Summary: Is faith relevant today and what can it do for me?
Faith for Today
Mark 11:22 “And Jesus answered saying to them, "Have faith in God.” NAS
I. Pardoning Faith
Romans 5:1 “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
A. Some fail to receive God’s forgiveness because they feel they are too sinful. “Surely God will forgive me,” they say.
B. God desires that everyone be saved. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
C. He is able and willing to forgive the vilest sinner. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.”
D. Repentance and faith bring God’s pardon and peace. Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”
E. Illustration: Merlin Carothers, author of the book Prison to Praise, had firsthand experience of what it is like to be declared righteous. During World War II, he joined the army. Anxious to get into some action, Carothers went AWOL but was caught and sentenced to five years in prison. Instead of sentencing him to prison, the judge told him he could serve his term by staying in the army for five years. The judge told him if he left the army before the five years ended, he would have to spend the rest of his term in prison. Carothers was released from the army before the five-year term had passed, so he returned to the prosecutor’s office to find out where he would be spending the remainder of his sentence. To his surprise and delight, Carothers was told that he had received a full pardon from President Truman. The prosecutor explained: “That means your record is completely clear. Just as if you had never gotten involved with the law.”
II. Purifying Faith
Acts 15:9 “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” KJV
A. Many Christians fail to completely surrender their lives to Christ; they hold some portion in reserve for selfish pursuits.
B. When we commit ourselves totally to Christ, giving Him first place in our lives, the Holy Spirit “purifies our hearts by faith.”
C. Purifying faith brings power for service, enabling the Christian to share Christ with others. Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…” KJV
D. Illustration: in high school shop class when we would do the foundry work. The metal would be heated to liquid, and the impurities would float to the top and thrown away.
III. Penetrating Faith
Matthew 15:28 “O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish.”
A. There is no mountain too steep, no valley too deep for faith to handle. Faith lifts burdens, lightens bereavements, and liberates those in bondage.
B. Faith penetrates doubts, discouragements, and defeats, bringing victory.