16 Aug Sermon Recap | New Testament Characters | Thomas
The disciples encountered first hand the resurrected Jesus. Our experience as Christians today is different than the experience the disciples had but just as powerful. We’ve been given the Holy Spirit who allows us to have a personal and different experience of our resurrected Lord. Through our personal relationship with Christ, access to the Holy Spirit, prayer, and obedience to the Scriptures we are able to build our faith, continue believing, and have life by the power of His name.
1. Many of us struggle with doubt because we’ve only had a conceptual or theological experience of who Jesus is. As Christians though, we are blessed with having the Holy Spirit live inside us. He allows us to have a personal experience with a personal God, which is necessary for real faith. Can you recall when you had a personal experience with the Holy Spirit? How did that encounter shape your faith?
2. Encountering trials and suffering are inevitable as believers. Having a private experience with Scripture by immersing yourself in the Scriptures and doing the hard work to think Biblically are necessary to avoid succumbing to doubt when faced with hardship. In what ways is the Word of God shaping you so that your thoughts are being conformed to His thoughts and you see yourself and your circumstances in light of Scripture?
3. Prayer and seeing God answer our prayers in real and tangible ways allows us to see that God is active and at work in our lives. Having a strong prayer life helps us to continue believing in His truth and promises. How do you need to develop your prayer life in order to experience more fully the presence of God in your life?
4. We cannot just read Scripture, we must also act based on what the Scriptures say and be obedient to God’s commands. When we put the Scriptures into action, we begin to see God change us and change those around us. Life change builds our faith. Where are you obeying and seeing the power of sin reduced in your life as you obey?
Thoughts to Consider
-Our experience of the resurrection can be just as personal as the one Thomas had. The Holy Spirit allows us to have a different experience, role, and access that is not inferior to the experience of the early disciples.
-In order for the Holy Spirit to impress the Scriptures into your life, you must experience it privately, corporately, and in Biblical community.
-If we are going to come under and have our faith shaped by the Scriptures, it’s going to have to be applied in the context of people who know us well. Biblical community is an important piece to building our faith.
-When we begin to question our faith, we’ve often settled into a besetting sin and drifted away from Him. The first step towards building our faith is moving—moving towards Jesus.