Faith Sermon Illustrations

Faith Sermon Illustrations

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The orange trees, which now make the California landscape look like an inverted sky where the stars are golden oranges, must first of all receive the life giving waters, without which there can be only desiccation and death. The cool pure wind, blowing where it listeth, may sweep around the house where there is pestilence and disease, but it can enter and do its cleansing, reviving work only when the doors or the windows of that house are flung open. To try, then, to have joy and peace and hope without faith is like trying to produce fruit on trees without water, or cleanse a pestilence-stricken or tainted chamber without opening the doors or windows. Yet one wonders if a great number today are not trying that foolish experiment, trying to get something out of religious life, out of their church and Christian life, without that which is the condition and the source of all its blessings—faith?


In the early days in the West the circuit-riding preachers had to swim their horses across the rivers. They tell us that when they were crossing swollen and overflowing rivers if they fixed their gaze upon the swirling waters around them they were likely to become dizzy and, falling from their seat, be swept away by the flood. But if they fixed their eye upon the trunk of a great tree on the bank, or upon some mighty rock, or upon the summit of a hill or mountain, they rode through in safety. In the storms of life faith gives us balance and calm and safety, for we fix our eye, not upon the shifting scene about us, but upon the eternal God.


A town in England had been bombed one moonlit night by the Germans. When workers were clearing away the debris, they found oil top of a heap of rubbish a sailor's prayer book, open at the Twenty-seventh Psalm, with the thirteenth verse marked: "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

The incident was widely commented upon in Great Britain, for it seemed to many that the verse noted in the open prayer book found amid the ruins of that town was the secret of Britain's magnificent endurance during the worst days of her trial. The victory was won, not by battleships and tanks and rifles and armed men alone, but by faith in God. Unless the Britons had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, unless they had believed in
a great future for their country, they had fainted in despair.


The end tells the story. Coligny's statue in front of the Oratoire in Paris with the inscription, "He endured, as seeing him who is invisible" (Heb. 11: 27). Faith is the secret of endurance.


There is a legend of two knights who fell into a dispute over the composition of a shield which they saw flashing before a pavilion on a distant field. One declared that the shield was of gold, and the other vehemently asserted that the shield was of silver. There was no occasion for a quarrel. Both were right, for each man was looking on a different side of the shield. So "faith" is one side of the Christian shield and "works" the other.


Two men were once earnestly disputing the relative importance of faith and works when they came to a ferry over a river. As they started across they asked the ferryman his opinion on the subject. Was it faith by itself, or works by themselves, that was the Christian duty and the Christian hope? For answer the godly ferryman pointed to his two oars.

"One," he said, "I will call faith, the other, works. If I pull only on this one oar, the right oar, I get nowhere, but go round in a circle. Just so if I pull only on the left oar. But when I pull on both oars, then the ferry moves across the river."

A very sensible explanation, describing the relationship of faith and works.


Paul knew all about shipwrecks, having passed through that harrowing experience several times. But what he warns Timothy against is the shipwreck of faith. A wreck is always a sad and dismal sight—a sad sound, too, with the waves breaking over it with melancholy music. The wreck tells of lost good, abandoned hopes, frustrated ambitions, and perhaps lost lives. But saddest of all is the shipwreck of faith; for what cargo is so precious as the soul, and what port so glorious as heaven? Christianity had not been long in the world when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy; but long enough for a few wrecks to strew its shores. He gives him counsel of a nature to warn, encourage, and inspire him—sailing instructions, as it were, for the voyage of life. But everything he has to say is summed up in this word of exhortation, "Holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust from them made shipwreck concerning the faith" (I Tim. 1:19).


A Testimony of the "57" Varieties Man:

Henry J. Heinz, of the Fifty-seven Varieties fame, wrote his will as follows: "Looking forward to the time when my earthly career will end, I desire to set forth at the very beginning of this will, as the most important item in it, a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I also desire to bear witness to the fact that throughout my life, in which were the usual joys and sorrows, I have been wonderfully sustained by my faith in God through Jesus Christ. This legacy was left me by my consecrated mother, a woman of strong faith, and to it I attribute any success I have attained."—Selected.


What Faith Can Do

Oh, brethern, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to Heaven, but great faith will bring Heaven to your soul.—H. Spurgeon.


She Was Right

The old Scotch lady was right. When she was visited by a very young minister who was short on experience, she held fast to her firm assurance of her safety in Christ. "But just suppose that after all God should let you sink into hell?" said the minister. "He would lose more than I would," came the firm answer of faith. "All I would lose would be my own soul, but He would lose His good name." Yes, she was right. The security of the believer does not depend on the individual ability to hold on, but on the eternal power of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. —Gospel Herald.


"I Believe"

I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. The miracles which He wrought establish in my mind His personal authority, and render it proper for me to believe whatever He asserts. I believe, therefore, all His declarations, as well when He declares Himself to be the Son of God as when He declares any other proposition. And I believe there is no other way of salvation than through the merits of His atonement.—Daniel Webster.


The Reward of Faith

Faith knows that God has His moment, and in that moment everything yields to His will. Faith can wait. If she comes to a prison gate, she can stand without until God touches the bars, and it flies open. If the enemy hurls rocks from the battlement, she stands unmoved and unharmed. Faith knows some Jerichos need to be compassed fourteen times, and she carries with her the word of victory to give the final shout.—Selected.

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