Sunday, August 15, 2010

What is Sin - Part 15 : Unbelief

Part 15 - Unbelief
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |



Mark 9:14-29
14 When He (Jesus) came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
 16"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.
 17A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."
 19"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
 20So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
 21Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"
   "From childhood," he answered. 22"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
 23" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
 24Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
 25When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil[a] spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
 26The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead." 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
 28After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
 29He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting. "


         We see Jesus arrive on a scene where the Disciples have just failed numerous attempts to cast a demon out of a young man.

         The scene is a little chaotic, with the confusion of the Disciples, and the cries of a distraught father compounded by the taunting of the scribes.

         Upon seeing Jesus, the crowds run to Him and greet Him, and He asks what the problem is.

o   NOTE: Jesus asked, not because He did not know, but because He wants us to come to Him, give it to Him, recognize and confess what it is we need, so that when He answers, we know it was a specific answer to a specific request!

         A man comes to Jesus with his possessed son, whom the disciples tried to cast out and failed numerous times already.

         Their failure wounded the man’s faith.

         The man asks Jesus to heal his son, and his wounded faith.

Today we will look at basic faith; the difference between the sin of unbelief, doubt and fear.  We will examine how others can damage our faith and how we can restore that faith!

I.                   FAITH 101

a.      The Father Believed enough to seek the Disciples

                                                             i.      We see in the scripture that the father obviously believed enough in the Lord to bring his possessed son to the Disciples to be healed.

1.      He believed in the beginning.
a.      Jesus told many who came to Him, “Your faith has healed you.”
                                                                                                                                     i.      That faith Jesus was talking about, is the faith that brought them to Him to begin with!
                                                                                                                                  ii.      If you go to Jesus, then you believe He can help!  That is the faith to receive.

2.      We see his belief turned to unbelief after the Disciples numerous failed attempts to cast the demon out of his son.

3.      Other people’s behaviors or words can affect our faith if we are not careful.
a.      This works BOTH ways!
b.     Surrounding yourself with strong faith, will build up and edify you!

                                                          ii.      Because of the Disciples failure, they actually caused more harm than good to others.

1.      We see this with TV evangelists, lost or confused Pastors, Ministers and Prophets, so called faith healers, they may mean well, but do harm because of their lack of knowledge and understanding.

a.      Why did the Disciples fail?
                                                                                                                                     i.      Because they did not understand, they needed to pray and fast to cast this demon out.

                                                                                                                                  ii.      They had been training one-on-one with Jesus 2 ½ years (Just after the Transfiguration)

b.     Scripture tells us in Hosea 4:6 “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”
                                                                                                                                     i.      Because they lacked in Jesus’ teachings, they were not able to accomplish what they set out to do.

                                                                                                                                  ii.      How many times have we failed because we lacked the much-needed knowledge of God’s teachings?

b.     Unbelief, Doubt and Fear
                                                             i.      Unbelief - not believing God can.

                                                          ii.      Doubt - believing God can, but not sure He will.

                                                       iii.      Fear - you have not, because you ask not.
1.      Fear of Failure.

2.      We do not ask, because we do not want to suffer disappointment.

3.      Fear will lead to worry...another sin.

c.      The Sin of Unbelief
                                                             i.      The father had faith to bring his son to the Disciples.
1.      That faith was wounded when the disciples failed at healing his son...they failed numerous times.

2.      His faith was wounded even more from the taunting of the scribes (so called teachers of God’s law), who gloried and reveled in the Disciples failures, looking at it as proof, Jesus was not the Christ and Messiah.

                                                          ii.      The father’s faith, wounded severely by the disciples and scribes, was failing by the time he talked to Jesus.

a.      A Man’s Faith—Damaged
                                                             i.      The father states, “If you can...” to Jesus.
1.      If...unbelief vocalized.

b.     Mending that Wounded Faith
                                                             i.      Jesus tells Him to have faith in Him, and all things are possible.

                                                          ii.      The father cries to Jesus, “Help me with my unbelief!”
1.      Many of us have “unbelief” because of others.
2.      Many of us need help with our unbelief.
3.      We need to increase our faith!

c.      Faith Comes by Hearing the Word of God
                                                             i.      Romans 10:16-18 16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
   "Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
      their words to the ends of the world."

                                                          ii.      Not all the Israelites “believed”
1.      Unbelief is not believing the Word!
2.      Our faith comes by hearing God’s Word!
a.      When we increase our faith through God’s Word, we grow our belief...which erases our unbelief, and eventually doubt, and destroys all fear!

3.      They heard, but did not believe.

a.      Disciples Failure
                                                             i.      Disciples of Christ failed because:
1.      They lacked knowledge.
a.      Are you lacking in knowledge today?

b.     Have you failed in some way, and you are not sure why?

c.      DO NOT let failure wound your belief!

d.     Go deeper into God’s Word and gain His knowledge, so that your faith will increase!

2.      They lacked God’s knowledge
a.      1 Corinthians 1:17-18 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
   "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
      the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

The only knowledge Faith needs for food, is the Word of God!

Do not put your faith in anything (including sacraments of the church) other than Christ alone, the Word made flesh!

Baptism does not save.  Only calling on His name can save you.

Communion does not save.  Only a commitment to the Lord’s covenant, which you do after calling on His name, will keep you in Him.

Prayer of salvation does not save.  Only confession and repentance!

These sacraments of the church are outward expressions of a spiritual truth, which has taken place internally.

The acts themselves do nothing but exclaim to the others what the Lord has done in you through the Holy Spirit!

b.     Father’s Faith / Youth’s Faith
                                                             i.      Jesus addresses three issues in our scripture today.
1.      The Disciples failure
2.      The father’s unbelief
3.      The youth’s possession

                                                          ii.      To the Disciples, Jesus instructs them...
1.      He tells them “why” they failed
2.      He tells them what they need to do

                                                       iii.      To the Father, Jesus helps him...
1.      Jesus shows the father his unbelief
a.      The Word of God always reveals our sin!

2.      Jesus tells him to have faith and all things are possible
a.      NOTE:  The man’s son was not freed from demons because of the DISCIPLES lack of knowledge...NOT the father’s lack of faith!

3.      Too often, I hear of so-called faith healers failing to heal, and they blame the person.
a.      They DID have faith, or they would not have shown up to have a man of God heal them!

b.     Showing up/believing you will receive a healing is all the faith you need!
                                                                                                                                     i.      We see this repeatedly in the scriptures.

c.      It is not God who fails, but those who claim to work on His behalf!
                                                                                                                                     i.      How many people have lost faith, and gained unbelief because of other’s failures...

4.      NOTICE: the young many had no faith at all!
a.      Yet Jesus healed him!

b.     He was incapable of doing anything, yet Jesus healed him!

c.      Miracles serve God, and prove His work and His Word!  Not to satisfy our will, but to fulfill His!
                                                                                                                                     i.      All things MUST serve Him alone.

c.      Jesus Heals / God Forgives
                                                             i.      Jesus healed this young man, although the young man was unconscious to his surroundings.

                                                          ii.      Jesus also cast the demons out of another man on the island, without the man’s knowledge, permission or belief!

                                                       iii.      When it comes to demon possession, God says “No.”


What is doubt?  Knowing God can, but not sure God will.
We need more FAITH, and then we will know and understand God’s will.

What is fear?  Thinking God may, but really doubt he can.
We need more FAITH, and then we know that through Jesus Christ all things are possible.

What is the sin of unbelief?  Not believing God can.
With the sin of unbelief, we lack FAITH.

Doubt, fear and unbelief has but one increase in FAITH.

How do we defeat doubt, fear and the sin of unbelief?

·        Increase your faith!
o   Faith comes by hearing the Word of God!
§  Listen to sermons on the radio
§  Listen to encouraging Christian music
§  Watch Christian ministers on TV
§  MOST OF God’s Word

o   Surround yourself with believers of FAITH
§  Just as your belief can be wounded by others, it can also be increased by other as well!

§  This is why we MUST go to church!
·        Not to be “saved” or go to heaven, but so believers who can “build” and “edify” will surround you!

o   Read the Word and focus on Jesus, through whom all things are possible!

If you have struggled with belief, faith, doubt or fear, call out to Jesus and ask Him to help you with your unbelief!

This is a prayer He will answer!

This is a prayer I have seen Him answer!

This is a prayer He wants to answer!