Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Faith of God's People, Luke 7-8

Faith Defined: Hebrews 11:1,6

Faith is the medium of exchange in the kingdom of heaven. We receive from God by faith. Faith is the greatest asset we have. Unbelief is the greatest stumbling block. Unbelief is the chief wickedness. Unbelief is the mother sin, the father sin, the parent sin. The sovereign God has limited Himself to work according to the faith, the belief of the people of God. – Adrian Rogers

Faith’s Reward:

Salvation (Ro. 5:1) The fullness of the Spirit (Gal. 3:14)
Victory over the world (1 Jn. 5:4) Victory over Satan (Eph. 6:16)
Sanctification (Acts 26:18) Confidence (1 Jn. 5:13-15)

Faith’s Source: Hebrews 12:2; Romans 10:17

All true biblical faith is rooted not only in knowing God but in hearing from the God that you know. In order to have faith, you must hear from God. You cannot know the will of God by guessing at it. You don’t generate it; it comes. God gives faith. No one can believe God unless God enables him to believe. How does that happen? God gives you a word. God speaks, and you believe it and receive it. – Adrian Rogers

The revelation of God, given in Christ, revealed in the Bible – that’s the logos. But there’s another word that is translated word, and that is rhema. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God. Not the logos but the rhema. What does rhema mean? It means an utterance, a spoken word. We would call it a word from the Word. You take the Bible – the logos; and as you’re reading, the Bible begins to speak to you out of the Word of God. You get a rhema from the logos. You get an utterance from God, and God speaks to you, and you hear it in your heart. How does God speak? You’re reading the Bible or you’re praying, and God puts that portion in your heart. God says, “This is from me. It is all true, but this is specially from Me to you.” - Adrian Rogers

Faith Illustrated:

1. The Centurian exercises faith in Christ’s authority (7:1-10).

2. The widow experiences faith in the midst of hopeless circumstances (7:11-17).

3. John exercises faith in the midst of life’s disappointments (7:18-23).

4. John’s followers exercise faith in spite of humble means (7:24-35).

• Jesus’ perspective on a man of humble outward appearance: (28)
“there is none greater than John”
• they acknowledged that God’s way was right (29); they submitted to His lordship and accepted His rule
• some rejected God’s purpose for them (30, refusing to submit to God’s means and method because it was uncomfortable, inconvenient, and unpopular

When people reject God’s way, they will find fault with anything. It is not a rational choice. Their spirits become clouded by unbelief. What a terrible thing to reject God’s way. But those who submit to God’s way walk in wisdom. What a contrast between the religious leaders (who rejected God’s way) and the followers of John (who accepted God’s way).

Those who rejected God’s way chose comfort, convenience, their culture, and a religious club.

5. The sinful woman exercises faith by extravagant love (7:36-50).

6. The women exercise faith through changed lives (8:1-3).

7. The seed illustrates faith through hearing (8:4-18).

8. The Lord emphasizes faith by the habits of hearing and applying (8:19-21).

9. The disciples learn about faith in the midst of trouble (8:22-25).

Summing it Up: how to have a victorious faith

1. Be saturated with the Scriptures.
2. Be dedicated to the Savior.
3. Be separated from sin.
4. Be activated by the Spirit.

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