Summary: Examines the importance of the Bible in growing our faith. 2nd in series on faith.
THE VITAL RESOURCE
For the past two weeks we have talked about pleasing God. We have talked about the importance of faith in the life of a believer.
The Bible has a great deal to say about faith.
If you remember, two weeks ago we studied this chapter together. As we studied, we looked closely at Hebrews 11:6 which says:
> Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
It is impossible to please God without faith. Where do we get the faith it takes to please God?
If you remember, a man once brought his child to the disciples and asked them to help. The disciples were unable to help him. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said it was:
> Matthew 17:20 Because of your little faith,” He told them. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. And again we read in:
> Luke 17:6 If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
Where do we get this miracle working faith?
In Hebrews 11, often called the believers hall of fame, we read of believer after believer having God work through them because of their faith. By faith, God’s followers conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouth of lions, quenched the raging of fire … God did the impossible through them, because of their faith. But where do you get that kind of faith?
> Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Hearing comes through the Word of God.
> Amos 8:11 Hear this! The days are coming— [this is] the declaration of the Lord God— when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.
In the book of Amos, the Bible tells us that there is coming a day when there will be a famine in the land. Not a famine of food or drink, but a famine of the Word of God. My friends, I believe that day is upon us.
According to research done by George Barna, 75% of Christians believe the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves. It doesn’t. More than ½ of the people describing themselves as Christians believe that Satan is not a living entity, but just symbolic: and that a person can earn his way into heaven. More than ¼ of those calling themselves born again Christians think all faiths teach the same lessons and that everyone experiences the same outcome after death regardless of their beliefs. (Barna 2000-2001 Seminar).
Is it any wonder we do not see more miracles, is it any wonder that we do not see more world change, is it any wonder we are unable to help our children, when we believe so many unbiblical things; when God’s Word is not a part of our lives?
A visiting preacher once sat in on a children’s Sunday School class. After the class, he asked one young boy “who tore down the walls of Jericho”? The boy answered, “I don’t know who did, but it certainly wasn’t me. I wasn’t even there at the time. Concerned, the preacher mentioned it to the boy’s Sunday School teacher. The teacher said, “I’ve known that boy for many years. If he says he didn’t tear down those walls, I believe him.” The visiting preacher, now concerned, later mentioned it to one of the deacons in the church. The deacon replied, “I tend to believe what the teacher said, but I believe we have enough money in the church’s building fund to rebuild those walls if you think it’s necessary.”
My friends, there is a famine in the land. It is a famine of the Word of God. We are leaving an important resource untapped. What does God say about Scripture?
I. THE BIBLE HELPS US UNDERSTAND
God says that His thoughts and His ways are different than ours.
Listen, many people believe that they can work their way to heaven. Many people believe that if they are good enough, they will get to heaven. Many people believe that they have to do a certain amount of things, give a certain amount of money, help a certain amount of people, in order to please God and in order to get into heaven. Some people have the mistaken idea that God is some kind of cosmic killjoy, looking for an opportunity to squash us. But that is not the God we serve. We do not understand God, what He is like, or what He requires, if we use only our own reasoning because God thinks differently than we do. So, how do we understand God and His requirements? We learn about God through the instruction manual He has given us. We learn about God through the Bible. God says in 2 Timothy 3:16: