#1. Amazing faith starts with recognizing ________________.
Another way to say this is that amazing faith begins with humility. Humility is rightly looking at ourselves and realizing that everything doesn’t revolve around us.
“… he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” Luke 7:5b NIV
“That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you…” Luke 7:7a NIV
Here is a man with an understanding of exactly who he is and what he can do. A powerful man with responsibilities.
#2. Amazing faith has nothing to do with _______________.
Christianity is much more about a relationship with Jesus and the desire to live by His principles, than a practice of religious activity OR a family background or religious heritage. The concept of a centurion being someone who could amaze Jesus with His faith is proof that it’s not about where we come from, who we know, or our religious practices.
“The centurion … sent some elders of the Jews to him.” Luke 7:3b NIV
Moving the Christian faith away from a Jewish - centric religion is a vital part of our story. And again a centurion was involved!
“At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing.” Acts 10:1-2a NIV
#3. Amazing faith has everything to do with ___________ .
Amazing faith starts with and continues with Jesus… and Jesus only!
“The centurion heard of Jesus.” Luke 7:3a NIV
Do we ever get in the way of people hearing bout Jesus? Do they have to hear about us first? Or our church?
“Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.” Luke 7:6b NIV
#4. Amazing faith understands __________ in God’s creation.
What exactly did the centurion say or do that was so amazing to Jesus?
“For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one,’Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Luke 7:8 NIV
(A) He understood the authority of God in the universe; (B) He understood that God (through Jesus) could do anything because He was the Creator; (C) He understood that God’s power could work through him if he asked Jesus. This is what’s necessary to exercise great faith. It starts with God and his authority and power and ends with believing God’s power ultimately could work through us. See why correct humility is so important?
Let’s break this understanding of God’s authority down -
(A) God has authority in the universe - He is the creator!
“The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” Psalm 135:6 NIV
Amazing faith starts with the view that God is running the show. He can do anything that pleases Him in all the world, whatever or whenever that is.
(B) Impossible is impossible with God!
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 ESV
Luke 1:37 comes from the Angel to Mary. Is it possible for a barren woman to give birth to a baby? Is it possible for a virgin to conceive? For us that is inconceivable. But for the angel who was accustomed to hanging out with God? No big deal. Why? Simple! “For nothing is impossible with God!”
(C) God’s power can work through me!
“Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” Eph. 3:20 GW
God can do anything He wants in any way that He wants. What is truly remarkable is that He loves to work through those people who follow Jesus as their Lord. Apostle Paul writing to Christians says about God’s power - that it “is at work in us.” You are literally like little power stations walking around the world. And you cannot begin to believe just how much of God’s power is available through you! Notice the language. “More than we can ask.”“More than you can even imagine asking.” How much more? “Infinitely!”
Faith never stops. Always one more step. Always growing. How?
#5. Amazing faith grows out of __________________.
“Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” Luke 7:10 NIV
Our amazing faith grows by watching Jesus do amazing things through our faith. Luke doesn’t record that Jesus said anything or did anything. The entire focus [weirdly] is upon the men who had been sent. Why do you think? Because the issue is what they found. The servant, who 7 verses before was “about to die” is now found well. The difference? Certainly the answer of Jesus would be correct. But isn’t it more? Isn’t it also the amazing faith of the centurion?
Do you think that centurion would ever look at his faith in Jesus in the same way again? Do you think his faith would be strengthened?
Here’s the challenge - We are quick to ask in prayer, as if we are checking off the next thing so we can feel like we’ve done everything. When the prayer is answered we are just as quick to forget. To forget the urgency. To forget the faith. To forget Jesus’ role in answering our faith. And so our faith is never really built up.
Experience with Jesus means remembering all those times when He has provided answers. Allowing our faith to grow as a result. One experience builds on another experience. Our faith can be amazing. Because the One in Whom we believe is also amazing.