(Small Group 22 Apr 2010)
Passage Reading: <Mt 14:22-33> Jesus walks on water (faith can do anything!), ultimately to grow disciple’s faith. Before rebuking Peter’s lack of faith, Jesus reached out immediately and caught his hand because Jesus is first concerned about Peter drowning, not because of anything else. And by rebuking Peter, Jesus spoke to him not about his actions, but about his faith, "You of little faith, what did you doubt?" To Jesus, having faith matters a lot.
1. Why faith is needed
Q1: Does faith come first or grace comes first?
Q2: Then why is faith needed?
1) The only Channel
It is the channel through which we receive grace (that can move mountains).
But why is it that weakness and limitations often cause disbelief or faith to waver?
2) The change of state, not a condition – to understand first
Faith is a condition, as it can change in us, according to how much we are healed of our flesh, circumstances, and the deception of Satan. However, we when the spiritual environment changes, the grace of God then materializes. In other words, faith is a state. In other words, faith has to be produced. If faith is produced, it is a miracle, because it is done by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
Do we accept four gospelizations and that we will be used by God till the ends of the world? If we say we have no faith to accept it, it is not correct already because faith is a condition, but four gospelizations already came into a person through the gospel. (The gospel is actually even greater than four gospelizations and this is the truth.) This is important because it determines the degree of the mystery that our faith can be produced. Many times, it is not because our faith is not enough, but that the Word of God, the Promises and the Image of Christ that we take into our vessels are not complete.
3) Mystery of producing faith
Producing faith cannot be done by self-determination. Once you try, that is not faith anymore. Remember that faith is a state. Therefore, we need to rely on something to produce faith. Producing faith depends on:
(1) The degree of the Word of God you understand (accept=Amen even though it may not happen yet) and can take into your heart (believe). Is it an all-equipped gospel in you?
(2) The promises that you can deem it as yours (fixed perspective) to hold onto (i.e. God is still on your side; everything happens for the promise). For this to happen, this must come from the identity as the child of God. (If you have ever（1）听懂福音（2）享受福音（3）会传（4）有苦难（5）兴旺福音, such a person is greatly loved.) "When you are weak and have no faith, God will be gracious to you". This is because of His promise to His child.
(3) How you imaged God to be; how you face yourself with God
"Who do you think I am?" -> Loving relationship
"The Son" -> Bridge or direction, understanding His guidance, i.e. He gives grace along the way so that our faith (in the area of inabilities) can be increased. For how can we do so at all?
"Of the Living God" -> Therefore, a definite victory, definite accomplishment. i.e., if it is started correctly, procedure is kept in check with the correct start, "One shall chase a thousand, Two put ten to flight"
2. Content of Faith to Memorize
Foundations: regardless of conditions, circumstances: 10 Truths -> 5 promises (We won’t go through the 10 truths today). But quickly, it is
1) [God] With Us
2) God’s Guidance: Timetable – there is definitely something more (a plan "Above All") than our level of faith
3) Prayer Fulfillments / Answers: don’t focus on no heart, focus on "Fulfillments" (i.e. always through prayers: to see, to joy, to receive everything)
4) Victory: Sufferings – the process of Holistic gospel -> Grace -> All-equipped gospel <Jn 16:33>
5) God wants to use me: all nations and peoples (God with you -> surely plan -> start to pray -> sufferings you go through are for testimonies and compassion -> definitely one shall open doors)
=> It is through the promises that you understand each and every process.
3. Increase of Faith
Like a small child, oppressed / deceived to and fro by Satan, will any child of God want this? Increase of faith meant less changes, less decisiveness, less making noise -> more calmness, entrust, value the important process, hear the voice, await the timetable
1) Faith comes from seeing grace (Emmanuel evidences)
Faith naturally grows
2) Confess with mouth to Rely and Hold on (Holy Spirit), reject negativity (Demons), and See (Kingdom Descend): Amen Belief = <Mt 12:28>
Confess the contents of faith found in Main point 2 always.
3) Word of God (Pastoral Word, Covenantal Word, Teaching Word): Healing, filling in
4) Blessed environment (Brethrens): purity liberation <2Ti 2:22> and true friends (try not to talk negative, inabilities to people of same level; if needed, let someone with more faith pray for you)
5) Recreation (re-creation, not for letting oneself go. You will be able to discern. If you tried watching TV and felt relaxing more, then it is not a recreation anymore. Time to go into putting Format into your hearts. Main thing is to protect your hearts and minds so as to keep your precious faith.)