Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
April 29, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Subject
An Unconditional Faith
Description

An Unconditional Faith
“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the  burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of think hand, O  king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not   serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast  set up” Daniel 3:17-18.
Life is filled with numerous and varied experiences. Many
of the experiences are anticipated,  welcomed, pleasurable, and
desirable; some of which are: receiving a promotion, a plaque,
a prize, or a gift.  There are, however, numerous undesirable
experiences in the sojourn of life. The negative experiences
include losses, illness, failures and constant criticisms.
Since we tend to crave pleasure instead of pain, our efforts are
directed to pursuing experiences that yield positive outcomes.
In general, our approach for coping with the experiences of life
follows one of four general patterns: the hands off method – a view
that what ever will be will be; next, there is the pessimistic method,
if its bad it bound to happen to me; thirdly, there is the volitional
method, I’ve got to make a go of life; and finally, there is the

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religious method – I can do all things through Christ who
strengthen me ( Phil. 4:13 ).
Each of these approaches has assets and liabilities, including
religion when incorrectly perceived.  Our sermon, in this
connection, will examine the role of faith in coping with the
problems of life. It has been given the title, An Unconditional Faith.
The sermon was planned to clarify, where needed, our perception
of faith and, secondly, to help us better utilize faith in our daily
life. Differing from our usual threefold emphasis, this sermon will
examine four dimensions of faith; namely: 1) the nature of faith,
2) misconceptions about faith, 3) types of faith, and 4) prominent
biblical persons who possessed unconditional faith.
Prior to addressing these concerns, brief attention will be
focused on the text. It is lifted from the Book of Daniel and was
written when the Jews were in Babylonian Captivity. Daniel was
one of the captives; he was a gifted interpreter of dreams and
was highly respected by King Nebuchadnezzar. There were also
three other Jews who held official positions in Babylon; they were
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referred to as the three Hebrew Boys; their names were Shadrach,
Meshach, and Aded-nego. Because of their lofty position even
though in captivity, the Babylonians became envious and devised
a plot to get them into disfavor with the King.  Their ploy was to
erect an idol god and require all people to bow to that image. When
the time came, the people complied except the three Hebrew boys.
Their refusal infuriated the King so he gave them a choice of
bowing to the image or being thrown into a firey furnace.  The
words of their decision constitute our text today.
Against this background, let us now focus attention on the
first concern which is the nature of faith.  Our Bible defines faith
as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things
unseen. ( Heb. 11:1 ). The Bible, also, tells us that by faith
the worlds were framed by the word of God…and it continues
further by noting that without faith it is impossible to please God
for he that comes to God must believe that he is and he is a
diligent rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Heb. 11:6 )

 

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Against these Scriptural excepts on faith, our attention is now
called to the second concern – misconceptions about faith. Within
its proper context, faith is a divine power, accessible to the
believer, and ever present for us in accordance to the will of God.
It is an unfortunate fact, however, that faith is often viewed as
a quick fix in problem situation.  From such a perspective, faith
is summoned whenever a person is baffled or is seeking to attain
some goal. Thus, the individual acts as if faith is a magical power,
a practical energy, or an antibiotic for an illness. Beloved, the
problem with such views of faith is that of over relying on chance
and personal efforts without give due credit to the power of God
to bring change into one’s life.
Our third concern is that of the types of faith; they are two
in number.  The first is that of a conditional faith while the second
is an unconditional faith. The conditional faith is one manifested
whenever the person expresses it as things going well in his/her
life. This type of faith can be labeled as the sunshine faith; it beams

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when the light of success is shining, but is shrinks when the
darkness of trouble appears. The unconditional faith, in contrast,
persists even in the darkest moments of life. It is like a light at the
end of the tunnel. This unconditional faith breeds patience and
confidence. It prevails during the darkness moment of life, but
is also presence in times of success. The Old Patriarch, Job,
symbolized unconditional faith when he said, Though He slays me
yet will I trust him and, on another occasion Job uttered as he
suffered a lingering illness, “Of all my appointed days, I will wait
until my change come”. While Job’s unconditional faith is
admirable, he was not the only Biblical personality to embody such
a faith. As noted in our text, the Three Hebrew Boys were, also, a
premiere example of the unconditional faith. ( See Dan. 3:17-18 ).
In closing, let us seek to attain the lofty status of having
an unconditional faith in God. In so doing, we must remember
three realities: “Christians today, like the Hebrew boys, are
constantly under pressure to conform to existing patterns of life
and thought; the people of God have no guarantee of escape from
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pain and suffering even when they do what is right; and the
Christian philosophy of life is endurance and not escape from
the uncertainties of life. Amen.

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