Your Dependant Faith
2 Mar 2002, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
TITLE: YOUR DEPENDENT FAITH
THEME: Personal faith must depend on Christ alone for power to live His life.
SCRIPTURE: Mark 6:7-11
Last Sermon we noticed the various types of Faith that we may have. There was NOMINAL FAITH which we noted was of no value for power filled Christianity. Then we majored on FAITH unto SALVATION. We also noted that it was EMBRACING FAITH. COVENANTAL FAITH which is the only GENUINE FAITH which is evident in all maturity by a WITNESSING FAITH.
Jesus Christ made it very clear that genuine faith in Him as Saviour must be a witnessing faith. This is imperative for successful Christian living.
JESUS APPOINTED MEN TO WITNESS THEIR FAITH
Mark 6:7-11 In this instance Jesus sent out twelve to witness in His power to the reality of His kingdom of grace. (Another time he sent out seventy. ) The witness was to show that they were empowered to battle against evil spirits/devils in the lives of people. They were to heal and teach people to repent and accept the Messiah whom they believed and followed. They were empowered to DO as He did with His power. The power of personal witness when faith in Christ is healthy and genuine.
Matthew 10:1-42 Matthew records the same instance but with much more detail. Verse 16 - sent forth to witness in an angry environment. The content of their conversation was provided by God through the Holy Spirit because they had a living faith connection with Him. The benefit of witnessing faith was salvation after enduring faith witnessed for the Saviour. Verses 24-25 underline the importance of being united to Christ in body, mind and soul. Total dependence on Christ for power to witness. "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord."
Matthew really highlights the issue at stake in this entire encounter of witnessing for the Lord. Note verses 32-33. Confession of Christ before men (mankind) is essential if we can expect Christ to confess us before the Father in heaven. Anything short of that is denial.
Verses 38-42 Practical witness of Christ our Righteousness will reward us with righteousness. Rewards of faith are His merits and none of ours. We are saved by faithful witness and demonstration of our living faith in our Saviour. Even a cup of cold water given sincerely to a child or anyone is witness and confession of a loving Saviour.
PERSONAL WITNESS (TESTIMONY /CONFESSION)
"Our personal witness is the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world is perishing." Desire of Ages p347.5
"Our confession of His faithfulness is heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world.... that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience." Desire of Ages p347.8
Recently I attended a function at a Baptist church. I was a complete stranger to all those I met. What impressed me was the spontaneous witness to the leading of God in the lives of those people. They were so open and free in their praise of their Lord and their complete dependence on Him for His power to witness through their lives.
THE DANGER IN WITNESSING
The issue in the danger of witnessing is that we depend on self and our abilities instead of depending on the power of Christ alone.
"..in our work (of witnessing) for God there is a danger of relying to largely upon what what man with his talents and ability can do." Desire of Ages p 370.6
We can speak fluently on doctrine. We can speak the words of Christ Himself. Unless we possess Christ's meekness & love we are not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to Christ's denies Him. It is false confession.
We deny Christ by:
Evil speaking, foolish talking, untrue and unkind words, shunning life's burdens, going after sinful pleasure, conforming to the world, offering uncourteous behaviour to others. We can deny Him by loving our own opinions, justifying self, loving doubts, borrowing trouble, worry and concern or even by loving to dwell on darkness and evil.
If we are to confess Christ we must be totally dependent on Him.
JESUS TEACHES DEPENDENT FAITH AGAIN
Mark 6:30-44 Jesus fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fishes. This miracle confirms the need for us to be totally dependent on Christ's power to do His work.
If we are left to self ego, human ability and talent we lose the plot.
1. We lose sight of the Master worker the source of our power.
2. We fail to realize our personal responsibility to depend on Him
3. We shift our burden of responsibility the the Church organization.
4. We trust to humanity, numbers and organizational power.
5. We flounder and become depressed and cease to witness.
Successful work and witness for Christ depends not so much on numbers as personal effort or two by two as Christ sent people. Not so much on talent and ability but on simple earnest dependent faith in Christ.
Witness is our Personal Responsibility. Witness is our God given Duty. It takes personal effort to confess of Christ's faithfulnees, to share with those who do not know Christ.
Moderns need our Dependent witness.
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