Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Power of the Word

WELCOME

INTRODUCTION TO SERMON

Jesus has just finished the Sermon on the Mount. He and his Disciples and Apostles begin to travel from Galilee to Capernaum.

This is where we begin this morning.

SCRIPTURE READING

Luke 7:1 – 10 THE POWER OF THE WORD

1 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 6 So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."

10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.”

I. THE CENTURIONS SERVANT WAS ILL AND ABOUT TO DIE

a. He was highly valued by his master.

i. Servant = Employee

ii. Centurion = Roman Officer (Gentile)

iii. The Servant was ill and about to die

b. Having heard about Jesus, the centurion sent Jewish Elders to Him.

i. Lit. WHEN he heard about Jesus.

ii. Sent Jewish Elders because he thought they would have more influence in Jesus’ coming to him because he was a Gentile.

1. How many times others seek Jesus for us.

a. When we are ill.

b. When we need healing.

c. When we need Salvation.

d. When we need guidance in our lives.

2. How many times do we send others in our place?

a. We feel unworthy of God.

b. We think God listens to others but not us.

c. We think God cares more for others than us because we are not holy enough.

c. The Jewish Elders earnestly sought Jesus’ help.

i. The Jewish Elders came on the Centurions behalf (by his command)

ii. The Jewish Elders tell Jesus the Centurion was worthy to receive this request from Jesus because he “loves our nation”, “he built us a synagogue”.

iii. But these WORKS are never the basis for answers from Jesus, whether it is for prayer, healing etc.

iv. Faith in Jesus is the basis for all we receive from the Lord.

1. Your Faith has healed you.

2. Your Faith is counted as righteousness.

3. Your Salvation is by God’s grace, but comes by your Faith.

4. Faith is greater than works.

5. But our Faith without action is DEAD Faith.

a. Centurion had Faith Jesus could do something so he SENT for Jesus.

b. Centurion had Faith Jesus could do something so he had his friends PLEAD with Jesus.

c. Centurion had Faith Jesus could do something, so he SENT A MESSAGE saying, “I know by Your Word he will be made well.”

d. The Centurion had Faith AND he had action to go with that faith.

6. The crippled man at the waters edge had Faith when the angel troubled the water, the first one there would be healed. BUT he had no action. Year after year he sat at the waterside, and never made it to the water.

7. We receive by ALIVE FAITH. Our Faith is made alive by our actions.

II. JESUS WENT WITH THE JEWISH ELDERS

a. Centurion sent friends to stop Jesus from entering his house.

i. Jesus went with the Jewish Elders to the Centurions house.

ii. When He was close to the house, the Centurion sent friends out to Him.

b. The Centurion felt he was unworthy.

i. The friends repeated the Centurions words, “Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.”

1. Who does?

2. None are worthy.

3. All of OUR righteousness is as dirty rags.

4. But if you have accepted the Lord as your savior, it is HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS we have. By God’s Grace, and Our Faith, we receive of the Lord.

5. God seeks the humble and resist the proud.

ii. Although the Jewish Elders said the Centurion was worthy of this, the Centurion himself sent friends to humbly tell Jesus he felt un-worthy.

iii. The Centurion wanted Jesus to know that he was a Gentile.

III. HE UNDERSTOOD AUTHORITY

a. He had authority himself and understood Jesus’ authority.

i. Centurion explained his authority and understanding of authority.

ii. He related this to the authority of the spoken WORD of Jesus.

b. But he had Faith in the WORD of Jesus.

i. The Centurion states the he KNOWS he is unworthy of anything from Jesus.

ii. He states that he is a Gentile.

iii. He says the reason he sent the Jewish Elders was because he felt that he himself was unworthy to even be in the presence of Jesus.

iv. Through THIS HUMILITY, and the Centurions FAITH in Jesus, he would receive from Christ.

c. Jesus said his Faith was greater than any even in Israel.

i. Jesus tells the Disciples and Apostles, all those who were following Him, “I have not seen such a great faith, not in Israel.”

ii. Although this man was a Gentile, he sought Jesus.

iii. Seek and you will find.

iv. Although this man said he knew he was unworthy, in this, he showed humility and selflessness in wanting a healing for another.

v. This man was righteous because of his seeking the Lord, humbling himself before the Lord, and requesting in Faith something he knew the Lord was capable of.

d. The friends of the Centurion returned to find the servant healed.

i. The prayer of the righteous achieve much.

CONCLUSION

If you need healing for someone today, come forward for them.

If you need salvation for someone today, come forward and we will pray for them.

If you feel unworthy of the touch of the Lord, but want it, come forward and I will pray for you.

By God’s grace, salvation is made available for those who humble themselves and seek the Lord in Faith.

By that Faith you will be saved.

And then you will receive the promise of the Father, born new into His kingdom.

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