Sermon -02-10-2008 - Faith Come By Hearing
NORTHEAST HOUSTON COMMUNITY CHURCH
Sermon – Faith Come By Hearing
Scripture: Rom 10:8-17
8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"* (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."* 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."* 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,* Who bring glad tidings of good things!"* 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"* 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. NKJV
I can remember as a little boy every year there was something that I wanted more than anything in the whole wide world. .One of the things I wanted more than anything was an electric train set. I did not grow up around PSP 2, Xboxes or Wii products.
I don’t believe I ever got an electric train set but I do remember getting a wind-up train set. Every trains set had a picture of the train on the box and that picture consisted of a locomotive engine, right behind it a coal car and behind that were cars that were going along for the ride not contributing to the forward progress of the whole train.
This visual is a good example of how we go through our Christian life. I first saw this example in, I believe, a “good news” Bible. I have included a picture of what it looked like in that bible. It was placed there by Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright. CCC was established in 1951 by Bill and Vonette Bright to minister in helping people truly follow Jesus Christ with a focus on the college and university campus. They have been doing great and fruitful work over the years helping people to do just that.
I want you to know that this church is a giver and supporter of their work.
What I am about to say is not to diminish the work or the knowledge of Bill Bright in any way. File this in your minds as just a different way we look at this topic.
In Dr Brights’ example he has labeled the engine as “FACT”. He identifies the coal/wood car as “FAITH” and the other car as “Feelings”
His examples say that Facts, is the engine that powers us through life and “Faith” supplies the fuel for the power and I equate the other car to “Feelings” His point is to remind us not to depend on feelings to get is there, feelings will not carry us through life. On this He and I whole heartily agree.
Be careful of religions, churches and people that base their “ministry on excitement. I am not saying that religion or church should be dull, far from it. But if the “ministry” is focused on excitement or pleasurable feelings, as many cults are, they asking that FEELINGS be that which pulls your train. Feelings change but the word of God will last forever.
We differ on which should be first, Fact or Faith. I had trouble accepting that it is faith that is the fuel for facts. First we do not know all the facts and that which we accept as fact without experiencing it or being a witness to it we do so, on faith.
There are religions and churches that base their “ministry” of facts. This is not new. The early Christian church had to constantly weed these people and that heresy out.
Known as Gnostics = where we get our word knowledge. If they could not understand or prove it then they doubted its existence. Often these are people who say thing I don’t believe that happened in the bible because it is impossible.
· They don’t understand that nothing is impossible for my God.
· They are the one that are constantly trying to explain the work and miracles of God as a natural occurrence of events.
· They are the ones that pick and choose what parts of the Bible they will believe and what parts they will reject.
· They are the ones that must have everything backed up by human experience or “FACTS”.
You cannot depend on facts to pull you through life for mans’ facts are often being discovered and changing.
After a lot of studying and meditation on my part I have concluded that it is faith that must be in front and it is facts that continue to feed our faith.
Bear with me because I and going somewhere with this. If I ask you, “is it a fact that God created the heavens and the earth” what would you say? Would you answer be based on fact or on Faith? Would it hold up in a court of Law? Probably it would not.
There is a difference in being wrong and telling a lie. That for which you have complete control of concerning the outcome or process; and you said (gave your words) that a certain outcome or promise will occur and you fail in your promise; that must be called a lie.
In contrast the weather man does not lie, he is just wrong because he does not have full control of the weather unless he promises a certain result and it does not happen, then he is a fool.
God is neither a liar nor a fool.
In the interest of time let’s take a weather report given by God
Gen 7:4 4 For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made." NKJV
God said the He “personally” will cause it to rain for forty days and forty nights. Did he do so? It is by faith that we believe He did because, I don’t know about you, I was not there.
Scientist have been consistently finding evidence of what can only be described as a great flood in the unearthing of fossils of animals that are far from their normal habitat such as fish fossils high up on mountain sides. There are other evidences that are documented to again strongly suggest that there was a great flood.
To me this is the process of facts supporting my faith and my feelings can only follow. The scientist have not proven that it rained forty days and forty nights, but for me, the fact that there is evidence of a great flood and God of the Bible said there would be, then my faith says that what God said about the 40 days is also true.
Now it is not enough to say we have faith and no one know it but us. It is not good to say we have faith and it is locked up in a closet. To me Faith is an active word. If faith is not active then I am not sure we can call what we have, faith.
Since we talked about the flood and that Noah is one of the ones listed in the faith hall of fame in Hebrews 6.
Heb 11:7 7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, (faith is the evidence of things unseen) moved (his faith became active)with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. NKJV
Noah built a boat in the middle of dry land for 120 years the engine being faith for he had never seen rain or a flood that was to come.
Other people inducted into that hall of Faith had similar experiences that required them to act on their faith without seeing everything.
· By faith in the word of God, Israel marched around Jericho not seeing or understand how the walls would fall down.
· By Faith in the word of God, Abraham left for a land that he had never seen.
Faith must be active in order to be complete.
James uses Abraham to make this point.
James 2:22-24 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."* And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. NKJV
Remember I said that if a person says that they have faith and it is locked up in a closet then I doubt that that person has faith at all. That faith may as well be dead. James is also quoted as saying;
James 2:26 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. NKJV
James 2:18 …I will show you my faith by my* works.
When I read that I think again of Noah with a hammer or saw in his hand every day for 120 years working based on his faith.
You and I must activate our faith and keep it active based on the word of a God that cannot lie.
I ask you, “How many lies must a person tell to be called a liar?
You can trace all the promises of God and not find one lie so again I say that God is not a liar nor a fool.
The opposite of a lie is the truth. God sent His Son to a sin filled world and His son is the truth. Jesus is to be our example the first born of the promise. Jesus said I am the truth.
John 14:6 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. KJV
!!!Story: At the final news conference on July 20, 1989, for his Friday night fight against Carl (the Truth) Williams proceeded to say, ''I'm going into the lion's den and take the meat from him,'' Williams said. ''I've waited long enough. A lot of people put me on the back burner, for what reason I don't know. I'll give it all I got. And when all is said and done, I'll be just like this.'' Williams raised his arms in the traditional victor's gesture. ''And you'll have the new heavyweight champion of the world,'' he said.
The fight ended in a first round knockout loss to Tyson. It was a devastating defeat, having come about without Carl (the Truth) Williams having landed a punch in the fight.
No man can hold that title “truth“that title only belongs to Jesus. He is the truth and what He says is the truth.
· God said he would send a Son born of a virgin and he did.
· Jesus said that He was going to prepare a place for us and He did.
· Jesus said that he would be killed and He was.
· Jesus said after three day and He would rise again and he did.
· Jesus said he was coming again and He will.
· Jesus said He has given to those that believe and receive eternal life and He has
· I have faith in the word of God and faith in the words of Jesus
When my time comes I want my Bible to be placed under my pillow in my coffin because even then I will be resting on the truth in the word of God.
As it was demonstrated by our heroes of the faith to be true
Rom 10:17 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. NKJV
You can have faith in what God says. He has proven to be true time and time again. You cannot have faith in what God says if you do not believe what God says.
They have also demonstrated that Faith that is not working is dead.
What kind of faith do you have?
Exercise your faith and you will see miracles. I am a witness.
Close with active faith story
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble!
20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.
24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.