Luke 24 Lesson

The Opposite Of Faith Is Doubt

THE OPPOSITE OF FAITH IS DOUBT

Satan loves to create doubt!  As you read Luke 24, notice how even those closest to Jesus, at times, had doubts.

This did not make them worthless.  Jesus did not condemn them for it.  It simply meant that they were human. 

In the closing chapter of his gospel, Luke gives us insight into what life was like immediately after Jesus’ resurrection, the most significant event in the history of the world!

Jesus rose from the grave on the third day following His crucifixion, just as He said He would.

And yet, Jesus’ own Apostles did not believe it was Him when He appeared.  You may ask yourselves, where was their faith?  Or how could that be?  After all that they had witnessed, how did they not believe that Jesus did exactly what He said He was going to do? 

It just goes to show us how powerful doubt is, and how if we are not careful, Satan will fill our minds with doubt.   

PROTECTING OURSELVES FROM DOUBT

The best way to protect ourselves from doubtis to read the Bible!  

The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:

  • “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17.

The more time we spend in God’s word, the stronger our faith becomes, and the less susceptible we will be to doubt.  Additionally, we should reflect on what Paul meant when he wrote to the Ephesians:

  • Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Ephesians 6:14-17.

In this passage, Paul writes about what it means to put on, “The full armor of God.”  Note the different forms of protection that Paul mentions, including:

  1. Girding our loins with truth,
  2. The breastplate of righteousness,
  3. The Gospel of Peace,
  4. The shield of faith,
  5. The helmet of salvation,
  6. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

To protect ourselves from doubt, God has provided us with His Word, His example, His Spirit, and above all faith.

ACTING ON FAITH

Our faith does not mean anything until we act on it.  In the book of James, we read:

  • “What use is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?  In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” –James 2:14-17.

ALL OF US EXPERIENCE TEMPORARY MOMENTS OF DOUBT

Only a few days before Peter received the news that Jesus had risen, he denied Jesus three times (Luke 22:54-62).  This time, however, things were going to be different for Peter!  This time, his faith would be stronger than his doubt.  This time, his belief would be greater than his fear.  Luke writes:

  • “But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.” – Luke 24:12.  

Peter’s story reminds us of how God can use our failures to teach us.  The Apostle John also wrote about Peter denying Jesus three times.  In John’s Gospel, he also recounts the story of Jesus asking Peter three times if he loved Him. 

Why three times?   Could it be because Peter had earlier denied Jesus three times?  Maybe Jesus wanted to let Peter know that He still had plans for him, that he was still wanted, and that Jesus still loved him.  Each of the three times that Jesus asked Peter if He loved Him, Peter responded that he did, and each time Jesus responded with a different command.  The three commands were to:

  1. “Tend My lambs,”
  2. “Shepard My sheep,”
  3. “Tend My sheep.”

After Peter denied Jesus three times, he may have felt that he was no longer of any use to the Lord.  By welcoming Peter back, Jesus let him know that He was forgivenand that there was still important work to be done. 

CONCLUSION

It is normal to have doubts from time to time.  Even those closest to Jesus had doubts.  

There are things we can do to strengthen our faith and reduce doubt.  The best thing we can do to increase our faith is to read the Bible!  As we mature in our faith, we should be compelled to act on our faith.  We will end today’s study with the following scripture:

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8.

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Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Pat Dermody

Faith means having trust in God. When we trust we can alleviate doubts and worries that arise during our life long journey. How much happier we are when we place our trust in God ! “Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you.” 1Peter 5:7 I’m most at peace when I say to myself”Let go, let God.”

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Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Cindy
Virtual Bible Study

Participating in communion each week, expecting and anticipating that Jesus will reveal himself to me. Purposefully preparing for those moments to open my eyes, thus demonstrating my faith.

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Michelle

What does that mean...why do you seek the living one among the dead?

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John
Michelle

That was said to the two women at the tomb.

It’s just another way of saying, “Jesus is not dead in the tomb, He is alive and risen! You won’t find Him here.”

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Michelle
John

Thankyou

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