Faith Makes The Difference
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans )
a. One of the reasons for this is because of the great theme of the book:
b. Jesus the Servant of God.
c. Jesus was truly a man of power.
1) Brethren, we need individuals and churches
2) that will have a burning desire to become more like Jesus.
a. It makes the difference between: (1) life and death, (2) lost or saved, (3) heaven or hell.
b. Now I think that makes this topic very, very‑important. Don't you?
Read Text: Mark 5:35‑43
35 While he yet spake, they come from the ruler of the synagogue's house,
saying, 'Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Teacher any further?
36 But Jesus, not heeding the word spoken, saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not, only believe.
37 And he suffered no man to follow with him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
38 And they come to the house of the ruler of the synagogue; and he beholdeth a tumult,
and many weeping and wailing greatly.
39 And when he was entered in, he saith unto them, Why make ye a tumult, and weep?
the child is not dead, but sleepeth.
40 And they laughed him to scorn. But he, having put them all forth,
taketh the father of the child and her mother and them that were with him, and goeth in where the child was.
41 And taking the child by the hand, he saith unto her, Tal-i-tha cu-mi; which is, being interpreted,
Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise.
42 And straightway the damsel rose up, and walked; for she was twelve years old.
And they were amazed straightway with a great amazement.
43 And he charged them much that no man should know this:
and he commanded that something should be given her to eat.
1. Loved ones, we are living in fearful times.
2. It seems that everything that is not nailed down is coming apart.
a. The devil is doing his dirtiest, devilish, dead level best to destroy lives.
b. My brethren, you and I need to be living this fearful day full of faith.
3. If there is anything that God's people need all over the world,
a. it is an earth‑shaking, devil‑defying faith in the Almighty God.
b. We need to be living by faith.
4. And let me say right now as we begin this lesson,
a. that the successful Christian life is NOT according to our:
(1) fame (2) fortune (3) family (4) friends or (5) feelings,
b. but according to our faith (Matt. ).
5. God is not so much looking for scholarship as He is relationship.
a. He is not so much looking for ability as He is availability.
b. What good is ability if you are not available?
6. What I am saying is that you can be in God's hall of fame of faith, if you want to be.
1. Faith is not a leap in the dark.
2. It is not going so far by knowledge and then accepting the rest by faith.
a. In times past I’ve heard some define faith as:
1) That thing on which you must rely after you get to a certain point in attempting to prove God.
2) or - That thing which is based upon a high degree of probability.
3) or - Enough evidence to justify the assumption of something.
4) or - Something that you really believe.
b. These definitions are not even a 32nd cousin to the true definition of faith.
3. Faith can only make a difference in your life when you define it properly and live it in your life.
a. Should Hebrews chapter 11 read:
1) By assumption Abel offered unto God
2) By probability Noah being warned of God
3) By uncertainty Abraham when he was tried
By strong probability
the walls of
b. Such is a pitiful attempt to define faith, Bible faith, God‑saving faith.
4. Those of you who know your Bible are well aware of the true definition of faith.
a. It is found in Hebrews 11:1:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1).
b. Notice that faith is the substance (that which stands under) of our hope.
c. We should also notice that faith is not without evidence.
1) We are to prove all things (1 Thess. ).
2) We are to be ready to give an answer (1 Pet. ).
5. The Bible teaches us that faith:
a. Is a work (John 6:28‑29; 1 Thess. 1:3);
b. Works through love (Gal. 5:6).
c. Originates in the heart (Rom. 10:9‑10); and
d. Completes assurance (Rom. 4:20‑21);
6. The Bible also tells us how to ascertain faith:
"So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. ).
7. This verse is such a tremendous one in understanding the subject of faith properly.
a. When we do what the Bible teaches, we then and only then act upon faith,
b. and that is the faith that makes the difference.
1. Our text points out that our Lord demanded faith on the part of Jairus (Mark ).
2. The Lord didn't want fear but faith.
a. We don’t have to be afraid of God, if we are living by faith.
b. The first time we come across the fact that man was afraid of God
c. was when he was disobedient (Gen. 3:10).
1) This does not, however,
2) do away with Godly fear or reverence for God (1 Pet. ; Phil. ).
3. Just as God demanded faith on the part of Jairus,
a. He demands the same for us today (Heb. 11:6).
b. Jesus said, "...for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins" (John ).
c. We do not have an option when it comes to faith, we must believe.
4. The Hebrew writer pointed out to those Christians
a. that they were in danger of letting faith slip away (Heb. ).
b. What a great danger (Heb. 2:1‑3)!
5. They were in danger of coming short of the promise because of a lack of faith (Heb. 4:1-2, 11).
a. They had not experienced the spiritual growth necessary (Heb. -14).
b. There was a tendency on their part to neglect the assembly (Heb. 10:25‑26).
6. It was necessary for them to learn that the just live by faith (Heb. 10:38‑39).
a. The Hebrew Christians needed to see what a lot of us need to see,
b. and that is, Faith Makes the Difference.
1. Jairus demonstrated faith in God
a. and learned the difference that faith made, his daughter lived.
b. You try to tell Jairus that faith doesn’t make any difference and see how far you get.
2. When we go back through the pages of the Bible
a. we see many examples where faith made the difference.
b. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8).
c. But why?
1) Because he was a just man and perfect in his generation
2) and Noah walked with God (Gen. 6:9).
3. What was the difference between Noah's family and the rest of the world?
a. The answer was and is faith.
b. Noah's faith can be seen by his
(1) Fear; (2) Foresight; (3) Family; (4) Forecast; (5) Fortune (Heb. 11:7).
4. That is Noah's story.
a. Noah had a
1) working faith;
2) a faith based upon revelation;
3) a faith that could wait on God; and
4) a faith that did not depend upon appearances and could stand alone.
b. If you don't think faith makes a difference, you just ask Noah.
5. Abel also points out that faith makes the difference (Heb. 11:4; Gen. 4:1‑10).
a. Faith makes a positive difference in religion.
b. This is clearly seen by Cain and Abel.
6. Cain was a farmer and he came to worship.
a. What was wrong with Cain's religion?
b. It was a religion of Cain's own mind.
7. Where did he ever get the idea that he could bring the fruit of the ground?
a. I will tell you exactly where he got it - from his own mind.
b. God rejected his sacrifice but accepted Abel's.
c. Why? Because Abel offered by faith (Heb. 11:4).
d. My friend, faith makes the difference!
8. This is why we can't use instrumental music in worship,
a. or take up a collection on any day other than the first day of the week.
b. We must remember that if our worship isn't according to faith it is in vain (Mark 7:7).
c. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).
9. Enoch is yet another example that faith makes the difference (Heb. 11:5).
a. The Bible says that Enoch walked with God.
b. What a man!
1) Jude 14 says he prophesied;
2) Hebrews 11:5 says he pleased God:
3) Genesis 5:21 says he walked with God, and what a walk it was!
c. It was a privileged prescribed walk for
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Ps. 37:23)
d. It was a pleasing persistent walk.
10. Enoch was a man who thoroughly understood that faith made the difference.
a. Enoch could truly say "Each step I take just leads me closer home."
b. If Enoch could walk with God and he did, so can we!
11. Abraham was a man who offered by faith (Heb. 11:17‑19; Gen. 22:1‑19).
a. Look at the blessing that was Abraham's because of his obedience to God.
b. Would you offer your only son if called upon by God to do so?
c. Would you?
12. Not only did he offer by faith but he also looked by faith (Heb. ).
a. Yes, he had his eyes wide open.
b. No wonder he is called the friend of God (James ).
c. To be a friend of God, faith has to make the difference.
13. What about Moses?
a. He was a man who led by faith (Heb. -29).
b. Here was a man who esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches
c. than the treasures
14. Loved ones, like these folks we have been studying about,
a. we need (1) a working faith; (2) a worshiping faith; and (3) a walking faith.
b. Faith can never make the difference in our lives until we make faith the difference.
1. Going back to our text, we read that the people said:
"Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?" (Mark ).
2. They did not have the faith to think that Jesus could raise the dead.
a. The same thing is implied of Martha and Mary in John 11:21, 32.
b. Brethren, we don't need to be faithless, only believe.
3. In Mark 5:40 we hear the laugh of disbelief.
a. However, when faith made the difference, the laughing stopped.
b. There are those today who will laugh at the plan of salvation or the church that Jesus built.
4. There were those in the first century, as well as in our day, who
a. turned aside from the faith (1 Tim. 1:5‑6);
b. made shipwreck of the faith (1 Tim. );
c. departed from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1);
d. denied the faith (1 Tim. 5:8);
e. cast off their faith (1 Tim. );
f. erred concerning the faith (1 Tim. );
1) and friends, we can also have our faith overturned
2) if we do not stay in the truth (2 Tim. ).
5. The atheist and agnostic are working hard in our society today
a. to get people to deny the Word of God.
b. The reason for this, of course, is because they realize what will happen
c. if the seed of the kingdom is sown in the hearts of men and left alone.
6. Why do you think the devil takes away the Word of God
a. out of people's hearts (Luke 8:11‑12)?
b. The devil knows that faith makes the difference.
7. Please remember that the man who does not provide for his own
a. has also denied the faith and is worse than an infidel (1 Tim. 5:8).
b. Don’t deny the faith, love it, live in harmony with it, and you will be blessed by it.
1. Jairus didn't let those deniers keep him from believing.
a. Just think of what would have happened if he had followed their instruction.
b. We should never be ashamed of the faith.
1) We should always be ready to defend it (Jude 3).
2) We should never do anything that would bid the false teacher God's speed (2 John 9‑11).
2. We don’t need people in the church who are offended by the truth but who will defend the truth.
a. We need preachers, elders, and members
b. that will preach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3. Many of today’s Gospel Preachers need to go back and study the prophets and learn how to preach.
4. I recently read a little poem entitled "The Preacher in Our Community."
a. The poem ‑ only four lines in all ‑makes the point that,
b. from the behavior of the preacher in their community,
c. people might well conclude that Jesus stilled the sea
d. so that no one would accuse Him of "making waves."
5. I could not help but wonder if the writer of the poem
a. had been carefully observing many preachers in the Lord's church today.
b. I say that because it seems that many preachers (and elders, I might add)
c. at least seem to be more interested in the question
d. as to whether any "waves" are being made
1) than they are in the question as to whether the truth, the whole truth,
2) and nothing but the truth is being preached (cf. Acts ; 2 Tim. 4:1-5; Jude 3),
6. It is past time that elders in the Lord's church arise
a. and do what they are supposed to do ‑ stand for the truth.
b. Elders are to guard the flock against "wolves" (false teachers) (Acts 20:17‑31).
7. Preachers, we need to get on the front line and reprove, rebuke, and exhort as we are taught to do (2 Tim. 4:1‑5).
8. Church members – you are the army of Christ,
a. and every member of the church is a soldier in that army.
b. This valuable truth is set forth in such great passages as Eph. 6:10‑20; 1 Tim. ; 2 Tim. 2:3, & Jude 3.
9. In the early days of the church, it was loved and hated everywhere.
a. This was the case because some men loved the truth
b. and were not about to compromise.
10. If we really believe that faith makes the difference then are we standing for the truth?
a. Are we standing AGAINST:
(2) false views on marriage, divorce, and remarriage;
(3) unity in diversity;
(4) the lie that truth is not absolute or attainable;
(6) atheism and all forms of unbelief,
(7) the false idea that one church is as good as another;
(8) the lie that all we have to do is be baptized for one scriptural reason (such as to obey God)
and that we don't have to know that baptism is for the remission of sins;
(9) instrumental music in New Testament worship;
(10) the lie that there are saved people in all churches;
(11) the false view that honesty and sincerity is all that matters;
(12) false views on the deity of Christ;
(14) worldliness in the Church;
(16) the false doctrine that not everyone is amenable to the law of Christ; and
(17) the false doctrine that grace and law are mutually exclusive.
b. May God help us all to really stand up and defend the truth
c. about God and His Word, the Bible (Ps. 19; 2 Tim. 3:16‑17).
1. The devil is doing everything that he can to keep you from having faith.
a. One of the most effective ways he does this is by deluding faith.
b. He will let you think that you have saving faith, when in reality you don't.
2. Removing works from faith is one of the ways that the devil deludes faith.
a. Our text says, "Only believe" (Mark ),
b. but a careful study of the text will clearly show that Jairus had everything but a dead faith.
3. I ask the question: are works important?
a. We can answer that question by asking a number of questions:
(1) Is glorifying God important (Matt. )?
(2) Is being accepted of God important (Acts 10:34‑35)?
(3) Is belief important (John 6:28‑29)?
(4) Is a faith that is alive important (James )?
(5) Is faith that works by love important (Gal. 5:6)?
(6) Is perfect faith important (James )?
judgment important (Rev. 20:12,
(8) Is entering the Kingdom important (Matt. )?
(9) Is being saved important (Heb. 5:8‑9)? and
(10) Is knowing God important (1 John 2:3‑4)?
b. If any of these are important (and they all are), then works are important
c. because you couldn't have any of these without works.
4. Brethren, don't let the devil rob you of what the Lord wants you to have.
a. Don't be deluded into thinking that works are not necessary.
b. Don't be afraid of the word works.
1) Faith that works is the faith that makes the difference
2) between ours and the faith of the devil (James ).
1. The destiny of Jairus' faith was the life of his daughter (Mark ).
a. How beautiful it is to see the destiny of one's faith.
b. Faith makes the difference!
2. Faith's destiny leads to the forgiveness of sins!
a. Faith in Jesus Christ gives us the right to become the sons of God (John 1:11‑12).
b. That passage says that one who has faith has the power (authority) to become
c. (not “are”) the sons of God.
3. Notice also in this connection that the Gospel
a. is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth (Rom. ).
b. Notice the phrase, "unto salvation,"
c. not “has” but unto, there is a big difference in the two.
4. It is interesting to note that in the preceding verses, God's power and faith are connected.
a. It is not an accident or coincidence that this is true.
b. The power of God and faith will also lead to our eternal salvation…
c. For we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation
d. ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Pet. 1:5).
5. Faith's destiny is:
(1) praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Christ (1 Pet. 1:7),
(2) a crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:6‑8);
(3) to eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7);
(4) a crown of life and no second death (Rev. 2:10‑11);
(5) to eat of the hidden manna, to receive a white stone with a new name (Rev. 2:17);
(6) to have power over the nations and receive the morning star (Rev. 2:26‑28);
(7) to be clothed in white raiment, and have our name in the Book of Life,
and confessed before the Father and before His angels (Rev. 3:5);
(8) to be made a
pillar in the
(9) to be granted a sit with Christ in His throne.
6. We are able to see from these examples, faith's destiny very clearly.
7. Faith's destiny is also emphasized by the descriptions of Heaven. Heaven is:
(1) A place of rest (Rev. 14:13);
(2) A place of righteousness (2 Pet. );
(3) A place of reward (Matt. 5:11‑12),
(4) An eternal place (Matt. 25:46);
8. Heaven is a city (Heb. );
a. It is a Holy city (Rev. 21:10‑27);
b. It is a city not made with hands (2 Cor. 5:1);
c. Everything said about Heaven in the Bible underscores the destiny of faith.
9. The destiny of one's faith is based upon the trying of that faith.
a. There are many examples of a tried faith:
1) Abraham in the offering of his son;
2) Jairus after he found out his daughter was dead
b. (just to name a couple).
10. The Bible abounds with scriptures that point out what a tried faith will do (1 Pet. 1:7; James 1:2‑4).
a. My friend, the LORD tries the hearts of men (Prov. 17:3).
b. Can you walk away from a tried faith saying,
"When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job )?
1. One of the great problems we have in the churches of Christ
a. is that Christians are not as active as they should be.
b. The only way we can overcome the indifference in the church
c. is by following the example of Jesus (get to work for good).
2. The Bible sets forth and emphasizes the ceaseless activity and action of Jesus while upon the earth.
a. When individuals and churches follow the Lord's example,
b. then and only then will faith make the difference.
3. May God help us to have the kind of faith that will bring honor to Him
a. and cause the church to be active
b. and ultimately lead to that heavenly home world without end.
4. We close with these beautiful words from a Gospel preacher who has gone on to his reward:
a. “If there is a life after this life ‑ and there is,
b. and if there is a judgment to come ‑ and there is,
c. and if every accountable person shall stand in judgment before the Christ ‑ and each shall,
d. and if this life is given us that we may prepare for the life to come ‑and this is the case,
e. and if the Bible is our only all sufficient guide in making preparation for the judgment,
and for the life to come ‑ and it is,
f. then, it has to be the case that a knowledge of the Bible
g. is the most important factor in the life and education of an individual.”
5. Loved ones, increase your faith by studying your Bible everyday!