A Nugget from New Life Network
(by Dr. Larry Ollison)
Scripture for the Day (April 11,2018)
For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. (Hebrews 4:2)
The apostle Paul made an interesting statement when writing to Titus, whom he called his “partner and fellow worker” (2 Corinthians 8:23), and “a true son in our common faith” (Titus 1:40). In the first sentence of his letter, Paul said that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). This one statement alone is the most important statement in the Bible. Without this one truth, everything we believe, all our hope, all of our faith, would be useless. Let me explain.
Everything in the Word of God is based on belief. But belief in what? Belief in God and belief that He has not lied and will not lie. God expects us to believe Him. He expects us to place our entire existence, everything we are and everything we have, on the line. He wants us to have total faith in Him. In fact, He not only expects it, but He requires it.
When Jesus went to His own town of Nazareth, He taught in the synagogue. Many people heard him and were astonished. In fact, they were so amazed at His teachings that some even wondered where He got all His knowledge. But then something happened. Some of the people realized that this Jesus was the same Jesus that had grown up in the town of Nazareth, and this offended them. When they became offended, they quit believing what He was saying and as a result, Jesus could not do many mighty works in that town.
“Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid Hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching” (Mark 6:5-6).
The Bible says He could not do many mighty works, not that He would not do many mighty works. How can this be? Well, God has always been moved by belief. He has always responded to faith. When man believes that God will do His Word in their lives, God moves to perform it. God promises salvation, healing, and prosperity in His Word, but it is only for those who believe. It is only for those who have faith in His Word. It is only for those who believe that He did not lie and then they act on that belief.
Jesus died for the sins of the world, but only those who believe in Him will reap the benefits of His death and resurrection. God only responds to faith. Doubt and unbelief do not move Him. That’s why Satan continually tries to put doubt in the minds of people. Where there is doubt, there is no faith. And, according to the Bible, where there is no faith, even the Word does not work.
Hebrews 4:2 says that there were two groups of people. Both groups had the same gospel preached to them. But the gospel that one group heard did not profit them because they did not mix it with faith in their hearts. There is much power in the Word, but only for those who have faith. Faith believes God. Faith knows God does not lie and places everything on that belief. Remember when Paul was in Lystra and a certain man who could not walk and was crippled from birth was sitting by the road? “This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, ‘Stand up straight on your feet!’ And he leaped and walked” (Acts 14:9,10). When Paul looked at him, what was he looking for? He was looking for faith. Is faith important? According to Scripture, it is.