FBCWest 554 | Faith: What Will It Take
Recorded On: 05/07/2023
Hymn # 503“When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder”
SCRIPTURE READING – Revelation 19:5 & 6
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“At the Cross (Love Ran Red)”
“Only King Forever”
“Great Are You Lord”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“Faith: What Will It Take?”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
Acknowledgements and Announcements
Benediction “There Is Freedom”
John 1:35 – 39 Two of John’s disciples follow Jesus
John 1:40 – 42 Andrew brings his brother, Simon (Peter) to Jesus
John 1:43 & 44 Jesus calls Philip to “follow Me”
John 1:45 & 46 Philip tells Nathanael that they had found the One spoken of in the Scriptures, but Nathanael was skeptical
John 1:47 – 50 Jesus and Nathanael conversation leads to Nathanael’s faith
John 1:51 Jesus tells Nathanael that he will see even more
Transcript of Service
And we started out the journey to make sure that we knew what we were looking for and faith is not an assumption. But Faith is a believer in response. To what God has said. And we've taken a look at. What that means? And that God. Different than a treasure map that we need to find the right map and then figure out where X marks the spot and then figure all that out and know. Where the dig that. God helps us in our pursuit of faith. That he provides witnesses and his word and other circumstances and events that helps us to come to faith. But the problem is sometimes. People simply refuse. To come to faith and refuse to accept the evidence before them. You've probably heard people say. Mockingly, if there is a God, may he. Strike me down. And he didn't strike them down South. Said. See, there's no God. I want to say to you that that is a proof of the mercy of God, because if God had struck them down, there would be no chance of repent of that what he just said. But it is interesting that sometimes we set our feet and say I will not believe unless God must perform. This particular miracle must do this particular thing. And then I'll believe. So the first question that we're going. To look at. For you to address. Is what will it take? For you to have faith. Because if you're one of those who just simply refuses to believe, then we welcome you onto this journey, because you may ultimately. Find faith. But you're going to make it a lot harder. And I encourage those that are younger to pursue this journey early.
Because just statistically. More people tend to come to faith younger than who do older now. That doesn't mean that old people never come to faith. I know too that are right off the top of my head that were very late like in their 70s before they. Came to faith. And there was a. Awesome change in their lives. Even in their speech. So God does. Come and reveal themselves. As you get older, but the problem is as life happens, we get more jaded and cynical, and it makes it difficult for God to reach out. So in this. Passages we're going to see as Jesus calls his initial disciples that from our perspective they seem to come to faith fairly easily. Now, there's some reasons for that. And we'll talk about that. And there's some responses to them coming to faith. And so in John chapter one verse starting with verse 35 it says this again the next day day John was standing with two of his disciples and he looked at Jesus as he walked and said, behold the Lamb of God. So John continues on making the pronouncement that Jesus is the Lamb of God, that he testified that when he baptized and when he particularly baptized Jesus, he saw the spirit of God descending upon him and remaining on him, which gave him confidence because God had. Revealed to him. That when he saw that, that would. Be the Messiah of the Christ. The son of the living God, and so John testified about that. And he continues. To do so, he doesn't waver in his commitment. The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Now these two disciples were the disciples of John. Who everybody else calls the Baptist. I called John the the testifier that they were following John because they believed John was a prophet, that he was preaching God's word, and they followed him as their rat. But once they heard John, their teacher, their spiritual leader, say behold the Lamb of God. They then started to follow Jesus, the Lamb of God, not simply the voice of that one crying into wilderness. And Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them. What do you see? Why are you following? What's it? What's the purpose?
They said to him. Rabbi, which translated, means teacher. But it's not teacher in the sense of our English version of you're compelled to go to school and the teacher writes a bunch of stuff on the chalkboard. And you're supposed to write. It down and. And and this it was more of a. Since they master teacher or the person teaches you, but it's not just the ABC's, it's how to conduct your life, how to live, how to be. And you follow that person and their teaching, not in the sense of while waiting to get a degree or a black belt, but you are hoping to. Stimulate that person to become that person. So you follow them as that teacher, that Sensei, that Rabbi, that leader. And so immediately they're they change allegiance from John being their rabbi to Jesus being their rabbi. And they say, where are you staying? They want to know where Jesus is hanging out because John's disciples, many of them, and Jesus. Weren't from the area where they were baptizing. They were up in Galilee. So they want to know where Jesus is spending the night. And so they say, you know, where are you staying? And he said to them come and you will see. So it doesn't say, you know, I'm at the Ramada Inn. He says if you want to follow me, you come and you can see where I'm staying. So they came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day. There was about the 10th hour. Now the 10th hour is about 4:00 PM, so it's getting late in the day. The sun's going to go down. So it seems like they in essence. Spend the rest. Of the day and that evening with Jesus. I suggest to you. You spend the rest of the day. And the evening with Jesus. You will be different. One of the two heard John speak and followed him was Andrew. Simon Peters, brother. Andrew was a disciple of the the Baptizer, the Testifier. He is one of the two. We are never told who the 2nd disciple is. It is though. That it is John, the writer of this gospel, who's the other disciple. So it's Andrew. And this unknown disciple, which most people think is. And so they come. And he found first his own brother, Simon, and said to him, we have found the Messiah, which translates. Translate it means Christ. Notice what Andrew does immediately upon him coming to faith that Jesus is the Messiah. He ghost tells his brother. You see, faith is not something we discover and go it's mind. It's something that when we come to and find we want to share with others. And so Andrew, and there's a lot of churches when they do revivals, we'll have an evening call operation, Andrew. And that is where you invite family and friends to come to the church to hear the gospel. Because Andrew is one of the first people who go and say, I believe that Jesus is the Messiah and I'm going to share it. With my family members, which is sometimes the most difficult thing to do.
Because your family members know who you are. And you're not perfect. And you mess up. So when you share. The faith with them, they go. You're not even different. You go right. The difference between me and you who don't believe? As I do. I'm not better than you. Not more holy than you. But God is sanctifying me for the. Someday I will be. And so he shares with his brother. And not only does he share. He brought him to Jesus. Just I want you to see what I have seen. I want you to hear what I have heard. So he brings him to Jesus. Not just good enough to say we found him. Come and see. And Jesus looked at him and said you are Simon, the son of John. You shall be called Cepheus, which is translated Peter. Which is translated stone or Little Rock? Jesus has a tendency. To change people's names. Because he sees. Who they are and who they will be. You see Simon? Was the name given to one of the 12 of. Hiccups children. And Simon was one of those children who was impetuous and justice flew off the handle and did things. And as a result, that's why Judah became the one who would ultimately rule because Simon was. Discipline for that. Peter is very much like the Simon of the Old Testament, impetuous. Spoke before he thought. Did before he considered. But Jesus doesn't take you and say you're instantly this, he says. You're going to be this. So I'm going to call you that now. So Jesus calls. Simon, the impetuous one. The stone of the rock. The next day, he proposed to go into Galilee. He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, follow me now. Notice this is the first one that Jesus actually is. And gives an invitation. The others just followed him. And then Simon brought somebody else. Jesus sees. Finds Philip and issues the invitation, and so there are some who come. Because a brother is called. There's some who've come because. A spiritual leader has convinced them that they. Know what they're Speaking of. And can rely. On their testimony. And then we find one who actually is called because Jesus calls him. Now Philip was from Minnesota. The city of Andrew and Peter. So it seems that all these people know each other because they're all up in the area of Galilee. So again, this is a situation where. When you know someone. Know about them and their reputation, but they all seem to be down in this area as Jesus is going. To Galilee. So sometimes there are what others will call divine appointments. You are where you are as God wanted you. There so he could meet you. Even though Philip was from the Stata. He was an ambassador at the time. And Philip found Nathaniel. Notice again. There's the call, there's the response, and then there's the come and see what I have found. So Philip found Nathaniel and said to him we have found him. Moses in the law. And also the prophets wrote Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Now again, Philip comes to faith because of what he saw and heard in Jesus, and he was aware of the Scriptures because that's why he says well, our found Jesus, who's who's beside now he goes. He's the one who Moses talked about.
So obviously Philip understood the Old Testament and he goes we found him. He's Jesus. He's from Nazareth. Nathaniel said to him. And any good thing come out of nest. He's saying. I live in Galilee. I've seen the town. It's really close to a bunch of 10 tiles. They do a lot of weird stuff. I've read the Old Testament too, Philip. No profit comes out of Nazareth. As a matter of fact, not only there's no profit come. Out of Nazareth. Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Kind of like how we feel sometimes when we're born in a little small town. You know and. The biggest thing people ever do is. Go to the Walmart or something. Did anything happen? But Philip isn't dissuaded. He goes. Come and see. It is OK, I get it, you don't believe. I gave you the opportunity. I'm going to take off. Come and see what we've found. Again, faith calls others. Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him and said of him, behold an Israelite, indeed whom there is no deceit. Now I want you to notice he didn't say a Jew. Because they're from Judah. At this time, there's just Jews because the Northern Kingdom has been. Exile, and no one knows where they are, if there are. But he speaks of the nation and of Israel because the father of Israel is. The same man as Jacob. God changed Jacob's name to Israel. Because he had a struggle with God and was changed. But Jacob was a deceitful person. He deceived every. Opportunity he had. And then in response, his father-in-law deceived him. He lived in a life of deceit. So Jesus goes. Here's an Israel. Right. Who doesn't deceive people? Not only that, but there is no.
Nathaniel said to him. How do you know me? Nathaniel doesn't say no. No, Jesus, you got it wrong. You know, I I'm, I'm. I got my own little secrets. And and and I just see people because wait a minute. You're Speaking of Maine as if you know me. And I try to live an honest life and I try to do the right things. How is it that you know me? And Jesus answered and said to him before. Philip called you. When you were under. The fig tree I saw you. If I were Jesus and I'm not. I would have said, which would have probably caused Nathaniel not to necessarily believe. I would have said. Before you were formed in your mother. 'S womb. I knew you. Which would then say to fill up two things. I've known you all along and I'm God. But he doesn't. He simply says I've observed. I saw you. But simply because I saw the outer shell of you. I also know who you are inside. Nathaniel answered him. Rabbi, you are the son of God. You are the King of Israel. Now I want you to be clear. This seems very very. Easy faith. Most of us. At this point are cynical in our lives and and. And challenge things. Jesus simply says I know. Who you are, I observed you. And Nathaniel comes to faith, even though he initially had his criticism. When we observe people, some people seem to simply come to Jesus and. And others. Not at all. And others, as they feel the call of Jesus in church or elsewhere grabs onto the Pew and hold on for dear life because they don't want to surrender that action of faith. Some of these came to faith because their spiritual leaders said I witnessed and I saw. Others came to faith because they were called. Others came to. Faith, because they were brought and invited and saw who Jesus was. And others come to faith. Because Jesus says I know. And most of us, that's where we are. He knows us. He knows our getting up. He knows our lying down, he knows our thoughts, he knows our actions, and even with all that knowledge, he loves us anyway. He knows me. And because he knows me, he loves me anyway. I want you also to notice. All these names that Jesus has been. Mentioned in these few verses, he's been the Lamb of God.
He's been the Messiah or the Christ he has been. The rabbi. He's been the son of God. He's the King of Israel. No, all of these different statements that are made about him by people who have just initially come to faith. But I want you also to understand something. They all came to faith. They all haven't been persecuted in faith yet. What do I mean? They are in the next three plus years of Jesus Ministry over here and see Jesus teaching. They're going to see him heal the blind and the lame. And the deaf? And all other sorts of sick sicknesses and diseases he's going to steal the seas and the calm the the winds. He's going to raise people from the dead. He's going to do all kinds of things and he's going to tell his disciples before the events happen. What is going to happen to him. And when it happens to him, exactly as he said it would happen to him, they don't make reservations at the local hotel and say we're going to have a celebration party. We're going to have an afterglow party on Sunday because we heard that after three days he's going to rise from the dead, so we can't wait. No, they all head out. They're all depressed and they're all wondering. What life is going to be like? Faith comes beginning. And it starts. And as we take this journey, it's not good enough to say, oh, I've discovered faith. And then walk away. These people after three plus years, have little faith. But after they see Jesus rise from the dead, doesn't take. Faith at all. As they have knowledge. Of what he is and what he's done. And so as we. Pursue and find faith. We pursue it, we find it, and we don't say, well, the journey is over. But we grow it. We strengthen it. And we nurse it. To greater strength. Because as you observe, the way the world is going. We need more than little faith. With Jesus in response to Nathan's Nathaniel statement. That Jesus is the son of God because he saw Nathaniel, who was a Israelite with no deceit. And he believed because he saw him under a fig tree, Jesus goes, Jesus answered and said to him, because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree and you believe. So is it that simple of a state that's all that was required for you to come to faith? Was that simple faith. Jesus says I'm going to reward you. You will see greater things than these. If that's all it takes for you to come to faith, then you're going to see awesome, great things. And he said to him, truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the son of man. Now there is an old hand that's called. We are climbing Jacob's ladder. Jacob's ladder. Is Jesus. They are sending and descending on Jesus. Because Jesus is the connection between this place. And heaven. He is the connection and he's gone. When you see little faith. I will give you great experiences and as we go through these scriptures in John. We're going to see people who will say I I saw signs that I saw wonders. Show me some more signs. That I might believe. Others will say I simply will fuse to believe. Some might even say, Lord, I believe help my unbelief. As we should be. Comes to faith. Because of who Jesus is, not because of his. Signs and wonders. His signs and wonders will help us. Come to faith. But they should not be the mechanism and the reason that we come to faith, they simply assure us. Of in whom we have believed. For the promise, I believe God makes to us. Is the least amount of things required for us to see and come to faith. The greater and more awesome things we'll. Receive from God. Because we don't demand. We, as the scriptures say. Believe that he is. And that he is. A reward of those who seek him. And as our desire to seek him. As he fully is. Some will seek him because he's a loving God. Some will seek him because they're afraid of damnation in hell, and some will receive them for for cures and miracles and whatever. I suggest that we seek him. For the plain and simple reason. And when we see him for who he is. Things in this life. Will either be. Provided for. Or minimize to the point. And as Jesus has called us. Speak ye, the Kingdom of God. And all these things will be added to. It's called these initial disciples.
They all came to faith. They're all not steadfast in their faith. They all had their weaknesses. They never cast them out. As Jesus calls you and me. And sometimes we'll weaken our faith, and sometimes we backslide. And sometimes we make mistakes. And sometimes we sin. He loves us anyway. And continues to call us and as he called. Simon was not the stone. When Jesus changed his name. He wasn't even the stone when Jesus told him that he was the stone. When he talked about faith. It became the stone. When you saw Jesus rise from the dead. Jesus may have a name for you. That name may not reflect who you are presently. But it will reflect who you are ultimately. Therefore, let us take our stand with him. Based on the faith that he has revealed. To us present. That we might see. Most of the great things, things that nobody else may ever see. Because we believed initially.
And all God's people said.