Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Greater
Week 1: This Not That
- Pastor Dale spoke about what faith is and how we can have greater faith. Tell about one thing that has helped your faith to grow.
- Matthew 17:20: He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
What thoughts or questions come to your mind when you read this verse?
- Read Hebrews 11:1-2: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
This passage is one of the clearest definitions of faith in all of Scripture. Faith is:
- Confidence in what we hope for.
Confidence = inner conviction.
- Assurance of what we do not see.
Assurance = a declaration of a promise.
Pastor Dale defined faith this way: Faith is having an inner conviction and supporting belief that what I hope for in God will come to pass, and a belief in the promise from God that what I don’t yet see is real.
What do you think of this definition? What parts of this definition especially help you understand faith better?
- What did the story of the grub who turned into a beautiful dragonfly illustrate?
- The writer of Hebrews says of faith that “This is what the ancients were commended for.” Name one person out of the Old Testament who demonstrated that they had faith in God, and describe how they showed their faith.
What faith is not:
- Wishful thinking or superstition
- Mark Twain said, “Faith is believin’ in somethin’ you know ain’t so.”
- What do you think caused Mark Twain to get that idea about faith?
- Read Deuteronomy 6:6-9: These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
How can we live this out in our lives today?
- Intellectual assent of an idea
- How can a person keep their faith fresh, so that they don’t go on spiritual autopilot?
- The absence of doubt
- In John Ortberg’s book Faith and Doubt, he says that every person has doubts. Describe a situation that challenged your faith and made it difficult for you to believe.
- Read I Corinthians 13:12: For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
What does this verse mean?
- Read James 1:6-8: But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Pastor Dale said that when you find yourself in a place of doubt, you should keep working on it until you can get your doubts resolved, so that your life can get stable again. What are some things you could do in that situation that would help you get back to faith?
- Every person lives by faith. Name some things that even nonchristians take on faith.
- Read Hebrews 11:6: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
How does God reward those who earnestly seek him in faith?