Believing and Seeking – Gospel in Life

Believing and Seeking

Tim Keller |  May 3, 1992

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  • Easter
John 20:1-16; 24-29
RS 26-16

John 20:1–16; 24–29

In John 20, we see Jesus appearing to his followers after being resurrected. These appearances show us how important faith is. The followers, like Mary and Thomas, only changed when they met the risen Jesus and believed in him. This shows us that to experience God’s power, we need to have faith in Jesus. There are also four key things we learn about faith from this story: it’s impossible on our own, it’s personal, it forms our life’s foundation, and it’s unconditional.

1. Faith is impossible

Believing in the risen Jesus isn’t something we can do on our own. It’s a gift given to us, even when we fight against it because we want to be in control. Jesus gives us this gift in a way that speaks to us individually – with evidence for those who think logically, a personal connection for those who are emotional, solid proof for those who doubt, and humility for those who are proud. The first step to receive this gift is to admit that we can’t believe on our own and that we need faith.

2. Faith is personal

Faith isn’t about abstract ideas; it’s about having a personal relationship with Jesus. We see this in the story of Peter, John, Mary, and Thomas who changed after they encountered Jesus. Christianity isn’t just about teachings and values, but believing in Jesus as God, who was born of a virgin and resurrected. To understand Jesus, we need to read the Gospels fully, try to understand his wisdom, love, goodness, and seriousness, and through this personal encounter, we form a true belief.

3. Faith is foundational

Faith starts from a convinced mind, like Peter and John who examined the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. But it’s more than just intellectual belief, it requires a commitment to build your life on a new foundation. Like the Philippian jailer who, in a moment of despair, decided to build his life on a new basis. True faith is foundational, meaning it requires deep commitment and persuasion to build your life on Jesus.

4. Faith is unconditional

Thomas, at first, wanted physical proof of Jesus’ resurrection. This showed he wanted to control his faith. But when he saw Jesus’ wounds, he threw away his conditions and understood he couldn’t control or negotiate with God. This story reminds us that faith means letting go of our expectations and demands, and fully trusting in God’s plan.



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