Summary: Pentecost 12(C) - Faith is always being sure and certain of knowing and in receiving God’s blessings.
“FAITH IS BEING SURE…AND CERTAIN” (Outline)
August 23, 2009 --
PENTECOST 12 --
INTRO: The Christian faith is the only faith built upon the solid foundation of Christ the Rock. What does this mean for the followers of Christ? Believers are absolutely sure of eternal salvation in an unsure world. Believers are positively certain God is in control in the uncertain surroundings of this present age. “Faith is being sure…and certain!” Once again, we gather around that very word of God that is our absolute surety and certainty in this uncertain world. "And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts"(2 PETER 1:19). May we diligently pay attention to God’s word so that it dawns, rises, and shines in our hearts and lives.
“FAITH IS BEING SURE…AND CERTAIN”
I. As you believe God’s promises.
II. So you receive God’s blessings.
I. AS YOU BELIEVE GOD’S PROMISES
A. Verse 1 presents the very clear theme and encouragement that is outlined in this chapter.
1. Verse 2. The “ancients” are the ancestors of these believers. Their faith was sure and certain.
2. The Old Testament believers lived by faith and not by sight. God’s grace saved them all.
B. Verse 8. Abraham heard God’s call, listened, and follow – “by faith”. He was 75 years old.
1. This was an enormous leap of faith for Abraham. He left behind everything that was familiar.
2. Verse 9. Abraham knew that his earthly life was only temporary. He had no permanency.
C. Verse 10. Abraham kept looking ahead. The city with foundations built by God was still to come.
1. This was not an earthly city. It was not the city of Jerusalem. Verse 16a heaven was that city.
2. Verse 15. The people did not return to their home countries. They were looking to heaven.
D. “Faith is being sure…and certain”. Abraham put his trust, his faith completely and entirely on the promises of the Lord God Almighty. As believers we still do the same today. Or do we? We live in a sin filled world. We have a sinful nature. At times we turn to the experts for their wisdom. Sometimes we think our plans or ideas are the best and the only ones that matter. Worst of all too many feel that our government has all the answers. The Lord warns every believer to be careful. "This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD’"(JEREMIAH 17:5). Trust in man often turns hearts away from the Lord.
E. “Faith is being sure…and certain”. God’s promises never, never, ever fail. Check out all the pages of Scripture. Not one promise of God has failed. Jesus Christ is the same: yesterday, today, and forever. Still the world surrounds us and embraces us. We all too easily get caught up in the attractions and distraction in our own earthly lives. Every day the news seems to get worse. The planet is heating up or cooling down. A storm may come or not. The economy cannot get any worse or it might. The parable of the sower reveals the wisdom of God. "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful" (MATTHEW 13:22). Yes, the deceitfulness of wealth tries to choke out the truth of God’s word. All too often worldly worries take away the fruitfulness God intends for our faith and lives.
F. “Faith is being sure…and certain”. God’s saving truth is simple. God’s saving truth is the most powerful and blessed treasure given to us. Christ is our Savior. Our sins are forgiven. The precious blood of Jesus washes our sins away. People once asked Jesus what they must to do to do the work of God. Jesus had to remind them of the simplicity of eternal salvation. "Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent’" (JOHN 6:29). The believer’s salvation does not depend on his or her work. Eternal salvation is the work of God’s word that makes believers out of the very enemies of God!
“FAITH IS BEING SURE…AND CERTAIN”.
By faith we believe the promises of God.
II. SO WE RECEIVE GOD’S BLESSINGS
A. Abraham left his homeland. He believed God’s promises. Why would he leave family and friends?
1. Verse 3. Abraham knew that God had created the earth. He would still be in God’s care.