Sermon April 25, 2020
May all honor and Glory be Gods
As a reminder, we went through a series of sermons on entering the narrow gate, we are now on the path.
So again, welcome to the difficult path that leads to life.
John 20:29 Where Jesus informs Thomas that he believes because he has seen, and how blessed those are who believe, yet have not seen.
The keyword is believing, how do we get to the level of seeing belief without seeing?
I am considering a sermon series on Hebrews, that seems to be a good place to start our walk.
God’s Supreme Revelation
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high
4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
This is as far as I got…
So today’s sermon is going to be on the power of Christ, and this may extend into a number of sermons.
Isn’t that what this is all about?
It’s through the power of Christ we can know we are saved.
Isn’t this the foundation of all other things?
The key to it all is Faith,
And that faith can be understood, and gained by the power of Christ.
Faith and I would say the faith that has become belief… no longer something unseen, but seen. Seen in the Glory and Power of Christ.
In many instances of His power of healing, He mentions to those saved… go your way for your faith has made you well.
In another instance, He tells the apostles that if they had the faith of a mustard seed, practically the smallest seed on Earth, they could move mountains.
And here they were, the Apostles, those with Christ, those given the ability to heal, those who witnessed the power in person… eyewitnesses… and they didn’t even have the faith of the smallest seed in the garden.
Since this is the key, the focal point, the foundation of the power of Christ, we will be seeing this over and over again as we explore the Power of Christ.
James 2:14-26 tells Faith without works is dead… we must do the works.
We grow through work, and the work completes us.
I understand love, agape love which means putting others’ needs before our own, and this is the highest form of love.
I could not grasp the idea of loving a stranger, at least not in the sense of love as we understand it.
But putting the needs of others in the form of agape love leads to that ability to love all God’s creatures.
In recent months (apparently, I must be a slow learner, but I prefer to say, God brought me along slowly) I have learned living by the Agape love of putting others’ needs ahead of my own leads to the loving heart.
The heart that truly loves God’s creation. To love others in such a way, when they suffer, I suffer.
When they are blessed, I am blessed,
and I rejoice in their blessings. It’s much like joining in the celebration with the father who called his friends to celebrate with him when his prodigal son returned. But again, that comes over time.
I also know in 1st Peter 3:15 that we are to be able to defend the scripture and our faith, and this is a command.
It comes from the Greek word apologia, which means to give a logical or legal defense.
And, it also takes ongoing study, and the work leads to a deeper belief.
We are told to examine the path we are about to take, make a logical decision based upon facts… as the saying of Missouri, Show Me…
This is the foundation of Christian Apologetics.
So in brief…
we must know scripture to understand it, to know how to live by it, and how to defend it. And, we must do the works, and learn to love through agape love, putting God’s will before our own, and others need before our own…
I have often said Christian Apologetics gives our faith the third dimension of our faith.
I was wrong.
When we say three dimensional, we mean 3 sides to the object. Height, width, and depth.
Knowing Scripture is the 1st dimension, the height of the cube.
Knowing how to defend the scripture through apologetics is the 2nd dimension, the width of the cube.
But love, this is the depth of the cube.
Allow me to offer an illustration of this.
When we look at a picture of the ocean, we see what it looks like.
We see the “Height” of the ocean.
When we see a video of the ocean, we see what it looks like, and we see it moving, and we can often hear it.
We see the “height and the “width” of the ocean.
However, when we go to the ocean, we have all the above, but now we can dive into the middle of it, be engulfed by it.
We experience the depth of the ocean.
Remember when you were young on a hot summer day, and you jumped into a cold pool, and how it shocked you alive? That is how faith is when we truly have it, it is being engulfed in the love of God, and being shocked alive by it.
So as we begin this journey on the difficult path, we are going to take a trip to that cold pool, and jump in, and be shocked into life, and then we are going to start walking towards that glory land engulfed in the love of God.
Now if you will simply go to the next video, we will continue with today’s sermon.
2nd video starts here
Let’s just examine the power of Christ, the various aspects of it.
- He has the power to heal
- He has the power to save
- He has the power to pardon
- His power is infinite
- His power over Nature
- He has the power to give life
- He has the power to cast out demons
- He has the power to know what we are thinking
- He has the power to look into the future
- He has the power to raise the dead
- He had the power to end His own human life
- And He had the power to take His life back up.
- I often think, of course from a human perspective His greatest power may have been the power to resist all temptation.
Let’s just begin by looking at His power to heal.
Matthew 12:13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.
Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Casting out Demons
Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Matthew 17:16-20 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
Even The demons believe and shutter… for with authority He commands even the demons and they obey…
What is the point here?
Belief… true belief means obedience to Christ’s commands with no choice in the matter.
1 John 2: 4 If you say you believe me, and do not do as I command you are a liar, and the truth is not in you…
the true test of faith, of belief, is your wiliness to obey the Christ.
We have looked at various passages concerning healing and casting out demons, which is the cause of a lot of sicknesses.
IN the beginning, I explained how I had come to the understanding of true faith, how to obtain it, the three-dimensional aspect of it.
I didn’t explain how we obtain it.
How do we fulfill the requirement of total belief, and never have to worry about 1 John 2:4?
We must understand what must be done… then learn the word, learn how to defend it, live by the agape love, putting others’ needs ahead of our own, doing the will of God, obeying Christ’s commands…
But does this knowledge, and following the guide put us there? No, it’s through our continued study, and work, and then patience.
Let’s recap this.
The three sides or dimensions of the faith that has become a belief.
Learn the scripture through study
Do the works
Learn the defenses
Work at agape love, in order to develop the deep overwhelming love of God and all His creation.
Allow me to close with a story.
THERE ARE BRIDGES ALL THE WAY
A young girl, unaccustomed to traveling, was taking a train ride through the country, and it happened that in the course of the day her train was obliged to cross two branches of a river and several wide streams. The water seen in advance always awakened doubts and fears in the child. She did not understand how it could safely be crossed. As they drew near the river, however, a bridge appeared and furnished a way over. Two or three times the experience was repeated, and finally, the child leaned back with a long breath of relief and confidence.
“Somebody has put bridges for us all the way!” she said in trusting content.
That is life. We fear so many evils, so many troubles look dark ahead, so many difficulties seem insurmountable as they loom before us; but as we advance we find that there is a way through them. God has built bridges for us all the way.
Source: American Messenger, 1922
But it isn’t until we cross several of those bridges that we begin to understand that concept.
So patience is the foundation of the work.
So As I leave here today, I will again leave you with
Numbers 6:24 – 25
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
And, I pray as you leave here today, that you leave with the peace, overwhelming love of God, and patience as we make our way through this difficult path.