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February 12, 2017

"THE TOUCH OF FAITH"

TEXT: Luke 8: 43-48
READING:  Hebrews 4: 1-16

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SUBJ: Christ as the object of true faith and that such faith always seeks real contact with Christ and draws upon Him for every need.

AIM: That we might follow this example which is commended by our Lord and seek in every aspect of our salvation to touch Him and so draw upon the virtue that is His.

INTR: Peter wrote that we should add to our faith virtue. We having none must draw virtue and all that we need from Christ the things that follow: knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity.
1. This is one of the better-known narratives in scripture and we visit it again with the hopes of being renewed in the instruction in righteousness if brings to us.
2. Its message is one of encouragement to all who have come to sense a need and have discovered that help is not to be found in themselves or in the world.
3. Desperation drives one to lay aside all pride and self-reliance and will discover Christ and the need to fully confess both personal unworthiness and Christ as the only way of salvation.

THESIS: Impossible situations and circumstances are the order of the day for fallen man and only the grace of God revealing Christ will ever bring relief and salvation. This is another instance of an earthly condition exposing a spiritual need wherein saving faith prevails.

I. An act of faith (vv. 43-44)
1. While the condition of this lady is not fully revealed there are several things implied
1) Ceremonially, she was considered unclean and would not have been allowed into the Temple
2) Socially, she was an outcast
3) Physically, she was weak from an incurable disease
4) Financially, she was destitute as a result
5) And so, she is driven to desperation
2. She came as the risk of being cast away in that many would have known of her condition, but here only hope was in view and she believed that he could and would heal her
1) She had heard of Him and
2) Perhaps she had seen Him and
3) Believed that contact with Him would be sufficient.
3. The result was immediate
1) Not some magical occurrence as a result of superstition
2) This is indicative of the response coming to genuine faith in that Christ alone is the object and such is always honored!
i. There was no outward action required and no ceremony to perform it was
ii. Touch and be healed (the methods of our Lord were many and varied, but in each He acts sovereignly and faith is always vindicated).

II. Our Lord’s sensing of faith (vv. 45-46)
1. According to scholars what she touched was a tassel that hung from His garment in accordance with the Law and practice. (To get in position to reach down and touch the bottom of the garment would have surely attracted attention, whereas, she could have reached the tassel while standing and it was her intention to go unnoticed).
2. The response of Christ was instant.
1) An incidental touch would go unnoticed but
2) The word indicates that He senses a touch as of someone attaching to Him
3) The word for virtue here is usually translated power (dunamis).
3. It requires the virtue (force, ability, abundance, power, strength, mighty work) of Christ to accomplish what man cannot.
1) The question of Christ here was not for His own benefit; it was for those observing – a needed interruption.
2) They could not distinguish among the crowd, but faith made the difference.

III. The profession of faith (vv. 47-48)
1. Along with the sense that she had been healed this dear lady knew that He knew for the power that went out of Him was now alive in her. There had been and continued to be real contact with Christ.
2. The effect was notable:
1) She trembled at the presence of Him who had been revealed to her so wonderfully
2) She worshiped at His feet
3) She openly confessed her action and the marvelous result physically and spiritually
3. The commendation of faith
1) Daughter – acknowledged by Christ as one for whom He would die and raise again
2) Be of good courage and good cheer – blessed
3) Her faith, by laying hold on Christ, had made her every whit whole.
4) Go in peace that He gives and was secured in His work on Calvary.