Christian Universe ™
We Walk By Faith
September 4, 2009
We walk by faith, not by sight. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The many miracles of Jesus give us reason to trust that He is the Son of God, and can do the things that He promised -- He can raise us from the dead, and give us eternal life.
We Walk By Faith
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Blockhouse Bottom church of Christ on 09-04-2009
2 Corinthians 5:7: “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”
A boss of mine once asked how I could place faith in someone that I had never seen. Think about that for a moment.
I can’t see ultraviolet rays, but I believe that they can give me sunburn.
I can’t see the wind, but I have seen it blow down deep-rooted trees and flatten buildings.
I can’t see radiation, but when I see a “Radioactive – Keep Out” sign, I do.
I can’t see electricity, but I won’t grab hold of a live hot wire.
I can’t see carbon monoxide, but I believe that it can kill me.
Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Many of the greatest inventions and discoveries by men were achieved as a result of faith in an idea, or hope for an outcome. Real, tangible results result from acts of faith and hope.
Romans 8:24: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25: But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
Hope drives us forward. Hope keeps us from throwing up our hands in despair and giving up. Our faith is the hope that lives within us.
John 20:24: “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25: The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26: And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27: Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28: And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29: Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Thomas refused to believe that which he had not, himself, seen. I didn’t see Jesus, either before or after His resurrection, but I believe that He lived, died, and was resurrected from the dead.
John 20:30: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Jesus performed miracles to secure our faith. We did not see Jesus in the flesh, but those who did have left a written record of what they saw and experienced. The first recorded miracle was the wedding feast at Cana where He turned water to wine, John 2:1-10, after which John wrote:
John 2:11: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”
As minor as this may seem, it was significant in that it established that Jesus was not an ordinary man. Thus began a series of miracles that convinced many that Jesus was the Son of God.
John 2:23: “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.”
As John continues his account, he explains the purpose of the miracles.
John 3:1: “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
The miracles were designed to grab the attention of the people, to inform them that Jesus was the Son of God, and then provide Jesus the opportunity to preach the gospel to them.
The second recorded miracle performed by Jesus is found in John 4:46-53, in a man’s daughter is healed through his faith in Jesus, and the power God have given Jesus to heal.
John 4:54: “This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.”
John 6:1: “After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.
2: And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.”
If you read on in this chapter, you will see that Jesus fed a great crowd of thousands with five barley loaves, and two small fishes, and that twelve baskets of bread scraps were gathered afterward. Here is what the observers said about this event.
John 6:14: “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”
Further in this same chapter, a crowd pursued Jesus, wanting to be fed, as when He had distributed the five loaves and two fishes. In verse 30, they demanded a sign, as if the feeding of the thousands was not sign enough. In verse 35, we see that Jesus declared Himself to be the bread and the water of life. In verse 51 He said:
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Again, the miracles were to direct attention to the message—Jesus would die to save the world.
John 7:31: “And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?”
In John 9:7, Jesus restored the sight of a blind man. In John 11:44, Jesus raised His friend, Lazarus, from the dead. In John 12:18 and 19, so many people believed in Jesus because of the miracles that the Pharisees proclaimed that “the whole world has gone after him”.
In Matthew 8, the disciples and Jesus were in a boat about to be swamped by a storm.
Matthew 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.
27: But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”
Matthew 14:22: “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23: And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
24: But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25: And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26: And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27: But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28: And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29: And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30: But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31: And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32: And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33: Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
What does it take for us to place our faith and hope in Jesus Christ as our savior?
John 12:37: “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:”
John 12:42: “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:”
John 21:24: “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
25: And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John record many more miracles of Jesus. Are we among those who, refuse to believe, or are we among those who believe that Jesus truly is the Son of God?
Jesus walked on water, but so did Peter—until his faith was shaken by boisterous winds. Are we like Peter, having a little faith, until the first sign of trouble? Or, do we believe unto salvation?
Hebrews 9:28: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
Romans 10:8: “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Hebrews 10:38: “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39: But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
Mark 16:14: “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”