The Centrality of Faith

Dr. Steve Viars March 31, 2013 John 3:1-21

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Sermon Outline

Isaiah 59:2 - But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

St. Augustine – “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 - “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

4 reasons to exercise biblical faith

I. Faith is a Response to God’s Love

v. 16a – For God so loved the world

A. A love that was universal

John 3:2 - …“Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Amos 5:18-20 - Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, for what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? It will be darkness and not light; as when a man flees from a lion and a bear meets him, or goes home, leans his hand against the wall and a snake bites him. Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light, even gloom with no brightness in it?

B. A love that is undeserved

1. Dead in trespasses and sins – Ephesians 2:1

2. Disobedient to God – Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:2, Colossians 3:6, Titus 3:3

3. Alienated from God – Ephesians 2:19, Colossians 1:21

4. Unloving toward God – 2 Timothy 3:4

5. On the path to destruction – Matthew 7:13

6. Fallen short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 - The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

C. A love that is life-transforming

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 - For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

1 John 4:19 - We love, because He first loved us.

II. Faith is Amazed at Love’s Sacrifice

John 3:16a-b - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…

A. Biblical love is fundamentally a choice to give

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.

Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

B. God’s sacrifice is unique

John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:18 - No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

John 10:30 - “I and the Father are one.”

John 10:31 - The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.

John 3:14-15 - As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

Genesis 3:15 - And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.

C. This sacrifice is indescribable

2 Corinthians 9:15 - Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

III. Faith is a Choice to Believe God’s Message

John 3:16 a-c - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him…

A. Believing that you really do need a “second birth”

Titus 3:3-7 - For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

B. Making a concrete decision at a specific point in time

1 John 5:13 - These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

C. Understanding the consequences of choosing not to believe

John 3:18 - He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

IV. Faith Results in Incredible Promises

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Additional Files

Bulletin PowerPoint Slides

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

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