Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Yesterday I told you that on Sunday we would resume our study of the Gospel of John in chapter seven. I WAS WRONG! I put that in all caps so it is easier for you to cut and paste it into whatever format you will use to send me a reminder that I admitted it. Part of the issue was that my sermon schedule for October was not available to me due to a Microsoft security issue. I could not access my files in the cloud. You can check out the validity of that on any tech news site. So I guessed. That’s dangerous at my age, when I can’t even remember to turn off the oven after making supper last night.
Anyway, this week we are going to back up to John 6, verses 66 through 71, and talk about another significant question – “What is real faith?”
We live in a world of fakes. At times we are all one. But there is nothing productive about fake faith. Fake faith is based on fake truth. Fake truth is the product of the sin nature in each one of us that demands personal benefit for every investment. Fake faith offers the fake security of immediate gratification while providing no security for the future, especially not for eternity.
One aspect of fake faith is that it requires no commitment. The commitment level of fake faith is based solely on immediate benefits. When benefits are removed, faith is renounced. To paraphrase John Piper, “Far too many people would be willing to accept heaven without the presence of Jesus if they could be assured that all their needs were being met and prosperity was the rule of life.”
That’s what happened at the end of the sixth chapter of John.
John 6:66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
Fake faith demands more miracles. Fake faith wants more food. Fake faith wants easy teachings that stroke our hurting egos. Fake faith is exposed when Jesus says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
Fake faith walks away from Jesus. Fake faith wants the flesh gratified. Fake faith wants life in the flesh, and isn’t satisfied with life from the Spirit. Fake faith forces us to walk away when we don’t get what we want.
How do you know if you have real faith or fake faith? Check your commitment level. Is Christ enough, or do you need material blessing along with Jesus? Saving faith can only be placed in Christ, not in benefits. The blessing of grace is the basis of real faith. Understanding grace is the foundation of commitment. Fake faith is based on a belief that we deserve more. Real faith is grateful for grace that gives us life when we don’t deserve it.
So check your commitment level. Are you only faithful to follow Jesus when things go your way and benefit you? That’s not real faith. Real faith is satisfied with Jesus, and nothing more is needed.