Faithlife Sermons

In Transit week 2

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 21 views
Notes
Transcript
Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Hebrews 12:1–3 NIV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
H
Sometimes Faith doesn’t make sense.
Just like many things in this life don’t make sense either. There is always dilema, a paradox to a lot of situations and circumstances we face in a daily basis.
I read last week about a guy and a girl who were about to get married. She wasn’t too sure about it, the guy didn’t have a lot of money, and had no education. That was very bad.
On the other hand, he was very responsible, hard working, and the most important of it all, he loved her a lot. Treated her well, and always showed kindness to her.
What was she supposed to do?
In life there is always this “give and take” factor when making decisions.
I have discovered that in Jewish culture it is common to take a side and then argue against it.
Now in our western culture, we always one a definite answer. Is it black or white?
Weighing two opposing viewpoints is
But in Jewish culture two opposing points of view are often left unresolved and simply accepted as a paradox.
This is something that Jesus had to face in his time.
You could say that Jesus is at the very center of a lot of unresolved questions we have today.
And I think when it comes to faith, He is the answer to all of our doubts, fears, insecurities, brokenness, sin, afflictions, and everything else.
I want to talk to you today about
THE PROBLEM OF FAITH
Ephesians 2:8–9 NIV
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Are we saved by Faith?
Philippians 2:12 NIV
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
Or are we supposed to work out our salvation?
Jesus is 100% God.
Jesus is 100% Human.
God is love, right?
Yet, He allows tragedy and injustice to take place in this world.
But wait. Faith is even more complex, yet so easy.
Mark 9:35 NIV
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
John 12:25 NIV
25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
What are we supposed to do then?
But wait, all these contradictions have been around even in the OT.
In Exodus it says that no one can see God and live yet on ch 33 it also says that seventy elders of Israel saw God… and they lived!
it says that no one can see God and live
I’ve got a problem with faith!
G
But I still believe!
Deuteronomy 15:4 NIV
4 However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you,
In Moses promises the Israelites that if they’re obedient there will be no poor among them.
But V.7 begins with “if anyone is poor among you”
But wait, later it encourages people to be generous. Do you want to know why?
because “there will always be poor people in the land”
Western culture tries to find definite answers. We try to resolve the conflict and the tension.
We don’t like to live in the in between.
But every journey takes time. And last time I check, we are living this life only for a moment.
Oh but wait. The tension gets better and better.
Do humans have free will? Or does God foreknows our actions?
This question in particular has divided Christians for a loooong time.
On one hand, no one can be saved but by God’s initial grace. In other words, God draws people to him. It is in the Bible.
John 6:44 NIV
44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Why doesn’t he draws everyone at once?
Well because there is this thing called FREE WILL.
John 7:17 NIV
17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
But wait, we can’t choose him unless He draws us to him.
So we have two pictures.
On one hand, if God wants you to be saved, you will be saved.
On the other point of view, God is in heaven hoping we will choose him. Which point of view is the right one?
BOTH. haha, you thought I had the answer. But honestly, I am ok with both.
I love the way this Rabbinic Proverb says it.
“Everything is under God’s control, yet man has free will.”
You can embrace both ideas as true. Scripture supports both. He draws, we choose. And last time I checked, He died for the whole world.
In Exodus also, Pharaoh hardens his heart (rebellion, unwillingness to repent). and yet in ch. 8:15 God hardens his heart.
The God foresaw that 400 years in the future, the Canaanites would become so evil that He would kick em out of their land ().
But He also offered the Israelites the choice of whether to take on his covenant or not. ()
God sees the future, but you still have a choice to make.
All these examples bring frustration to our logical mind, but here is what is important. They yield final authority to Scripture rather than our logic.
What do you end up with? FAITH.
“Making sense of everything is not an obligation or even a possibility. Acceptance of a mystery is an act not of resignation but humility” -David Wolpe
The problem of faith is that sometimes it will not make sense. That at some point along the journey you will have to face the reality of your limits.
And it is in those moments when you can look up to heaven and say BUT I WILL TRUST YOU ANYWAY!
You see, one of the problems of faith is waiting.
Colossians 1:25–26 NIV
25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.
is the chapter of Faith. In it, we see heroes who BY FAITH left everything to go after God’s promises.
And we read the stories and we never stop and wonder how many missed their calling. Is it possible that Abram could have been Mike. Or that Joseph could have been a Robert. What if Esther was supposed to be Norma.
Let me make it more clear, we assume that they are the heroes of Faith because that’s how God set it to be. But what if the names we read are those of those who responded to His calling; free will. Of course God knew, and still knows.
God knows our future, but we don’t. The question is, will we trust him and go after that future. You and I are called. But is up to us to respond.
Faith implies a response. When you read chapter 11, it says “by faith” then explains the plan, the calling and the response.
Do you want to live by FAITH. You gotta know the plan, hear his voice and then sit down. NO, the missing link is the action.
Action no matter the circumstances. No matter the trials, no matter the difficulties. No matter how much it cost, and how long it takes, I WILL BELIEVE.
I want to leave you with three simple things.
Abram was called in chapter 12 of Genesis.
Genesis 12:1–3 NIV
1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Gen 12:
And he went!
He believed in God’s promise and covenant before anything happened in the physical world.
If you know his story, you know he had a tough journey ahead. He had to wait for a long time for some promises to come to pass.
When it was completely out of his hands to make it happen, to have a son, God gave him a son.
But here is what I want to point out. You and I have also been called!
God is calling you.
Let me talk to you about the calling.
THE CALLING
John 15:16 NIV
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
Romans 8:28 NIV
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV
24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Philippians 3:14 NIV
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 2:14 NIV
14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 1:9 NIV
9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
2 Timothy 1:9 NIV
9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
1 Peter 2:21 NIV
21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
1 Peter 1:15–16 NIV
15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 2:21
He has called YOU.
Now, when he calls you and you respond. You get an upgrade.
I am not talking about iphone type upgrade.
Cause you don’t see it, may not see it. In fact, you may not even feel it.
This is....
THE UPGRADE
1 Corinthians 13:9–12 NIV
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
:
Abram could not see the land, and could not see his son yet.
But the presence of the living God was with him.
That was the real upgrade.
May be your miracle is not here yet, but once you respond to his voice and turn to God for help, BY faith he promises to come and live inside of you.
Ephesians 3:17 NIV
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
Ephesians 3:16–17 NIV
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
John 14:23 NIV
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
Romans 8:11 NIV
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
You may not see it, you may not feeling, but by faith YOU GOT AN UPGRADE the day you turned to Christ.
1 Corinthians 13:9–12 NIV
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Christ is in me. I’ve got an upgrade!
But we are still living in the tension. In the in between. The problem of faith is that we need more every day.
But do you know why we can trust? Because there is a covenant.
THE COVENANT
In . God shows up and promises Abram to give him a land. And he makes a covenant with him. So much so that God himself, most theologians agree on this, shows up and walks between the sacrifice to seal the deal. Abram doesn’t. The covenant was made from God to him. And how many of you know that God is faithful That he doesn’t brake his promises but eagerly waits on us to take him on his promises.
He will HEAL, He will deliver, HE will save.
His promises are still standing. How will you respond?
Here is the thing though. All of his promises are fulfilled in Jesus. And Jesus came, died and resurrected. Now is our time to respond.
God promised Abram a land, a seed, and a blessing.
LAND
Even Abraham realized that the dwelling that he longed for was not just a physical reality but a spiritual one.
Hebrews 11:10 NIV
10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Abraham always lived in tents because he knew that the eternal city would be built by God. His forever home was not this earth. It is what we know now is the New Earth, with a New Jerusalem built by God, where He will dwell with us forever.
Jesus makes all of this possible. But beyond this, for this life now, Jesus is our dwelling place. He is our promised land. We are rooted and built up in him (). Jesus is our promised possession. Our inheritance. And we are his. He dwells in our hearts (). This physical earth will be replaced by the New Earth and we will live forever with Jesus. But beyond that we live forever IN Jesus and He IN us. Christmas is about celebrating our true inheritance- Christ himself.
SEED
Jesus is the ultimate seed of promise. Like Isaac, whose birth was miraculous, Jesus miraculously was born to fulfill the covenant made with Abraham and to fulfill every promise God ever made to mankind.
Paul saw the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises in Christ. He is the Seed who would make every promise come true. God promised Abraham a great nation. Was this fulfilled physically? Yes- the nation of Israel. But was this also fulfilled through Christ, as he creates a holy nation, a new royal priesthood () unto God?
Galatians 3:16 NIV
16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
Paul saw the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises in Christ. He is the Seed who would make every promise come true. God promised Abraham a great nation. Was this fulfilled physically? Yes- the nation of Israel. But was this also fulfilled through Christ, as he creates a holy nation, a new royal priesthood () unto God?
BLESSING
God told Abraham that through him every nation on earth would be blessed. By now you know exactly where this is going- Jesus is that blessing! Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David, Solomon- these offspring do not bless me. At least not eternally.
Jesus is the blessing because he is the substitute for all humanity. He is the one who would be born to the woman, born without sin, born to die. He would courageously carry his cross and die the death for you and me that we deserve. No other offspring has done this for us.
Ephesians 1:3 NIV
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Hebrews 12:1–3 NIV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Related Media
Related Sermons