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Faith Beyond the Foxhole

April 7, 2013 Speaker: Ken Ramey

Topic: Trials Passage: John 4:43–4:54

Sunday Service
John 4:43-54
God brings about trials and crises in order to bring some to salvation and to bring believers to spiritual maturity.
In this passage, John recorded the progression of faith in the nobleman to show us THREE STAGES/LEVELS of faith that all of us must progress through in order to be saved from our sin. From this passage, we see that the nobleman first appealed to Jesus as a miracle worker who could save his son from sickness, but in the end, as his faith grew, he embraced Jesus as the Messiah who could save him and his entire family from sin.
1.  LEVEL ONE FAITH - based on Jesus' miracles (vv. 46-48)
One can profess faith without fully believing. The nobleman's actions seemed to indicate great faith, but there are some aspects of his behavior that showed weakness. For example, he believed that Jesus had to be with his son in person in order to save him and that He had to act before his son died. He also assumed that Jesus needed the help of his instruction to carry out His work. Even though Jesus worked many signs and wonders. He taught that faith based on signs and wonders alone is selfish. Rather, Jesus wants us to seek His face (who He is), rather than His works.
 
2.  LEVEL TWO FAITH - based on Jesus's words (vv. 49-50)
Jesus had mercy and acted on the measure of faith that the nobleman exercised. Jesus used the occasion to grow the man's faith by giving the man His word rather than demonstrating the sign (healing his son) for him to witness. Jesus teaches us that we must believe before we can see (Hebrews 11:1; 11:6), and God is honored more when we believe based on His unseen love and works.
 
3.  LEVEL THREE FAITH - based on Jesus (vv. 51-54)
The nobleman later learned that his son was saved at the precise moment that Jesus had spoken to him the previous day. The Spirit of God regenerated the man's heart and prepared him to spread the word of what happened to the rest of his family. The entire family then came to saving faith as well.
Ask God to help you take Him at His Word, especially in difficult situations; to believe God's Word and act on it so that your faith will grow and develop and become so infectious that others will be led to Christ by your example.