Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of broadcast studies about faith.
[These notes are from a radio broadcast study taught more than 40 years ago.]
On yesterday’s broadcast I shared with you the problem of faith. The problem being that most of us don’t have any. I said that there were two basic reasons that we didn’t live by faith.
- We are ignorant of God’s commandments to live this life or we just don’t understand what He means.
- We are knowledgable about the faith life, but have decided to reject God’s Word in that area.
Today I want to share with you some biblical and living examples of the faith life.
Turn to Hebrews 11:7 – “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
Noah lived by faith and “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Even though Noah couldn’t see any rain, He believed God and did as He said and built an ark. Noah was saved from destruction through faith in what God said.
Abraham is another biblical example of someone who lived by faith – “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” (Hebrews 11:8)
Sara, in verse 11, lived by faith – “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.”
She received strength at a very old age to conceive, carry and bring that child into the world. Sara was saved by faith.
Again Abraham, verse 17, lived by faith – “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.”
He took that child, Isaac, and offered him as a sacrifice in obedience to God. Having faith that God would raise Isaac up from the death and having faith in the promise of God that a great and mighty national would come through Isaac, Abraham struck a knife toward his son, only to be stopped by God. Abraham and Isaac were saved by faith – “Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”
The 11th chapter of Hebrews goes on to show the great faith of many of God’s men and women. They are great, not because of some talent or intellectual appeal, but because they believed God. They walked by faith!
Are there people today who live by faith? Yes, there are thousands of Christians who are truly living by faith. There are men and women who are not looking to an employer, but to the Lord for their supply. There are pastors who are looking not to a congregation or convention or denomination or board of elders or deacons, but to the Lord for their supply.
Let me stop here for a moment and say a bit more about preachers and who they look to. I’m familiar with pastors who cannot or will not preach the truth of God’s Word because of people in their church. They’re afraid that if they preach too hard, too honestly, those people will leave the church and take their money with them. How would the church survive with their donations?
Have you ever really thought about who you serve, pastor? Have you ever wondered if maybe God can take care of His Church? You be faithful to what God tells you to preach and you know He will be faithful to provide for His church’s needs.
There are too many spineless preachers in America who are afraid of deacons, elders, denominations, conventions or even other pastors. A lack of faith in the Almighty God has shut the mouths of God’s preachers all across this land. But, you say, “I just don’t want to offend anyone.” Listen. If the truth offends, let it offend. Be sure that what’s offensive is the truth and not your attitude.
I know preachers who have small fundamental churches who will say, “We’re small out here because we stand for the truth and the truth divides and there is only a remnant who still believe the truth.” In most instances that I’ve seen that is not the case. What is true is that the preacher and his people are so dead in their legalism that no one wants to be around them. Some of us preachers get on our hobbit horses and ride a ‘pet’ Scripture and a ‘pet’ stand while the people in our churches are starving to death. It’s no wonder to me that hundreds of thousands of Christians are running off after one religious fad after another. If we as Christian preachers would do ministry God’s way and preach the whole counsel of God in a spirit of love, the church would be alive, revived and thriving today. However, because of our own stubbornness and unwillingness to give up doing church ‘our way,’ the church is fast asleep even to the point of death!
Brothers, we need a revival in the pulpit. God’s preachers need to wake up and blow the trumpet. Our people need to hear that “the just shall live by faith.” Some of us preachers are so afraid that we allow a convention or denomination or board or committee tell us what and what not to preach.
I know many pastors who preach from a sermon series written by someone else. Some preach sermon series prepared by their denomination a year in advance. Listen, pastor, how do your denominational leaders know what your people need? Especially a year in advance?
I know some pastors who have allowed their people to scare them away from preaching from an open Bible. There are preachers who quote a short verse, then read from Reader’s Digest or a newspaper or magazine. They give a nice little sermonette preached for Christianettes, as Del likes to say.
It’s time to get down to business. God’s didn’t inspire the writings of Reader’s Digest. He didn’t inspire the morning newspaper. But He did inspire the Bible. We need to do what God has called us to do: stand up and preach the Word!
Praise the Lord that there are some who haven’t bowed the knee to Baal. There are a few Elijahs left today. There are a few who believe God’s Word means what it says and says what it means. There are a few who believe that we should be living by faith in God.
Pastors,, I strongly suggest you look deep into your life and see if you are living by faith in God. God will richly bless you for it and it’s really the only way we can teach our wives, our children, our friends, our congregation what it means to live by faith.
It’s an easy thing to say, but a hard thing to do.
[Thank you for reading these broadcast teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]