Why do so many people fall for 'Get Rich Quick' schemes?
[Greed, ignorance, following the crowd, Blind Faith]
What do we mean by 'Blind Faith' ?
[No careful assessment, often just carried away by emotions]
How strong is Blind Faith ?
[It's fragile and, when tested, is not likely to survive]
How could Blind Religious Faith be dangerous ?
[Could follow an impressive preacher with false doctrines without questioning them]
So how should we set about Building Sound Faith ?
Let's see how Jesus built Sound Faith in his followers.
1. John 4:46-54
46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum.
47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48 "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."
49 The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies."
50 Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live." The man took Jesus at his word and departed.
51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.
52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour."
53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed.
54 This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.
Recap v. 48 "Unless you people …you will never believe."
At that time, prophets were expected to do amazing things. It caught attention and gave them authority.
It is interesting that none of Jesus' 33 miracles were ever challenged, even when he was being accused of blasphemy.
2. John 10:31-33
31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him,
32 but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"
33 "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
But Jesus used his miracles to teach his disciples … not just to impress people, to attract crowds, to show compassion.
What lesson did Jesus teach here about Faith ?
[Jesus rewards trusting Faith. Miracles can happen through just praying for help and believing it will be granted. Impressive Signs and Wonders from men aren't needed]
3. Matthew 14:13-21
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.
14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."
16 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
17 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.
18 "Bring them here to me," he said.
19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
What was Jesus teaching here about Faith ?
[Sound Faith means thinking big. With God's help, anything can be achieved. Also, disciples must care for one another, help to build up each other's Faith]
4. Matthew 14:22-33
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.
23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
What did Jesus want his apostles to learn from this amazing miracle ?
[Sound Faith means putting trust into action, trying to do what Jesus did, taking a risk. But we can't do amazing things on our own. We must pray for guidance, for support]
5. Matthew 7:21-23
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
What is Jesus telling us here about building a Saving Faith ?
[Signs and wonders can deceive us. We must focus on pleasing God. We must get to know the Bible and put it into practice. We must learn to recognise and reject false doctrine]
So, what have we learned from these examples of Jesus teaching his disciples ?
What must we do to ensure that our Faith is sound and strong, that we are able to withstand testing times ?
[We must be cautious in viewing the extravagant promises, signs and wonders of men, however convincing they may be.
We must study the Bible, trust God's promises from the Bible and pray for support in putting our learning into practice.
We must share our convicting experiences with others, help those in need and encourage those who are going through difficult times.
We must use our Faith to build others up. In doing this, we will also strengthen our own Faith]