By Joel Beach
My sermon today is entitled “Faith and the Gospel” I want to try and lay out what true faith in God is. How we obtain it, how we can be strengthened by it, and then after that, what we need to do with it.
So what is true Faith? Who is it really about? Or who are you putting our faith in? Christians we put our faith in God almighty, Lord of Creation the Lord of the Heavens and Earth!
Faith is not faith without the Gospel. Faith begins with the Gospel and ends with Gospel. Faith is not faith without the working of the Holy Spirit. Faith is not faith without understanding our true standing before God in reference to His Law, the Ten Commandments. Faith is not faith without believing in God for who He is and Jesus for who He is and why He was sent to the earth.
Faith is much more than just attending church, following religious traditions and practices, doing good deeds for others, helping out when someone is in need, or checking a box, a list of the requirements we may think is necessary to be accepted into Heaven. Though all these things may be good, It is not how we receive faith.
We can not do anything to earn faith. Without salvation that comes only through Jesus Christ these things are actually trying to earn God’s acceptance. Or even more seriously be seen by God as trying to bribe the Judge.
Faith is given by God. It is a hopeing in the unseen promises of God. It is holding onto them without doubting.
George Mueller said, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of Faith, and the beginning of True Faith is the end of anxiety.”
This is made evident in someone’s life when in struggles, trials, and sufferings they do not turn away from their firm hold on their faith in God but become stronger through it all. They come out of the valley of the shadow of death stronger in trust and reliance in God than when they went in! And they do not Fear what is frightening.
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Where does our faith come from. It begins with the Gospel. We would have no faith at all if we first did not hear the truth of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now we have heard the Gospel and believe on The Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Now our Faith has begun, though it may be small, it has power. It can move mountains.
Matthew 17:20 “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
And now our faith will start to grow as we gain knowledge and understand more and more of who God is.
(Explain what we learn about God that makes us grow.)
We will grow in our Faith in God as we believe more truth from the Word of God, and who God is. There are many things that a true believer must come to hold fast, trusting in the unseen things of God. The basics of the Faith you might call it.
Though young believers in Christ may not understand or have a full knowledge or insight into these things. All believers are given the Holy Spirit, He will give each of us this understanding to varying degrees.
Though none of us will ever know everything there is to know about God. Not until we reach heaven, that is. And I also believe that even when we are there, we will be continually learning more and more about how Great and Awesome God is.
As we mature in our faith we will have an increased and firm faith in God. But what is important is that it must be firm, and not wavering.
Isaiah 7:9b If you are not firm in faith,
you will not be firm at all.
It must be strong and sure. So put your feet on the Firm foundation of the Rock of Ages and stand and believe the Lord without doubting.
- The first thing we as Christian should believe starts in the beginning. So we need to go to the beginning. If you possess faith in God you will believe that God truly does exist and created all things.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
But our Faith in God must be more than just believing that He exists, because the demons believe this as well, but tremble with fear! And they will not see the Kingdom of Heaven!
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
- You should believe that He is in control of all things.
5 I am the LORD, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me,
- He is Everlasting He has no beginning and no end, Omnipresent He exists everywhere, Omniscience He knows all things, and Omnipotent He has unlimited power.
8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
- God also is perfect in Righteousness and Truth.
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
- God is a triune God three in one, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Now Faith always points to Jesus Christ, and the good news of why He came, which is the Gospel. For the entire Bible was written for this purpose and that is what our hope and faith stands upon. The Old Testament pointed forward to Him and the New Testament speaks directly of Him and also points back to Him.
Those regarded faithful and righteous by God looked forward to the future Messiah and Redeemer who was Jesus. Just as we now look back to Him as our present Savior. If your faith does not stand on Jesus Christ you do not have true faith at all.
He is the focal point of History. He is the reason for our Faith, and it is the purpose of the Gospel to tell the world about Him. So as I said, Faith is not faith without Jesus Christ and The Gospel!
6. To Have true faith is believing that Jesus is the Son of God, the Lamb of God, and the Shepherd of His sheep the Church.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
7. We believe that Jesus came to this earth for one main reason, and that was to die for sinners. But He also came and lived a perfect life, to be accused of crimes falsely though He committed no sins and never dishonored His Father.
1 Peter 2:22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
8. He paid a severe price for us. He was scourged, bruised, wiped, beaten, and sentenced to death on the cross. While on the cross he took the complete and total Wrath of God, which was poured out upon Him for the punishment we all deserved. The many sins we have commited; lies, thefts, lust, hatred, murders, adultries, covetousness, idolatries, disobedience to our parents, and not loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
He died and was buried and rose again on the third day. He defeated sin and death and finished the work that was necessary for the forgiveness of sins. The payment needed to satisfy the Justice and Righteousness of God. The plan that God put into motion from the beginning, because of the sin of man.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
9. Faith in Jesus also means that now because of His perfect sacrifice we believe that His blood has washed our sins clean. It is not like the blood of bulls and goats in the past that could not remove the sins of the people, but was only a temporary covering. But now the blood of Jesus Christ completely cleansed us from our sins. They are wiped clean!
Hebrews 9:11-14 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
10. Now that we believe in what Jesus did for us, we have faith that God has offering us salvation through the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and that He offered it as a free gift. We have confessed our sins, repented and turn away from our life of sin. We cry out to Him and seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And He has forgiven us.
Acts 3:18-20 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
I want to point out here, that the Gospel will continue to do its work in us. The Lord continues to do His work in us with the Gospel. And our Faith will be grown through this work that He is accomplishing.
For our lives as True Believers in the Faith is marked by a continual confessing of sins and repentance. God is cutting deep into our hearts, removing those things that are wicked, things that do not please Him. Things that require pain and suffering. This must happen to us that we may be healed.
Just as a wound in our natural bodies. If someone was shot and an object as a lead bullet was left in the body. It must be removed before healing can begin.
11. And we understand that it is not by our own works or anything we did to deserve it, but completely by the Grace and Mercy of God that we even have Faith.
Ephesians 2:8-10 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
12.And this is the confidence we have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All these things He has done for us. We Trust in who He is, what He has done, that He is able to help us, and that He is able to continue to do so, no matter our circumstance.
Hebrews 4:14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
This is the Faith we hold on to. The faith that God is in complete control of our lives and the whole world from start to finish. As the scripture said earlier, we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works.”
And if we are to accomplish God’s will in our lives, it requires Great Faith, and Great Faith will result in Great Works for the Lord! Not the other way around. And He promises to give us that great faith. Little by little our faith will increase and grow.
Mark 11:22-25 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Now it is our responsibility as Christ followers, Christians to go and share the Gospel, our faith with the world. We are not to stay within these four walls and only speak of them to each other. Though that is good and right to encourage each other, building up, and teaching each other in the faith.
But we need to find ways in our everyday life to speak the truth of the Gospel to the people who we come in contact with. This can be accomplished in many different ways. Because we all know everyone of us is different, and we all have a different function in the Church. But we can all find ways to share our Faith with the lost.
It could be in starting a conversation with people as God gives you the opportunity, it could be handing out Gospel tracts, or merely placing them in places people will find them, in a written form of many kind, you could send the Gospel to those you know who are lost, or sending out messages to strangers on social media, they all need The Savior.
Whatever way God is convicting you, do it for the sake of Christ, the Gospel, and the Lost. God is looking for those who will not only believe in Him and have faith, but will follow and obey. This is Faith.
Romans 10:14-17 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Don’t worry if you are not skilled, it is not your eloquence and ability. What the Lord needs and wants it is your availability!! For even Paul did not come with skill and great abilities, but obedience.
The Gospel has Power in itself.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
But whatever you do Go and preach the Gospel! For the Lord Himself said, in
18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
If you stand in firm faith in God, trusting He is, who He says He is, that He can do what He says He will do, and that He promises to never leave you or forsake you, that He will give you both the words to say and the ability to carry it out. Nothing is impossible. And Great will your reward be in heaven for your obedience and faith.
Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Now as we think about all these things I have spoken of today. I will read a Gospel message I wrote some time ago to bring home the point of who it is we serve and the Gospel that saves.
He is far higher than we are. Far Greater than we can even imagine. And the knowledge of Him that we possess is far more feeble compared to Him. We can trust Him, We can rely on Him. There is nothing and no one greater, that you can rest your faith in, than the Lord God Almighty! Amen!