May
14

The Battle between Faith and Unbelief — sermon

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This is one of my free sermons that is given to encourage believers to understand some of the dynamics involved where God’s word is being recieved and honored among a people. As with all our sermon outlines, use this bible sermon to bless your people.

The Battle between Faith and Unbelief

Acts 14:1 Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. 3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 5 And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. 7 And they were preaching the gospel there.

The Battle between Faith and Unbelief

The man who believes nothing will find himself opposed to everything.

The bible tells us a lot about the power of faith, but also about the power of unbelief. Whatever your faith will move you toward, your unbelief will keep you from.

1. A double-minded man is unable in all his ways.
2. Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth due to their unbelief.

Unbelief is more than "just not being sure."
Unbelief is choosing not to believe.

When a person is presented with a claim and the evidence is there to back it up, then they decide that they still do not believe, then they are in unbelief.

The Passage which we are studying in Acts 14:1-7 gives us some insights into understanding the struggle taking place when faith and unbelief are active in the same crowd. There are four observations to make. First notice that there was–

1. A Place and A People (v1)

A. The Place (Iconium at the synagogue where people gathered to hear the Scripture taught. It is where God’s Word is being released that faith and unbelief collides.)

B. The People (The Apostles carrying the Word of God in power, the Jews with knowledge of the Old Testament revelation, the Greeks steep in various world viewpoints. Among the Jews and Greeks hearts and minds were being influenced as the Holy Spirit opened their hearts to the truth of the Gospel. Many of them believed. It registered upon their spirits and they embraced it. This is the power of God’s Word at work.)

2. A Passion and A Poison (v2)

A. A Passion (The unbelieving Jews got stirred up. Passion moves us to do something about the object of our passion. They came against the Apostles and those who embraced their teaching.)
B. A Poison (The posion is seen in how they came against the Apostles and believers–by poisoning the minds of the Gentiles. They distributed their poison through trench warfare political tactics. This dynamic is very much alive today. It thrives on fear, suspicion, and is fueled by passion for a cause. It lives in politics, it lives in churches, it lives in the offices of the workplace, it can be found in most anywhere people are. The goal of this is to create division–v4 and opposition –v5, violence and abuse.

3. A Persistence and A Power (v3)

A. The Persistence (They stayed there a long time. They dug in and kept ministering.)
B. The Power (boldness, signs and wonders, and grace were flowing. God was confirming His Word by the release of wonder working power.)

4. A Persecution and A Plan (v4)

A. The Persecution (The enemy took things to the next level. There was an outbreak of violence and abuse. This is the way of the enemy and ubelief. It can take a stand just like faith can take a stand. Persecution has the idea of "to drive away."
B. The Plan (Rather than allow the Gospel message to be isolated and distracted with the enemy’s tactics, they decided to leave a city and reach a region. This is not defeat but rather exporting and expansion. This is seen more than once in the Book of Acts.

This is God’s way of bringing good forth in the face of evil. He does it all the time (Rom. 8:28).

Conclusion–God will do this in your life as well. Don’t allow the tactics of the enemy to cause you to give up. The Devil never trumps the purposes of God and he never check mates God. God is never on the defensive. Remember this and you will have courage in the storm and stamina filled with wisdom to see your way forward into victory. This is the heart of faith!

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