Faithlife Sermons

Faith, a Fickle Thing?

Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts
When your faith fails does your status with God change?

Intro

Illus: As a Kid I often went down the aisle to “get right” with Jesus
I was made to feel as if I had to repent and come forward every time I sinned. As if I had backslid into Hell again. A good Christian lived as if they were always right with God and lived without sin.
This is the message I heard until one day I knew something wasn’t right.
Was my sin or even my waining faith a direct reflection of my status with God?

The Object of our faith (Agent of Salvation)

Doctrine

Faith is a heart issue
We saw in the healing of the man that God restored him to be a worshipping witness
Less about the physical and all about the spiritual
Our Faith should be IN the God of the Bible (13)
His historical involvement in Israel’s history and church’s history
Scripture is How God reveals himself
This is how we should view Scripture
What does it teach us about God?
Our Faith is IN God THROUGH Jesus Christ
“servant” (13) as the sacrificial lamb who atoned for the sins of men
raised from the dead (16)
(14) Holy and Righteous - Priest and mediator
(15) Author of Life -
Peter points to the work of Jesus and its completeness for man’s salvation
Our faith is in Him
(16) “by faith in his name”
Peter uses the healing of the man as an example of the benefits for those who believe in Jesus
It is through faith that these things are done
Spiritual resurrection and a heart restored to worship of GOD
Is this the God of your faith? Do you believe in God the Father, through Jesus Christ who is the only object of the Christian Faith?
We all worship something. Are we worshipping God or something else? What or who is the object of your faith?

The Obstinance of our Heart (without Faith)

Peter addresses the men as lost and without faith
He claims their guilt for killing Jesus
Against God’s commandments
Sixth commandment -
“Thou Shalt not Murder”
Against Jesus teaching
Equates anger with murder of our brother
These actions were ordained by God, yet men are still held responsible
How? They are guilty due to the fall more so than their current actions
Either way they are the reason Christ had to die
But, faith in God (true faith) changes obstinate hearts
God moves men toward repentance
(19) “Repent and turn”
God completely forgives
(19) “that your sins may be blotted out”
Completely removed
The Work of Christ is sufficient and complete for the removal of our sins
This is one of the hardest things for us to grasp
The Converted Christian is justified in the eyes of God through the work of Jesus Christ
The heart is no longer obstinate
It is actually transformed and our sins completely blotted out
Do you believe this?
App: A Christians will have degrees of faith and it will appear our faith waivers. Yet, this has no bearing on our status before God.
If we were to live in light of this truth, then when our faith seems to waiver we would return again to those means in which God strengthens us:
Word of God, Sacraments, Prayer, etc . . .
FOG CH 4.4
Church Members are required to: Make diligent use of the means of grace.

The Obedience of the Christian heart

The Christian will struggle in their faith
Christian is one who has been converted and lives in light of their sins being forgiven
Peter implies a struggle
(20) “times of refreshing”
A struggle fo faith and assurance of salvation
“from the presence of Christ”
Peter is speaking of the two comings of Christ and the current indwelling
Christ is the one who strengthens and he is only reached through faith
A Christian is also one who seeks to be obedient
A heart that has been given faith cant help but seek obedience
Christ Spirit dwells within and has brought us to life in Christ
We have been made aware of our sin and his holiness
As Ryle says: “A Christian who does not work toward their sanctification is not Christian at all.”
Our obedience is to Christ
I hear the Bible, but truly it is toward Christ
A combination of what we are taught and the HS guidance toward Christ likeness
The bible is not clear on every area of life
The Bible tells us here and in - “You shall listen”
Implies listening and obeying
Listening and obeying Christ
Words we read and hear and guiding of His Holy Spirit
A Christian is one who operates in obedience because of what he receives not what he will receive
(26) “to bless you”
A past blessing not a future one
It is a past blessing not yet fully realized
Peter is speaking to the chronological order
Jews first and then the greeks
Paul
For us this means we are blesses because Jesus did come and the salvation he offers through faith now includes us
So, we are blessed because of a past blessing, the gift of eternal life through salvation
We are blessed because we have been given a heart of faith toward God and a desire to please him through obedience

Conclusion

Let us live in light of this truth in these ways:
Let us live as a people already blessed through our justification and standing with God
A forgiven people whose sins have been blotted out
Let us live in his grace
Let us live as a people of faith on Jesus Christ and God’s Sovereignty
Let the object of our faith be only God through Jesus
What do we worship? What is our faith in?
Let us live as a people who seek to obey Jesus and his teaching in order to please the Father
What did you learn from Jesus this week?
Luke 8:22–25 ESV
One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
The Disciples lacked faith in the midst of the storm, yet their status did not change.
Except for Judas who never had faith to begin with
And then, they asked for their faith to be increased
Luke 17:5
Luke 17:5–6 ESV
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Let us live as a people of Faith!
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