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About this series
Trusting Jesus No Matter What
How to Build an Unshakeable Faith
In many cities around the world, there are buildings specifically engineered to withstand severe disasters - like hurricanes and earthquakes. In this series, Chip plays off that idea by helping us build an unshakable faith that can endure any challenge. Learn why the strength of our faith has nothing to do with our determination or resolve, but in getting an accurate view of God. Discover through various New Testament verses why we can completely trust in Jesus, no matter what comes our way.More from this series
How do you build an unshakable faith? And as I have thought about this, I have thought about words are powerful. I mean, words are very, very powerful. Some of us have that word of a coach or of a parent who said something that, I mean, inspired us, set us on a direction, spoke life into us. And some of us have some negative words from a parent or a coach or a teacher or a friend that began to frame who we really were.
You see, words are really, really powerful, but here’s the key. Depending on who speaks them, that’s what determines whether it’s just something trite or something indelible, something that marks you forever.
And so, before we go on, let’s talk about, just a minute, Jesus. Who is this Jesus that is speaking to us? And in Colossians chapter 1, it really answers the question: Who is Jesus?
And the focus is His majesty, His supremacy, His title. He’s the sovereign King. He created everything, everything was created by Him and for Him. His action, He reigns, not someday, but right now. And one day, fully. And then He makes this amazing invitation to you and to me. “Come just as you are.” And the result is peace. It’s rest.
And then in Philippians chapter 2:5 through 11, it really answers the question: So, what did Jesus do? And what He did was His method, it was incarnation. He was a servant.
And the role was High Priest. You know, He brought us before God and He brings God down to earth. And then His role and action was to redeem.
And He has this tremendous invitation. “As I descended into greatness, follow Me. When you lose your life for Me and the gospel, you find it.”
And then the result is love.
And so, as we think about this, here’s a question for you. When is the most memorable, the most vivid time in your whole life that God spoke to you? And spoke to you from His Word?
I have had a number of those experiences, but one of the most vivid was a number of years ago when I had pastored a church in Santa Cruz for twelve years. And God spoke to me about a plan He had for my life and then a group in Atlanta called Walk Thru the Bible said, “We think it’s God’s will for you to come and be our new president.” The founder had left to do some other things.
And, I mean, I wrestled with it. And my wife told me very clearly, “Look, I don’t know if this is God’s will. I don’t want to go. Let me make this really clear. I do not want to go. Now, if it’s God’s will and you determine that, I will be faithful, but I am not going as a happy camper.”
And I remember finding myself, you know, the weeks went by. And so, I fasted and then I prayed and, Lord, show me and speak to me.
And I didn’t want to leave the church and I had been there twelve years and things were going great and she had just remodeled our little kitchen. I mean, it was just like, Please, Lord, really.
And I was sitting on the floor of the airport in LA and I was in between traveling somewhere. And it got down to, like, the last day. By tomorrow I had to give them an answer. Yes or no. And as I was reading, I said, Lord, I am just going to read where I’m reading. I need You to speak to me. And I want You to know that whatever You say, I’ll do it no matter what.
And I got to Acts chapter 20, verses 24. And the apostle Paul says, “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus, the work of telling others the good news about God’s wonderful kindness and love.”
God shows me I am to do this big step. And it was hard. So, I’m not going to lie to you. It was really challenging.
But it created a level of dependence and I think some character development that really needed to happen.
And so, here’s what I want to ask you. I mean, what is keeping you from hearing God’s voice? Because here’s what I want you to get. We are going to look at the third snapshot in Hebrews chapter 1, of Jesus. And we are going to see the role of the Word of God. That how important God’s Word – God’s Word is central to speak the world into existence. God’s Word is central for Jesus as He speaks and talks about how the kingdom is going to come.
And we are going to learn that the logos, that’s God’s Word is Jesus Himself and He became fully man and fully God and He was the living Word of God. And today, He has given us His Word to guide us, protect us, and change us.
So, with that, I’d like to jump in and I’d like to ask a very important question. Remember? Colossians 1: Who is He? Philippians 2: What did He do?
And so, now, Hebrews chapter 1: How did He do it? Jesus was fully man, so as a human, when life got hard, He didn’t, like, pull off His robe and this big “S” on His chest. You know, deity! Superman!
Jesus said He could do nothing apart from the Father. And so, He lived in dependency on the Father, “I only do what I see the Father doing. I am waiting for Him.” And He did it in the power of the Holy Spirit. He was tempted in every way, like you and me.
So, here’s the question: How did He appropriate God’s grace and God’s power so that as a fully human being, depending on the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit, He could overcome all temptation and fulfill the mission that God gave Him?
The answer to that question is going to be in Hebrews chapter 1, verses 1 through 3. Follow along as I read. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days He has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He,” Jesus, “is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and He upholds all things by the word of His power. When He made purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
He spoke, He has spoken to us, the radiance of His glory, and by His word. All those things have to do with: God communicates. God has communicated. This passage says, “In many portions.” So, He gave direct revelation. Right? Remember? Deuteronomy, there was the law and there’s the wisdom literature and there’s the prophets.
And then it says, “In many ways.” Visions, dreams, a burning bush, or even a donkey speaking. So, He spoke and in many ways.
But here’s the key. In these last days, in other words, the final, most complete, and the clearest communication of God is going to be through the Son.
Now, here’s what I want you to get. It’s very, very interesting. After he says, “God spoke through the prophets in various times, but in these last days His Son,” then he gives seven specific things that describe Jesus. Let me just give you a quick overview.
In these last days He spoke through Jesus, one whom He appointed heir of all things.” Think of that. Like you inherit. Jesus is going to inherit everything. Everything in the universe. What that means is He is the final authority.
Second, it says, “Through whom He also made the world.” Now, we know He’s the Creator, but this is an interesting phrase. Literally, it’s that He entered and unfolded the ages. So, Jesus not only created all that there is, but as history is unfolding, Jesus is the One in control, giving oversight to history unfolding.
Third, and Jesus is the radiance of His glory. Not the reflection, not a brightness. In other words, God and His glory, Jesus and His glory, He’s saying: the same. Deity, fully God.
Fourth, Jesus is the exact representation of His nature. So, all the qualities of the Father, all the qualities of the Son, the same – and the Holy Spirit.
Fifth, Jesus is upholding all things by the word of His power. He didn’t just create things, but right now, at this moment, from atoms to stars to galaxies to the circumstances in your life and mine to the uncertainty that we have to all the things going in the world, Jesus currently – how is He doing it? – by the word, the speaking of His power.
Number six, when Jesus made purification for sin, He sat down. What did He do? He redeemed, He forgave us. Are you getting it? Are you understanding the power of God’s Word and who Jesus actually is?
And then finally it says when He made purifications of sin, He sat down at the right hand of majesty and He, literally, the phrase is: He was enthroned. He is honored, He is in control. All the things that are being created for Him and by Him and through Him, there comes this day. He’s the final, the authority. He is exalted.
As Jesus was living and walking and teaching the disciples, the way He accomplished what he accomplished is by the power of His Word.
In fact, I have made some observations that I want you to follow along - about Jesus and His relationship with God’s Word.
And here’s what I want you to get. Jesus created the world by speaking. Jesus is, in fact, the Word Himself, the logos we will learn in John 1. And finally, Jesus takes that Word and He gives it to us.
Follow along in terms of just creation. Let’s think about the power of God’s Word. Because here’s where I’m going to go.
I want you to understand that this written Word, the Spirit of God will make it the living Word and it is the core and the source of how God works. It’s how He gives power over sin. It’s how He gives direction for your life. This Word, Moses would say, is precious. It’s not an idle Word for you. It’s your very life. Jesus would later say, “Man can’t live by bread alone,” just the physical world, but by – how? “…every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
You know, I remember as a young Christian, I didn’t grow up as a follower of Jesus and I had never opened the Bible, actually, until I was eighteen. And as I began to study it, I remember when I had this big ah-ha where I was reading the gospel of John. And the early part that we will see in just a minute says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” What? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
I got down to verse 14 and it says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as the first and supremacy, the first rank, the One before the Father. Moses brought the Law, but Jesus brought grace and truth.”
And I made this connection of the Word of verse 1 and the Word of verse 14 and then I looked it up, this word logos means communication or power. And I just was amazed. And that was when the lights became sort of new to me that my life will be determined by my relationship to God’s Word, because Jesus has manifested, not just the truth and the light, but it’s the power of God’s Word.
In fact, follow along. In the beginning, right? Genesis chapter 1. The Godhead created the heavens and the earth. And then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. How did He create? He just spoke. As you go through Genesis chapter 1, then God said, “Let there be the heavens and the earth. Let there be vegetation.” And then each time He would say, “Let there be, let there be, let there be,” and it was.
And then here’s what I want you to get. And it was good. And then He created mankind and then He said it was very good. And so, we came about because God spoke out of nothing. The power of God’s Word.
And then you get the passage that I talked about, in John 1. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God and all things came into being through Him and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus is the logos, the communication. Jesus is, in fact, the Word of God. And He is God the Son.
And He wants you to know that the way that He lived out this perfect life, in His humanity, was the exact same way that I can and you can. Dependency on the Father, by the Holy Spirit, guided by the truth of His Word. And there’s power in it.
In Mark chapter 4, Jesus is going to explain to the disciples how life works, how the kingdom works, how personal relationship with Him works. How does life-change work? How do you draw near to God? How do you overcome temptation? How are you born again?
And the context is a little bit long to go into, but all I want you to know is that He has been rejected by the Jewish nation, He has been rejected by His family. It’s just Him and the disciples. And the context is His mother and His brothers come to see Him.
And someone says, “Jesus, your mother and your brothers. They’re here to see you.” And He pauses and He says, “Who are My mother and who are My brothers?” And then He points down to this group and He says, “These are My mothers and My brothers and My sisters. Those who do the will of God.”
Relationship with Jesus isn’t about a blood genealogy, it’s about an obedience to the will of God and then He tells the parable that is the most important parable of all the ones He taught in all the Bible.
And then the text says, beginning in chapter 4 of Mark, it says, “Then He told them a parable by the seashore.” And it’s one that many of you will probably know. It’s where, you know, the Son of man casts the seed of God’s Word and He casts it on four different kinds of soils.
And the first soil is hard, for people that have a hard heart. And then the second one is shallow, people that have a shallow heart. And the third, it drops in soil and then the thorns grow up and choke out the Word. And finally, it’s in good soil and it multiplies fruit, thirty, sixty, a hundredfold.
And the disciples say, “That was a really interesting story. What in the heck did it mean?” And He says, “If you don’t understand,” this is so critical, “if you don’t understand this parable, you can’t understand any of the others.” What He was saying is this: Life-change happens when the Son of man, Jesus, speaks God’s Word.
And people respond to God’s Word or God’s truth, His light, in four different ways.
Some people, their hearts are very hard. Satan just takes it away.
Some people, their hearts are shallow. They get emotional and they get excited. “Yeah! I love Jesus! This is really important.” Until things get a little rough and then they bail out.
And then there are some people that have a very legitimate relationship and they begin to grow and then it says the desire for other things and busyness and distractions and the deceitfulness of riches, little by little by little, it chokes the power of God’s Word and their priorities get out of whack.
But He says that there is one group of people whose hearts are tender and open. The parallel passage in Luke chapter 8 will tell us this, that the good soil is those who receive God’s Word with an open and noble heart and they put it into practice and it says, “with perseverance.” And they bear much fruit.
Here’s what I want you to know. Who spoke this Word? Jesus. Who is He? Creator, Sustainer. He’s the One who made all that there is. He is speaking to you and He is saying, “There’s life in My Word.”