Summary: It’s time for the church to stand up in its God-given authority to stand against the power of the enemy.
March 9, 2008
Text: Matthew 8:5-13
Subject: Faith in Action
Title: You Have The Authority to Exercise Your Faith
Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, p. 153.
In U.S. Navel Institute Proceedings, the magazine of the Naval Institute, Frank Koch illustrates the importance of authority. Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing reported, "Light, bearing on the starboard bow."
"Is it steady or moving astern?" the captain called out.
The lookout replied, "Steady, Captain," which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship.
The captain then called to the signalman, "Signal that ship: ’We are on a collision course, advise you change course twenty degrees.’"
Back came the signal, "Advisable for you to change course twenty degrees."
The captain said, "Send: "I’m a captain, change course twenty degrees.’"
"I’m a seaman second-class," came the reply. "You had better change course twenty degrees."
By that time the captain was furious. He spat out, "Send: ’I’m a battleship. Change course twenty degrees.’"
Back came the flashing light, "I’m a lighthouse."
We changed course.
I want to share with you today from a passage that will be very familiar to most of you. But I think that what I’m going to say to you today will be different than what you may have heard preached from this passage in the past. Open your bibles to Matthew 8:5-12. This is the story of the Centurion’s faith, but I am going to go beyond faith to take you to where I believe Jesus wants every believer to be. He wants you to be able to put your faith into action. Today I am going to tell you how to do that.
So open you r spiritual ears and your spiritual eyes to receive something spiritual that will change your life today.
Are you ready?
I. JESUS DESIRES THAT YOUR NEEDS BE MET. 5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”
7Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” I doubt that any of you here today question the fact that Jesus wants us healed. He wants us to receive all the promises that He has given us. But most of us still have that lingering doubt that comes from walking by sight and not by faith. Faith says that the work is already done – that the enemy is defeated. Sight says I don’t see it so I haven’t received it yet. For you to receive the promises you first need to understand what God has done in setting up His chain of command in the church age. First of all you have to understand that it is God who is Jehovah-Rapha, the Healer, Jehovah-Jirah, your provider, Jehovah-Shalom, your peace, Jehovah-Nissi, your banner… James 1:17, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Next, you must understand that the works that Jesus did while He walked on earth expressed the desires that the Father have for your lives. Hebrews 1:3, The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Let’s go back to our original passage in Matthew. Let’s get a real understanding of the power of Jesus’ word. 8The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one,‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. Here we see faith and the Word of God connected so intricately that there is no way to separate them. By faith, the Centurion knew who Jesus was and what He was capable of doing. He also understood that just having faith was not enough – that a word had to be spoken for God’s plan to be set in motion. I want you to notice what Jesus says next. 11I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” The subjects of the kingdom in verse 12 refers to the Jews. They thought that they were good to go with God because of their natural inheritance. But the Bible is clear that it is by faith that we are saved. What kind of faith? We must have the faith to believe that we should desire to live on every word that comes from the mouth of God. You see, if you are going to walk this spiritual walk the way God wants you to walk it you have to 1) know His word, 2) believe His word, 3) Put His word into motion. 13Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour. Why? Not because Jesus prayed for healing but because He sent his word to heal. He spoke healing into existence. He had the authority to do that.