Noble Faith Matters

Photo by Rodolfo Clix:

What Is “Faith”?

Please turn with me in your Bibles to John 4:43. The Bible has quite a bit to say about “Faith”. In fact, the world has quite a bit to say about “Faith”. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Faith” as:

Allegiance to duty or to a person. Belief and trust in and loyalty to God. Firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Something believed especially with strong conviction, especially a system of religious beliefs.”

Everyone has faith. The

– Atheist has faith there is no God, and the
– Humanist believes that people are gods. The
– E
volutionist has faith in Darwinism and so called evolutionary science. The
Diseased often place their faith in medicines and medical science. The
– Politician believes their party is perfect, whereas the
Progressive SJW has faith in one’s ability to reimagine oneself. The
Christian is called to have faith in Christ and His Word, the Bible.

Those who are not Christians put their faith in various pagan gods and goddesses, various processes, types of people or political parties. Everyone has faith. When you drove to Church tonight, you had faith that your fellow motorists do not want to forfeit their lives. When you pass a car on the highway, you are about 24” from death. Yet you continue to drive. Why? It’s FAITH. You have faith that the person hurling toward you at speed is not texting, or that the driver is not suicidal.

Faith in people and things can be misplaced. Faith in Jesus is NEVER wrong. Because the Samaritan woman had faith in Jesus, she went to Sychar and told her friends about Him. Because others expressed faith in Christ, He went to Sychar and stayed two more days.

God will come to you if you believe in His Word! God went to Sychar because they believed in His Word.

John 4:41-42 And many more believed because of Jesus’ own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

Faith is something that YOU must have. We are saved by FAITH in Jesus. As I’ve often quoted:

Ephesians 2:8 For by GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH and that not of yourselves

Because you placed FAITH in your CAR, you got here tonight. If you had no faith in your car, you would still be at home. Faith proves itself by action. Faith goes, and does. Faith in God draws God to us. We read:

John 4:43-44 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in His own country.

Faith In God’s Word Brings God To Us, Whereas
NO Faith In God’s Word Pushes Him Away

Jesus went to Nazareth to minister, but the people had no faith in the Son of God. The Scripture says:

Mark 6:2-6 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief.

When Jesus grew up in Nazareth, He grew up waiting on God the Father, waiting to reveal Himself as the Christ. Other than one brief time when Jesus taught the priests in the Temple the Law of God (Luke 2:42-49), Jesus grew up and worked with His stepfather Joseph as a carpenter. Because those in Nazareth grew up around Jesus and saw nothing particularly special in Him and His earthly family, they discounted Him when He revealed Himself as the Messiah. Because His hometown had no faith in Him he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. Faithlessness binds the blessings of God away from us. Jesus left Nazareth, and went to Samaria and Galilee to do His work as Messiah. Why? Because there was NO FAITH in Him in His hometown. a prophet hath no honor in His own country.

John 4:45 THEN when He was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received Him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.

Word Study: When Jesus came into Galilee the Galilaeans received Him. The word translated received is the Greek dechomai (pronounced dekh’-om-ahee), which means “to take hold of, to take up, to receive or grant access to as a VIP, to receive into intimate relationship with”. The Bible says:

John 1:11-12 {Jesus} came unto His own, and His own RECEIVED {paralambanō} Him not. 12 But as many as RECEIVED {lambanō} HIM, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.

The word RECEIVED – which in the Greek can be dechomai, paralambanō or lambanō, are words that illustrate FAITH. FAITH receives. FAITH does. FAITH moves toward.

It matter what or who you have faith in. The Samaritans had faith in Jesus because they heard His Words. They said:

John 4:42 … we have HEARD HIM OURSELVES

They BELIEVED JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH “BECAUSE OF HIS OWN WORD” (John 4:41). They believed the Word of God. They believed the SCRIPTURE Jesus quoted as His own. They believed that Jesus is the LIVING BIBLE, the WORD OF GOD COME TO LIFE. But what of the Galileans, the Jews of Galilee? What did they believe in? We read:

John 4:45 …. the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast …

The Galileans did not focus on the Word of Christ, but the Works of Christ. They believed Him a Prophet because of what He DID, not because of what he SAID.

They were at Jerusalem, and saw the Lord overturn the tables of the moneychangers and chase away the buyers and sellers. The Bible tells us that when {Jesus} was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did” (John 2:23). Yet the Bible tells us that Jesus would not commit Himself to them” (John 2:24), because they believed the WORKS, but not the WORD. The Galileans believed Jesus to be a Great Prophet, or a Great Magi. But they believed based on the miracles He did, not based on the Word of God that He spoke. Their faith was a false faith. Henry Morris wrote in his commentary:

The enthusiasm of the Galileans was not soundly based. It was dependent on the WONDERS arising from their sight of the signs, not on a realization that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. Their very acceptance of Him was thus in its way a rejection. They gave Him honor of a sort, but it was not the honor that was due to Him.”

Saving faith believes that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Word, and a fulfillment of the promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Saving faith believes that Jesus is the Christ because the Bible says so, not just because Jesus did miracles.

Satan can make himself appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14. The Magi of Egypt were able to imitate Moses when his rod turned into a snake. During the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will “by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10) deceive the people into following him. Jesus told us that false prophets would come and perform great signs and wonders, deceiving many” (Matthew 24:24). There were many people who believed on Jesus, but NOT unto salvation.

We Are To Believe Jesus’ WORD

The Bible talked about different types of faith (faith in the WORD or faith in the WORKS), and now gives us a example of what Christ would have of us. We read:

John 4:46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

Jesus comes into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. This was His first miracle ever performed. As soon as Jesus enters Cana, a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum comes to Jesus. Who was this nobleman? The word NOBLEMAN is the Greek basilikos, which means”a royal official”. He was a man who served the puppet King Herod Antipas (Mark 6:14) in a civil or military capacity. The NOBLEMANhad a son sick at Capernaum, some 20 miles from Cana.

John 4:47-49 When {the Nobleman} heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. 48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.

The Nobleman wanted Jesus to travel from Cana to Capernaum to heal his son. A Jew, the Jews often rejected Jesus as Messiah, demanding that Jesus show them SIGNS AND WONDERS”. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day – the Pharisees and Sadducees – constantly asked Jesus for “signs from Heaven” (Matthew 16:1). Jesus told them:

Matthew 16:4 (NIV) A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

A person is not saved because of signs and wonders, but is saved by believing the Word of God.

Illustrate: Israel saw incredible signs at Sinai under Moses, and even heard the Voice of God (Exodus 19:16-20:1), but in just 40 days they forgot the signs and demanded Aaron create a golden calf for them to worship (Exodus 32:1-6). Faith in signs and wonders will never save. What saves is trust in God’s Word through God’s Messiah. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 1:18-24 … the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

When the Pharisees often demanded signs from Jesus (Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; Matthew 12:38-41), He told them A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The proof that He is Messiah was given from the Word of God and through the resurrection and the empty tomb. God will fulfill His Word.

You Are Not Saved Unless You Believe Jesus.
Believing Is To ACT On What He Commands.

Jesus tells the nobleman:

John 4:50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.

The nobleman is at a crossroad. He was demanding that Jesus come to Capernaum and heal his son. But Jesus tells him to GO THY WAY – go home. The Christ has spoken. The son is not dying, but has been made whole. What will the man do? Will he continue to demand Jesus come with him? No, the Bible says THE MAN BELIEVED THE WORD THAT JESUS HAD SPOKEN. He believed the Word of God. The man quit pleading with Jesus, and headed home. We now he believed for he did what Jesus said do.

Jesus Christ is more than a miracle Man, more than a great Teacher. Jesus Christ is the Messiah. So many today are – as the Scripture says –

2 Timothy 3:7 (NASB) always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

– Some have a NAZARETHFAITH. They are so FAMILIAR with Jesus, that they can’t believe He is the Christ.
– Some have a GALILEAN FAITH. They will believe Jesus, but only when they see a SIGN.
– The saved, however, have a SAMARITAN SYCHAR FAITH. They believe the Word of Jesus, and act on what they believe.

The nobleman believed the Word of Jesus, and headed home to his son. We are told that the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and based on the Word of God headed home. He obeyed the Word of the Lord. What was the result?

John 4:51-53 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 52 Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.

If you are merely trusting in Jesus Christ as a good teacher (the Nazareth faith), or if your trust is based on the good things He can give you, then you have traded the best things for the merely good things. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to adopt many children into God’s Kingdom. He came to destroy the power of death, and to redeem those who lived under the shadow of death. Sooner of later every one of us will stand before the Creator and give Him a reason as to why you should be allowed to enter into Glory with Him. The only answer that matters is that you know Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. I pray that you have made that choice. Your eternity depends on it! Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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