Springboarding off of the Apostle Paul’s life focus, clearly expressed in 1 Corinthians 2:2, Pastor Greg launched an “open-ended” message series on January 12th, 2020 – focusing on “Just Jesus.” He is walking us through the entire New Testament, pulling passages from the Old Testament for context, and keep us focused throughout the year on “Just Jesus.” This week Pastor Greg looks at Matthew 8:1-4. Pastor G shares three things Biblical Faith is NOT and one thing Biblical Faith actually IS!
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:2
After He came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. And a leper approached and bowed low before Him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” ~ Matthew 8:1-2
THREE THINGS FAITH IS NOT
1) FAITH IS NOT A FORCE!
2) FAITH IS NOT A FORMULA!
3) FAITH IS NOT JUST FORTUNATE (POSITIVE) THINKING!
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1 (NET)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
Faith is the confidence that God is who HE SAYS HE IS and that He WILL DO what HE HAS PROMISED TO DO.
HOPE: It hasn’t happened. I really want it to happen. But I can’t be sure it is going to happen.
FAITH: It hasn’t happened. I want it to happen. I am certain it is going to happen.
How can we be CERTAIN something is going to happen? How can we have the ASSURANCE of things HOPED for? ONLY if God has PROMISED it IS going to happen. What bridges the gap between hope and faith is a PROMISE by God has been given. That’s the ONLY way we can be SURE that what we HOPE for is ACTUALLY going to happen.
THIS is what the ancients were commended for. ~ Hebrews 11:2
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God…. and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~ Romans 5:1-2, 5
We KNOW, that what we HOPE for – in this case – WILL happen BECAUSE – and ONLY BECAUSE – it is connected to already kept promises of God and our faith in what HE HAS PROMISED for the future. FAITH is ALWAYS attached to a PROMISE! To express faith where you really only have hope is just PRESUMPTION!
He stretched out His hand and touched him saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. ~ Matthew 8:3
“Lord, I have a desire in my life. I know You are aware of it already because You KNOW ALL THINGS. I HOPE you will say yes to this desire in my life. I KNOW you CAN because you CAN DO ALL THINGS. I have FAITH that you CAN and I HOPE that you will! But, at the end of the day, I want YOUR WILL, not mine. In other words, IF You are WILLING You CAN grant my request. BUT, if you say no, my faith is still secure because my faith is simply the confidence that You are who YOU say You are and that You will do what YOU have promised to do. Your faithfulness is not dependent on my desires. This thing I asked for, was not promised to me by You, so , of course, it is perfectly ok if You say no. If you are saying no I still trust in Your will, not mine. You are still faithful to all You have promised. My faith is still secure in You.” THAT is true faith.
Then Jesus said to him, “See that you do not speak to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and bring the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” ~ Matthew 8:4
Why does Jesus tell him to not speak to anyone else, but to instead go show his healing to the priest? What is the offering that Moses commanded and how will showing himself to the priests and bringing an offering serve as testimony to them? Testimony of what? That’s what we’re going to talk about next week. So be sure to come back.