Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
In a sermon on this topic, Brian used the above passage to introduce a Biblical understanding of faith. His message then explored the reality that faith is something that impacts our lives far beyond mere religion and that our religion is based not merely on faith but events that actually happened. You can watch the sermon below.
Our Starting Point material for today is going to focus on three aspects of faith: faith and doubt, the faith of non-believers, and the importance of faith in action. Our purpose is not to dive deeply into each of these issues, but to give you some things to think about in regards to these topics.
Let’s start the journey by watching this 60 second video on faith and doubt.
Okay, so it’s pretty impressive how many points he made so quickly. Let’s focus on just a few:
A BIG misconception is the idea that in order to be a Christian you have to erase your doubts. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Doubts have the ability to fuel your faith.
Doubts should not be in the “driver’s seat.” When doubts guide us, we never get to where we want to be.
As you think about what he said in the video, consider the following questions:
1. What do you think about the idea that doubts can fuel our faith? What does that mean?
2. What are some things you have doubted/questioned when it comes to our faith?
3. What have you done to explore those areas of doubt?
It is perfectly natural for Christians to have doubts. As was pointed out in the video, the important thing is that we be honest about those doubts. Only then can we use them as a starting point for deeper faith and understanding.
Sometimes a person’s doubts lead him or her to abandon faith all together. Well, at least that is the language often used to describe what happens when doubts lead a person to walk away from or deny religious faith. But does that mean that person truly has no faith?
Check out this thought provoking response to that question:
The basic premise of the video is the idea that while it takes faith to believe in the existence of God, it also takes faith to deny the existence of God. Since neither can be proved, both approaches rely on faith.
- What do you think about that?
One area of tension when it comes to faith and belief is how it relates to science. For some, the two are at war with another. For others they walk alongside each other in harmony.
- Why do you think there is often such tension between science and faith?
- Do you think they work against each other or in harmony?
If you want to read a more extensive treatment of the tension between science and faith, click here to read an article that talks about everything from evolution and creation to the answer Einstein gave when asked what he thought about God.
Our last topic of thought for this session is the idea of faith in action.
While we know that there is nothing we can do to earn God’s grace, our response to that grace is to show our gratitude by living our lives in ways that honor and serve God by serving others. Jesus said that people will know our faith by the fruits of our work. James said that faith without works is dead.
The bottom line is that true faith will never leave us on the sidelines when it comes to living our lives as the hands and feet of Christ.
Watch this powerful story about a once agnostic business man who spent 25 years “pursuing himself and pursuing money” but then found faith. Once he did, everything changed:
Alan Graham chose to respond to God’s grace by living into Jesus' call in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, and to welcome the stranger. As you can see, he did so in a very radical way – giving his entire life over to that call.
While your call to ministry may be different than Alan’s, make not mistake about it – you are called!
The question is, to what ministry?
At First Christian Church, we try to encourage you to answer that call by asking, “Where do you see brokenness in the world?” Once you answer that, the follow up questions are: “What can I do to help bring healing?” And, “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”
- How are you living into the call of faith to become the hands and
feet of Christ?
- What are you doing to live into the faith you proclaim?
If you want to learn more about what people in our church are doing to answer the call, click here to see some of their stories. If those stories inspire you, consider applying for a Wholeness Ministry Grant!
At First Christian Church, we seek to be a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.
When we do that, our faith is proclaimed in ways that not only make a difference in our world, but that might also lead someone with doubts of their own to come home and find a deeper faith in the one we call the Christ.
If you have a thought to share or question to ask, feel free to post a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!