Developing Strong Faith

Steve Viars December 23, 2012 Luke 1:35-49

Please Note: the full transcript is available in the Manuscript link above. 

Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men…

Psalm 138:3 - On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul

3 characteristics of quiet strength from two outstanding women

I. Quiet Strength Takes God at His Word

A. God has always called on people to come to Him by faith

Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Romans 5:1 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

B. God often provides evidence to help us believe Him

Romans 10:17 - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

1. The conception of John the Baptist

Luke 1:7 - But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.

Luke 1:25 - This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men.

2. The response of John the Baptist in Elizabeth's womb to the presence of Jesus in Mary's womb

Luke 1:41 - When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:44 - “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.”

Genesis 25:21-23 - Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples will be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger.”

Psalm 14:1 - The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.

C. Both women took God at His Word

1. Mary

Luke 1:39 - Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

Luke 1:36-38 - And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. "For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

2. Elizabeth

Luke 1:42 - And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

II. Quiet Strength Acknowledges the Depth of One's Need

A. Elizabeth knew she needed "a Lord"

Luke 1:43 - And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?

B. This is one of the essential roles of the Holy Spirit

1. Prior to the New Testament church

a. John

Luke 1:15 - For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.

b. Mary

Luke 1:35 - The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”

c. Elizabeth

Luke 1:41-42 - When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

John 20:29 - Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

2. His purposes today

a. He convicts people of their need

John 16:8 - And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;

b. He calls people to Jesus

John 16:14 - “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

c. He empowers us to believe and obey

Galatians 5:16 - But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

John 7:17 - “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.”

III. Quiet Strength Encourages Others as They Believe

Luke 1:44-45 - For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video