Faith That God Accepts

March 5, 2017

By Faith! Sermon series, (Part 1 of 4)

 

Hebrews 11:1-7; James 2:14-20; Ephesians 2:8-9

Luis Cruz, GCF Durham 

 

We are aiming for two things today. One is that, we hope to understand the true meaning of faith. Frankly many people have misunderstood what biblical faith really is. Secondly, that the proper understanding of faith will enable us to devote our whole self to Jesus.

 

The key verse is…

 

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

 

For faith to be acceptable to God, it must be…

 

I.    A gift from God.

 

Eph. 2:8-9, “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

 

Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

 

The word “confidence” is rendered as “substance” in NKJV. In Greek, substance (hupostasis) literally means to “stand under” or “to be the foundation”.

 

For faith to be acceptable to God it must be…

 

II.    A Living faith.

 

James 2:17,19 “17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead… 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

 

Hebrews 11:4 “4 by faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”

 

For faith to be acceptable to God, it must be…

 

III.    A Saving faith.

 

John 3:3,6 “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again… 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. ”

 

Hebrews 11:4b, “And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”

 

Three things saving faith helps us to do.

 

  1. Realize we are in need of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

  2. Repentance for sins. To repent means to change our mind, to agree and accept the will of God. Acknowledging that God is always right and we are prone to commit mistakes and sins.

  3. Receive: Saving faith prompts us to receive Jesus in our lives.

 

Suggested prayer:

 

Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me this wonderful saving faith. It made me realized that I need you in my life. I have sinned. I’m in deep trouble without you.  I’m repenting of my sins and I’m asking you humbly to please forgive all my sins. Thank you Jesus. I’m also inviting you to come and be at the center of my life. I want to receive you as my Lord and Savior. I am devoting my whole life to you. Allow me to enjoy the salvation that you have freely given me and thank you for the gift of faith. In your name I pray these things. Amen.

 

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