Summary: Faith is a confidence based on the sure promises of our faithful, never changing Savior God and therefore affects every aspect of our lives.
When I was in college, a rather large number of guys in my dorm watched the soap opera “Days of our Lives”. Now I remember sitting down with them one time and watching it. In that episode, a woman named Hope was caught in an avalanche while skiing. She was lost and everyone was worried that they would never find her. So one of the main characters said to her family in a comforting voice, “We have to have faith that we’ll find Hope.” “We have to have faith that we’ll find Hope.”
Faith. We hear that word so often in our world today. But, on what does the world base it’s faith? “We have to have faith that we’ll find Hope?” For many faith is merely a desperate hand reaching out in the dark hoping to find it’s way. It’s our last option when all else fails. But God presents faith as something very different. It’s true that faith is based on things we cannot see with our physical eyes. As the Bible says, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for, and certain of what you do not see.” But our faith is not a desperate hand reaching out in the dark. Ours is not a foolish, unsure hope without basis. No, our faith has a solid foundation and therefore affects every aspect of our life. I want you now to listen again to our second reading for this morning and I want you to think about what our faith is based upon and also how it directly affects our lives...
I. May our faith have a solid foundation
Did you catch the foundation for our faith? It’s actually expressed in a bunch of different phrases here in our text: That Jesus is Lord; that God the Father raised him from the dead; that God justifies and saves us. This morning I would really like to focus on the first one: that our faith is based on that fact that Jesus is Lord.
What’s in a name? My name is Andrew. It’s a good name. It fits me well, but it really doesn’t describe me. You know, Andrew originally meant “Manly or Macho.” Even though that is very true, I don’t think that really gets to the essence of who I am. Do you know what Jesus’ name means? It means “He saves” or “Savior.” You know, we talk about Jesus being our Savior all the time, but do we really think about what that means? First and foremost it means that if he is our Savior, then we are in need of saving, of being rescued.
You know, we don’t like to think about that. Our pride doesn’t want to hear about sin. Our society tells us to go to churches that tell us that “I’m OK, you’re OK.” That sin and hell aren’t real. But, if that’s true, what do we believe in? If we believe that Jesus is our Savior and yet we don’t believe that we need to be saved, our faith is based on nothing.
But, sin is real. And when we’re truly honest with ourselves, we know it. We look around and see the evil, hate and selfishness of the world. When we look honestly within ourselves we see anger, pride and selfishness. And the Bible tells us clearly what that selfishness and pride deserves. The wages of sin is death. Eternal death in hell.
But we believe that Jesus is our Savior. He himself told us that he did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom to rescue the world. With his perfect life and innocent death on the cross, Jesus paid the ransom and set us free from death, the devil and the guilt of sin. And so because of Jesus our Savior, God justifies us as we see in verse ten. He’s the judge that declares us innocent, because Jesus has already suffered the death penalty on our behalf.
And, this Jesus is our Lord. In the New Testament, the word Lord is used as the translation for the Old Testament name Jehovah. Our faith is based on the fact that Jesus is Jehovah. The name Jehovah literally means, “I am.” God is the great I am. And what better name could there be to describe him? He always is and always will be. He never changes.
And that’s important. Our faith is based upon a Savior/God whose love never changes. When he promises us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” He means it. You know, in this world, we never know who to trust. Even the people we love the most seem to let us down all the time. But God won’t let us down. When he promises, Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, he’ll keep that promise. When he promises, I will be with you always; that nothing can separate you from my love; all things work for the good of those who love God... He’ll keep his word.