest of our life
TEXT: JOHN 4:46-54
TITLE: EVER INCREASING FAITH
AUTHOR: JACK WOODARD
[2 Corinthians 5:7] tells us that as Christians “…we walk by faith, not by sight.” In other words, we live out our everyday lives by believing what the Word of God says and not by what the circumstances around us may look like. We take the Lord’s Word as fact and not what may look like the facts from the world around us.
[2 Timothy 3:1], along with many other Scriptures, tell us that these “Last Days” will be characterized as “Perilous Times.” Difficult and Dangerous people will make life very difficult and dangerous for the people and the world around them.
For the Christian, it will be absolutely necessary that as the days grow more difficult that our Faith in Jesus continue to expand as well. In these serious times we are already seeing that those with a Shallow Commitment to Jesus, and a Shallow Faith in Him, are becoming the victims of our times and not Victors over them. Trials and temptations are conquering what seems to be the majority of those who claim to be Christians. Our Faith in Jesus MUST continue to expand if we are going to make it in these Perilous Times.
In our text we have an incident that took place in the life of Jesus that gives us the story of a certain nobleman who was from Capernaum. This nobleman had a son at home, who was so sick that he was knocking on deaths door. He comes to Jesus in a panic, begging Jesus to rush to Capernaum and heal his son before he dies. This wonderful story gives a picture of a man whose faith in Jesus started out in the infant stage and continued to expand until he was living a victorious life of faith in Christ. This story gives us an opportunity to Evaluate Our Faith. We can see if our faith is Infant Faith, or an Increasing Faith we too need in these days and the days ahead of us, if we are to live a victorious life.
1. LET‘S EVALUATE OUR FAITH [JOHN 4:46-54]
This nobleman‘s faith in Jesus starts as infant faith, but quickly begins to increase. As we look at his faith we can evaluate our own faith.
A. Signs of Infant Faith [v.v.47-49]
1. They Only Need Jesus When They Are In a Crisis. [v.47…at the point of death.]
We have no record that this nobleman ever had any interest or need of Jesus until he was stricken by this horrible crisis in his life. That is a sign of faith in its infant stage, if one is a believer. There is a paradox between weak faith and strong faith, and that is, the stronger your faith in Jesus is, the more you weak you feel, and the greater you sense your need of Jesus every day and in every way. The weaker your faith in Jesus is, the stronger you feel and the less you feel you really need Jesus in your everyday life. Those with infant faith like this nobleman must be driven to Christ by a crisis. You never see this type of person in Church unless they are experiencing a crisis. These are the people whose lives just go from one crisis to the next.
2. They Will Only Believe If They Can See It First
[v. 48...Except ye SEE…you will not believe…”]
To those with infant faith, seeing is believing. To the strong in faith, “Faith is the substance of things Hoped for, the evidence of things Not Seen.” [Hebrews 11:1]
The weak in faith refuse to believe until it comes to pass, the strong in faith, sees it as done in their hearts before they see it done in reality.
3. They Put the Emphasis on the Temporal and Physical […heal his son…v.49]
Here is a father who is understandably worried about his sons physical health, but we do not see that when he first came to Jesus that he was concerned about his sons eternal soul going to @#!*% upon his death. He should have been praying; “Oh, Jesus, please save him and don’t let him die and go to @#!*% .”
Most Churches show their infant faith at Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting. Most, if not all or our prayer requests are like the nobleman’s, just for the physical health and healing of our loved ones and friends, when many of those friends and family members are also lost souls. We should be praying about Kingdom matters and eternal matters, and we will be if we ever grow up.
4. They Dictate to the Lord in Their Prayers [Sir, come down…v.49]
Those weak in faith always want to tell the Lord their problems, and then tell Him how to go about fixing them. Those with a more mature faith will bring their needs to Jesus and may even share with Him what they would like for Him to do, but they will always qualify their requests with a “NEVERTHELESS NOT MY WILLL BUT THINE BE DONE!” We learn when the Lord answers our prayers He does so in His time and in His way, and it is always much better than what we would have had the Lord to do. We have learned not to dictate to the Lord. He will not be dictated to, and he always does what He does perfectly, so we see that we need not dictate to Him.