Category: Faith

My life story

I am not what I was, Ephesians 2:2-12

I am not what I shall be, 1 John 3:2

I am not what I should be, Ephesians 4:1

I am not what I desire to be, Philippians 3:12f

But, by the grace of God, I am what I am, 1 Corinthians 15:10

(Pickering, 1,000 Subjects, slightly adapted)…

Faith lessons from Abraham

Some lessons on faith from the story of Abraham in Genesis 15-18.

1. Faith is a response to God’s Word

Abraham took God at his word concerning the birth of a son in his old age.  Faith is not some kind of quality worked up in our own minds (‘believing in God for a miracle’).  It is simply taking God at his word.  If this is so, then the more we get into God’s word the stronger our faith will become.…

Light

‘Sense is the light of beasts, reason is the light of men, faith is the light of saints, and vision is the light of glory.’

(Thomas Manton, 1620-1677)…

“Your faith has healed you” – sermon notes

Text: Mark 10:52

An effect: ‘healed’

Sozo’ = to save.

We tend to think of salvation as

  • accepting Jesus into our hearts
  • experiencing the love of God
  • going to heaven when we die

Clearly, salvation for Bartimaeus involved physical healing.  But there is a hint in the word itself that something more than physical healing is going on here: he received his sight; and he became a disciple (v52)

Mark 10 – ‘to inherit eternal life’ (v17), ‘to enter the kingdom of God’ (vv23-26), and ‘to be saved’ (v26) are used synonymously.…

Faith, hope and love in Jesus’ ministry

The familiar Christian triad of faith, hope and love occur not only in the writings of Paul but also in the ministry of Jesus himself.

Faith is prominent in passages such as Matt. 6:30; 8:10, 26; 9:2, 22, 29; 14:31; 15:28; 16:8; 17:20; 21:21; 23:23.

The idea of hope (even if not always the actual word) occurs in Matt. 9:2; 14:27; Mark 5:36; 6:50; 9:23; John 11:11, 23, 40, etc.

And love, pre-eminent of the three, is stressed in passages including Matt.…

Why will people not come to Christ?

Joel Beeke and Mark Jones, in A Puritan theology: doctrine for life, outline some of the human impediments in the way of a person coming to Christ for salvation.

1. Neglecting the Christ of the Bible.

Some people fail to come to Christ because they pay little or no regard to the Christ of the Bible.  They seek a Christ of their own imagination; they seek Christ on their own terms.  We do not urge such people to read the Bible as a mere duty, or because in doing so they will have some kind of mystical experience.  …

“Abraham, kill your son”

The account (in Genesis 22) of how God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, is one of the most problematic in the whole of scripture.  It seems to teach that blind, irrational faith is a ‘good thing’, even the result is that you are willing to slaughter a member of your own family because you think that God has told you to do it.  Of, course, God prevented Abraham from killing Isaac in the end (Gen 22:12), but that does not seem to get us off the hook: we presume that Abraham would have gone through with the terrible deed if God had not intervened.…

Is your faith in good working order? – sermon notes

James 2:14-26

We ensure that our cars, our central heating boilers, and our teeth are in a healthy condition.

But what about your faith?  Is your faith in good working order?

What do we mean by ‘faith’?

  • The sceptical view. Dawkins: ‘Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.’
  • The popular view. In the movie Miracle on 34th Street, Santa Claus says: “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”
  • A royal view.