Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God wants to be the center of our lives by faith because He wants our hearts, our minds, and our souls. So Paul wrote about faith.

“Between the Lines: The Greatest Story Never Heard”

1 Chron. 16:23-29 & 34-36; Romans 10:1-17

The opening of one of the Superman movies, shows Clark Kent, as a young man, on his way home from school. His friends are all riding in a convertible but since there was not enough room for him has to walk. Clark crosses a railroad track just before a train passes by, leaving the convertible on the opposite side as the train passes by. Since they can’t see him he takes off running faster than the train and the car, and gets home. When his friends come speeding by his house they see him standing in the driveway and their eyes bug out of their heads. “How in the world did you do that?” they ask. Clark smugly smiles and walks away, leaving them stunned, puzzled, and impressed. As Clark walks up the driveway his father meets him half way and asks, “Have you been showing off again, son?” Clark answers, “Yeah, I guess so. I couldn’t help it.”

God is not like that. While He does some spectacular things, He never does it to show off or because He can’t help Himself. God does not want our faith based on the visible, the manufactured, or the fantastic. Rather, God wants to be the center of our lives by faith because He wants our hearts, our minds, and our souls. So Paul wrote about the faith (17): “…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

Paul says there are three things we must know about faith. First, we must know that FAITH IS IMPORTANT. Faith is, in fact, the very core of the Christian life. Consider THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS. Jesus spoke often about faith. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours…All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mk. 11:23-24 & 9:23) Jesus often said, “Your faith has made you well” or “Your faith has saved you” or “Be it done according to your faith.” Remember the four men who lowered their ill and helpless friend, on a stretcher, through a roof in order to place him before Jesus? Mark records (2:5) that Jesus responded, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven…get up, take up your mat, and go home.” When a Roman Centurion and a Syrophoenician woman showed great insight and belief Jesus said, “Never have I seen such faith!” Conversely when Jesus was not accepted in His hometown of Nazareth He marveled because of their unbelief. On numerous occasions He said to His disciples, “O you of little faith.” Jesus placed faith at the core of our relationship with Him.

We also have THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS’ FOLLOWERS. Certainly the apostles preached the same message. “Have faith in God…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” They taught that by faith we are justified, through faith we are saved, in faith we have peace with God, by faith we have access to God, and faith is the victory over the world! No wonder the writer of the letter to the Hebrews wrote, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he earnestly rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (11:6) Our Heidelberg Catechism states (20-21), “Only those are saved who by true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all his blessings. True faith is not only a knowledge and conviction that everything God reveals in his Word is true; it is also a deep-rooted assurance, created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel, that out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ, not only others but I too, have had my sins forgiven, have been made right forever with God, and have been granted salvation.”

So faith is important. Where does faith come from? How do we get faith? FAITH IS IMPLANTED IN US. Verse 17: ““…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Faith comes from hearing the message. It is implanted in us BY THE WORD OF GOD. Isaiah proclaimed (55:10-11 CEV) "Rain and snow fall from the sky. But they don't return without watering the earth that produces seeds to plant and grain to eat. That's how it is with my words. They don't return to me without doing everything I send them to do." Similarly, Peter states (1 Pt. 1:23) “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” Hebrews 4:12-13 (GNB) explains it “The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart.”

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