Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /homepages/44/d93618075/htdocs/www.sabangDisciples.org/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 284

In The School of Faith (Part 1)


Mark 4:35-41

I. Introduction: Of the innumerable gifts with which God has blessed us, the greatest is often overlooked. It is something Jesus said a great deal about and something that we use every day. This great gift is faith, and to attain it, we must understand what it truly means to trust God.

II. Three Types of Faith

  • A. Intellectual Faith (Natural Faith)—Believing something is true without proof or commitment. For example, a person can intellectually believe Jesus was a real person who performed miracles but not accept the fact that He was God in Man.
  • B. Faith in God— Believing in God’s existence and His abilities. A person with this kind of faith possesses a confident conviction that God will fulfill what He has promised.
  • C. Saving Faith—Believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a living person, for the forgiveness of sin and trusting Him because He provides eternal life with God. It isn’t enough to simply believe in the actions of Jesus Christ or the abilities of God. True saving faith is more than that; it is a personal relationship with the Savior.

III. Jesus spent a great deal of His time on earth instructing His disciples and helping them understand what true faith is. For example:

  • A. When His disciples were concerned about bread, Jesus reminded them how He fed thousands with only a handful of fish and loaves (Matt. 16:7-11).
  • B. When the disciples could not drive out demons because their faith was little, Jesus explained how faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains (Matt. 17:14-21).

IV. Jesus knew what opposition they would be up against and what they would need to minister to new believers. This is why teaching them about faith was His priority. He knew that for them to be effective as witnesses and servants, they had to have absolute faith in His promises and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

V. Grading Faith. The disciples were human, and their faith went through a process of development.

  • A. No Faith—They lacked it during the storm on the sea (Mark 4:40).
  • B. Little Faith—They were anxious about many things, not always trusting that God would provide (Matt. 6:30).
  • C. Great Faith—A centurion in Capernaum approached Jesus and said that His word alone would be enough to cure a dying servant. Jesus told His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel” (Matt. 8:11). They were meant to learn from this man’s example.
  • D. Faith Failure—Peter experienced this when he denied Christ three times (Luke 22:31-32). These moments are inevitable in our lives; however, God uses them to strengthen our faith and to teach others.

VI. Like the disciples, we all have varying degrees of faith in our relationship with God, and we respond to the Father based on that amount. If we have great faith, He can trust us with bigger challenges and do amazing things through us.

  • A. Our faith grows as we study the Word, listening for His guidance through the Scriptures.
  • B. It is also strengthened when we face and overcome struggles. God uses tests for our good and to make us more capable servants.

VII. Having a saving faith is key because it determines our eternal destiny. Many people are deceived. They think because they go to church, are baptized, and tithe regularly, they are saved. They know Jesus intellectually, but they don’t have a relationship with Him.

  • A. A person who has saving faith both knows the truth of Scripture and practices it (Rom. 1:32).
  • B. Even demons and the devil have intellectual faith. We must both believe and bear fruit (James 2:18-20).
  • C. Jesus is addressed as “Lord” 185 times in the gospels. This is important to note because it shows that the disciples recognized His lordship. This truth is the foundation of our faith, the bedrock upon which everything else is built.
  • D. Those who believe must also express repentance for sin if we truly acknowledge Jesus as our Savior (Luke 24:45-48; Acts 2:36-38). Repentance and faith go hand in hand.

VIII. Conclusion: A saving faith in Jesus Christ means that we accept Him as the Son of God, the only sacrifice that could atone for our sins. As a result, we desire to repent and to surrender every aspect of our lives to Him. He will then transform us and conform us to His image. As we walk with God, the more He will bless each of us with perfect assurance regarding our salvation and our relationship with Him.

(Dr. Charles Stanley. Copyright 2011 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only).