Summary: Jesus builds the church, we are called to disciple God's people. Lets see where faith and service meet together in what we call the church.
The Church and our faith
Last week we looked at finding purpose in your life.
The writer of Ecclesiastes Solomon said that all things outside of God were meaningless in the great scheme of things.
Pleasures and things are temporary.
The only way you find lasting purpose and meaning is when God is involved in your life.
There is a void in your life and only God can fill it. No matter what you put in there, it will never satisfy.
Today I want to look at faith- and how that plays out in your life.
People say that they believe, but if their actions do not fit their faith. Do they really have faith? What is it that they have faith in?
Shortly after Jesus was resurrected from the tomb by God the Father, He appeared to His disciples. John chapter 20 records that His disciples were locked up together, in great fear of the Jews, the Roman soldiers, and Jesus shows up and says “peace be with you” He shows them His scarred hands and His pierced side. They were overjoyed that Jesus was alive and Jesus came back to see them.
One that had not been there was Thomas. He shows up later and they tell him that Jesus was there. He showed us his nail scarred hands and his side wound.
Doubting Thomas says “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my fingers where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
How many Doubting Thomases’ are here this morning?
How many would be honest that at least one time in our life they were Doubting Thomas.
“Unless I see, unless I touch, I will not believe. Not coming through a door, but miraculously Jesus appears before Thomas. “Put your fingers here, see my hands, reach out your hand and put it in my side- stop doubting and believe.”
Then Jesus got real personal
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
To those living at that time would not have been a lot because they could have seen Jesus.
To future generations, He says blessed are you who have not seen me yet believed.”
There is special blessings and special acknowledgment that have put their faith in Jesus when they have not seen yet.
Out text this morning is Matthew 16:13-19
This is Peter’s confession of Christ
“Who do people say the Son of Man is? They gave all kinds of answers.
“But what about you, who do you say that I am?
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Blessed are you because God the Father has revealed that truth to you. I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail.”
On Peter the Rock? No, Upon Christ! Being the Son of God and being resurrected.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Faith is looking beyond what is right in front of you to acknowledge what you know is truth.
We all put faith in something or someone.
Faith in our smartness? We saw how well that works.
We can put faith in other people. We all have been hurt by others.
We can put our faith in an organization or institution.
I would agree that putting faith in Jesus Christ is a step of faith, but I believe that also the evidence of history and the evidence of proof supports that step of faith.
Picture a stream flowing down toward a larger body of water. The current pulls in one direction. There might be a few branch offs that have some stagnant water, but most is pulling in one direction.
That is the way I picture Jesus.
There are some branch offs that I do not understand because He has not shown me the answer to those questions yet, but the current pulls and the evidence points to Jesus even though I do not understand all.
That to be is logical faith- it is not blind faith, because the evidence points to Jesus and it is overwhelming.
The Bible tells us that faith in God is powerful and that if you have the faith as small as a mustard seed that you would be able to move mountains that are in your life.
Yet many do not have that kind of faith and spend most of their life doubting the things of God.
There is one main point I want to bring out this morning, it is this- Jesus said to His disciples to follow Him! Follow Me!
If you have faith in Jesus Christ you will be following Him.