Welcome to church today. It is great to have you with us. A special welcome if you are new or searching for answers. My hope and prayer is that you find them.
Over the last few weeks we have been looking at what it means to be loved by God and called to be holy. This is a four year project we have at St Clements using the book of Romans. Today we are approaching the end of the first quarter. The question we are thinking about is how can something that happened long, long ago and far, far away have any relevance for me today. How can it be real and effective and operative in my life? The answer is ‘by faith’.
Faith is a funny word. Unlike many words in the Bible which have multiple meanings, (e.g.: there are 50 words for sin for example) there is just one word in the bible for faith. You can translate it trust if you like. You can translate it believe if you like. But in the end there is just one word underpinning all of that, we translate that word ‘faith’.
John Stott once said an interesting thing about faith. He said its not faith which is so important as much as the object of our faith. I think he is right. We talk a lot about faith. We say that person is very faithful. Or we wish we had the more faith. In the end what we should be making a lot of, is God. It is God who is the creator of heaven and earth. It is God who has spoken to us in the Scriptures and it is God who has revealed himself in his Son.
You see faith doesn’t come first. God comes first. He asks us to trust him, to trust that what he says is true, reliable and powerful. You grow in faith therefore, not by looking inside yourself but listening to his word (bible reading, church) & standing on it.
There will be many temptations in the week ahead. There will be times when you wonder why God lets this or that happen. There will be times when you forget about God (and think he has forgotten you). What we need to do is to have faith, to remember what God has said. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus is the good Shepherd, that he is the bread of life and that through faith in him we have eternal life. He is indeed the answer to all our questions