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Sunday Message – Today Jesus 114

11/03/07
<Luke 18:35-43>

YOUR FAITH HAS SAVED YOU


Read <Luke 18:35-43>
• v35 No matter how successful a person is, he has a soul of a beggar as long as he
doesn’t know God
• v38 Sons of David = Jesus Christ = Saviour = Messiah. The blind person had called
Christ correctly
• v39 A person who really know the Lord will want to get closer to the Lord regardless
of the prosecution faced
• v41 Everyday, the Lord is asking what He can do for us

• We know from <Luke> that the blind man is called Bartimaeus. His greatest desire was
to see since he was born blind
• We are also blind, spiritually, since we are not able to see God. Thus, we are always at a
loss
• When our eyes are opened, we are able to give all glory to God despite our conditions
• A person will only anticipate if he believes
• All of us are imperfect. We worship God because we know that we have problems and
are incomplete. Thus, we worship God with an anticipating heart. We must know that
when we aren’t capable, God is capable
• We do not believe blindly. Our faith must enable us to know Christ. We will never receive
answers if we put our faith on things that God has never promised us
• We must believe in the Trinity God
• Our faith is different from the beliefs of religious people
• We do not believe blindly, mystically or wildly
• It does not matter how long we have known or how determined we are in believing that
the Sun rises from the West. This is a fact that will not be changed
• It is a fact that all men dead in their transgressions and sins because God has fixed this.
God has also determined to be with us always
• Therefore, God has never failed to love us. Our problems come from disbelieving the
facts
• It doesn’t require great strength to believe in facts
• Our belief will not be correct if we need to use a lot of strength to believe
• A lot of Believers try to prove that God is alive by using a lot of strength and methods.
This is really unnecessary

1. The faith of knowing Christ – “Jesus, Son of David!”


1) Heard and anticipate: The blind Bartimaeus heard the news that “the blind sees, the
limp walks, those with leprosy will be cleansed, the deaf hears, and the dead arises!”
• God reveals the truth through Jesus Christ
• Bartimaeus believed just by hearing the miracles performed by Jesus Christ.
Since then, he had been anticipating Jesus Christ to heal him
• The Lord came to him because of his anticipation
• A person with no anticipation will never be able to meet God no matter how long
he has been worshipping God
• A person with anticipation will definitely see God walking pass. Just like those
surrounding the blind, people who do not have any anticipation will not recognize
God even when He walked past
2) More importantly, Bartimaeus knew: Jesus of Nazareth is the “Son of David”
• The rest of the people knew Jesus as just another person from Nazareth
• “Root of Jesse” written in <Isaiah> refers to “son of David”, the one who will
come to save all
• “son of David” was also mentioned in <Matthew 1:1>
• The 3 anointed roles of Jesus Christ:
• The Prophet: He came to reveal God’s Word to us. He came to tell us how our
future will be
• The Priest: He died for all our sins. He is now seated at the throne above,
interceding for us. All the problems of men come from sins. Thus, we only need to
be cleansed
• The King: Not a single problem is able to overcome Him
• We do not call upon the Lord because we do not know Him
• Even though the Apostles had been with the Lord for 3 years, Jesus Christ still
asked them, “who am I?” This shows that they did not really know Him <Mat 16>
• God wants to build His Church on the Truth and not on our zealousness or gifts
• God will build the Temple in the Believers who know the Truth
• After hearing God’s Word, we need to build up the Truth in our daily fields. God’s
Word shouldn’t be abstract

3) Establish the Temple, Altar: The result of “knowing Christ” is to format God’s Truth
(i.e. Bible)
• After hearing God’s word, we will need to establish the temple and to build our
lives on the Truth
• This is what it means by formatting God’s Word
• The first thing we need to do after knowing God is to establish the Holy Temple
• We belong to God. Thus, God’s guidance and perfect will are in all the things we
do
• The first thing that Abraham did when he left his house was to build an altar
• Likewise, the first thing that Moses did when he left Egypt was to build a Temple
• There is the Most Holy Place inside the Holy Temple. Our sins are cleansed and
our strength is restored in it
• Believers will feel the agony and grumble whenever they face any problems
because they have not established a Temple
• A Believer will hear God’s voice and know God’s perfect will after he has restored
the “Most Holy Place”
• We should not be busy, involving in ministries the moment we receive our
salvation as we still do not know what God is doing in our lives
• The lives of a lot of Believers are not changed even though they’d been attending
church for many years. This is because they’d not build the Temple

4) Use our entire life to believe and obey the formatted Truth
• We will definitely receive strength after we’d formatted the Truth
• Which Christian has the most strength? Not those who are simply zealous and
crazy for God
• The Christian who has the most strength is the one who is “not fake”
• Some Believers goes around evangelizing with zeal, just to show others that the
God they believe in is real
• In fact, a person who really knows God only need to put in his effort to be “real”
• A lot of people are going everywhere to evangelize with zeal for God. However,
they have no feeling towards their family members or colleagues. These people
are very “fake”
• To be “not fake” means our motives must be used by God
• A person is “fake” when he is zealous for God without first meeting Him. Some
even want to serve God as a full-time Preacher

2. The faith to call out to Christ. ‘shouted all the more “son of David, have mercy on me!”’
• How much we have known our Lord corresponds to how much we call out to Him
• The illness of the Believers is the lack of desire to call out to Him
• We must call out to God at least once! A person who does not wish to call out to God
will not feel any difference whether he is in church or at home

1) The most beautiful and strengthened Christian living is one who will call out to God
every moment
• It is already a blessing for a person to have the desire to call out to God
• We are called by God to be His children. We are called to be the bride of Jesus
Christ. It is only right for the bride to fix her eyes upon the groom
• Our relationship with God is like Father and son. It is only right for a new born to
rely and build a close bond with his dad
• We will only call out to God when we really know what’s the relationship between
us and Him
• If we do it correctly, our hearts will change every time we call out to God

2) We will receive answers that are beyond what we’d asked for when we call out to the
Lord
• God loves us. Thus, He will definitely answer us when we call out to Him
• Jesus Christ had already nailed all our sins and problems on the Cross
• It is a sin if we do not call out to God even when we are in agony because we are
looking down on the Cross
• There are times that we do not call out to God even when we have problems,
because, we think “so what if I ask?” This means we look down on God and look
down on the work and fulfillment of Jesus Christ on the Cross
• Jesus Christ had performed many miracles when He was on Earth. He had
changed water to wine and had fed a few thousands with five loaves and two
fishes
• Why is it necessary for Jesus Christ to perform miracles? He need not prove
Himself as God
• Jesus performed miracles to show that He is able to answer all our requests
since He is able to do anything
• Why did Jesus need to go up the Cross? It is to show how great His love for us
is!
• God has His reasons for everything He does
• God gives us answers beyond what we’d asked for. We can see this in our family
and in our work
• The only criteria for us to see things that are beyond what we’d asked for is we
must not be stubborn
• A parent should not persistently ask their children to listen to them and not be
naughty. They must discover God’s perfect will. God wants us to rely on Him in
times of difficulty
• God will not answer our selfish desire
• Selfish desire means putting self desire above God’s, getting angry with God
when he cannot see God or get what he wants
• <James 1> tells us that we will not see God’s answer when our hearts are not
right

3) Only a person who really knows the mystery of prayers and knows that his prayers
will definitely be answered will call out to God
• Bartimaeus continued shouting to Jesus when everyone was rebuking him
because he had gotten hold of the mysteries of prayers
• <Romans 8> says “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words
cannot express”. It means that as we pray, we will receive convictions and more
prayer topics. Thus, we will want to discover more of God’s perfect will
• Why did God give us rationality? So that we will know what to ask
• What are the crucial factors for us to receive answered prayers? It is not about
calling out to God with repetitive words
• We are praying to God, our Father. First and foremost, we must be very sure of
our identity. A person who knows his identity will not ask God for rice
• We pray with the love for God in mind. To love God means to love His kingdom
and His purpose. We pray in accordance to our Master’s will
• Our Heavenly Father loves us and is more concerned over our children and
spouse than us. Thus, we need not be worried for them or be always praying for
their safety. If we are praying to God such that more people are able to know
Him, God will personally take care of us and our family
• Since we know what God’s desire is, we should examine ourselves to see how
our lives can be in tune with His desire
• When we teach our children, we should just treat them as human beings whom
God has given birth to. And we must give them some time to change
• We should teach our children in accordance to the perfect will of the Holy Spirit.
God will use even the mistake we make as it is made in accordance to His
perfect will
• To “pray in Jesus’ name”, is not a secret or special voice command
• To “pray in Jesus’ name” means to know our identity in Christ, to have Christ’s
purpose, desire and to know God’s will (love God, love men) when we pray

4) Practical results will come when a Saint prays correctly


• Without knowing how to pray correctly, a person will not be able to cast the evil
spirit from a person no matter how he continues to pray in Jesus’ name. The
more he prays, the more undesirable things might come
• We can only see the result of prayers when the Holy Spirit works
• Good things will come only when Satan is cast away and the kingdom from
heaven comes
• Good things happen in the spiritual realm
• Our problems will not depart from us unless our spirituality has changed. Bad
things will still come even if our children have suddenly changed from bad to
good or our financial problems have suddenly disappeared
• This is why a lot of Believers find themselves faced with a lot of recurring
problems (e.g. a person has just given thanks to God for giving him a new job.
However, he will start grumbling about the shortcoming of his new job at the very
next moment)
• Real results come when a person meets God in his spirit

3. The faith to follow Christ: “immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising
God”
1) How could Bartimaeus not follow the Lord, after his greatest desire was fulfilled?
• How can I person still walk his own way after he has seen how great the value of
his salvation is?
• After reading today’s verses, some people may say that they will definitely believe
too, if they are like Bartimaeus who was blind but was able to see
• We need not experience miracles of “blind can see” before we can follow God.
After healing the 10 people with leprosy, 9 of them still walk their own ways
• Though a few thousand people had witnessed the miracle of “five loaves and two
fishes”, how many of them followed God as a result of the miracle?
• Bartimaeus did not believe in God only after he was healed. His spiritual eyes
were opened after hearing the miracles performed by Jesus Christ
• Our problems will no longer be problems if our personal motives have died.
Evidences will come in place of problems

2) He followed Jesus, praising God


• A person whose spiritual eyes were opened during prayers will see that nothing is
comparable to the grace of salvation.
• Only such people will follow and praise God willingly as he walks
• We do not praise God just by our lips
• A person must have evidences in his life if he really wants to praise God
• What sort of evidences must we have? We must have the evidences of “death
and resurrection”. It is just like a dead person being resurrected from death for a
blind person to see
• A person with evidences will only realize that his problem is not a problem when
his personal motives and purpose have died. His problems are used by God
• When a person is willing to “die”, he will realize that all his problems, bad things
and conditions are all evidences

3) When all the people saw this, they also praised God
• After a Believer had received evidences, people will be attracted to him
automatically
• Believers need not strive hard to gain good testimonies or become a good
example in order to advance the Gospel. Believers are weak too but they follow
God despite their weaknesses. They may fall even as they follow God’s will.
Believers can use their weaknesses and failures to comfort the people around
them
• Therefore, they are able to empathise with others. It is through this that doors of
evangelism will open.
• What does it mean by following the Lord? A person following the Lord is born
again, has his direction changed, discovering God’s perfect will daily and
glorifying God in the process. This is evangelism.
• What does it mean to be more like Jesus Christ? It means having God’s direction,
concern and purpose: Glorify God, benefit men and build His Kingdom.
• We should live our lives by restoring God’s purpose. We should also live with a
“sober judgment” and glorify God, by looking at all the conditions that God had
prepared for us
• Sober Judgment ( 合 乎 中 道 ) <Romans 12:3> = There is a different style used
when talking to 20 year olds and 60 year olds. The style is also different when
talking to businessmen and hawkers. The difference is to make the respective
groups feel comfortable.

4) Live out Jesus Christ today


• For the purpose of evangelism, we have to become Gospelized people instead of
becoming gentlemen or fair ladies.
• For the purpose of evangelism, we must pray: How would Jesus live in today’s
context? How would He think, what does He emphasize and what does He hold
with less importance? How does He treat those beside him etc?

Sharing and Prayer Topics


1. The faith in knowing Christ: What is my depth in understanding Christ? Am I able
to do everything through Christ with a faith that has a solid and strong
foundation? Is He my all-problem solver and the one who restores all my
blessings? Is there any problem that has not been solved in Him?
2. The faith in calling out to Christ: How is my present communication with God? Do
I call out God’s name in everything I do? Is what I asked for being fulfilled? If I am
a believer who does not often call out to God, discover the reasons for not doing
so.
3. The faith in following Christ: Does my life have the message and evidences that
will attract people? Am I willing to sit down and organize this wealth of
information? Do I often see the doors of evangelism being opened? Do the people
around me enjoy interacting with me?