Faith that Overcomes
1 John 5:4
Intro: In recent years we have heard a lot about “faith. There have been faith teachers, faith healers, and faith movements that have put a bad taste in our mouths about Faith. BUT Faith is of utmost importance in Christianity. Though faith is sometimes misrepresented and misunderstood, we need to study it, meditate on it, wrestle with understanding it, pray for it, and practice it.
I. Have Faith.
In Mark 11:22, Jesus told his disciples, “Have faith in God.” That sounds too simple, yet it is basis of the entire Christian Life- Have faith in God.
Salvation comes by Grace through Faith.
God’s Part- Grace
Man’s Part- Faith
Assurance of Salvation requires Faith.
The Baptism of Holy Ghost comes through Faith.
Healing comes through Faith.
Everything we receive from God comes through Faith- HAVE FAITH.
Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
How often have you said, “I Just don’t have faith,” or “I just can’t seem to believe”
Rom. 12:3 “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” God has given to Every person born, a “measure of faith.” There is enough faith given by God so that you can Believe on Jesus Christ and be Saved! Then you can continue in the Faith and can actually Grow in Faith.
II. Gain Faith.
In Luke 17:5 the “apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” Hearing his wonderful teaching, they were overwhelmed by their lack of ability to live up to his standard. They knew they were unable; they knew they needed help; they needed More Faith. Probably every One of us would admit the need for MORE FAITH.
A. More Faith is Profitable.
-It will Strengthen our Relationship with our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost.
-It will Strengthen our Character and make us more like Jesus.
- It will Increase our Intensity. We will have a greater vision, a greater burden, greater desire, and greater zeal.
- It will Increase our Usefulness; in our witness, in holy living, in prayer, in the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
We Know that more Faith is Profitable, but also:
B. More Faith is Possible.
We really can increase in Faith, Gain Faith. Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This is not just a One Time “coming” of Faith, but a Continual “coming” of faith by hearing and believing the Word of God. In Rom 10:8, Paul calls the gospel that he has preached the “word of faith.”
When there is Hearing, there is Knowledge.
Then there must be Doing, Obedience.
Eph 6:16- TAKING the shield of faith. Notice that word, “taking.” You and I must “take” the shield of Faith; it is very possible.
Every child of God should be Gaining Faith! You should have greater Faith today than you’ve ever had. You should believe God’s Word more than you ever have. You should be more convinced of truth than ever before. You should believe God’s promises more, trust God’s power more, and experience doubt LESS.
Four times it is recorded that Jesus admonished his disciples about having LITTLE FAITH:
1) Mt 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (anxious about personal needs)
[also in Luke]
2) Mt 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. (Fearful in midst of storm)
3) Mt 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Peter distracted by circumstances surrounding him)
4) Mt 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? (Disciples not understanding spiritual truth he is presenting)
Faith that overcomes Must not only Exist but Increase!
III. Work Your Faith.
James 2:20- “faith without works is dead” James makes it clear, very clear, that our faith must be put to work. It must be in action and be used in real and practical ways.
Our Faith Works Only if We Work Our Faith.
Some Lazy Christians would SAY they would like to Have Faith & would SAY they want God to Increase their Faith, but it Doesn’t work like that. God gives to every man a measure of faith, but HE MUST USE IT. God says, More faith is available and profitable and possible, but we must pursue it.
James makes these important points concerning the need to Work our Faith:
1) Demons have “faith”- they know God and who Jesus is but they are not saved.
2) Abraham is acclaimed in Scripture for having great faith, but the way we know he had great faith was that he OBEYED God.
3) Rahab had such faith in the God of Israel though she knew nothing about Him, that she Hid the spies and asked for Mercy. Because of her faith, her life was spared, her family was spared, and she became mother in Israel and had a place in the genealogy of Christ.
Work Your Faith! Faith Requires Positive Action; Doing!
Luke’s thumbnail biography of Jesus does not say, “he went about not doing any harm,” it says, “he went about DOING good.”
The Golden Rule is not- “don’t do to another what you do not want him to do to you”, but rather- DO unto others as you would have them DO unto you. Faith is not about what I Don’t Do, but about what I Do.
Faith that Overcomes Must be Active not Passive.
Read God’s Word- Memorize God’s Word- Obey God’s Word. Pray Daily & Diligently. Pray Fervently and Faithfully. Be Faithful to Church. Be Faithful in Worshiping and Praising God. Work your Faith by paying your Tithes, by Giving Generously in offerings, by visiting the sick, by helping the needy, by sharing the gospel with the lost around you. Faith that overcomes must be Working Faith.
IV. Keep Your Faith.
Paul’s wonderful testimony at the end of life was that he had fought a good fight, finished his course and KEPT THE FAITH. It’s one thing to Have HAD faith at one time in your life, It’s another thing to have KEPT the Faith.
Will you allow the amusements of the world to take away your faith?’
Will you allow fleshly desires to take away your faith?
Will you allow disappointments of life to take away your faith?
Will you allow sickness to take away your faith?
Will you allow tribulations, trials, troubles of life to take away your faith?
Will you allow mistreatment, betrayal, or slander to take away your faith?
JOB kept his faith even when he lost everything but his very life. But the Rich Young Ruler lost his faith at the THOUGHT of giving up everything.
Some people have their Faith Overwhelmed. Some people have Faith that Overcomes.
Everyone that makes it to heaven will have faith that overcomes.
Everyone that has faith that overcomes will make it to heaven.
To each of the 7 churches in Revelation, there is a promise made and a reward given to “Him that Overcometh.” Jesus said in Mt 24:13- “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Heb. 10:22,23- Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
This is the victory that overcometh the World- Even our Faith.