It’s always a happy “coincidence” (the scare quotes are for the benefit of all you Calvinists!) when the Sunday School lesson perfectly dovetails with the sermon. Sunday’s common theme was faith. Before the morning service, Richard spoke on Noah’s faith from Hebrews 11:7. And during the service, I preached on the true nature of saving faith from John 12:36 – 50.
Richard pointed out that, just by our being indoors at church on a gorgeous spring day with clear skies and a warm sun, we must be exercising faith in far greater unseen realities!
In my sermon text, John describes the unbelief of the Jews who saw the signs Jesus performed yet did not – indeed, could not! – put their faith in him as their Savior. By depicting their lack of faith in Christ, and giving us the reasons for it, John indirectly teaches us about genuine, saving faith. My four points were:
1. Saving faith is a gift of God’s grace.
2. Saving faith seeks the glory that comes from God.
3. Saving faith believes Christ is the Son of God.
4. Saving faith is made known through obedience to the Word of Christ.
I ended by reminding the congregation it’s not that we are saved by a great faith, but that we are saved by faith in a great Savior. Our faith may be weak and small at times, but if even a mustard-size faith can move mountains (Matt. 17:20), then it can also save us. By faith we overcome the world (1 John 5:4) because the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2) has overcome the world for us (John 16:33).
At the evening service, I spoke on the kingship of Christ from Westminster Shorter Catechism #26.