Faith or Unbelief
Do You Believe God's Report?
- Summary: The bible is a rich treasure trove of God’s wisdom and revelation. The prophet Isaiah called it His “report” and lamented people’s failure to believe it. In this sermon we will look at some key biblical issues, and we will ask, “Have you believed God’s report?”
Isaiah 53:1, KJV Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
- •• The prophet Isaiah proceeds in his God-inspired “report” to speak prophetically of several facets of our great salvation in Jesus Christ.
- •• But the prophet also laments that there will be those who will not believe God’s report that he goes on to share.
- •• And that remains a problem right up into our 21st century. All kinds of “faiths” and belief systems abound. But that which will change your life for both time and eternity is believing God’s “report”, as revealed in Scriptures such as Isaiah 53 and throughout the bible.
- •• Our faith is not in generalities, not in man’s wisdom, not in the latest fads or societal customs. No, our faith is to be laser-focused on what I will call in this sermon God’s report — His timeless truths revealed in His holy bible.
2 Peter 1:20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
- •• How did Scripture come into being? “Men spoke from God ... by the Holy Spirit.”
- •• Men such as the prophets Isaiah (above) and Jeremiah, the apostles Peter, Paul, John, and others heard from God and wrote down these revelations in what we call the bible.
- •• The bible contains God’s “report”, concerning which Isaiah asked the timeless question: “Who hath believed [it]?”
- •• In the rest of our message today, permit me to pose the question:
Do you believe God’s
• Salvation in Jesus Christ
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Acts 16:30-31 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.”
Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out...
- •• God has only one plan for the salvation of mankind — repentance and faith towards Jesus Christ, the crucified and resurrected Son of God.
- • Concerning salvation being found only in Jesus Christ, the apostle Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
- •• Have you believed God’s report concerning salvation? If not, there is no better time than now to take these next few minutes and find eternal life through Jesus Christ. Click the blue link and allow evangelist Billy Graham to explain briefly the simple steps to peace with God.
• The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 1:7-8 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 11:29 God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
- •• Jesus began His Church with widespread manifestations of spiritual gifts, or “gifts of the Holy Spirit”. These supernatural gifts were never taken from the Church. No, but rather they are “irrevocable”. God has promised that His Church will “not lack any spiritual gift ... to the end”. Click the blue link just above for a detailed biblical proof that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still valid for Christians today.
1 Corinthians 14:26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
- •• The New Testament church service was intended by God from the very beginning of the Church Age to include God’s word (“a word of instruction”), worship (“a hymn”), and the spiritual gifts (represented here by “a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation”).
- •• Do you believe God’s report concerning the importance and present validity of the gifts of the Spirit? Or, as so many churches have done, have you properly featured God's word and worship, but unbiblically relegated the spiritual gifts to the first century? Remember, the apostle said that “all of these must be done for the strengthening of the church”. “All” — word, worship, and spiritual gifts — not just the first two.
• Divine Healing
Psalm 103:2-3 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.
Matthew 8:16-17 ...[Jesus] healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”
Mark 1:40-41 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
- •• Do you believe God’s report concerning what is variously called spiritual healing, divine healing, or faith healing?
- • Have you, like the leper, continued in the “if you are willing” mindset? Or do you trust in Jesus’ answer concerning healing the sick — "I am willing”!
- • Have you forgotten this wonderful, divinely promised benefit? That is, that the Lord “heals all your diseases.” Has unbelief deprived you of this wonderful promise of God?
- • Or have you relegated spiritual healing to something that may happen to a few “other” people, but not to you? If so, you have forgotten God’s report that says, “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”
- •• Believe for and expect a new wave of divine healing to return to the latter-day church, even as it was commonly experienced in the early church. God has not changed from His self-revealed identity — “I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26, KJV).
• Speaking in Tongues
Mark 16:15-17 He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues.
Acts 2:4, 38-39 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them....  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
- •• Do you believe God’s report that there is for you, in the 21st century, a mighty baptism with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues? Do you believe God’s report that speaking in tongues is for you today? Or have you been turned away from this great biblical blessing by preachers who do not have this powerful Spirit baptism in their own lives, and therefore speak against it?
- • Notice that the verses above (in Mark 16) link speaking in tongues to the Great Commission, which is for the entire Church Age.
- • Notice above also that Peter, in Acts 2, said that this “promise” of Pentecost was not just for those present on that day in Jerusalem, but also “for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call”.
- •• The baptism with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, is for you today. Believe God’s report and turn a deaf ear to the negativity preached by those who would try to convince you to ignore this great biblical blessing. Reject unbelief and have faith in God's Word, remembering that it was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who promised: "These signs will accompany those who believe ... they will speak in new tongues."
• Answered Prayer
James 4:2 ...You do not have, because you do not ask God.
1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.
Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
- •• Do you believe God’s report that assures you that He is a God who answers prayer?
- • James corrects the error of so many who do not receive answers because they do not ask! Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive” (John 16:24).
- • We can have confidence for answered prayer, said the apostle John, “if we ask anything according to his will”. Study the bible diligently, for in it you will find God’s revealed will. Ask for those things, and you will be amazed at how consistently your prayers are answered.
- • And don’t just ask hoping; no, but rather ask in faith, believing Jesus’ promise that “if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”.
• Modern Day Prophets and Apostles
Ephesians 4:8, 11 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men” ...  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.
- •• Not just while He was on earth, but “when He ascended” back to heaven Jesus Christ gave five ministries (not just one or two) — apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. There is nowhere in the New Testament that shows Jesus stopped giving all five ministries.
- •• I have taught extensively on this topic at Christian Prophets and Modern Day Apostles. These two ministries are vital to and needed throughout the entire Church Age as an ongoing “foundation” to the New Testament church (Ephesians 2:20).
- •• Do you believe God’s report concerning the multiple ministries He has given His Church? Or have you eliminated several of these ministries without biblical justification for doing so, thereby leaving yourself with the more limited ministry impact of just one or two of the “fivefold” ministry?
We have looked at a few major issues of God’s biblical “report” — salvation, spiritual gifts, divine healing, speaking in tongues, answered prayer, and the validity of apostles and prophets today. Choose to believe the Lord for these things, and your life will be greatly blessed!
There is much, much more in God’s word of great relevance to your walk with God. May I suggest that you browse our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Bible, where you are likely to find Scriptural answers to other bible questions you have been pondering. May God bless you as you continue to pursue the rich truths of His word.
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©2009, 2018 James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.