Faith is belief that does not rest solely on logical proof or material evidence. Belief without seeing.
Pastor Tommy Moseley started today's message with Luke 17:5. And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
The twelve disciples of Jesus, those that were around Jesus our Lord, felt that they didn't have enough faith and asked Jesus to give them more. And the next verse is one of the most quoted of Jesus's teachings: If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.
As the lesson plan states: When it comes to faith, it's quality, not quantity, that counts.
Faith Required to Please God
Without faith it is impossible to please God as Hebrews 11:6 points out. But it can be difficult to have faith as "The heart is deceitful about all things, and desperately wicked " Jeremiah 16:9
The disciples knew this, they knew this about themselves and thus asked the question that this sermon was started with.
Jesus also presented an extremely difficult test of faith. Right before the disciples asked for more faith Jesus presented them with a challenge: And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him. Luke 17:4
Pastor Moseley pointed out that to do so, to forgive someone seven times in one day for doing the same thing wrong against you, is nearly impossible for us (and I only say nearly because all things are possible with Christ). Imagine someone doing something against you seven times, asking for forgiveness each time and you giving it to them. It's difficult enough to forgive someone after two times.
Faith And Righteousness
Isaiah 64:6 says all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. What does this mean? It means that we can't rely on good works to save us, because even our best efforts fall way short.
Pastor Moseley gave a good example of our righteousness by talking about selling his truck (sorry folks, just an example as his truck is not on the market). Pastor Moseley pretended to be selling his truck and we made him an offer, an all cash offer or one penny ($0.01). He obviously refuses it. So for us to sweeten the deal we take that penny and shine it up making it look like new and present it again to Pastor Moseley. And obviously he still ignores the offer. Now the truck represents our entrance to heaven while the penny is our righteousness and obviously our righteousness can't save us. But our faith, what little we have, can.
And Jesus will reward that faith in heaven where he is building mansions, John 14:2, for all of us believers (I hope mine has a pool with a slide).