Faith that moves mountains

40 weeks of Discipleship  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:51
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The Apostles’ Creed (paraphrased)
I believe in God the Father, Maker of the heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, our Savior, God’s own Son of matchless worth;
By the Holy Ghost conceivéd, Virgin Mary bore God’s Son,
He in whom I have believéd, God Almighty, Three in One.
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified for me He died
Laid within the grave so silent, gates of Hell He opened wide.
And the stone-sealed tomb was empty, on the third day He arose,
Into heaven made His entry, Mighty Conqueror of His foes.
At God’s right hand He is seated, till His coming, as He said,
Final judgment will be meted to the living and the dead,
I confess the Holy Spirit has been sent through Christ the Son,
To apply salvation’s merit, God the Spirit—Three in One.
I believe that all believers form one body as a whole.
We are one throughout the ages, with the saints I lift my soul.
I believe sins are forgiven, that our bodies will be raised,
Everlasting life in heaven, Amen, let His name be praised!
The Christian life is a supernatural life, but in many of us that is not true. When you think about your life as a believer would you say it is supernatural or natural?
Most of the time when we read the Bible it feels like the Christianity they had was much different than the Christianity we have. Why is that? Why do we not experience the power of God like the Early church did? Why do our lives look so natural compared to the supernatural lives we read about in Scripture.
I believe primarily comes down to a lack of faith. Jesus called us to walk by faith, and by doing so we can experience His power at ll times EVEN His absence. Jesus made a great promise in our text today, “truly I say to you, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed….nothing will be impossible for you”.
Do you believe that? What separates us from the impossible is faith! And Jesus said even a tiny amount of faith can do great things. Let’s look together at how we can deepen our faith and live supernatural lives.
Matthew 17:14–16 NASB95
When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. “I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.”
“When they came to the crowd”
Now remember last week we talked about the transfiguration. And this happened up on the mountain with only Peter, James, and John.
This verse picks up with Jesus and those three coming back down from the mountain to gather back with all 12 disciples.
A man sees Jesus, falls down on his knees, and asks him to heal his son who is a lunatic.
Lunatic: does not refer to a mentally ill person
The word means “moonstruck” and refers to someone who suffers from seizures. So the man’s son is an epileptic.
But he wasn’t just physically sick, HE WAS SPIRITUALLY SICK. And we know that because a demon is cast out of him (v 18)
Now don’t go assuming everyone who has a seizure has a demon!
What I want you to understand is the boy’s spiritual sickness led to physical sickness
While Jesus was gone on the mountain, who did the man bring his demon possessed son to?
He brought him to the disciples!
Why? Because these were the men who had been with Jesus and had been given the authority to cast out demons by the One who cast out demons in their presence.
Matt 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”
IMPORTANT: So in Jesus’ absence, the disciples should have been able to heal this man’s son:
Who will the world bring their spiritually sick people to today?
Who stands as the representatives of Jesus in our lifetime?
It is the church
It’s the disciples
It’s those who are in covenant with God, who have been called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
We are the representatives of Christ today.
We are called to be ministers to this world
We are a kingdom of priests!
What are the two greatest commandments?
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength
Love your neighbor as yourself

We must not forget that we are disciples who are SENT OUT to minister to a lost and broken world

Jesus clearly helped those who came to Him looking for help
The disciples clearly saw themselves as having that same responsibility
And if we are also disciples, THEN WE HAVE THAT SAME RESPONSIBILITY!
Its not just about us on the inside, it is also about those on the outside
It doesn’t matter what color they are
it doesn’t matter what gender they are
It doesn’t matter how much money they have
It doesn’t matter how old they are
It doesn’t matter how much sin they have in their life!
This boy was possessed by a demon!
And the Lord still had compassion towards him
What matters is that we are faithfully serving by ministering to the people around us
And God has strategically placed us in a place of great need with few churches and an abundance of people
These people all around this location need Christ, they need love from God’s people
And we are here to be His hands and His feet so that they can see Jesus
LISTEN TO ME CHURCH: Let’s not forget our calling!
Let’s not forget why we are here!
Now notice how Jesus responds to the disciples failure:
Matthew 17:17–18 NASB95
And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.
What is the first thing we notice about Jesus’ response?
Jesus is obviously disappointed!
He calls the disciples unbelieving and perverted!
How do we know that He is speaking to the disciples?
Because they are the one’s who failed to cast out the demon!
They are the one’s whom he had given authority to cast out demons
And because they failed, he places them in the same category as the rest of crowd!
Because of their unbelief!
They are living just like the world!
And even though they have seen Jesus do miracles, and they have been called by Him to do the same, they failed in their attempt because of their lack of faith
This is a message about faith
Faith is at the heart of all that we do as Christians
You cannot be saved apart from faith.
There is not one soul in heaven who did not trust God with their lives, I guarantee you that!
The only way to be right with God is through faith!

It is impossible to please God without faith

Heb. 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him.”
Have you ever wondered what that verse looks like lived out in real life?
As many times as I have read that verse and quoted that verse, I have never really thought about until I studied this passage
Jesus would say we are unbelieving and perverted when we do not live by faith!!
In others words, it is wickedness to have no faith
It is sinful and against God to be an unbelieving people!
So it clearly makes sense that this would be unpleasing to God.
Now we want God to be pleased with our lives
And we want God to be pleased with our church
And we want God to be pleased with our evangelism
And we want God to be pleased with our offering
And we want God to be pleased with our fellowship!
But if those things are done without faith, they are unpleasing to God
Matthew 17:19–20 NASB95
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
The disciples come to Jesus privately and ask him what the problem was.
Why could they not cast out the demon
They were obviously confused and had expected different results
Can anyone relate to that in here?
Anyone ever wonder why they are not getting different results in their life?
Anyone ever wonder why we are not getting the results we expect in the church?
Jesus tells the disciples it is because of the littleness of their faith!
The word actually means poverty of faith.
Because they were so poor in faith, they could not do what they had been called to do.
Because their faith was impoverished, those around them were suffering.
Because they lacked the faith they needed, they did not experience the power of God!
What is faith?

#1 Faith is the human response to God’s revelations

Faith means believing God to the extent that we are moved to active obedience
It is simple obedience to what God has revealed to us
This often comes through the Word of God
This may also come through the Holy Spirit of God
God still speaks to people today!
It is very possible that God is speaking to some or all of in here today through this message
And faith responds to what it hears from God!
Not by saying Amen, but with action!
By making changes in their lives
Faith believes God and causes us to make adjustments in our life!
And some people say they have no faith.
Thats not true
Romans 12:3 (NASB95) God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Everyone has been given a measure of faith, so the only thing keeping us from living supernatural lives is if we are unwilling to exercise our faith
IMPORTANT: If you do not know how to exercise faith, start with what you do know
What is something you think God is wanting you to do?
What is something you think God is wanting to stop doing?
And when you know the answer to one of those two questions: DO IT!
Don’t make up excuses; God will never accept an excuse
Respond in active obedience

#2 Faith must be cultivated so that it grows

Jesus compared faith to a mustard seed
What is a mustard seed?
Have Bentley hand out the mustard seeds
Hand out the mustard seed
That tiny seed in your hand is all the faith you need
If you plant that seed in the ground, do you know what will happen?
It will grow to a plant that is 10-15 feet tall
Jesus said if you just have that much faith, you can do impossible things
You do not have to have great faith to live a supernatural life
We all start off with mustard seed faith
But Jesus does not expect us to stay there!
To not cultivate our faith would bring on us the same rebuke as the disciples
BUT, If we will begin to cultivate our faith, it will grow
How do we cultivate our faith?
We use it
Remember those questions we talked about earlier?
What does God want you to do?
What does God want you to stop doing?
It may be something small!
It may be something big.
Do it! And trust God it is for your best!
Faith that does not grow, shrinks
If you are NOT walking by faith, your faith is dying
If you are not exercising your faith, then you are becoming more and more like the world
This is why God called men like Abraham to exercise His faith over and over
It is never a one time deal

#3 Faith gives us the ability to draw from the unlimited power of God

(v 20) for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”
God wants us to live supernatural lives
And God has supplied everything
Phil 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
But the only way we can live supernaturally, is if somehow the power of God will flow through us!
And that can only happen through faith!
Faith allows God to work in us and through us to fulfill His purposes!
God’s power will be revealed in your life ONLY through by trusting Him to lead it, have it, and use it
It is not us who can accomplish great things, but God through us!
I want everyone to close their eyes and bow their heads
I want you to seriously think about your life right now
What is the obstacle that is keeping you from living the Christian life in its fullness?
Maybe your bitter
Maybe you have sin you can break free from
Maybe you are harboring unforgiveness
Maybe you have hate
Maybe your selfish
Maybe your lazy
Maybe your just scared
If you will take that first step of faith and begin to trust God, He will move those mountains out of your way and do miracles in your life
But you have to be willing to take that first step
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