Finding Faith

Posted on 08/05/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Good morning! If you were able to make it to last week's service, I trust you were blessed by our guest speaker's message, for it truly was a word from the Lord. If you weren't able to hear it, go to almcyberchurch.org and click the archives link.

Let's get started this morning by going to the Lord in prayer. Everyone stand to your feet, as we honor the presence of the Lord.

Lord God, thank you for coming to meet with us, bridging the gaps of many thousands of miles to connect us in the Spirit as we seek after you.

We ask you to have your way here today. Teach us, challenge us, encourage us, and cause us to change and grow.

Lord, we lift up the needs of the people who have asked us to pray together for them.

We pray for Jerry's fiance who's suffering from severe depression, and who is withdrawing from her friends, family, and her activities. Lord, you promised to walk with us through even the darkest of valleys, and you told us that in your presence we find peace and joy. So we ask that you let her feel your presence, your love, and your strong, never-failing arms around her. Draw her into your presence like never before, and show her that you are with her, walking beside her, and that you will lead her through this hard time back into the sunshine. Bring her peace, in Jesus' name.

We pray for Citril, her husband Andrew, and their two-year-old daughter Charis. We know the loss of their precious unborn child is something they may grieve for a long time. Holy Spirit, you are our comforter. Comfort them in this time of sorrow. We also pray that you would ease Citril's physical pain. May she and her whole family see the hand of their Heavenly Father work on their behalf, in Jesus' name.

We pray for Melissa who is at a crossroad and desperately needs your guidance. You said that your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, and that when we trust in you with our whole heart instead of trusting in our own ability to figure it out, then you would guide our paths, making them plain and straight. You also said that if we need wisdom, we should ask you for it and believe that we'll receive it. So we join together in prayer with Melissa, and ask that you guide her with your word, that you help her trust you completely, that you make the path she should take plain to her, and that you would give her an abundance of wisdom and the courage and strenth to walk in it.

We pray for JPT's friend, who has suffering physically her whole life and appears to be falling apart. We pray that you would comfort her, bringing her peace in your presence. And we ask that you would touch her, doing a work of restoration, recreation, and bring her complete healing, in Jesus' name.

And now Lord, touch every life here today and joining with us later. May they sense your presence with them, as you bring each one the deep-settled peace that you are on the throne, that you love them with a love deeper than we can imagine, and that nothing is too difficult for you.

And we ask all this in the mighty name of Jesus.

Amen.


Remain standing and click-touch the pulpit for a notecard or follow along with the overhead as we worship God with song.


EVEN THE MOUNTAINS

We praise you Lord because you're worthy
You are Lord and King of the earth and sky
Let us lift you up and declare your glory
Let us lift our hands and our voices high

Even the mountains praise your name
the rocks and the stones cry Holy!
Whoever seeks for your face
     will never be the same
Let your kingdom come
     in Jesus' name

I'm an instrument, I am only a vessel
Help me open up to receive your love
Let us put to death thoughts of opposition
Let me step aside and point the world to above


SHOUT TO THE LORD

My Jesus, My Savior
Lord there is none like You
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My Comfort, My Shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord, all the earth
Let us sing. Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
Forever I'll love you, forever I'll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in
You!

SOMETHING ABOUT THAT NAME

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
There's just something about that name
Master, Saviour, Jesus
Like the fragrance after the rain
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Let all Heaven and Earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms
Will all pass away
But there's something about that Name.

NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES

Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
Blessed Redeemer,  Living word.


Jesus, your name is the name above all names. It is the name at which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess as Lord, and the name of Jesus is the only name by which we can be saved.

Today as we gather here in your name, we know that you are with us, and we honor you with our praise, with our repentance, with our total trust and dependence, and by turning to your Word to guide us.

Teach us now by your Holy Spirit, and bring your Word alive in us today.

Thank you Jesus.

Amen.


You may be seated.


Today's message is titled, "Finding Faith."

Week before last we talked about faith, and today I'd like for us to pick up where we left off.

Let's turn together to Romans chapter ten, verse seventeen, which says,

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Week before last, we saw that the trials and temptations through which we endure serve to build miracle-working faith in us. We learned that faith comes by hearing the voice and will of God, and hearing the voice and will of God comes by the word of God, that same word which created the heavens and the earth.

Let's take a closer look at Romans 10:17.

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

The usage of "word" in this verse is the Greek word "rhema" which is the living, spoken word. This is the same word used in Matthew 4:4 when Jesus says, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

It is this living, spoken word that feeds our spirits and enables us to hear the voice and will of God, creating faith within us, faith which can move mountains.

We also read in Romans 1:7 that "…the just shall live by faith…" If we are to live by every word that God speaks, and we are to live by faith, then surely the word of God and a faith that moves mountains must be closely related.

If "…faith is the substance of things hoped for" and "the evidence of things not seen," then is the living word of God "the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen?" Is the word of God within us faith? Or is it the prerequisite to faith? What is the relationship between the word of God and faith, and how can we use this relationship to move mountains in our own lives?

Let's take a closer look at the relationship between the word of God and mountain-moving faith.

As we continue to read in Romans chapter ten, we see that the word was indeed spoken, but God's chosen people did not believe. It seems as though believing the spoken, living word of God was the missing ingredient of faith.

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Believing the spoken, living word of God is the missing ingredient of faith.
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In our last message on faith, we explored how trials and temptations can help build our faith. How does the ingredient of believing the Word of God tie in with trials and temptations to build our faith?

Let's ponder something: Whether we are going through difficult situations, or everything in our life seems to just fall into place; through both good and difficult times, the word of God is the same. God's word does not change with our needs. God's word does not change with our blessings.

"My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" is the same whether we don't have money to feed our families, or we have just inherited a billion dollars.

If we are poor, God will provide our every need. If we are rich, God will provide our every need. How then can financial difficulties build our faith?

As we see God provide for us when our circumstances say provision will not come, or we see God work a miracle when the wisdom of man says it just cannot happen, our BELIEF in what God has already said starts to grow.

It is through these difficult and trying times that we have the opportunity to surrender our doubts and fears to God; and as we put our trust wholely in him, he will be free to move on our behalf.

While faith is not simply believing, belief is a component of faith, for faith is created when God's voice meets with our belief.

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Faith is created when God's voice meets with our belief.
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And when we talk about increasing our faith, remember what Jesus told us about mustard seed-sized faith, and remember:

If you have even the tiniest speck of faith, YOU can say to a dead man, "Live!" and he will get up!

If you have the smallest glimmer of faith, YOU can say to a woman dying of AIDS, "Be healed!" and she will be made whole!

If you have even a mustard seed-sized amount of faith, YOU can say to this mountain that is standing in your way, this unbearable load that is weighing you down, "Be removed from my life and be cast into the depths of the ocean!" and it will obey!

If God has spoken, and you believe what he has said, obey what he has said, and speak what he has said, that belief combined with his spoken word becomes faith within you, and it WILL come to pass!

Do you believe this is true? God has spoken it. He said it is so. All you have to do is BELIEVE the word that God has spoken, that word that is being spoken to you right now.

The Bible tells us that Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. God spoke the word, his promise, to Abraham, and Abraham believed. When Abraham believed the word of God, that word started the process of becoming faith. Once Abraham had faith, nothing and no power could have kept that word from coming to pass in Abraham's life.

"The righteous shall live by faith," and "Man shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." The very life of our spirits comes from believing the word of God.

We are first brought to spiritual life when we confess with our mouth that Jesus is our Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. Our belief of the spoken word of God, combined with the power and truth of that word, becomes faith in us, and it breathes life into our spirit.

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God created the heavens and the earth with his spoken word. He has since chosen to create miracles in our lives when we believe what he says.
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We can believe in a false religion, but that belief does not become mountain-moving faith because it is not a belief in what God has said. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

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It is not belief in just ANY word that becomes faith, rather it is belief in GOD'S word that becomes miracle-working faith.
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God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." We can move from hopelessness and despair to joy and bright expectation if we only BELIEVE the word that God has spoken to us.

Is it God's will to heal us? To prosper us? To deliver us? To empower us? Is it God's will to bring blessings into our lives? Is it God's will to give us clear direction? Is it God's will to pour out his wisdom upon us? Is it God's will to remove confusion and doubt from our hearts and minds?

As we read the "logos," the "written word of God" faithfully, speaking it aloud, and hearing it spoken aloud, the Holy Spirit will breathe life into that word. It then will become "rhema" word, spoken and alive. And as the Holy Spirit builds belief in our spirits, that God-given belief will join with God's spoken word to produce faith. And once we have faith, IT IS DONE.

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The word of God, a stone, combines with our belief, a flint, and the sparks of faith ignite the blazing fires of fulfilled promise in our lives.
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Belief, which is birthed within us by the Holy Spirit, causes us to hunger and thirst after the voice of God. It causes us to yearn to know his will in our lives and the lives of those he brings to us.

The more we believe God, the more time we will want to spend studying and meditating upon his word, and listening for his voice. We will yearn for his presence, for in his presence his heart is revealed. We will yearn to enter in to his glory, for in his glory his thoughts are made known.

When you KNOW that you have heard the voice of God, and you believe the word he has spoken to you, don't let go! For the forging together of God's voice and your belief produce faith, and as a result of that faith, the promises of God will emerge into the living reality of your life!

In Mark chapter nine, a man cries out to Jesus, asking if he can cast a demon out of his possessed son. Jesus answered, "If you can believe. All things are possible to those who believe." and the man, in tears, answered, "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!"

We, too, can cry out to the Lord, "Lord, help my unbelief!" And as we cry out to him day and night, he will answer us. Jesus said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask."

Ask and keep on asking. Seek and keep on seeking. Knock and keep on knocking. God has already spoken; we need only hear and believe.


Scripture tells us that faith without works is dead. If someone is not breathing for very long, we can safely assume they're dead. When someone's life does not at all reflect the life of obedience to God's Word, we just might wonder if they really have faith.

We read this in James 2:14-26 which says,

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 proof, 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.


What this says to us is not that we can earn our way to heaven, for Scripture tells us we are saved by grace through faith, and not of works, lest any of us have a reason to boast.

What this does say is that faith and action are closely related. You really can't have one without the other. It's one of the vital ingredients to faith.

If God has really spoken, we can believe what he says. If we believe what he says, we will speak it and act upon it. And as we believe, speak, and act upon the Word of God, God himself deposits within the final ingredient, which is God himself, and faith is born.


Belief requires obedience, and obedience strengthens belief. The two are inseparable. Without belief, we will not walk in obedience, and without obedience, we cannot have true belief.

If we believe God is good, if we believe he knows everything and therefore knows what is best for us and will make us happiest, if we believe Scripture when it tells us he is the author of salvation and deliverance unto those who obey him, then we will walk in obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God; for those who come to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him."

Do you believe God exists? The creation, the works of his hands, proclaim the living word that God exists. Do you believe God will reward you if you diligently seek him? He has spoken his word that he will.

God has already performed his part of your faith. All you have to do is believe him. And if you ask and keep on asking, he will do your part through you, creating belief in your heart and giving you the power to obey.

And your belief in what God has spoken to you will combine with what he has spoken, and a faith that brings that promise to pass will begin to arise within you.

Seek the voice and will of God, for when you know them, God will empower you to believe them, and great and miraculous things will begin to happen in and through you.

If God has spoken, and you know and believe that God wants your loved one to be healed of the cancer which is consuming their body, and you make your belief alive by your obedience, you can speak to that cancer to be gone, and if you speak from a faith that God has placed within you, then your loved one WILL be healed!

If you can only know and believe that God has placed a certain calling on your life, and you make your belief alive by obeying God's direction and timing, it doesn't matter what you can or can't do or what obstacles stand in your way, you WILL accomplish what God has called you to do!

Deuteronomy 30:14 tells us, "But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it." Speak the word that God has spoken to you, and obey it. Confess it. Don't speak or act against it. Do what he has told you to do in the time he has told you to do it, no matter what the cost and no matter what reasons say you can not or should not.

If you know God has spoken, believe and obey and it WILL come to pass. And when you hear the word of God spoken as it is here today, believe and obey that word and it WILL come to pass.

If we truly believe that once we know what God is saying in his written word, and once we speak and believe that word, that it will produce faith and it WILL come to pass, surely we will start studying his word, meditating upon it, and praying for wisdom.

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FOR IT IS A FACT: Once you KNOW what God is saying, and once you believe and obey that word, faith will begin to grow in you, and IT WILL COME TO PASS!
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Lord, thank you for your Word, and for teaching us a little more about faith. Cause faith to grow within us as we continue to seek after you.


This altar is open. If you would like to set yourself aside to seeking after God, feel free to make your way to the front and stand or kneel in the presence of the Lord.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, he is here today to give you your first gift of faith right now. It is by grace through faith that we are saved, and I ask the Spirit of the Living God to breath over each one listening or reading these words, bringing saving faith into your heart, as you are simply open to knowing the truth and having the truth set you free.

If you're open for Jesus to reveal himself to you and set you free, then pray with me right now. Say these words and mean them from your heart. Say, "Jesus, I ask you to save me from my sins. Forgive me, and wash me clean. Come into my heart, and make me a brand new creation. I confess you as the Lord of my life, and I believe that you have risen from the dead, and that you now live inside of me. Teach me how to have a daily, personal, intimate relationship with you. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

This altar is open. If you just accepted Jesus as your savior and Lord, or if you just need someone to talk or pray with you, please instant message someone on the ministry team.

In a few minutes we'll all meet in the room to your left for a time of fellowship, and you're invited to come meet and fellowship with us there when your time of ministry is done.

Now may God bless you with his faith that comes by hearing, believing, and obeying the Word and voice of God. Amen.