“Look…and Live”

Kenny Foster

March 10, 2024


Sermon by Kenny Foster, Associate Pastor Numbers 21:4-9 & John 3:14-21. Every person has placed their faith in someone or something. But merely having faith doesn’t save. The natural position of our hearts is to think our act of belief determines our salvation. You hear people say it about a number of things. Someone will say, “I don’t believe in God.” Then they will say, “Therefore I don’t need to think about him or anything he has supposedly said.” It is as if their act of believing is the power by which the universe conforms! It is a shock to our spiritual system to find out that acting in faith doesn’t save us. Like Nicodemus, who incredulously asked Jesus, “How can these things be?” Jesus reminds the teacher of Israel of the story of the Israelite’s experience with the snakes of Number 21 to show that it is God who provides our salvation. Thus, our salvation is determined by the One to whom our faith looks. Our Scripture passages, on which this sermon is based, reminds both the believer and the unbeliever that our salvation is not dependent on our action, but on God. Faith is an act of obedience whereby the Lord of salvation commands us to look at the exalted Son of God and discover the process of eternal life beginning to grow. Faith requires our action, but our action isn’t what saves. Salvation isn’t, “Come, pray a prayer to be delivered from hell”, and now you are good. No. Salvation is Christ taking the venom of our sins and the wrath of God that is aimed at our burning, infectious, sins, in his body, thus killing sin and satisfying the wrath of God. This is what the analogy of Moses and the Serpent and the Son of Man being lifted up shows us. It is only through the Son that life comes.
This sermon will ask two questions, “Do you believe your act of faith is what saves you?” And, “In whom are you placing your faith?” Our faith doesn’t save us, but Jesus does. We are commanded to look at Christ and live because he is eternal life. And faith is the gift of God that enables us to receive the salvation he has provided through his Son.