Summary: When I begin to understand the power of faith, I begin to appreciate what the Christian life is really all about.
Some people like to refer to themselves as a man or woman of faith. Yet, if you query them along that subject you discover they have no idea what a man or woman of faith is.
Faith has become just a word we use when thinking of somebody who is religious. Their faith is rooted in their religion. We often hear people say that we are a country of different “faith.”
This certainly is not what Paul is talking about here to the Corinthian church. He is reminding them that when we follow Christ, we surrender our authority. We are not doing what we want to do, but rather we are following Christ.
The thing that Paul is emphasizing here is the fact that we cannot understand how God is leading us through mere human resources. Many times what God is calling us to, does not make sense from a human standpoint at the moment.
Our ministry to the Lord can only be understood through our faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith is the one thing that people talk about and yet I find that many people don’t really understand what faith is all about.
I have been a Christian for a long time and I am still trying to understand this thing we call faith. As I walk with Christ and surrender myself to the Holy Spirit, I begin to understand more and more what a life of faith is all about.
This is what Paul is trying to encourage the Corinthians. If you are really serving Christ, you will have the whole world against you. Paul uses his own life as an example of that.
If there ever was a Christian that lived the life, it was the apostle Paul. Because he lived the life, or, as we say, walk the talk, many people were against him.
If it were not for his faith in God, Paul never would have survived in the ministry God had before him.
When I begin to understand the power of faith, I begin to appreciate what the Christian life is really all about.
Some have the idea that the Christian life is just a ticket to heaven. Those who have been a Christian for a long time realize that it is a lot more than that.
My going to heaven is a great reality, but before I get to heaven, there is this other reality called living by faith. When I understand the power of faith in my life, I begin to live the kind of life that honors and glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.
I think my favorite person has to be George Mueller. What a man of faith he was. He never asked anybody for anything, not even money. Everything that came in through his door came because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
His philosophy was something like this, if I cannot pray it in I really do not need it.
If you know anything about George Mueller, you know that he prayed in millions of dollars but none of it stuck to his wallet.
Someone has pointed out that if you want to become a millionaire very quickly become either a politician or a televangelist. Check out some of the richest preachers in the country. I think it might surprise you.
The thing that really surprises me is none of that money came through faith as we are looking at it today.
Some people can talk anybody into giving.
There is a televangelist not far from here, who is egging her congregation to give the first fruits of their money during the month of January. Basically, it means that you take all of your salary that you would get for January and give it to the church.
If they give their “first fruits” during January, they will be blessed by riches the rest of the year. If they don’t give, there will be dire consequences.
Some people buy into this.
That is not faith but rather it is the work of a con artist. If you have to beg for it, maybe you do not really need it.
Again, if you cannot pray it in, maybe you do not need it.
I want to look today at what this faith is all about that Paul is talking about. I will try to keep it simple, but it is a very complicated subject. It is a subject that we really need to understand if we are going to live the kind of Christian life that pleases God.
There are several aspects of this power of faith that I want to talk about.
I. The Cause of Faith
Several things guide humanity.
These guide us in making decisions every day of our life. And these qualities enable us to live a human life. There is nothing wrong with these things in themselves. The problem is, they only enable us to live the human life.