Summary: The greatest Christian is not the one who has achieved the most. But the one who has received the most.
What is faith.
Hebrews without faith it is impossible to please God
The protestant reformation was based entirely aroud the scripture “the Just shall live by faith!
Hyper faith has given the church a wrong perspective on true faith!
If you are a Christian this morning your first act of faith was when you asked Jesus to stand in your place at the execution you deserved for your sins!
We concern ourselves with the outward works while forgetting that they are simply the fruit of a deeper spiritual factor!
In church we ask
How big is the church (you can pack a building without pleasing God!)
How good is the music (you can build an orchestra without an anointing)
Have we been tithing?
These things don’t matter as much as how vibrant is our faith in God?
Crowds do not equal spiritualty!
When Paul sent Timothy to check up on the new Thessalonian church
What questions did Paul want to have answered?
Church growth (no)
Do they have their own building (no)
What sort of offering are they getting (no)
In 1 Thess 3 Paul reveals his primary interest and concern is for their faith level!
(v2) we sent Tim to strengthen & encourage you in your faith
(v5) When I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith
(v6) But Tim has just now come to us from you with good news about your faith
(v7) Therefore brothers in all our distress we are encouraged about you because of your faith
(v10) Night and day we pray that we may see you again an supply what is lacking in your faith
What paul knew and we seem to have forgotten, is that when people break down in their behaviour, backslide into sinful living, or grow cold in the Lord it is because their faith has broken down first!
What was it in scripture that amazed Jesus?
Not a persons righteousness or wisdom or education
But he was amazed by peoples faith!
Luke 7:9 Roman centurion said you don’t need to come to my house just say the word!
Jesus said wow I have not seen faith like this in Israel!
Matt 15:28 The Canaanite woman asked Jesus to heal her daughter of Demon possession
Jesus said “woman you have great faith” your request is granted.
On the other hand in Nazareth he could do no miracles because of their lack of faith!
It is faith that triggers the release of divine power
1 Peter 1:5 It is through faith that we are shielded by Gods power!
Our trying struggling or promising won’t work! – Faith is what God is after. Faith is the key to relationship with Him.
Its not talk.
Isaiah 29:13. These people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
What faith isn’t?
Not positive confessions
People feel they can’t call on the Lord with their problems because according to their teaching they shouldn’t have a problem.
Many think that the greatest Christian must be the person who walks around with head held high quoting scripture and letting every one know when they arrive.
In truth the one who is bent over leaning most heavily on the Lord admitting his total inability to do anything with out Christ.
Key: The greatest Christian is not the one who has achieved the most. But the one who has received the most.
My grandson Leighton is a bit afraid of Dogs and when he sees one he holds on tight to my legs. This is an act of deep faith in me to keep him safe
This is the thing that delights the heart of God true faith in him to see us through!
6 Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
7 For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.
11 So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
True faith is abandoning ourselves to Jesus. Recognizing that he alone can meet our needs. Take away our pain , fill our hearts with love etc.