Jesus Makes Faith Simple
Jesus makes faith simple; He really does.
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
23 August 2015
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
1 Corinthians 3:16
Jesus makes faith simple; He really does.
The Hebrew Bible or Old Testament often seems to make faith complicated, and even to this day many clergy seem to do the same thing, but Jesus makes faith simple.
When Jesus came on the scene, He showed us that we don’t have to complicate our faith in Him or in God with tradition and ritual; Jesus makes faith simple.
Let’s think about how Jesus makes faith simple as we look at John 6:56-71, which may also seem to be somewhat complicated.
56. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
As we talked about before, Jesus is really telling the people to eat and drink of His life giving teachings, but He is expressing it in these terms of eating His flesh and drinking His blood to separate the legalistic people from those with true faith, for He knew that some people would stumble over what He said because according to the Law eating human flesh and drinking blood was forbidden.
So Jesus goes on and explains what He means a little more…
57. “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.
We hope we all can see around the stumbling block of eating Jesus’ flesh to His true spiritual meaning, that we can make Him and God and the Holy Spirit a vital part of our being.
We just have to open our hearts and souls up to receive, through faith, and we’ll have both this spiritual indwelling and eternal life.
So Jesus goes on…
58. “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever.”
Note how Jesus is telling the people then and us today that the spiritual bread Jesus is offering brings eternal life, as opposed to manna, the bread that came from heaven in the wilderness, which satisfied the people’s physical hunger, but never brought them eternal life.
59. These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.
Note how many of Jesus’ followers continued to stumble over their physical imagery with its connection to the Law instead of seeing what Jesus was saying spiritually.
They failed to see how Jesus makes faith simple.
60. Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”
They can’t see past the physical.
61. But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble?
62. “What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where He was before?
In other words, what would they think if they saw Jesus ascending back into heaven?
Would it change their minds, or would they still hold fast to the physical and blind themselves to the spiritual presence of God that is all around them?
63. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
Jesus is also explaining plainly that He is speaking spiritually, but at the same time He knows that many won’t hear or understand, just as it is to this very day.
We do not have to complicate our belief or faith; Jesus makes faith simple.
64. “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
65. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
We don’t believe that God chooses who will go to heaven and who will go to hell; God allows us to choose, or to open ourselves up to receive the spiritual indwelling that allows us to understand the spiritual realm, even if we can’t physically see it.
66. As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.
And we are seeing church going Christians doing the same thing, for they put the church and their teachings before their spiritual relationship with the Lord, and thus they miss the true blessing just as the disciples did who walked away.
67. Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”
68. Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
And these words of eternal life extend to the whole of creation, and not just to a few select human beings.
If we live in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven, we eliminate much of the suffering and death here on earth, particularly for the animals, and in so doing, we bring health to our fellow human beings who hear our message and follow the Lord in the heavenly will of God.
And Peter answered as we should respond.
69. “And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
70. Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”
71. Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
Even among those who claim to believe and follow Jesus, there are always those like Judas and, as with the twelve, they are right in our midst.
We are to be the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will, and do everything in our power to free creation from its present corruption.
Jesus makes faith simple.
In Psalm 84:1-12, we see the prayers of a man who seems to truly believe, but at the same time seems to pile on the unnecessary burden of the physical temple and its rituals.
1. How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!
Let’s think about something.
If we are truly born again or born of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
This means that we are the dwelling place of the Lord or the temple of God, just as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:16…
16. Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Let’s return to Psalm 84, and the prayer of the psalmist.
2. My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
If we are the temple of God, then we are always in the courts of the Lord, no matter what time of the day, or no matter what day of the week it is, for no matter whether we are in the church or out of the physical church, we are always in the presence of the Lord and we can sing for joy from the depths of our heart and soul.
3. The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Thine altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
4. How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Jesus makes faith simple, because He tells us that we would be blessed to have the Holy Spirit dwell in us.
5. How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee;
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
If we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then we are on the spiritual highway to heaven, and not necessarily the road to a physical house of worship.
Jesus makes faith simple!
6. Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring,
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
The valley of Baca refers to the valley of tears, because the only water that seeps out of the rocks is brackish (salty), and the psalmist is praying for and trusting God to change this water into sweet drinkable springs and blessings.
But we who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and live in the heavenly will of God have His heavenly blessings, and His food and drink is without cost and leads to eternal life.
7. They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.
8. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!
If anyone seeks the Lord with a repentant heart in spirit and truth, He is faithful to answer them, but at the same time they must be willing to allow the Lord to change them into the peacemaking children of God He calls us to be.
And the reason many people don’t do this is because they are tied to the worldly ways around them, and don’t want to be shunned by their family members and friends.
Yes, Jesus makes faith simple, but we can’t have it both ways; we must choose to live in the heavenly will of God where there is no human caused suffering or death, particularly for the animals, or turn our backs upon heaven and live in the corrupt ways of this world with its pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death.
We cannot have it both ways.
9. Behold our shield, O God,
And look upon the face of Thine anointed.
All who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit have already been anointed, and we don’t have to look any other place for help.
This is part of the way that Jesus makes faith simple.
10. For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God,
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11. For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12. O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!
This is the blessing that comes upon all peacemaking children of God who live in the heavenly will of God and do everything in their power to free creation from its present corruption.
This is what true faith is all about.
This is how Jesus makes faith simple.
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