Four Dimensions Of Faith

Faith Is More Than A Thought

Four Dimensions Of Faith
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The Holy Bible is clear about what real, God-glorifying faith is. It is more than just thinking. Often it is acting with perseverance as the friends of a certain sick man did as recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

The terms “faith” and “believe” can be quite broad with their definitions and one can probably find examples of all those definitions throughout the written Word of God. However, when the Word of God presents them in cases where the miraculous had been performed we see what faith or belief that brings us to a touch from God looks like.


There are many such examples in the New Testament (NT) of where faith brings us into the power of God. For this message I am thinking of the occurrence in Luke 5:17 to 26 where a man afflicted with what the KJV terms “a palsy” is miraculously healed by Christ. The Greek word {1} used there for “palsy” can mean, . . .


to loose on one side or from the side
2. to loose or part things placed side by side
3. to loosen, dissolve
4. to weaken, enfeeble
5. suffering from the relaxing of the nerves, unstrung, weak of limb
6. tottering, weakened, feeble knees


The actual Greek word is παραλυω which can be transliterated as paraluo and is pronounced par-al-oo’-o. This looks a little close to the English word, “paralyze”. This Greek term occurs five times in the NT where it is rendered by the Authorized Version as “sick of the palsy,” “taken with palsy,” or “feeble.”


While the man, indeed, had disabling ailment, there are a number of real applications in the spirit realm in regard to palsy. Predominately is the point that our sin nature would prefer to spiritually cripple us. But whether we have a spiritual need, physical need, or both, when we look closely from Luke 5:18 to the first part of verse 20 we will see four dimensions of faith displayed by the man that was ill and by his friends that helped him.


I. Its Depth - Love for the needy and trust in Christ, 18a


“And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy . . .”


Behold indeed! Behold what love and concern these men had for their friend who had been stricken with a debilitating disease. And, as we continue, let us keep looking at this palsy as a need, any need we or an acquaintance might have.


We can safely assume that the men helping their disabled friend had their own busy lives where they had to earn a living. However, they forgot about themselves and considered their friend in need. They had a love for their friend.


They also had trust in Jesus, no doubt having heard about Him from others. They knew that God was with Him, although they might not have known Christ was God veiled in flesh. They knew that Jesus did great and wondrous miracles by the power of God.


We too must have a love for the one in need, even if that one is ourselves. We also must trust in Christ. We should live in such a way that He is the first one, and the primary one, we trust.


II. Its Breadth Diligence, 18b


“ . . . and they sought means to bring him in . . . “


Immediately this calls to mind Christ’s exhortation in Matthew 6:33 that we ask, seek, and knock -- all three terms being particles denoting ongoing action – asking, seeking, knocking. We can well imagine these men explored, and even used, every means to get their sick friend to Jesus. Such diligence is an element of the faith that comes into the presence and power of God.


Sometimes some Christians tell me they have been seeking an answer to their need or needs, but when I ask them the following questions most times they reply “no” to some, if not all of them: Are you continually worshiping God? Are you reading and studying the Holy Bible? Have you consistently presented this need before God through spiritual warfare? Have you been fasting unto Him and communing with Him? Have you been faithfully serving Him by participating in church? Have you been faithfully been serving Him in other ways?


And a very key point is that these men did not give up. They kept on trying. Not reaching their objective was not acceptable to them. And this is true when we have a need. Grant it, there are times when we, like Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), might have to accept a “thorn in the flesh,” but that should only be done so if we are truly motivated by the Holy Spirit.


III. Its HeightObjective, 18c


“. . . and to lay him before Him.”


Naturally we would think that if we have a need then the objective is to have that need corrected or filled. But our real need is to lay it, and ourselves, before Him.


In today’s society we can be easily sidetracked to avoid going to Jesus for a need. If you have a car and some money then getting a car mechanic to fix a car problem could be the first thing that comes to one’s mind. And, the big one for most people is, call your doctor or nurse practitioner – almost for anything anymore.


Not too long ago I read somewhere that if you have earwax you should go to the doctor to have it removed. I have been taking care of my ears for almost sixty years now and never had a problem, because I had sensible parents that taught me the proper way to do things. More than that, Christ is now in my life and I try to see to it that His Holy Spirit is welcomed to guide me in all that I do, including taking care of my body.


It is good practice to depend upon Christ for various matters throughout the day. It may seem unnecessary, but after walking over forty years with Christ it appears to me it is necessary. Depending upon Him for the routine and regular everyday things trains us to depend upon Him for greater needs.


IV. Its LengthDetermined, 19


“And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.”


Especially in these days, determination is an important element of faith. By God’s grace go against the current of society, avoid the whirlpools of the world, and resolve not to be pulled back down into sin.


These men that brought their disabled friend to Christ encountered what some would think as limitations and impossibilities. However, they forgot about any inconveniences they would have and forged on to Christ to help their friend.


And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, your sins are forgiven.” We can say we have faith, but there is always something visible about the faith that saves a sinner and brings His servants into the realm of power of the Kingdom of God.




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{1} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.


This article was in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. You should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at .


Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.


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