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2-27-22 “The True Believer”

“The True Believer” (Luke 9:28-43a)

David Peterson / General

Prayer / Luke 9:28–43

Sermon type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: Christ’s life radiated the reality of God, transforming others. The secret to his power was his total trust in God, his faith, expressed by a life of prayer, which is the way we receive God’s presence and transforming power–leading to the transformation of the world around us.


1. Don’t skip the hard words! That’s where the good stuff is! (Luke 9:41)

2. A contrast is being made here, to awaken us to action.

3. A contrast between the disciples (the unbelieving, less than fully believing) and Jesus (The true believer)

I. The True Believer Has Power (Luke 9:42b)

1. Jesus was implying that they could have power, that the disciples (Lk 9:40) should have been able to drive the devil out of the boys’ life.

2. Luke is teaching us that we should seek and expect to be people of power.

The proof of Christianity is not a book but a life. The power of Christianity is not a creed but a Christian character; and wherever you see life that has been transformed by the grace of God, you see a witness to the resurrection of Jesus.

Source: William M. Woodfin, Leadership, Vol. 8, no. 1.

1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Conversion)

In 1871 the New York Herald sent Henry Stanley to Africa in search of the missionary, David Livingstone, who was long overdue. After unbelievable hardships, the journalist found the explorer in central Africa, where he spent four months with him. Stanley went to Africa a conceited and confirmed atheist, but Livingstone’s influence, gentleness, genuineness, goodness, and zeal won Stanley. Stanley became a Christian, saying, “I was converted by him, although he had not tried to do it.”

II. The Source of the Believer’s Power is God’s Presence (Luke 9:34, 29)

1. Jesus comes from being in the presence of God, as Moses did.

2. Luke emphasized that Jesus’ began his ministry in the power of the Spirit (Lk. 4:1, 14)

3. And Jesus himself attributes his power to God’s presence in his life through the Spirit (Lk. 4:18)

Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations (1363 Power from Sun)

French scientists have built high in the Pyrenees the world’s largest solar furnace. This amazing furnace, with its complex of nearly 20,000 mirrors, can concentrate enough sunlight to create temperature in excess of 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit.According to Time, “Anchored against a reinforced concrete office and laboratory building, the huge concave mirror consists of 8,570 individual reflectors. For the furnace to operate efficiently, these small (18 inches square) mirrors must be precisely adjusted so that light will converge exactly at the parabola’s focal point 59 feet in front of the giant reflector.“It takes only a minute for the powerful light from the reflector to cut a fiery hole through 3/8-inch-thick steel plate.”

III. The Way to Receive God’s Presence is in Believing Prayer (Luke 9:28-29)

1. Time and Time again Luke mentions that Jesus was praying.

a. His baptism (Lk. 4:21)

b. Before he chose his apostles and gave his great sermon on the kingdom (Lk. 6:12)—he spent the night praying.

c. He was on the mountain to pray when God’s presence came (Lk. 9:28)

d. He taught that the very purpose of prayer is receiving the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:13)

More Perfect Illustrations: For Every Topic and Occasion (Power: Powerless Christianity)

While visiting Grand Coulee Dam, my family and I were surprised to see that the visitors’ center was dark. It was a sunny day, so we thought the center might have tinted windows, but as we got closer we realized there were no lights on. We went in and saw that none of the displays were working. Suddenly it became clear: there was no power to the center. Due to a technical difficulty of some kind, the visitors’ center that sat only hundreds of feet from a hydroelectric dam had no power.How could something be so close to the power source, yet not be “plugged in”?Citation: Paul Dawson; Pendleton, Oregon


The ‘3.5% rule’: How a small minority can change the world

In 1986, millions of Filipinos took to the streets of Manila in peaceful protest and prayer in the People Power movement. The Marcos regime folded on the fourth day.

In 2003, the people of Georgia ousted Eduard Shevardnadze through the bloodless Rose Revolution, in which protestors stormed the parliament building holding the flowers in their hands. While in 2019, the presidents of Sudan and Algeria both announced they would step aside after decades in office, thanks to peaceful campaigns of resistance.

In each case, civil resistance by ordinary members of the public trumped the political elite to achieve radical change.

There are, of course, many ethical reasons to use nonviolent strategies. But compelling research by Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics – by a long way.

Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

In Chenoweth’s data set, it was only once the nonviolent protests had achieved that 3.5% threshold of active engagement that success seemed to be guaranteed.


Acts 17:6 “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. NKJV


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