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Faith

Posted by Ian on May 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Scripture reading: Acts 16:29-33

New International Version (NIV)

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.

Today, we will be speaking about a very important part of Christianity, faith. Are there some who need the answer to the greatest question of life? To such there is no answer to give than that given by Paul in the text.

What precedes the act of faith in the experience of the sinner?

As we reflect on the scripture reading, we see that the jailer is very interested in Paul and Silas’ faith. Why was he so interested? Well, previous to the jailer’s interest in their faith, and this is very essential to it, there was a conviction first of his guilt, then of his danger, and therefore there is a need of salvation, and of a savior. This is found in

Acts 16:20-30

New International Version (NIV)

20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

If a person is truly convinced that they are a sinner, justly condemned for their sins, lost unless they obtain mercy through Christ, they don’t need to wait for any longer, so why should they wait?

Let’s take a look at the object of faith.

Now, when I say “the object of faith,” You’re probably thinking “object of faith? What are you talking about?”

Well, what I mean is what we base our faith on. Do we base our faith on something worldly, like football or vehicles or our job? Or do we base it on something else, like people or animals or a God?

Well, in this case, let’s look at what Paul tells us.

In Acts chapter 19 verse 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus."

Now, let’s take a look at what Paul is talking about here.

In Matthew chapter 3 verse 11 John states "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Now, we can see that both men tell us to put our faith in Christ, and Christ alone, to make him the object of our faith.

Too many times, I’ve witnessed people trying to put their faith in other people, trying to put their faith in themselves, trying to put their faith in other things, but never in Christ, and it seems to always lead them down the wrong path. I have even seen Christians do the same, it almost seems that they have forgotten about the one who had promised them that He would never leave them.

Hebrews 13:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you.”

Let’s now consider the ACT of faith.

Faith in Christ, is simply the confidence or trust in Him. It involves assent to the truth as it is in Jesus, but it is much more than this; it is the heart in Him, and the approval of the way of salvation by Him.

Romans 10:1-15

New International Version (NIV)

10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”[a] 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”[b] (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’”[c] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[d] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

As we can see from what scripture has given us, faith and works are very important parts of our salvation.

Without faith, there is no salvation.

Let’s look at the results of faith.

A. On God’s end, is his justification of the sinner themselves.

It says in Romans that God justifies the ungodly. Romans 4:5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.

B. There is His acceptance of the believers.

C. There is His bestowment of His spirit on the believer.

We are given the holy spirit to guide us through life. Notice, that when you become a believer in God, everything seems to become clearer to you, you start to see things that you never have seen before. John 16:13 says “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” In my life as an Ex Atheist, I can definitely say that the things that I used to think were great, are rubbish to God, and he has let me see that because I have faith in him.

D. On the part of the believer there is peace and joy.

Another little thing about me, when I came to believing in God, I wasn’t always the happiest person. Once God showed me his love and forgiveness, my life turned a 180. Now, I find joy in the simplest of things, and I find comfort in the fact that God loves me so much, that he sent his only son to die on a cross to pay the price for my sins.

E. Another result, is obedience to God’s word.

As I said earlier, you start to see what is ungodly to the Lord, you start turning on evil.

F. The final result of faith, is eternal life.

The great issues of faith are in eternity. Who can show us the everlasting difference between a lost soul and a saved soul? Christ himself.

In closing, we see that through faith in Christ, and Christ alone we are saved. Now, here are some facts to leave you with.

1. The terms of our salvation are easy and simple, there is nothing that is impossible to do to become saved.

2. The time to exercise our faith, is the time we are given here on Earth, which is now.

3. And the results of faith are the most urgent motives to it’s immediate exercise. Why wait for tomorrow, to do what you can do today for God’s Kingdom?

Categories: Christianity

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