The Marks of Faith
John 20:19-31 (NIV)
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” 24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
I. Introduction: Knowing by fact, or knowing by faith. Scientific inquiry or confident trust. Faith is not trust in scientific investigation, but Faith is trust in a historically revealed God.
II. See The Living Christ Presented
A. Witnesses to the Resurrection
B. Witnesses to the Reconciliation
1. Embarking on a Mission
2. Empowered for the Ministry
3. Employed with a Message
III. See The Limited Evidence Permitted
A. The Eyewitness of Others Discounted
B. The Eyewitness of Jesus Demanded
IV. See The Lively Faith Preferred
A. The Skeptic Confronted
B. The Believer Commended
V. See The Lasting Witnesses Published
A. A Limited Edition
B. A Lasting Explanation
C. A Life-giving Extension
VI. Conclusion: Believe the written account of the eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ who desire that you have life through reading the account they give. If you are one of those who refuse to believe unless you see it for yourself, it may be the next time you see Jesus it will be too late. When we next see Christ, only those who have already trusted Him through His Word written by His witnesses will be commended. All the skeptics will one day be presented with living proof, but will be forever lost because of their unbelief.
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.