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Hanging On The Hinges Of Faith

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Hanging On The Hinges Of Faith

John 14                        March 2, 1997

Scripture:   Unison Reading, Pew Bible, page #1675, John 14:1-8

         

Prayer:

 

Introduction:

          Jesus has just gotten done with his foot washing object lesson to the disciples about humble and loving service to one another.  It also taught them to return continually to him for the cleansing and deliverance from sin.  This is a very important lesson for them to learn as his earthly ministry to them nears its end.  You see, this is Jesus’ final week and he is soon headed for the cross.  The disciples will be left to put into practice the principles and truths that he taught.  In fact, he announces in verses 33 and 36 of John 13 that he is going to leave and they must remain, at least for now.  Can you imagine the unsettled condition of their hearts at the prospect of losing their teacher, the one whom they had grown so close to and learned to depend upon?  Jesus was a perfect human being.  I too, would hate to lose the prospect of his visible presence, power and direction.

          There are some situations in life which seem to demand faith.  For the disciples, this is one of them.  Even though they should have been expecting it, we never seem to grasp reality until it is upon us.  Now in John 14, Jesus gives the disciples truth that will comfort them and inspire their faith.  Bill Gothard defines faith as “visualizing what God intends to do in my life.”  This is what Jesus does for the disciples as he helps them to visualize their life and future with God through him.  He is the way, or the door, to God because he is God.  It all hinges of faith.  This will give them strength to go on as he enables them to spiritually return to him even in his absence.  They can know for sure where he is, who he is, and what he is doing.  In this truth of faith is amazing comfort which would not only help the disciples through difficult times ahead, but us as well.  Let us see what he speaks to us in this passage.  Last week we saw that, if we were Jesus, what would we teach if it were the last thing we could teach before we left.  Here now we see that, if we were Jesus, what gift we would give before we left.  It is the hope of heaven.

I.       The Way of Faith:  being with God through Christ.  (vv. 1-7)

          A.      The way of faith is trust.  (v. 1)

                   1.       Trust is the antidote for a troubled heart.

                   2.       Trust is the bedfellow of faith, both of which mean to                               believe.

Faith believes God.

Heb. 11:1  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not                see.

Faith pleases God.

Heb. 11:6  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.

Faith remains in God.

Rom. 4:20-21  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but             was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that         God had power to do what he had promised.

Faith is righteousness.

Romans 14:3  Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

                   3.       If there is anyone we can trust, it should be, and is, God.

                   4.       Trusting God is the same as trusting Christ.

         

          B.      The way of faith is heaven.  (vv. 2-3)

                   1.       Heaven is God’s place.  (v. 2a)

                   2.       Heaven is big place.  (v. 2a)

                   3.       Heaven is a dwelling place.  (v. 2a)

                   4.       Heaven is a permanent place.  (v. 2a)

                   5.       We can trust Christ in this.  (v. 2b)

                   6.       Christ is going there himself.  (v. 2c)

                   7.       His purpose in going is to ensure our coming.  (v. 2c)

                             Why is he going?  To prepare a place for us.

                   8.       Our coming will ensure our presence with him.  (v. 3)

                             If this place is for us, he will come get us to put us there.

                  

          C.      The way of faith is Christ.  (vv. 4-7)

                   1.       We can now know the way to heaven through faith in                               Christ.  (v. 4)

                   2.       We must not doubt the existence of heaven or the way to                                   get there.  (v. 5)

                             The disciples know the way, but Thomas doubts that they                                 know.

                   3.       We can be certain that Christ is not only the way to God’s                       presence, but also the way to the knowledge of God, and                                   the way to experiencing the life of God.  (v. 6a)

                   4.       The fact is that there is only one way to God.  (v. 6b)

                             He gives the disciples this reminder.  It all hinges on faith                                 in Christ, the doorway to God.

Christ is the way.

John 10:7  Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.

Christ is the only way.

Mt. 7:13-14  "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road   that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and           narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

We must seek him.

Mt. 7:7-8  "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door    will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and     to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

But he is also seeking us.

Rev. 3:20  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens            the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

                   5.       Knowing Christ is knowing God.  (v. 7a)

                   6.       Seeing Christ is seeing God.  (v. 7b)                  

II.      The Truth of Faith:  seeing God through Christ.  (vv. 8-14)

          A.      The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual sight.  (vv. 8-9)

                   1.       We must not doubt the existence of God from what he has                       plainly shown us.

                             As the old adage goes, “seeing is believing.”  But Christ                                    tells Philip that he hasn’t fully believed what he has seen                                   and heard.  Surely he must understand that Christ is God.                            He is responsible to believe and apply what he has seen                              and heard, and so are we.  We have been able to see with                                  the eyes of faith in Christ which should prompt even more                      faith in Christ and through Christ.

                   2.       What should be plain to us is that Christ is the visible                                        expression of God.  Through Christ we can do all things.

          B.      The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual words.  (v. 10)

                   1.       The words of Christ are the words of God.

                   2.       The words of Christ enable the work of God through the                                    word of God.  God does his work through his word                                through Christ.         

          C.      The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual works.  (vv. 11-12)

                   1.       The miracles of Christ are the works of God.

                   2.       The works of God are available to anyone who has faith                                    in Christ.

                   3.       What Christ has been doing is drawing men’s hearts to                                      God.

                   4.       Greater works will soon be possible because of his                                             coming death on the cross. 

                             a.       Those greater works will be through the                                                    proclamation of the gospel now to be completed.

                             b.       Those greater works will be through the power of                                              the Holy Spirit soon to be given.

          D.      The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual request. (vv. 13-14)

                   1.       The way to receive anything from God is to ask in                                              Christ’s name.

                   2.       We can be sure that if what we ask is truly in Christ’s                                        behalf, it will be done.

                   3.       We can be sure because Christ’s purpose is to bring glory                                  to God.

III.    The Life of Faith:  experiencing God through Christ.  (vv. 15-31)

          A.      The life of faith is comforting.  (vv. 15-17)

                   1.       Love for Christ leads to obedience in believing Christ.

                   2.       Obedience in believing Christ is the prerequisite for                                  receiving the Holy Spirit at the request of Christ.

                   3.       The Holy Spirit is the permanent spiritual presence of                                        God through Christ in our lives even though Christ is now                       physically in heaven.

                   4.       If Christ is the truth, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.

                   5.       Through the counsel of the Holy Spirit the disciples will                                    remain under the instruction of Christ.

                   6.       The Holy Spirit can only be experienced through faith and                       this faith is real experience.

          B.      The life of faith is belonging.  (vv. 18-19a)

                   1.       In the presence, power, and testimony of the Holy Spirit,                                   Christ would never really leave us.  We have not been                                       orphaned.  We still belong to Christ.

                   2.       But Christ here also promises to physically return to his                                    own.  He returned to his disciples after his resurrection as                                physical proof of the power of God and his relationship to                           them, and he will return for his church that he has                                          commanded them, and us, to build.

                   3.       The cross separates us from the world that does not have                                  faith in Christ and does not belong.  They will not see                                       what we see, or experience what we experience.

          C.      The life of faith is living.  (vv. 19b-20)

                   1.       Because Christ lives, we live - if we have faith.  Our life                                    depends on his.  We must believe as if our life depends on                      it, and it does.

                   2.       This life is eternal.  This would be proven by Christ’s                                       resurrection from the dead.

                   3.       Eternal life links us inseparably with God, and with Christ                      as God.

                  

          D.      The life of faith is obeying.  (v. 21)

                   1.       Having Christ’s commands places a responsibility upon                                    us to obey them.

                   2.       Love for Christ and obedience to Christ are inseparable.

                   3.       Our love for Christ in following his command to have                                        faith in him assures us of experiencing all the love that                                      God desires to show us.

                   4.       The gift of love that God desires to show us is all the                                richness of himself.  Christ himself is the reward of faith.                       The richness of God’s love toward us is salvation in                                      Christ.

          E.      The life of faith is privilege.  (vv. 22-24)  

                   1.       We must not doubt that the reward of faith comes only to                                  those who obey in faith.

                   2.       Jesus reiterates:  those who love him obey his command                                   to have faith in him as the way, the truth and the life of                                     God.  This assures us of the everlasting experience of                               God’s presence.  Our home, then, is with God because                                   God has made his home with us.  Those who have a home                            together, live together. 

                   3.       Conversely, there are those who do not love Jesus and do                                  not obey him by placing their faith in him as the way, the                                  truth and the life of God.  They will not receive the                                                 everlasting experience of God’s presence.  This is on the                                 authority of God himself.  (1John 5:11-13)

          F.      The life of faith is remembrance.  (vv. 25-26)

                   We know that the Holy Spirit will remind us of what Christ has                        said when the life demand for faith is hard.

          G.      The life of faith is peace (Rom. 5:1).  (v. 27)

                   We can have peace in this life because we know that we have                             peace from God and with God in Christ.

          H.      The life of faith is assurance.  (vv. 28-29)

                   We can be sure of spending our life in eternity with God                                    because Jesus said it and Jesus did it.

          I.       The life of faith is power.  (v. 30)

                   We can be victorious over sin in this life because Jesus                                       accomplished it and our life is in him by faith.

          J.       The life of faith is obedience.  (v. 31)

                   We can carry out the faith that God commands in this life                                  because, like Christ, love enables us, even compels us.  He died                        to self for us, we die to self through him, by faith through love.


Conclusion:  Jesus

 

          Faith is a gift of God, but like any gift we must learn how to use it wisely.  Therefore, the gift becomes a skill to develop in application.  Faith enables us to follow the way, believe the truth, and live the life of Jesus Christ which is the love of obeying God.  Thomas doubted the way of faith which is being with God through Christ.  Philip questioned the truth of faith which is seeing God through Christ.  Judas didn’t understand the life of faith which is experiencing God through Christ.  What about you?  Whatever your situation in life, Christ is the answer.

Timeless Truth:

          The door to the way, the truth, and the life of God all hinges on faith in Christ alone.  Hang hard, not up, on the hinges of faith.

Closing Hymn:    Jesus Is All the World to Me, Hymnal # 510    


Hanging On The Hinges Of Faith

John 14               March 2, 1997

I.       The Way of Faith:  being with God through Christ.  (vv. 1-7)

          A.      The way of faith is trust.  (v. 1)

          B.      The way of faith is heaven.  (vv. 2-3)

          C.      The way of faith is Christ.  (vv. 4-7)

II.      The Truth of Faith:  seeing God through Christ.  (vv. 8-14)

          A.      The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual sight.  (vv. 8-9)

          B.      The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual words.  (v. 10)

          C.      The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual works.  (vv. 11-12)

          D.      The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual request. (vv. 13-14)

III.    The Life of Faith:  experiencing God through Christ.  (vv. 15-31)

          A.      The life of faith is comforting.  (vv. 15-17)

          B.      The life of faith is belonging.  (vv. 18-19a)

          C.      The life of faith is living.  (vv. 19b-20)              

          D.      The life of faith is obeying.  (v. 21)

          E.      The life of faith is privilege.  (vv. 22-24)  

          F.      The life of faith is remembrance.  (vv. 25-26)

          G.      The life of faith is peace.  (v. 27)

          H.      The life of faith is assurance.  (vv. 28-29)

          I.       The life of faith is power.  (v. 30)

          J.       The life of faith is obedience.  (v. 31)

Timeless Truth:

          The door to the way, the truth, and the life of God all hinges on faith in Christ alone.  Hang hard, not up, on the hinges of faith.


Hanging On The Hinges Of Faith

John 14                       March 2, 1997

 

I.          The Way of Faith:  b _ _ _ _ with God through Christ.  (vv. 1-7)

 

            A.        The way of faith is t _ _ _ _ .  (v. 1)

 

            B.        The way of faith is h _ _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 2-3)

 

            C.        The way of faith is C _ _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 4-7)

 

II.        The Truth of Faith:  s _ _ _ _ _ God through Christ.  (vv. 8-14)

 

            A.        The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual s _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 8-9)

 

            B.        The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual w _ _ _ _ .  (v. 10)

 

            C.        The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual w _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 11-12)

 

            D.        The truth of faith is the evidence of spiritual r _ _ _ _ _ _ . (vv. 13-14)

 

III.       The Life of Faith:  e _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ God through Christ.  (vv. 15-31)

 

            A.        The life of faith is c _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 15-17)

 

            B.        The life of faith is b _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 18-19a)

 

            C.        The life of faith is l _ _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 19b-20)                       

 

            D.        The life of faith is o _ _ _ _ _ _ .  (v. 21)

 

            E.        The life of faith is p _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 22-24)   

 

            F.         The life of faith is r _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 25-26)

 

            G.        The life of faith is p _ _ _ _ .  (v. 27)

 

            H.        The life of faith is a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .  (vv. 28-29)

 

            I.          The life of faith is p _ _ _ _ .  (v. 30)

 

            J.         The life of faith is o _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .  (v. 31)

 

Timeless Truth:  The door to the way, the truth, and the life of God all hinges on                                   faith in Christ alone.  Hang  _ _ _ _ , not  _ _ , on the hinges of faith.


 

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