Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sun. Feb. 13, 2011 (Aaron Roberts)

Aaron Roberts (MCS Regent 2008; now in ministry at St. John's Anglican) spoke on Faith about Romans 4:13-21. This dense, theologically-rich passage analyzed Abraham's faith in light of his righteousness, acts, and observance of God's words. First, Aaron reviewed God's attempts to redeem humanity from its fall as He started over and over again, through different men such as Noah, through Abraham and Sarah, whose faith exacted from God promise of a nation, through giving of the Law, and finally through the living sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Then Aaron dissected the passage to show what faith can do by discussing what faith is not: It is not a leap in the dark - it is rational and trusting, as a young child has faith that father will catch it when thrown up in the air. Faith only considers the things God has promised, not things God has not spoken about, such as how to get more prestige. It is not person-centered, but God-centered, and growing faith inevitably sees one turning more to consider how God would want the faithful person to act. God will not be manipulated by faith - we cannot add to our faith by training ourselves to think and believe only the positive. Nor is faith a skill you can learn or a task you can accomplish or something you can accumulate more of. We can only receive it as we hear and believe the promises of God, just as Abraham did, who did not flinch when promised a son, as he considered the failings of his or Sarah's bodies in old age. Faith does not close its eyes to the realities of life, but considers them and leaves it to God to work the way of his world. Nor is it true that if one believes something strongly enough, that it will occur - that is idolatry. Faith is not magic, and scripture cannot be used as an incantation. But with faith, God will restore humanity to its rightful place in God's creation. A lively discussion time considered blaming God when tests reveal the limits of faith; that faith cannot be passive but acts decisively; that children model growing in faith as they turn from I-centredness to consideration of others; and the idolatry of prosperity gospel. Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, February 13th, 2011 using your browser's preferred media player.



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