Sunday Preview: Faith - The Heart of Life and Living

Faith is at the core of our spiritual life, shaping our beliefs, actions, and relationship with God. Last week, we explored Luke 9:37-43, exploring the power of faith. To truly grasp this, we must believe that God will fulfill His promises as stated. The essence of this story is highlighted in Luke 9:41, where Jesus lived among those who refused to believe. This raises a vital question: Will we believe the word of God? Faith's power lies in accepting God's truth and allowing it to mold our lives accordingly.

Faith is the unwavering belief in God's word simply because He said it. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as "the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen." The term "certainty" signifies substance, content, actual being, or reality. Spiritual faith is a God-given conviction that the promises and truths of Scripture are real.

Ephesians 2:20 states that our faith is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone." However, simple assent to these truths does not equate to salvation. Knowledge of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection is insufficient; people can know these facts yet choose to rebel or ignore them. Romans 1:32 warns that knowing God's ordinances and still practicing sin is not true faith. Similarly, James 2:19 points out that even demons believe in God's existence but shudder in fear.

Nicodemus is a prime example. He acknowledged Jesus as a teacher from God (John 3:2) but failed to believe in Him fully. Jesus challenged Nicodemus in John 3:12, saying, "If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?" This highlights the necessity of trusting faith.

True faith involves trust and reliance on God. 2 Timothy 1:12 expresses this trust: "I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day." John 3:16 captures the essence of faith: "For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." This belief transcends mere acknowledgment; it requires reliance on God's work rather than our own.

Salvation is not achieved through law-keeping but through God's promise. Romans 4:13 affirms, "For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith."

Faith manifests in various ways, as illustrated in Hebrews 11:
  • Abel (Hebrews 11:4): Faith worships as God desires.
  • Enoch (Hebrews 11:5): Faith walks with God.
  • Noah (Hebrews 11:7): Faith works with God.
  • Abraham (Hebrews 11:8): Faith obeys God.

Our faith reflects our attitude toward God. Jesus' lament in Luke 9:41, "You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you and put up with you?" underscores the importance of genuine belief. True faith compels us to act according to God's word, regardless of obstacles. The question remains: Do you believe?

As you prepare for worship on Sunday, please give consideration to these questions:
  • How would you define faith as described in Hebrews 11:1? How does this influence your daily life and decisions?
  • Reflecting on Ephesians 2:20, why is it significant that our faith is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ as the cornerstone?
  • How do the examples of Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham in Hebrews 11 demonstrate different aspects of faith?
  • How can we move from intellectual assent to a deeper, trust-based relationship with God?
  • What obstacles do you face in fully believing and living out God's promises?

Those Serving

Matthew Allen
Dru McLaughlin
Eric Renegar
Matthew Ringle
Ben Baker
Kody Pritt
Marvin Lewis
Bob Zehring

Dave Pennington
Luke 9:40-42
Matthew Allen
Dan Dekosi
Mark Ringle
Emily McDonald / Jessica Johnson
David Williams / Dan Spargo
Jason Schofield
Josie Armstrong
Dan Spargo
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