Summary: A healthy faith.
"Four Facets of a Healthy Faith"
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Introduction: How many of you have heard the word facet before? In the dictionary a facet is a part of something as in the face of a gemstone. For instance, most of your ladies and some of the men have a ring on with many facets or faces. Each of those facets reflects light in a different direction and that's where you get the "sparkle" of a gemstone. Without these facets even a diamond does not shine or reflect light. This morning I want to shine the light on a subject that you find a lot. If you pay much attention to the social media sites, particularly FB, you will read post after post of one religious writer after another talking about what it takes to have a healthy church or a healthy faith. One thing I've notice is that some of these writers seldom refer to Scripture to measure the health of a person's faith. When that is the case then whatever you might say would be subjective and not objective. With that in view I'm going to share what I think makes for a healthy faith but I'm not offering my opinions; I'm looking directly at the Bible for this information. Let's turn to our text and see what it has to say to us. First, we learn that a healthy faith is a:
I. Facet #1 -- Learning Faith vs 41-43
Notice at least three things happened on the Day of Pentecost when 3,000 souls became disciples of the Lord Jesus. First, they "...gladly received his word..." and it is important for us to know that we cannot be saved apart from believing the Gospel of Jesus. Second, these disciples were marked as such by the ordinance of baptism. That is they publically identified themselves with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and third and this is very important, they "...continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine..." It is important to understand that when you trust Jesus you begin a journey of growth into maturity and that the Word of God is essential to this growth. The word doctrine means teaching. They "devoted" themselves to the Apostles teaching. Friend, the Bible makes it absolutely clear that there is no salvation without hearing the Word of God.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
It is also clear that there is no spiritual growth without exposing ourselves to the Word of God.
You should look into God's Word each day, just as you look into a mirror each morning to put on your makeup, shave, or brush your hair. It's equally important -- far more so! -- to gaze into the mirror of the Bible and correct your life accordingly. Every page of Scripture is like a handheld mirror, and every verse is a reflection of the person we're becoming through grace -- Rob Morgan sermon from James 1:19-27.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Just as there can be no growth without a devotion to the teachings of the Scriptures, there will be no progress without a developing prayer life.
ILLUIS - C. Peter Wagner, an authority on church growth, has this to say, "The more deeply I dig beneath the surface of the church growth principles, the more thoroughly convinced I become that the real battle is a spiritual battle and that our principal weapon is prayer."
Without the power of God there can be no lasting work done for Christ. A healthy Christian knows that if the church is too busy to pray there will be a great amount of activity with little accomplished many services but few conversions, many programs with little life changing results. This is why the apostle Paul wrote, "Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me..." (Romans 15:30) The child of God faces many trials, many obstacles and even spiritual perils as he walks with the Lord down here.