Simply Faith by Mike Brandon

Simply Faith by Mike Brandon

Simply Faith

by Mike Brandon

Sunday, January 29, 2017

at The Church at Asheville

I want to talk about simply Faith – But not Simple Faith

Have all we need? Are we as close as we could be closer to God? This can very well help us in taking another step Closer.

Heb 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Substantiation Conviction ( gravity, wind, mag)

Heb 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Col 2:12

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

In John Chapter 4 we find Jesus going through Samaria; and speaking to the woman at the well. Now we know that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, thus

John has just recorded in the 4th chapter the ministry of Jesus in Cana of Galilee where the Noble man came to him and besought Jesus to heal his son for he was sick – even unto death.

Jesus speaking the words “Thy son liveth ” and then some 20 miles distance, the Noble man’s son was healed.

Due to the subject matter of this topic tonight, the importance of this action is self evident.

The Faith that Jesus displayed was not limited by distance…

John Chapter 5

John 5:1-8

After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

Did anyone bud in line in front of him?

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

So John is now giving us another little scene in the Ministry of Jesus.

We Remember that the Gospel of John is selected pictures – each chapter…

John’s Gospel is giving us that which we need to fully understand that Jesus is the Christ!

In fact: John states at the end of his gospel

John 20:30-31

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 21:25

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Most certainly all the libraries in the world could not contain all which Jesus did.

This story is just another look into His ministry…

The pool of Bethesda – inside the sheep gate –

However, the sheep gate no longer exists in the wall of Jerusalem but the archaeologists & excavators have found the pool of Bethesda with its five porches inside past what is now called the Lion’s Gate. ( rectangular shape with two pools )

The archaeological evidence shows that the southern basin had broad steps with landings, indicating that it was indeed a mikveh. The northern basin provided a reservoir, or otzer, to continually replenish and re-purify the mikveh with fresh water flowing south through the dam between them. Jerusalem’s pilgrims would flock to the Bethesda Pool and Siloam Pool to purify themselves in these public mikva’ot and, at times, to seek healing.

So here at the pool, we have many people with all kinds of diseases, as well as lame, halt, and withered.

Can you imagine what a sight that was, all of these impotent folk lying around waiting for the water to be stirred? What a dark place to see all these sick folk lying around. ( Hospital )

But then the water stirs, begins to spin, a lame man rolls into the water and walks out of the pool – He is healed – What a sight that would be.

“First one in” was healed of whatsoever disease he had

How can you explain that? first one? only the first one? How is that fair?

We know that there is tremendous power in FAITH – Jesus said that all things are possible to him that believes.

Faith ACTIVATES the work of God on your behalf.

There is a simple faith in which all Christians possess, for without it it’s impossible to even be a Christian. Impossible to please God.

We all know that faith is important in our walk with the Lord.

There is what I call Passive Faith and then there is Active Faith.

Faith most of the time needs a catalyst to transform Passive faith to an Active Faith.

The churning of the water was the catalyst that transformed the passive Faith to an active faith which manifested itself as healing for the man.

How many times did Jesus say to people “thy faith hath made thee whole” ??

Luke 7:50; Mark 5:34; Luke 8:48; Matthew 9:22; Luke 18:42; Mark 10:52;

That is recorded …

Many times we display the Passive Faith that shows our belief in God and his principles.

We go to Church because of our Faith in God, Church and our Pastors.

We pray, we fast, we ask for Prayer but most of the time it’s our Passive Faith that is evident.

I believe that God can do anything!… I believe that God created the universe and thus can do anything he wishes.

I have the Passive faith to believe that God CAN heal everyone in a hospital and empty it out – if he chooses.

But I don’t believe he will – thus my Faith in this case is a Passive Faith

Believing HE CAN is not the same as believing HE WILL!!

This point is sure, we must have Passive Faith before it can be transformed into Active Faith!

George Müller, ( ACTIVE FAITH )

A Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. ( Empty Plates on table – no food – truck – knock door )

Passive Faith

Passive faith is about waiting. About patience. About holding on when things get tough. It’s about keeping your head above water. Passive faith is about receiving the strength and whatever else you need to live your life as it currently stands. It’s about resting in the goodness of the status quo or making it incrementally better. So we all need that passive Faith.

Active Faith

If passive faith is about waiting, active faith is about risking or stepping out. It’s about stepping into the unknown to try something new. It’s about saying things that could get you in trouble, doing things that will change the trajectory of your day, your week, your life. Active faith is about snapping free of the safety net of the status quo to partner with God in deliberate kingdom building. Passive faith gets us through; active faith makes a change.

But you see our Faith has been tainted, it has been weakened, contaminated by apathetic thinking. Things that were wrong are all of the sudden not so wrong anymore because people have become more complacent. (Shades of Gray – Monkees )

But then active faith stops being about “mere” prayer and becomes God directed actions:

this is where Change really begins…

Passive faith prays for a Church while Active Faith steps out and begins to build a church

When active faith is in play, our spiritual life thrives.

I’m talking about faith without doubt –

I’m talking about the knowing faith that surpasses the God CAN’s …

and emerges as the faith that God WILL !!

Jesus coming down from Mt Tabor ( Mount of Transfiguration ) with Peter James and John met with his disciples and a man seeking healing for his son.

Yet the disciples could not heal the man’s son no matter how hard they tried, asked, or prayed.

Why? Passive faith was operating and not Active Faith.

Listen to what Jesus says to them:

Matt 17:16-17

And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Matt 17:18-20

And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you,

If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

( mountain removed to sea – get off first )

Look at verse 17, I think that Jesus expected his disciples to already be able to cast the demon out!

God is not interested in what you can do but in who you can become.

Not only must we be examples of what the Lord is but we are his very representatives on this earth.

We must endeavor to become as he was and consistently show or display (if you will) the character of God.

Woman with issue of blood

CONCIDER THE Woman with issue of blood

(Mark 5:25–34, Matthew 9:20–22, Luke 8:43–48)

12 years – spent life savings on physicians – reasoned within herself – touch the hem of garment – be healed –

Her Passive Faith that “God Can” was transformed to Active Faith that created the vehicle for healing to take place.

She reasoned – If I can only touch the hem of his garment – I can be healed!!

Pressing through the crowd, she touches the hem and is healed immediately.

Who touched me?… What do you mean? I perceive that virtue has gone out from me.

Ten men that were lepers

Luke 17:11-19

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Matt 9:27-30

And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.

And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.

The command of Jesus always overrides the Passive Faith.

Christ’s power did not and does not depend on men’s faith.

Now we can’t speak of faith without Abraham.

Gen 22:2-6

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you,

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

What faith that Abraham had to have to straightway take his son 3 day journey with the fire ( Red Hot Coal ) ( had to keep it hot in order to offer his Son… )

As the day got closer, knowing what was to be, what did Abraham think of? How did he sleep?

Abraham’s faith seems like it started out as an Active Faith –

No mention of doubt, no mention of hesitation, Just active faith from the beginning

Elijah ( no nonsense guy )

Mt Carmel

So many times we try to have the faith we hear about, but met with obstacles, traditions and customs – which creates in us the doubt that destroys Active Faith.

Satan would like nothing more than to bind our hands in back of us so that we wouldn’t even try.

Satan will bring up our past and tell us “we can’t do that”

I’m talking about faith without doubt –

I’m talking about the knowing faith that surpasses the God CAN’s

and emerges as the faith that God WILL !!

The word without the spirit you’ll dry up.

The spirit without the word you’ll burn-up.

But the spirit with the word you’ll grow up!

To trust in God and have the faith that over-comes ALL Doubt

Gal 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Dear heavenly Father,
Take our hands in Yours. Lead us to the way that brings us a step closer;
and to a deeper walk with You.
You know our hearts and our desires, You know where we are today spiritually.

We choose to surrender our life so that you can be seen in us.

We need and desire You to do Your will in and through us.

We lay down our lives so You can use us for Your Glory; to reach out to those in need.
Create in us a clean heart, and make our intentions pure before You.
Help us this day to surrender completely and without reservation.

That we might take another step closer to you.


Psalm 139

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I am surprised of the shallowness and lack of depth of a lot Christians today! It seems that not many want the relationship that was once sought by apostles, disciples, and young Christians. It seems that over the ages we have lost the desire for a “more” personalized relationship with God on a higher level.

Now we know that God is no respecter of persons and that there is nothing you or I can do to make Him love us any more than he already does or to accept us anymore that he does now.

But God being a respecter of persons is not the issue, I do believe that we can and need to go much further in God to understand the deeper things of God.

I do believe that God would have His people RISE to a higher plane instead of simply existing!!

I say to you tonight that God does not care what you have done, or where you’ve been or what you’ve accomplished.

God does care who you are on the inside… What is in your heart?

The first thing that God wants to see in us is a desire.

Our desire must be from the heart and for the right reason. If our desire is to lift ourselves, show what we can do, or make us look good; then all would be for naught.

Desire to Learn

Hos 4:6

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Desire to give

2 Cor 9:7

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Desire to serve

Matt 23:10-11

Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Desire to love

2 Cor 9:7

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

and I suppose that we can go on and on.

But God wants to see in our hearts a desire – a true desire …

2nd thing that God wants to see is Commitment,

falling under this is obedience.


Ex 15:26

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Now under this topic we can list other by products such as obedience, compliance, Faithfulness, Submission, accountability

and the 3rd thing that God wants to see is Consistency.

Matt 23:1-7

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Not only must we be examples of what the Lord is but we are his very representatives on this earth.

We must endeavor to become as he was and consistently show or display (if you will) the character of God.

Let us all tonight consider these three things that God wants to see.

And let us each examine ourselves and ask God where can I improve.



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