Summary: These three words stand for three most important issues in our spiritual life. We all have to deal with them in one form or another, but it is above all things necessary that we should place them in the right order.
Intro: These three words stand for three most important issues in our spiritual life. We all have to deal with them in one form or another, but it is above all things necessary that we should place them in the right order. (Illustrate: Train)
I. FACT (Acts 8:32-33 quoted Isa. 53:7-8)
Fact is truth. Six hundred years ago people believed that the earth is not round but rather flat. Then in 1492 Italian explorer Christopher Columbus proved otherwise. However, many in Columbus’ time still felt and believed earth was flat!
A. It is a fact that God loves us with a great love (I John 3:1; 4:10) even though most people don’t believe it.
B. It is a fact that Christ suffered for sins that he might bring us to God (I Pet. 2:24).
C. It is a fact that the moment a repentant sinner trusts in Jesus Christ, he is instantly born into God’s spiritual family and becomes a son of God forever (John 1:12).
D. It is a fact that we can know for sure right now that we HAVE eternal life through Jesus Christ (I John 5:13).
E. It is a fact that in Jesus Christ we are forever safe and secured eternally (John 10:27-28).
F. It is a fact that we have an inheritance reserved for us in heaven (I Pet 1:3-4) – a mansion and a new body (John 14:2; Phil. 3:20-21; I Cor. 15:51-53).
II. FAITH (Acts 8:36-37) (v.37 is missing in other Bibles)
Faith is more than Belief (Jas. 2:19). In belief we know information about a person but in faith we cast our full trust and confidence upon that person. We must not merely believe ABOUT Christ only but IN Him personally!
A. By faith in Christ we are made the children of God (Gal. 3:26; Rom. 8:16). Not by faith ABOUT Christ but by faith IN Christ! Faith is a personal confidence & trust in Him.
B. A faith that is accompanied by repentance and turns towards Christ is the right kind of faith (Acts 20:21).
C. Real faith may not always be initially accompanied by outward expression of joy. It is not a good idea to ask a person how he feels after receiving Christ for then you are actually encouraging him to trust in unstable feelings.
D. Real faith subsequently bears fruit in legitimate feelings (Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 5:1). Why does the branch bear fruit? It cannot help it, because the life-forces are ever flowing up from the root. But it takes some time and fruit-bearing is not instant. You may not feel faith just as you don’t feel you’re growing and aging but faith is there!
E. A Christian ought to be SAFE, SURE & SATISFIED. Some of you are SAFE—you have trusted Christ. But some of are not really SURE! Why? Because you don’t believe exactly what He said! What you must do is by faith, rest your soul upon God and His holy word which are absolutely reliable!
F. Now some of you may be SAFE and SURE but not SATISFIED! Some still enjoy worldly pleasures to make them happy and comfortable. Some still have their affections and hope on things below which should not be (Col. 3:1-3).
III. FEELING (Acts 8:39)
A. Our feelings are deceptive because they are based from external factors (Jer.17:9). They are affected by the changing state of finances, weather, environment, problems at home and work, or the sickness and death of loved ones.
B. The presence of bad feelings and the lack of good feelings do not always indicate that we are sinning or out of God’s will. God sometimes cuts off our source of security and allows us to be deprived temporarily so He may know what is in our hearts; whether we love Him for Who He is.
C. Feeling is a fruit of salvation not its basis. You’ll feel good when you LIVE and SERVE God for His glory & honor!
CONCLUSION: Never forget these relationships –
1. FACT — you are saved when you trusted Jesus Christ.
2. FAITH — you know you were saved when you believed God’s absolute word to be true and faithful.
3. FEELING – you will truly have the right kind of emotions when you have done what God have told you to do.
Remember that a real Christian is not just supposed to FEEL GOOD in himself but rather DO GOOD for God’s glory!