Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Greater
Week 3: Phone a Friend
- Read Hebrews 11:1:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Name some things that people can’t see that we have to take on faith – both religious and nonreligious things.
- Pastor Dale’s definition of Faith is: having an inner conviction, and a supporting belief that what I hope for in God will come to pass, and a belief in the promise from God that what I do not yet see is real.
Name some promises from God that you are currently believing by faith.
- Doubt is normal, but it’s what you do with doubt that makes a difference. Instead of just living passively with it, the best thing to do is to ask questions, do research, and seek answers. If Christianity is really true (and at COH we believe it is!), it will be able stand up to your questions. But it’s important to pursue the truth, and not just be apathetic about it.
Read Romans 10:14-17 (NIV):
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Read Romans 10:17 again, this time in the New King James Version:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
What does this say about what you can do to help your faith grow?
- Romans is a challenging book to understand, but in the book of Romans, Paul makes it clear that no one can earn their way to heaven by their own goodness. This idea is unique to the Christian faith compared to other religions. What do other religions teach about how to get to God or to “heaven”?
- What does the Christian faith teach about how do we get to heaven?
- What is the role of good works in the Christian faith?
- Pastor Dale warned us not to let spiritual things get “old” and “ordinary” to us. How do we keep our relationship with God fresh and alive?
- Pastor Dale said that when we have doubts or low times in our faith, it’s good to “phone a friend.” And he mentioned three “friends” that can help us hear the Word of God so we can grow stronger in our faith:
- The Word of Christ through the testimony of others
If you were going to be baptized today, what would you include in your baptism testimony?
- Read Revelation 12:11:
They triumphed over him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
What does this verse say about the power of sharing your testimony with others?
Why is it so powerful to share your share your testimony with others – in a church service, in a small group, or just in conversation with friends?
- The Word of Christ through the Word of God
- The Bible is God’s love letter to us, so reading and studying it will help our faith in Him to grow. Note what Luke writes in Acts 17:11-12a:
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed….
What is your current personal practice with regard to the Bible? What impact does it have on you to read God’s Word in that way?
- The Word of Christ that God is speaking to me
- What helps you experience God speaking to you? If you feel like He’s not currently saying anything to you, can you think of any reasons why you’re not hearing from Him?
- Read Matthew 13:14-15:
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
What is the Prophet Isaiah warning us about? How can we avoid the condition that Isaiah is warning us about?