2016-10-30 Faith

When Jesus does come back and He calls Christians out we will all be united together and we’ll always be with the Lord, but we’ll also always be with our Christian family and friends. Make sure we witness to our family and friends because we want them there on that day. Now, we’re going to go over to Luke chapter 5. Luke 5:18-20. Now, this is talking about Jesus at Capernaum and if you get the chance to go they will take you to the town of Capernaum. There is the synagogue. You can see it with your very own eyes. There is the synagogue where Jesus did some of His miracles and then I think it’s Mark that says they walked out of the synagogue across the street, and if you walk out of that synagogue across about the width of a street they have an excavation and there is the house of Peter. I think that’s where this took place. So, yes, you can still go see this stuff, it’s still there. Anyway, the house of Peter.

Luke chapter 5, and this is recorded in Mark also. Luke 5:18-20. Jesus had taught, He had gone over with the crowds, He had been healing people. “And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him,” Jesus, “But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, He,” Jesus, “said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.'” Now, it goes on with the story about what happened and then Jesus says is it easier to forgive sin or to heal a person? So, He heals this man also but the people wanted their friend healed, the friend wanted to be healed. They had to go up to the roof and let him down. Now, when they let him down what happened? What did Jesus actually say and do? Most of us think wow, they let him down through the roof, but what did Jesus see? What did Jesus see?

Their faith.

Their faith. Whoever said that I’d give you a gold star if I had one. He saw their faith. He didn’t see them. He didn’t say oh, gee whiz, these guys are so good looking I’m going to heal their friend. He didn’t say oh, wow, what motivation, what dedication. He didn’t say I am so impressed with what they pulled off here. Wow, that took nerve to do it in front of everybody. What He saw was their faith. Their faith. Jesus is always looking for their faith, for your faith, for my faith, for our faith. Jesus doesn’t care about how tall we are, how good looking we are. He doesn’t care about how we swagger around, or what car we’ve got, or how much money is in our bank. He notices us when we’ve got that faith. In Hebrews 11 one of the phrases, Hebrews 11:6 and the Sunday School class was making reference to this, but it says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him (God). Without faith it’s impossible to please God. There are a few places, actually there are 7 different places where it says this is what pleases God and it’s the faith that pleases God.

It’s not the action. It was their faith that He saw. That is what pleased Jesus, and we do know that Jesus God. Jesus was there for them because they believed in Him. They believed that He had the ability to heal their friend. They believed that when they got their friend in front of Jesus, Jesus was going to deal with that friend in a way that they thought was appropriate. I’m sure they were surprised when He said your sins are forgiven. They were probably that’s great, but we was hoping for something a little bit different, and Jesus went on to make the point that He is God, He can forgive sin because the Pharisees and Sadducees believed that only God could do it. So, He forgives sin and then He heals the guy. Now, Jesus it says in John 8:29, we’re not going to go there because we’re on a tight budget of time, He said, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” To God. Jesus said, I always do the things that are pleasing to God.

Now, we know that Jesus healed people, we know He fed the thousands, we know that He walked on water. We know all the things that He did because we read the scriptures, it’s all there, and He says but I do the things that please Him, but what was it that pleases God? Faith. So, whenever God saw Jesus doing something it wasn’t the action itself, the healing. Doctors heal people, doctors prescribe medicine. It wasn’t walking on water. You can buy floating devices now to attach to your feet. They’re rather big and cumbersome, but I have seen them and you can walk on water these days due to the miracle of foam. I mean, there’s just so much stuff. You can fly if you get in an airplane. God was not or is not impressed with that. He’s impressed with the fact that Jesus had faith. God, I believe, I know He said with the Lazarus story that we just did, I know that You have heard Me and I’m just making this a public statement so everybody else will know that I have talked to You and You have heard me. That is a statement of faith.

God, I know that You have heard me, and then He goes on to call Lazarus forth, but it’s the faith of Jesus Christ that pleased the Father. I always do that which is pleasing to Him. So, everything that Christ did was faith-based. Every healing, every miracle, every raising from the dead, everything He did was faith-based. He trusted God. He had talked it over with God. They had come to the conclusion of I’m going to heal these people if you will go out and pray for them Jesus, and Jesus said yes sir. So, based on the fact that God said I am going to do this through you Jesus went out and proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom. He demonstrated the Gospel of the kingdom through His miracles. It had been prophesied in the Old Testament what God said Jesus would do when the Messiah got here, and Jesus said I believe all the promises you made in that Old Testament are real and they apply to me. I believe this. I know it to be true. Therefore, I am trusting You, God, to honor Your Word and He went forth and He did the things that had been proclaimed to do.

Remember, everything He did was a faith action. It starts with the faith and understanding that God is going to come through. Now, a lot of people have a bad idea on this. It’s like well, if I believe hard enough long enough that will force God to cause this to happen, but that’s not what real faith is. The real faith is God calls things that don’t exist as though they are. He starts off saying this does exist even though it doesn’t yet. We are to come to the place where we trust God. Even though we do not see it we say it has happened because God has given it to me. God has made these promises and I am going to see it happen. Now, you say well, potato, pototo, it’s all the same. A person who has faith has to wait. Sometimes we do have to wait, but there’s a difference of trying to blackmail God saying I’m going to say it over and over and over and over again. I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe, and eventually He will do.

We are to always come from the position of faith. I know God hears my prayers. I know God will answer my prayers. I am in the process of talking to God about this prayer, about this request. He is going to tell me how He is going to answer. He is at last going to say I am going to answer your prayer request and at that point we can say God is going to answer my prayer request. Sometimes we don’t know how. Those guys ripped off a roof. They put this boy down in front of him and Jesus forgave him of his sins to begin with. That’s cool. That’s not what they were going for but they trusted Jesus to do what was right. They had the faith and they were motivated and they had a faith-based action. Now, if you’ll let me read 2 Corinthians 3:18. 2 Corinthians. It comes right after 1 Corinthians Doyle. I heard that. 2 Corinthians 3:18. Listen to what this says. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

We are beholding Jesus just looking at him as in a mirror, and as we behold Him it says that we are being transformed. That is a faith-based idea. Do I look like Jesus? Have you seen me glow in the dark? I don’t think so, but I have faith that it says as I behold Jesus that I will be changed and become more like Jesus. I believe that in faith. I believe that that is going to become a reality. We are told that we are to behold Jesus. Now, one of the first places that I remember somebody saying this is Pontius Pilate. He looks at Jesus just before he gets him crucified and he says behold the man. Here is Pontius Pilate telling us exactly what we’re supposed to do. We are to behold the man. We are to look at Jesus. We are to look to Jesus. We need to behold Jesus. If we do that beholding, if we see Him then we will become like Him. A lot of times we try to put the cart before the horse and we try to become like Him so that we can behold Him, but Jesus, God, through the Holy Spirit says no, you behold Jesus and you will be transformed into His image.

We are to seek out a revealing of Jesus Christ in our lives, in the scriptures mainly. We are to seek out a revealing of Jesus Christ. There is a place in the scriptures where it says we are to seek the face of God. You’ve seen Jesus, you’ve see the Father so you’re saying seek out Jesus. Behold Him. Read the Gospels of Jesus Christ. Contemplate on what He did, but while you’re there reading about Jesus think about who He is. Pilate was great at it. Behold the man. Behold the man. There He is. Look at this guy. He is a man and He is going to die, and as we behold Him we realize He got beat for our sins. We realize that He was punished. We realize that He got crucified so that our sins would be washed away. He died for us. Behold the man. Really that’s a primary thing. Behold Jesus Christ in that situation, but everything about Jesus is beautiful, is lovely, and it’s wonderful to behold, and as we read those scriptures, I am guilty of this, I want information. Okay, how do I get what I want from God? How do I achieve the level I want? How do I get the new car? How do I get the big bank account? How do I get this, how do I get that?

Basically a lot of us read the Bible to find out how to manipulate God into doing what we want, but He didn’t say that’s why we’re supposed to go to the scriptures. We are to behold Jesus Christ. When we read the Gospels we are to be looking at Him every time He is talked about. Not just in the red letters. Remember the guys who wrote the red letters also wrote all the black letters that are in those Gospels also and it all comes from the presence of God through the Holy Spirit. All this is brought down through the Holy Spirit. It’s all there for us. Read those words in the Gospel and say who is this Jesus Christ? Who is He really? What did He do? I gave you a big hint. The thing that He did that really pleased God is every motion was a faith-based action. What did He do and why did He do it? What is the reason that He healed that guy? One, He saw their faith and He healed that guy, but why did He do the rest of the things? What was He proving when He did these things? We need to understand that and the more we understand the glory of Jesus the more of His as it says His loveliness and His power and His greatness and His awesomeness, as we stand there and behold that it comes into us and we start changing from the inside out.

The Holy Spirit of God the way it reads what I read earlier is it says, “From glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,” meaning the Spirit came from the Lord Jesus Christ. We also have that spirit indwelling us and His glory will be made manifest through us. The more we feed upon the Word of God the more we understand about Jesus Christ. Read those Gospels with the intention of seeking out and understanding Jesus Christ. Contemplate Jesus in His every move and everything that talks about Him. John says folks, if everything was written down that this guy did the world itself could not hold all the books so there was a lot of stuff Jesus did that we don’t know about, but we’ve got the real important things here in the scriptures. We need to focus on that. If the Gospels aren’t much of a challenge and you think you need something more challenging here is one for you. The Book of the Revelation. If you read it New American Standard says the Revelation of John. The King James says the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, but that’s not what it is.

The real name of this Book is in Revelation 1:1. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated {it} by His angel to His bond-servant John.” The name of the Book is The Revelation of Jesus Christ. While we can read this and find it very interesting, and while we can read this and find out things that are going to happen in the future that is not the main point of this Book. The main point is the revealing of Jesus Christ, His revelation. It’s to show us about Jesus Christ and what He is all about. If the Gospels aren’t your cup of tea go to the Revelation and scratch your head and ask questions like this, why is Jesus dressed in white? Why does Jesus have white hair? When He left here He didn’t have white hair. Why does He have white hair now? What’s the point of the white hair? Is Jesus old because He’s got white hair? White hair does not mean you’re old, right? Right Doyle.

Why are His feet bronze? Why does this guy have a sword coming out of His mouth? Why whenever John says there’s the Lion of Judah he turns and he looks and he sees a lamb? Did he see a lamb lion? Did he see a lion lamb? Did he see something that was half and half? Why did the guy say, the angel say to John “Behold the Lion of Judah,” and there was a lamb standing? Why did that lamb have seven horns? Why did he have seven eyes? What is the point of Jesus Christ in this Book? How come the dragon wanted to eat him? How come he got yanked up into the heavens? How come He is sitting on a throne? How come this, how come… what’s going on not with the world, but what’s going on with Jesus? As we understand Jesus even in the Book of the Revelation it says if you read this book you will receive a blessing so contemplate on these things. It’s a puzzlement to us but it’s things that we need to puzzle out sometimes.

The more we reflect and behold Jesus Christ the more we become like Him, the more our actions will reflect His actions and maybe, just maybe His presence will become so strong in us we will be able to do some of the things that He did, but what was the most important thing He did? Lead people to the forgiveness of sin. That is always the most important. While all this other is flash, dazzle and razamataz, it’s great, it’s great, but the most important thing is always bringing people to the knowledge of Jesus Christ so that their sins may be forgiven. If you ever say I would like to be a better person then here is a solution. Don’t worry about your behavior so much but start off with this. I’m going to study about Jesus Christ. I’m going to pray that the Father will reveal Him to me. He will take away the veil or whatever. Paul on the road to Damascus said it was like scales fell from his eyes and he beheld Jesus. He saw the truth for the first time. He had studied scriptures for years and years. He was a disciple of Gamaliel who is one of the most famous people in Hebrew history and still talked about to this day among the Jewish and Israeli people.

He was a disciple of his but when he got prayed for scales fell from his eyes and it says he actually had a chance to talk to Jesus in Saudi Arabia and he became more and more like Jesus. You want to have your life changed? Then do what Pilate said. Behold the man. Go out of your way to look at Jesus Christ. Go out of your way to read this Book and understand Jesus. If the Gospels and the Book of the Revelation is not enough then go back to the Psalms. Read the 23rd Psalm. Read the 22nd Psalm. Read Isaiah chapter 53. Read the other parts of the Old Testament. Read about the sacrifices in the Old Testament and say could that possibly be a reference of Jesus Christ? As we understand who He is and all that He accomplished we will become like Him. That’s what it says and we should believe that because it says in 2 Corinthians that as we behold Him we will be transformed into His image from glory to glory. We will become more like Jesus Christ. You want to be a better person? Then read your Bible and think about Jesus and try to understand Him.

Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus I ask that You would cause us to behold Your Son in every way. Cause us to behold Him in the creation as we go outside, a beautiful day. Whenever it’s not a beautiful day and it’s stormy weather cause us to reflect upon Him also at that point. Father, I ask that if there are any veils between us and You that You would cause those to fall away just like you did with Paul on the road to Damascus and then when he got to Damascus. We ask that that would happen to us so that we can behold Jesus in a better light, in a better understanding so we will be transformed and become more like Him. Jesus, I don’t know if all these other people out here need that but I need that so I ask that You make it personal to me, and if anybody else out there is an agreement and saying amen then I ask that You hear their prayer also. Father, all glory and honor to Your Son. Reveal Him to us here at Glenwood Church. In His name we pray, amen.