Stepping Up To Believe
When we want to take a journey, we usually worry about the logistics first. For example, we think about the cost, where we will stay, how will we travel, etc. But the journey never really begins unless we take the first step toward our destination. This is true also for our journey of faith. There must come a point wherein we will no longer worry about the spiritual logistics. For example, what does it mean to follow Jesus, how will I follow, what if I fail, etc? We will just take a step of faith toward actually believing and following Jesus together with others and leaving all other concerns to God. How do we do this?
- Hear and Understand the Gospel. (vv.1-4) – The first step in becoming a sincere follower of Jesus is to hear and understand the Gospel. Unless this happens, our faith will be shallow or even empty. We must believe in something, not just believe. That “something” must be the true Gospel or the “Good News” about Jesus Christ.
- Believe in the Gospel. (vv.5-13) – True faith begins in the heart. Going to church or doing “Christian” things does not mean we have true faith, although having true faith would result in such activities. The heart is where we make decisions or choices. It’s where our true desires come from. Therefore, to follow Jesus means to believe in Him from our hearts.
- Act on the Gospel. (vv.14-17) – Although faith happens inside the heart, first of all, there are actions that would confirm it. For example, our mouths will confess “Jesus is Lord”. We will also allow ourselves to be water baptized. We will join a community of faith (our next topic) and follow Jesus together with others. Without such actions, our faith is empty or dead.
- Central Idea: “Now may be the time to step up and believe in Jesus.”
- There is no rush in believing in Jesus. But sometimes we delay our decision because we want to be sure about everything.
- Faith is taking the step toward following Jesus even though you don’t have all the answers yet.
- Who do some people struggle with taking a step to follow Jesus?
- What have you learned today that is helpful in understanding this struggle?
- What would you do in response to what you have learned in this sermon?