Faith And Authority

Bible Book: Luke  7 : 1-8
Subject: Faith; Power of God

The society in which we live and the times in general are the most prosperous in the history of the world. We are able to have more and do more than anyone in history. The opportunities for personal achievement and advancement are all around us and available to everyone. But, the wonderfully prosperous, opportunity filled times in which we live also present a whole new set of problems with which we have to deal. The more we have; the more we want. The more we want; the greater the pressure to acquire. The more we acquire; the greater the responsibilities. Life gets ever more complicated and trouble laden. People, in their mad rush to have and to get, find that, in the end, the problems are overwhelming and there seems to be no answers for the things we bring on  ourselves. In addition, we become so myopic and self-consumed that even the problems and life threatening situations over which we have no control seem to have no answer and no one seemingly in control. What can we do? How can there be personal stability and faith in such an environment?

What is the answer to the dilemma?

There is a story in Matthew and in Luke which answers some questions for us. It also points out the foundation for a living, rational and powerful faith; the kind of faith which gets things done with and through the Lord's Power. I think it is necessary for us to realize that faith has a foundation, and it is not our emotions or our desires. Also, faith is not some nebulous concept which is hard to grasp  and know when you have enough of it. Faith is a principle which is grounded upon the ability someone else has to accomplish something which is needed. So, we are a people of faith, but I  think that we don't know how to employ it in our lives. Faith affects more than just salvation. It is meant to be our tool for having the Power of God to touch our everyday lives in transforming way. Lets look  at Luke 7:1-10 and examine a Biblical, Godly, working and accomplishing kind of faith.

I. There Must Be A Genuine Need And Sincere Desire V. 1- 5

A servant was about to die. God is not flippant in His responses to our faith, and we should not be flippant about those things we submit to faith. God will let us do what we can do. He reserves the miraculous for Himself.

II. There Must Be True Humility V.6-7

A recognition of God's greatness and our smallness is necessary. God chooses to honor and lift up those who voluntarily place themselves in an inferior position.

The post-modern frame of mind not only lifts itself up, it belittles God. Faith enables those who have no power to heal or help themselves, to tap into the resources of heaven in a way which touches earth.

III. There Must Be A Recognition of Authority V.8

This is the KEY to faith. It is based on something solid - the Lord's Authority over all of life. The Centurion explained the basis for his faith (knowing Jesus could solve the problem). He didn't say, "I think you can do it." He said,"You have authority over it all and all you have to do is speak the word."

IV.There Must Be A Great Faith Exhibited V. 9-10

A great faith is based on Jesus. A great faith is based on His Authority. It is based on His Promise to act when we exhibit trust in Him. It is based on God's Word and not on our own personal feelings about something. A Great Faith touches God and brings His Power to bear, with results. So, the Centurion gave us a lesson on practical faith. He showed us that all the faith seminars won't do the job. All the pious platitudes about "believing God can do something" have no power with Him. But, Jesus does want to answer our human need, and He can and will if we will approach Him with the same heart and mind of the Centurion.