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Matthew 17:14-23 ESV
And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.
I. DARK FORCES VISIBLY AT WORK (14-16)
A. Demon possession shows itself visibly by causing epilepsy.
B. Because we deny supernatural in America, Satan uses other methods to enslave us to Himself but he is still at work.
II. FAITH IN THE WRONG THINGS (17-20)
A. Disciples are “faithless.” They have faith but in the wrong thing, themselves, not Jesus.
III. DEFINING FAITH
A. Faith is not hope but being sure that the things we are hoping for are going to happen. (Hebrews 11:1)
B. Faith in God is not given with no evidence to support that trusting God is a good idea.
C. Faith is trusting God in the present & future because He has always made good on His promises in the past.
IV. A FINAL ASK AND ANSWER (9-13)
A. Faith does not do anything but confesses that God in His grace has already done it.
B. Misunderstanding faith turns it into the means by which we get God to do what we want.
C. Faith as an idol leaves no room for grace. God is only responding to what we do not coming to us even though we don’t deserve it.
V. HOW FAITH CHANGES WHAT WE DO
A. It makes us people of prayer because prayer is our ultimate weapon in spiritual war with Satan for human hearts.
B. It changes our approach to prayer. We no longer go through the motions but desperately beg God to move.
C. It changes our attitude in prayer. We pray expecting God to answer. (James 1:6-8)
D. Praying expectantly means not only believing God is able but that He loves you enough to want to do on your behalf. (Matt 7:7-11)
E. It changes the substance of our prayers as we stop praying for the ordinary and start praying for the eternal.
1. Since we are born doubting God faith is not just a one-time thing but something we do daily. (17:22-23)
2. Faith is a gift from God. Ask God to help your unbelief. (Mark 9:24)