It's Time - Christ Our Refuge
CHRIST OUR REFUGE Luke 7:1-10, Matthew 15:21-28
What is a true, living and saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Observe these two stories where Jesus says the two people have ‘great faith’.
FAITH – ITS CENTRAL IMPORTANCE
- Ephesians 2:8- by grace you are saved through faith
- Hebrews 12:5 – without faith it is impossible to please God
The purpose of this talk - to help us see if we are in the faith and if not, then take steps to finding true faith in Jesus
- Some may discern that up until now what they have regarded as true is in fact not true faith at all
- Others with a very timid or even somewhat hidden faith may have that faith affirmed, nurtured and fanned into flame
FAITH – ITS MANY COUNTERFEITS
- Respect/ sympathy for Christ’s cause – we are either for him or against him
- Knowing about him - we must act on the knowledge
- Imitation of his example - this is faith in yourself and renders his coming into the world unnecessary for it believes we can save ourselves
- Attending church – do not merely attend the surgery but visit the doctor
- Believing he is the Son of God - we must know him and worship him
- Jesus the Adviser – we must submit altogether to his authority and teaching
- An orthodox confession of faith - false if not accompanied by obedience to the will of the Father – Matthew 7:21-23
- Inherited faith - baptism is a call to discipleship that must be lived out
- Sincerity in belief - it is not sincerity of belief but the object of our faith that matters – we can be sincerely mistaken
- Belief in yourself - faith in faith as an approach to life is not faith in Christ
FAITH – ITS ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS
Matthew 15:21-28 – Jesus apparent reluctance to respond was to test the genuineness of her faith and see if she belonged to the Israel of God
- I am making an approach to you - she called out – moved towards Jesus
- I believe you can do this – did she know of Elijah and the widow?
- I am willing to pay any price – she ignored the disciples rebuke
- I am desperate – you are my only hope
- I do not deserve it - I do not have the promises of the covenant people
- I will not give up – she persisted, persevered
- I have reason to believe you will hear me – you are compassionate
- I cast myself entirely upon your mercy – look upon my need
Her faith brought her to Jesus with unstoppable force and received its reward
Luke 7:1-10 – the healing of the centurion’s servant – many similar features
- I do not deserve it – I need grace. I am not relying on my record.
- You do not have to do it – you can grant or withhold grace
- I need you to do it – no-one else can heal
- I know you can do it – you have authority in the realm of sickness, just as I have in the army
- I ask you to do it – so let us also ask Jesus to save us.
- Jesus Christ has not changed This is still what he calls great faith.
- He invites us to come and ask, seek and knock and receive.
- He did not turn away those who came seeking his blessing
- He encourages us to come
FAITH – ITS COMMON OBSTACLES - So what holds us back?
- I am not worthy - a steppingstone, not a stumblingblock. Matthew 5:3
- I couldn’t keep it up – he will keep you -– Philippians 1:5. .
- It’s too late – if it wasn’t too late for the thief on the cross, it is not for you.
- I will just wait until he lays hold of me and grants me such a faith – come!
- I will come when I have improved my life a bit - come just as you are
FAITH – ITS UNIVERSAL RESULTS - . Galatians 5:6 - The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Love is the expression and the fruit of a living, genuine faith in the Lord. It establishes a life-changing relationship.
- Love for God – enjoyment of God and obedience to His will – Matthew 7:21
- Love for the family of God – by this we know that we have passed from death unto life that we love the brothers and sisters. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 1st John 3:14