Here is my sermon outline for tomorrow. It’s still pretty rough, but I now have most of it down. I just need to smooth out some places. Update: I’ve already updated this page 3 times! Definitely a work in progress!

What kind of Faith?

Luke 17:1-10Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

7 “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'”

I. Faith (vs. 5-6)

A. Faith is a personal relationship with God

1 Faith is believing

2 Without tangible proof.

B. Not the size or amount

1 The disciples ask for more

2 Jesus says

a.) you don’t need more

b.) You need the right kind

3 The sycamine or mulberry tree

a.) known for it’s deep root system

b.) Hard to uproot.

4 The mustard seed

a.) smallest seed known at the time.

b.) tree grew to over 12 feet in height.

c.) Out of little came much

5 Jesus says

a.) A tiny bit of faith

b.) can do huge things

C. The kind matters

1 Through this illustration, Jesus shows us

a.) Don’t need more faith

b.) Need the right kind of faith

i. Need faith that can uproot a tree

ii. Need faith that can move mountains

iii. Need faith like a child

* Puppet Song

* Like A Child

c.) Need to make use of faith we already have

i. Faith is a life of action.

ii. We must step out IN FAITH to do what God has asked us to do.

iii. The only way to grow more faith is to use the faith we have.

iv. It grows as we see what God can do.

2 Our faith should promote God

II. How to use our faith

A. In this passage Jesus focuses us on others.

1 He doesn’t tell us to beware and watch what that we don’t sin.

2 He focuses us on others and how we are to be a community that

a.) Loves each other

b.) Watches out for each other

i. Not just physically or emotionally,

ii. But spiritually

B. Avoiding causing others to sin (vs.1-2)

1 Vs. 1 says, “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.”

a.) But WOE!

i. That is a scary sentence.

ii. It makes me think of fiery hell.

b.) We must not cause others to sin.

2 Vs. 2 Jesus says it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be drowned than for you to cause others to sin.

a.) A millstone is large.

b.) Most have seen a millstone

c.) Can be as large as 72 inches across –5 feet

d.) Even small ones are heavy

e.) Guaranteed to drown.

3 Our faith in God helps us to be a better person.

a.) If we are truly seeking God in our lives and if we truly believe He exists,

b.) We can’t help but be changed

c.) We can more easily see when we do wrong.

C. Do not allow sin in others in community (vs.1-2)

1 We are not allow our brothers in Christ to sin without pointing it out

2 We are not to endure their sin.

3 We are to point it out

a.) In a loving manner

b.) Concerned for the other person

4 These are difficult things that Jesus is asking us to do.

a.) We don’t want to be labeled as judgmental when we try to confront someone with their sin.

b.) We are afraid they will turn around and say, you did such and such.

i. We definitely don’t want it getting personal.

ii. We figure we would just get defensive. Won’t they, too?

c.) But, we do talk about others’ faults all the time, don’t we?

i. We don’t talk to THEM about it.

ii. The Greek word for sin is derived from the field of archery and it means literally “to miss the mark”.

iii. We often note when others are missing the mark.

iv. we take it personally every time someone slights us.

v. Is that what God has asked of us?

d.) While we are afraid to confront anyone, we should fear for their spiritual lives.

i. Shouldn’t we be more afraid that they will die spiritually than we are of a little honestly concerned confrontation?

ii. When we don’t confront them, they don’t have the chance to make things right.

iii. If we are offended, how does the person know and make things right if we don’t tell them?

iv. Think about if you offended someone and didn’t realize it. Suppose they stopped talking to you and wouldn’t explain. How would you feel. We must confront in a loving manner in order to be the community that we should be.

v. Our hesitation to confront may have the best motivations; a desire to be polite and not to hurt feelings, but in the long run it can have disastrous consequences.

D. Forgive others (vs. 3-4)

1 When a person asks for forgiveness, we are to give it to them

a.) We should not hold grudges

b.) Backbite

2 We are to forgive them as many times as they ask

a.) Jesus uses the number seven here

i. This is considered in Jewish custom to signify a completeness

ii. Seven is perfect.

iii. It is used more than any other number in the Bible besides 1.

iv. The root of the word is also used for the word complete and oath.

b.) So what Jesus is saying is that we are to always forgive. In order to be a complete action it must be done each time.

3 Forgiveness takes effort.

a.) Just like in vs. 1, Jesus says that “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come…”

b.) Life isn’t easy.

c.) Sin will happen

i. That means that forgiveness should happen, too.

ii. Will it?

E. Perform duty

1 Vs 7-10 Jesus uses questions to make the disciples have to see that what He is saying is right.

a.) The first question: “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’?”

i. We don’t have slaves anymore, but if we have a maid, we would want her serve our food to us before eating herself.

ii. Here the disciples have to say, “nobody would do that.”

b.) The second question: “Would you not rather say to him, “Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink.”

i. Here we assume the disciples said, “yes, of course!”

ii. What else could they say?

c.) Third question: “Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?”

i. Once again, of course not!”

ii. She was just doing her job, right?

d.) This is where it gets good: “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'”

i. The disciples had to agree because the reasoning Jesus used was correct.

ii. We are God’s servants.

2 So, what are we as servants to do?

a.) We are to do our duty

i. Without expectation of reward

ii. In humility to God as those who are unworthy of his praise.

* We will never be worthy of His praise

* Yet He rewards us in the end.

* We should do what He commands because He is our God and because we love Him.

b.) We are to suffer for Christ’s sake.

i. 2 Tim. 1:5-14

* I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

ii. So often we whine and complain because we are not appreciated, but we should realize that this is the suffering that comes with serving God.

* Is it really that bad?

* So many times our “suffering” is little more than discomfort or inconvenience.

* It really could be a lot worse.

* No one here is truly suffering for following God. We are all safe from religious persecution.

* So, with our faith in God, we can and will survive the suffering, even if it does get worse.

F. These are the duties that require the right kind of faith.

III. We don’t need more faith, we need the right kind. Do you have the right kind of faith? Is your faith rooted in God. Is your faith the kind that can do miraculous things to promote God? I think we could all use our faith more often so that it can grow more. Everyday, life comes at us and everyday, we must choose to have the kind of faith that relies completely in God and can do miraculous things.

*I must credit More Cows Than People and Kim in KCK for ideas and some of the writing put into this sermon. A mighty large thank you!