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1 John 5_4-5 The Olympics of Life - the Faith to win

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                                      SERMON 1

                             THE FAITH TO WIN

                                     1 John 5:4-5

The 26th Olympic games are in Atlanta this summer, and excitement over this event runs from Miami, Florida, to Anchorage, Alaska.

        Who will win the gold?  Who will come home with the medals?  Whose thousands of hours of training, endurance in spite of multiple injuries, and single-willed dedication to pursuing the Olympic dream will pay off?

        Many of us fondly remember past Olympics.  We recall memorable performances by gymnasts like Olga Korbut and Mary Lou Retton; swimmers like Matt Biondi; runners like Carl Lewis.  Tho will be the new champions of these Olympics games?  The world waits to find out.

        *A reporter once asked Tom Landry, successful coach of the Dallas Cowboys, "What makes a champion?"  His answer was power-packed.  He said, "A champion is simply someone who didn't give up when he wanted to."

Today let's examine together the kind of faith 1 John 5:4-5 talks about.  Faith is the victory.  Say that with me.

        What do we need to know about that faith to realize it is a winning faith?

1.  It is a believing faith.  --"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved' (Acts 16:31)

You cannot believe it unless you receive it.

It's not enough to have it in your head.

It's not enough to say it with your mouth.

It's only enough when you believe it in your heart.

Do you believe it?  Is your trust in Jesus Christ?  Have you placed your confidence in Him?

People who win trust Christ; those who lose trust themselves.

People who win love Christ; those who lose love this world.

People who win follow Christ; those who lose follow the crowd.

People who win seek Christ's approval; those who lose seek mans' applause.

Winning involves believing.

2.  It is a saving faith. 

Faith saves from sin, death, hell, and a meaningless life.  It saves to eternal life, heaven, meaning, purpose, fulfillment. 

Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God"

3.  It is a sustaining faith

        If you believe, you will receive Christ.  If you receive Christ, you will be saved.  Once you are saved, you will be sustained.  God will take care of you.  He is all powerful!

*A young boy was waiting after church for his family.  The pastor saw him standing around and struck up a conversation.  Noticing the boy had just come from Sunday School, the pastor thought he would ask him a question to see what he was learning.  He said, "Young man, if you can tell me something God can do, I'll give you a big, shiny apple."  Thoughtfully the boy replied, "Sir, if you can tell me something God can't do, I'll give you a whole box of apples."

Hebrews 4:14 Says "Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess."

4.  It is a declaring faith.  1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

We can win.

If a man wins God's race, it doesn't matter where else he loses.

If a man loses God's race, it matters not where else he may win.

Do you believe you can win?

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world!

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