There is a foundation that gives firm footing to our belief system. The lame man by the pool kept waiting to get his moment of healing. It came when Jesus spoke. Then, he got up and walked. (John 5:6-7)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11436
7:30 PM on 3/14/2018
(Heb. 11) I’m going to speak to you about the ministry of faith. We accept Christ by faith and start living by faith. We first start by believing. We believe in Jesus. Then we start to live from faith to faith.
Heb. 11:1 the underlying substrata of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Before it ever happens, faith is able to see, believe. Faith is the substrata for what we hope for. You can say that. It’s the underlying root, the foundation. You know before there is things that exist, there is the thought behind it. God is the LOGOS, the mind of God. God’s mind is always existing. Before there was a planet Earth, it was in his mind. When I dream or think about something I’d like to see, I want to believe or I’m looking at something before it ever exists or happens, I have it in my mind or heart. This is really the nature of the way we are made. It is used many ways but our emphasis is what God has said is his mind and in his mind I am able to believe him and see in my heart. We look for a city whose builder and maker is God. Though I have not seen that city, I know it is there. I believe in it. He said it but I have not seen it but I believe it. When it comes to victory over sin in our lives. Maybe you have a bad habit or problem you fall back into. In your heart you can see the nature of God, the R of God, and you can believe that God delivers me from the power of sin. I can believe that because it is written here. I died but I live. It’s not me but Christ in me. I can believe that. Even before I see its full manifestation, I can believe it.
Faith comes by hearing the word in Romans 10:17 and I’m able to believe it in my heart. This is the reality even before it happens I’m living in the reality of God’s mind. Map of Bath, Maine. The city we were when we moved when we went from Wiscasset and Bible College started in Bath, Maine. This is where we heard pastor say we want to raise up men of God. God will raise them up and there will be teams. We’ll send out teams to different places in the world. At the time, there wasn’t any ministry as we know it but there was faith. That’s amazing that Pastor Stevens was pastoring a congregation and that’s all that was there. He was believing God would send people to the Bible college and the Spirit would move in their hearts. He saw and he believed before it ever existed. How awesome that is. There were a lot of reasons to believe it would never happen. Faith is the substance of what the understrata of what we are hoping for and the evidence. Abraham had it regarding a child. When he and his wife couldn’t have any. They were really old, 99 and 90 years old and no child but God promised him.
Did Abraham see in his mind and heart, did he see himself and his wife having a child in that old age knowing their bodies were, Rom. 4, dead or past the period of time where they could be fertile? He not calculating on the inability they had in their bodies, they lived in faith and had a child.
This book I want to recommend, Igniting the Fire. Little stories at the beginning of Billy Graham’s life. His father had been hit in the face by a piece of wood flying out of a mechanical saw and it broke his jaw. It almost killed him. His father turned to the Lord. On the farm in 1934, a group of men and women gathered to pray for the rapidly decaying situation in the city of Charlotte. Billy saw the people gathered and the hired hand asked him, who are these people? I guess some fanatics that talked dad into using the place. They would gather for a day and pray. It was the lowest point of the Great Depression. Millions of Americans without money. They prayed under the trees and the women in the house. Group of men under the pines praying. May 1934 as many as 30 women prayed in the farm house while the men gathered in the pine trees…singing and praying. What happened was the prayer meeting moved from praying for Charlotte and they started to pray for the entire world. Graham was not yet a believer. As a result they invited an evangelist to come and one year later he was saved in one of those meetings. The meetings were powerful with prayer. They were asking God to raise us someone who would go in all the world to preach the gospel in 1934. Faith.
Why do you come to church? Sometimes it’s just faith. Why do we have an Easter play? Sometimes our motivation is simply faith. I remember reading the Bible and not understanding it. I kept reading it by faith. Going to Bible college I remember I don’t know if I should go but will go by faith. P. Stevens said let’s pray we go into all the world. We are celebrating the fact that the Spirit sent us and trained us and teaches us and we live by faith, obedience. Sometimes to be honest we can learn to live by faith and it becomes the same old, same old. When my faith is challenged in a personal way maybe my pocket book is challenged and I give by faith. Maybe my schedule and what I am doing with my time is an issue of faith. Maybe friends, losing some friends, I can’t be with them. It’s not edifying. I love them and can pray for them but have to decide who my friends are. I need encouragement and want to live by faith. Faith is a big subject.
Jn. 5:5, 38 years sitting by the pool. Waiting for the water to move. Always someone else beat him to the pool. It’s a good picture of how frozen people are in this life and things not changing. Nothing is really happening and God shows up. When God shows up, pay attention. The presence of God is there. Pay attention. He is the speaking God. The God that challenges me in my faith. I would like you to listen to what I have to say. I want you to receive it personally in your heart and believe me. It’s not my will you would sit here 38 years and nothing happening. I am the healing God, the wise God, the redeeming God, the God that changes things. I’m so blessed by being in Europe all those pastors that were there in Europe and brought their people are doing such a good job. We get together and we are all on the same page. We are all seeking the same living God.
Is 44:8 God said is there any other God beside me? I have not found any. No one like me. This is where our faith meets time. And our problems we have where people are crying out is there another message other than me living in my own ways, my desires, my flesh, my unbelief, my unrighteousness. They don’t know how to say it. They run after money and it doesn’t satisfy. They go after girls and it doesn’t satisfy. Convenience and drugs and other things and it doesn’t satisfy. They are made to concentrate intensely on what God is saying and pay attention to him.
vs. 6. What do you want? Where are your desires at? Some people have convinced themselves that there is no hope. They have no future. They have convinced themselves that nothing will change. There is no way out. They have convinced themselves it will always be this way. Will you be made whole? Are you willing? Are you wanting? I am here. That is what we learned at Bible college. That’s the voice we learned to listen to in our lives. Poland is one example. How they have been abiding and living in and walking in faith. In one of Pastor Steven’s booklets he tells a story. I’ll never forget Jane, a girl in the first church I pastored in Maine. She was led to Christ in Sunday school at age 9. At 14, she had cancer. The physical healing did not come but her emotions were healed. Her mind was well. I could sense such contentment from her. She had such assurance and conviction God was with her in the final two months of her life. She was convinced God’s will was being done and assured of his love for her. She had faith. What does faith mean? Faith is the substrata of what I’m hoping for. I could be healed but if not I will be with God. If I am healed have faith, if not I have faith. The mind of Christ, the believing in God. The anticipation and the belief in the nature of God and the Spirit of God in a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Little did they know their exercise of faith would be a farm boy become anointing… When he went at it, he went at it. He did everything he could in serving people. Prayer meetings. Preaching into the woods and trees. He was out in the wild preaching to the trees and there was nobody there. A silence and God spoke to him. He said no one is listening to you know, but one day there will be many. Faith. Do you get up in the morning and say a prayer by faith and believe your prayer is answered? Do you go to bed at night in faith? Do you pray for your family? We have to be seeing in our heart and anticipating. Believing God to go into all the world. Do you know where all these countries are? He might say I don’t bet there are people asking to find God and God wants to send us. It takes some focus to hear and believe what he has to say. He said to the man will you be made whole?
vs. 7. He’s living in the material world. He has that explanation. I don’t have the job or money or resources. The pool. No man to take me down. Leave it. Go to this place of thought. What thoughts do we have? What praise do we have? What believing God do we have? What does it mean to hear these words and be built up in them and dream a dream? I remember in Finland there were green trains came from Moscow to Helsinki. The Finnish trains were blue. The green train would come and P. Matti and P. Ben would go down to the train station and start praying for the Soviet Union. In 1990 we would be able to move there, live there and start preaching there. In 10 years, we went to 24 Soviet cities. And it happened. It wasn’t just a dream. It happened. Real feet, real people, real power, and real sending, read disciples. P. Gromov was on the plane and he was a Soviet citizen sitting next to P. Matti. P Gromov gets his number and they meet the next day. P. Matti said can I do anything for you? Can you get me a Bible? In Egypt he got a Bible but the government took it away. He said all his books were cleared to go back to Soviet Union except one, the Bible. He asked P. Matti for a Bible. How does the world work? It works when we live by faith and we see God answering and doing things in this world. We have seen it now for more than 40 years. We are all the same whether you go there or not. We are living in the same Spirit and same mind. We have prayers that move mountains and things that are awesome. Jesus said rise, take up your bed and walk. That was all it took.
vs. 8. The word of God. That’s all. God says something and we hear it, wow. There it is. Rise, take up your bed and walk. We hear it and obey. And there it is. There is a divine order and the miracle of it. The man was made whole. Took up his bed and walked.
vs. 9. We just celebrated. I was impressed in the meetings there the Spirit in the hall was like healing in the air. I was so blessed by the pastor’s meetings. The unity, the love, the faith, the reference to the Scriptures, the believing what God is doing. When there is that kind of unity, there he has commanded a blessing. Let’s believe God for our city of Baltimore and the whole United States. Let’s go to bed with a faith vision and see the invisible. I can see people come out of the woods and out of the streets. I can see evangelists raised up, missionaries going out and Bible college having an amazing effect. I can see families prospering. I can see people physically healed by the word of God.
Please, Father, if you can say it and we can hear it, it will happen. Do things way above and beyond. Do it as we are living in these amazing times. Wilt thou be made whole? And in obedience and in his heart, yes, I will. Take up your bed and walk. It happens. It’s no different.
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