Summary: This passage tells us how great people acquired faith to do great things for God.
The Manifestation of Faith
Rev. Sean D. Lester
A. I want to be a man of faith. Jesus said that if I had the faith of a mustard seed I could command a mountain to move. I could drive away the demons that torment people. I could walk on water or calm a storm.
B. I want to have faith but what is faith? How do I get it, or grow it, or write it? Is faith a commodity of the Spirit, that someone can give me, or that I could give away?
C. The very first verse of our passage tells us what faith is.
1. Faith is a “conviction” of truth. It is a hypothesis that compels me to prove it is true. It is not the good feeling you get when you learn something new, or as from a teacher or a book. IT is something you know because you figured it out from your own experimentation. You have a hunch and you prove it.
2. “Sure of what you hope for.” Hope is the assurance that some good thing could possibly happen. Hope drives me to pursue the good things. If something is possible, and I want it, I will pursue it.
3. “Evidence of what you don’t see.” Columbus, it has been said, changed the world because he had a strong hunch about a truth that the world is round. The riches of wealth if it was true gave him hope to pursue it. He could not see beyond the horizon, but he sailed for it anyway. He saw the sky meet the ocean, and was certain that something good lay beyond it.
D. All of the great people in ancient days were people of faith. Indeed, all great people are people of faith.
Proposition: All people have within them the ability to grow in faith to do and become great in God’s sight.
Interrogative: How do I know that?
Transition: This passage tells us how great people acquired faith to do great things for God.
I. Faith begins in the mind.
A. Before faith is made alive is a person, they must come to the conclusion that there is a God. How do you draw that conclusion?
1. You look at the sky, and you see order.
2. You look at nature, and you see order.
3. You know that all things stay still, unless it is put into motion. But, all things start from a standing position, so something had to act upon something to create the universe.
4. Order cannot come from disorder. Order is the evidence of a mind.
5. Therefore, there must be a creator, and the creator must be powerful.
B. The truth of God is inescapable. As Scripture says, only the fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
C. And since there is a God, and since He created beings that think, reason, and make choices, then does it not follow that He has a purpose for people? He made us very small, and very frail, doesn’t it follow that He would care for us?
Transition: It does make sense that there is a God and that He cares for us. That sense of knowing compels us who know of God to seek Him out.
II. Faith compels people to seek God.
A. Abel offered a sacrifice in order to draw near to God. There were no rules for worship, but he reasoned that if he took the best part of the fine things he had, and offered them to God, perhaps God would notice and be pleased. God did notice and was pleased.