Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: True faith doesn’t have to see it to believe it.

Hearing Is Believing

John 4:46-54


The phone rang. A man put down his garden tools, wiped the sweat from his face and rushed into the house to grab the phone before its final ring. With his mind on his Saturday morning chores, he didn’t notice the sliding glass patio door was closed.

His wife found him in a pool of blood with glass chards laying beside him. Frantically, she called 911. The dispatcher couldn’t send any help, it seems that their address was on the wrong side of an arbitrary bureaucratic line. She would have to call someone else.

Afraid there wasn’t enough time to make another phone call, His wife managed to get him in the front seat of the car to take him to the hospital herself. Instead of getting on the freeway and driving to downtown Ft. Worth, she took a side street to a hospital that was closer.

Traffic was heavy. Blood was pouring into the floorboard of the car. Time slowed down. He was bleeding to death. She was desperate.

Her husband was dying and she felt helpless. Traffic was at a standstill. She saw the looks on the driver’s faces as they pointed to the bleeding man, her husband in the car next to them. She honked the horn, but no one pulled over to let her by. No one offered to help. At that moment she would have done anything to get her husband the help he needed. It was surreal. The strong man who had always provided for her and always protected her was wilting away before her very eyes. He needed help. She had to get him some help.

I. The Object Of His Faith vs. 46-50

He trusted in Christ to heal his son. He didn’t trust in his wealth, position, or power.

ILL. - There’s an old story about a traveler in the early days of the west. When he came to a large river, he discovered there was no bridge. Fortunately it was winter and the great river was sheeted over with ice. But the traveler was afraid to trust himself to it, not knowing how thick it was. Finally with infinite caution, he crept on his hands and knees and managed to get halfway over. And then he heard--yes he heard singing from behind. Cautiously he turned, and there, out of the dusk, came another traveler, driving a four-horse load of coal over the ice, singing as he went! - from sermoncentral.com

ILL. - Atlanta Tycoon Ted Turner, founder of CNN, TBS, TNT and various other enterprises, has more than once incited the ire of the US Christian community. Once he described Christianity as "a religion for losers" and another time he asked Catholics at CNN whether they were "Jesus freaks" when they arrived for work on Ash Wednesday with crosses on their foreheads.

What you may not know about him is that he wasn’t always so anti-Christian. In fact he revealed in an interview with the New Yorker magazine in April 2001 that he had once planned to become a missionary, but he turned his back on Christianity after watching his younger sister die a slow and painful death from an immune system disease when he was a teenager. He told the New Yorker, "I couldn’t understand how someone so innocent should be made or allowed to suffer so." (Mark Riley, Sydney Morning Herald, Aug. 25, 2001) - from sermoncentral .com

Ted Turner didn’t have a genuine faith. Genuine faith in God says that god you know best no matter what happens. Not just when I get what I want. Genuine faith knows that God is in control of all situation, the good and the bad.

-Many in the crowd only wanted to see miracles and then they would believe. Doubting Thomas said I’ll believe it when I see it. – JN 20:24-26 contrasted w/ real faith which is what this nobleman had. - Heb. 1:11 & II Cor 5:7

ILL. - Jean Francois Gravelet, the great Blondin, was the first tightrope walker to appear at Niagara Falls. On June 30, 1859 the rope was in position and at five o’clock in the afternoon Blondin started the trip that was to make history. As he began his ascent toward the Canadian shore, he paused, steadied the balancing pole and suddenly executed a back somersault. Never content merely to repeat his last performance, Blondin crossed his rope on a bicycle walked blindfolded, pushed a wheelbarrow, cooked an omelet in the centre and made the trip with his hands and feet manacled. And then, he announced that on August 19 he would cross the gorge carrying his manager, Harry Colcord, on his back. (http://www.niagara-info.com/historic.htm)

He later confessed that the trip had been a nightmare, but on that day, Harry Culcord had demonstrated absolute faith. He didn’t just believe that Blondin could make the trip, he entrusted his life to him. - from sermoncentral .com

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