Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“The Risen King Sends His People”
October 29, 2017
This lesson can be very difficult, not to understand, but in its application to our lack of faith. Sometimes, even for believers, if it doesn’t add up, doesn’t follow the norm, is uncomfortable we have trouble believing.
Giving by faith … (Barnabas/Ananias and Saphira)
Leaving our comfort zone for another culture or country … (Abraham leaving the Ur of Chaldees)
Approaching a stranger with the Gospel …
Responding to personal tragedy … (Job)
Faith is rarely easy …. Ask Noah
Thomas’ Condition for Belief (John 20:24-25).
Known by many as “Doubting Thomas.”
Doubt is sin; it is dangerous to the believer because it prevents one from obedience to God. It is damning to the sinner because it causes one to reject Jesus Christ.
While the witness of others is importance and encourages faith, personal experience is imperative to faith.
The disciples reported to Thomas what they had seen, but Thomas refused to believe apart from a personal encounter with Christ. He wanted physical evidence to prove the case of the Lord’s resurrection.
Every time God stretches our trust in Him our faith is on trial … we will either obey trusting God, or we reject His will unwilling to believe what we do not know.
CAN YOU THINK OF A TIME GOD STRETCHED YOUR FAITH, ASKING YOU TO DO SOMETHING THAT REQUIRED FAITH IN HIM?
See: James 1:6-8
Too often we act from facts or feelings, and not by faith.
Jesus Command to Believe (John 20:26-27).
Can you imagine the frustration Thomas was experiencing? The others were experiencing the joy of faith while Thomas was living in doubt.
Doubt crushes the spirit, producing fear and anxiety.
Once again, Jesus appears miraculously having passed through the locked doors.
Once again Jesus greeted the disciples, and more pointedly, Thomas, “Peace be with you.” Thomas, at this time, was living a peace-less existence that could only be resolved by faith in Christ.
Without rebuke, Jesus told Thomas to touch His wounds and believe.
Absent faith, Christianity would be rendered null and void. Faith the cornerstone of Christianity. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Thomas’ Confession of Faith (John 20:28-29).
Thomas’ faith was supported by what he saw. Thomas could believe, and did, because of the physical evidence before him.
Real faith however, occurs apart from physical evidence … “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Believers today are blessed because they have not witnessed the empty tomb, view the wounds in his hands and feet, etc, yet believe.
Our initial faith flows out of the Word of God, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Our faith also grows as we experience Christ through obedience. Every time we trust Him our faith is increased.
Faith is not a blind leap into the darkness. God has told us what He will do if we obey Him.
Theological Theme: Faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Christological/Christ Connection: If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9-10). Faith in the resurrection of Christ is both essential to salvation and Christian service.
Missional Application: AS Jesus was patient with Thomas, we must be patient with those having trouble believing in Jesus as the resurrected Savior. By the ways, ours is not to convince, but to share hat we have experienced through the eyes of faith.