Theme: Worldwide Communion: Have faith in the Lord
Text: Hab. 2:1-4; 2 Tim. 1:5-12; Lk. 17:5-10
Introduction: Today is World Communion Day and this worldwide celebration of the Holy Communion is to remind us of its significance. The Holy Communion is important because it is one of the two sacraments Christ commands us to observe. It is important for the “building up of the child of God into a mature person” as they through its observance partake of the nature and character of Christ and by faith gain access to God’s gracious provisions for our lives. Unfortunately, many believers participate in the Holy Communion without participating in its blessings. The celebration of the Holy Communion is to remove the wrapping on a most precious gift from God to enable us see and take hold of it. The reality for most people as they partake in the Holy Communion is to take a look at the wrapping and walk away without the gift. Many believers are more concerned about the outward participation in the Holy Communion than in taking hold of God’s gracious provisions. Is this not the same way many of us treat the Bible? We spend much more time looking at the cover than reading what is in it and still say we have faith in the Lord.
Step One: Faith is God’s blueprint for life
a) Faith sees what God sees
Faith is God blueprint for the life of a believer for “the righteous shall live by his faith”. (Hab. 2:4) Faith sees what God sees and what God sees is contained in His Word. There can be no faith without the Word of God.
b) Faith is the assurance of things hoped for
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. (Heb. 11:1) It is a substance or reality we take hold of even though we have not seen it because God has declared it. It is a reality because of the certainty of God’s Word.
c) Faith takes God at His Word
Faith takes God at His Word. Everything that God says He will do, He does.
Adam was created a spiritual being and had access to all the provisions of God’s grace. When Adam sinned his eyes were opened and he lost his spiritual home and had to settle for a new home without access to God’s gracious provisions. Faith is the way back to God’s presence and His provisions. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. (Romans 10:17) The Word of God is spiritual and our connection to the spiritual realm. The Word of God sows a seed of faith in our hearts that grows as we continue to hear and meditate in the Word of God. Since the Word of God is spirit it has access to the spiritual realm and since faith comes by hearing the Word of God faith is able to gain access to the spiritual realm and to the provisions of God’s grace though the Word of God. Faith then takes hold of it and brings it into the physical realm. Faith is not a desire. Faith is not pretending something is true. You cannot just say you claim it by faith and it is yours. It is not a feeling and it is not bargaining with God. Faith is taking hold of what the grace of God has freely made available to the believer.
The reason many believers are not enjoying God’s promises and blessings lies in the fact that many believers today do not live by faith. God’s blueprint for the believer is “to live by his faith”.
Step Two: Faith is God’s blueprint for life
a) Faith deals with problems in life
The life of faith is God’s blueprint for every believer. Without faith we underestimate our own abilities, become discouraged and worsen our problems and difficulties. Without faith we end up giving up and blaming God. Faith empowers to hold on as it deals with every problem we face in life.
b) Faith opens the door for a miracle
Faith believes that “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37) and unlocks the promises of God to open the door for miracles. Faith operates under a law that is higher than the laws of nature. It operates under a supernatural law.
c) Faith moves God to act on our behalf
God does not act on our behalf because we deserve it. He acts on our behalf because of our faith. A life of faith honours and glorifies God word and this pleases God. It makes a positive difference in the way we live and commends itself to others.
A plane at the airport remains on the ground as it operates under the laws of gravity. Fill the same plane with aviation fuel and start the engines and it overcomes the power of gravity and flies. Faith is the power that overcomes the power of nature and moves mountains. Faith gives us the power to overcome the mountains in our lives. These mountains may be problems caused by sickness and disease, loss of loved ones, financial difficulties and broken relationships. The appropriate Word of God when heard and believed gives us faith. It then takes our faith into the spiritual realm to give us access to the provisions of God’s grace. Our faith needs to take hold of God’s provisions and bring it back into the physical realm and wait for its manifestation. We hold on to what our faith has taken hold of even when it appears we are still going through times of difficulty. Sometimes although faith has the solution God may decide not to remove the problem but take us through the problem for a greater manifestation of His glory.
Faith is always victorious as it operates under a higher law than the laws of nature. The assurance and certainty of our victory through our faith should keep us calm even in the midst of the storm.
Step Three: Faith takes hold of God’s provisions
a) We are saved by grace through faith
Faith takes hold of what the grace of God has made available. “By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8) Christ shed His blood for the forgiveness of sin so that God could make His gracious gift of salvation available to all mankind. We are saved when our faith lays hold of what the grace of God has made available.
b) We are healed by grace through faith
Faith also takes hold of the healing that the grace of God has made available. When we hear and believe the Word of God that “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) we gain access to God’s gracious provision so that we can lay hold of it by faith.
c) Our needs are supplied through faith
The Word of God declares that “God will supply every need of ours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”. (Phil. 4:19) His riches in glory are in the spiritual realm and can only be accessed by faith. It is however possible to have access to His riches in glory by faith and not take hold of it.
The Lord’s Supper is an affirmation of our faith in the gracious provisions of Christ on the cross. When we partake of the cup we take hold by faith what the blood of Christ has accomplished on our behalf. We have the assurance that all our sins have been forgiven and we have been redeemed out of the hand of the enemy, cleansed, made righteous and can come boldly into God’s presence. When we partake of the bread we take hold by faith what the body of Christ has accomplished on our behalf. We have the assurance that our bodies have been healed. The Holy Communion gives us the opportunity to take hold of God’s gracious provisions for our lives by faith. We do not come to the Holy Communion asking for God to meet our various needs but we come to take hold of the what He has already graciously provided. We do not come to the Holy Communion asking for God for heeling but we come to take hold of the healing He has already graciously provided.
God’s gracious provisions have been made available to all people. We need to hear His Word and believe it and take hold of His gracious provisions by faith for them to be manifested in our lives.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. (Romans 10:17) Jesus declares “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life”. (John 6:63) The Word of God is spirit and sows the seed of faith in our hearts that us access to the provisions of God’s grace. The grace of God gives whereas faith takes.
The just shall live by faith. Christ has saved us, healed us and met all our needs through His suffering, death and resurrection. Let us today take hold of God’s gracious provision by faith as we participate in the Holy Communion to the glory and praise of Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!