Summary: People who suffer because of inadequate faith should begin to grow in their initimate knowledge of Jesus Christ

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Insufficient Faith Comes From an Inadequate Knowledge of the Truth

(Acts 19:1-7)

Illustration:Sir Alexander Mackenzie is a Canadian hero. An early fur trader and explorer, he accomplished a magnificent feat when he led an expedition across Canada from Fort Chippewyan on Lake Athabasca to the Pacific Ocean. His incredible journey was completed in 1793, 11 years before Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition to the west. Mackenzie’s earlier attempt in 1789, however, had been a major disappointment. His explorers had set out in an effort to find a water route to the Pacific. The valiant group followed a mighty river (now named the Mackenzie) with high hopes, paddling furiously amid great danger. Unfortunately, it didn’t empty into the Pacific, but into the Arctic Ocean. In his diary, Mackenzie called it the "River of Disappointment."

Daily Bread, July 1, 1990.

1. Why are some people experiencing uncertainties, doubts and fears even when they are faithful church attenders? Some people’s faith is insufficient because they have an inadequate knowledge of the truth.

When Paul met with these twelve men in Ephesus he discovered that they had wrongly assumed that their belief in John’s preaching was all they needed. They failed to even hear of the Holy Spirit. Today many churches are filled with people who have mistakenly assumed that they are on their way to heaven. Without saving faith in the Christ, who provides forgiveness of all sins and the gift of the resident Holy Spirit, no one will enter heaven.

Ask the Lord to help you educate people about the perils of insufficient faith and its remedies through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

2. Paul’s instruction was comprehensive and wise. It is sad to say, but many teachers give good information, but they lack a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible or fail to deliver it with spiritual wisdom.

Ask the Lord to help you follow Paul’s exemplary instruction in not leaving out any essential teaching.

3. Paul’s instruction was not based on the teaching of any man, just on Christ. The men of Ephesus were trusting in the teachings of John. Too many people become disciples of a man rather than a true follower of Jesus Christ. Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ.” (Phil. 1:21) Paul did not say, “It all depends on the definition of what is – is!” It should be plain truth that you speak to people.

There is no equivocation about truth when you speak of the life, teaching and ministry of Jesus Christ. Follow the footsteps of Jesus wherever you go.

4. The disciples of John stood on the lower steps of maturity in their faith. As we grow in Christ we move on from

1). Basic trust – a firm belief in the reliability of God and the truth of His word. Just as a child learns to implicitly trust his mother, so a young Christian relies on the Lord for spiritual leading, feeding and protection.

2). Confidence – One develops a firm reliance on the certainty of God’s grace, counsel and enabling

3). Innovation – When a person knows one’s value before God they are free to initiate ideas, services and love

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