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Dispelling Disbelief

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning from the way Jesus turns Thomas' disbelief into a glorious confession of His Divinity.

Text: John 20:24-29
Date: 08/23/2020, the Combined service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 191

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We come to the fourth and final story in John's Resurrection narrative chronicling the way the disciples and Mary came to true belief in the Resurrected Lord-- the famous story of "doubting Thomas". We will look closely into what John has told us about Thomas and glean as much as we can concerning his character and relationship with Christ. This will help us understand some of the lessons hidden in his interaction with Jesus. We will notice the reasons for his disbelief and then notice carefully how Jesus turns that disbelief into one of the most powerful and profound confessions of the divinity of Christ in Scripture. Ultimately we will apply these lessons to ourselves, as we honestly and transparently learn the Scripturally-based secret of dispelling our own disbeliefs.

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, John 20:24-29.
A. Context
B. Thomas' journey to faith.
1. Introducing Thomas, vs. 24.
a. What we all ready know about Thomas.
i. Attributes of his character.
• A loyal and courageous disciple, John 11:16.
• A "clueless" disciple, John 14:5.
• An outspoken disciple.
• An honest disciple.
ii. One of the twelve.
iii. The twin, Mark 6:3.
b. Why Thomas was missing at Jesus' first visit.
i. The easy but less likely answer.
ii. Deeply impacted by the Crucifixion, 1Cor. 15:19.
iii. The danger of isolation.
2. Thomas' conditions for belief, vs. 25.
a. The testimony of the disciples.
i. A persistent testimony.
ii. A consistent testimony, John 20:18.
b. Thomas' skeptical response.
i. Some positive observations.
• His honesty.
• The ring of authenticity.
ii. Some negative observations.
• Failing to believe.
• Looking for the wrong Lord.
• A gross misunderstanding of Jesus' Words, Matt. 16:21.
c. Seeking a sign.
i. The behavior of unbelief, John 4:48.
ii. Thomas' conditions for belief.
iii. A mark of unbelief.
3. The Re-appearance of Jesus, vs. 26.
a. Determining the day.
b. A complete gathering.
c. Behind locked doors, John 20:19.
d. The appearance and greeting.
4. The conditions met, vs. 27.
a. A clear case of omniscience.
b. An act of love, grace, and Providence.
i. An act of love, 1Pet. 4:8, John 15:9.
ii. An act of grace.
iii. An act of Providence.
c. A call to belief.
i. Turning Thomas around.
ii. Setting his path straight.
iii. Mimicking the unbelieving world.
5. Thomas' crystalline confession, vs. 28.
a. Thomas' crystalline moment.
b. The confession.
6. Blessed belief, vs. 29.
a. Thundering silence.
b. The gentle reprimand, Rom. 10:14.
c. A blessing for those who believe, John 13:17.
d. The road to blessing, 1Pet. 1:8-9.
III. Application
A. The anatomy of unbelief.
B. A strategy for dispelling disbelief.
1. Be honest about your disbeliefs!
a. Be honest with yourself.
b. Be honest with the Lord.
c. Be honest with the shepherds of your church.
2. Seek the Words of Christ.
a. Enter into the Presence of your Lord.
b. Be obedient to the direct commands of the Lord, John 14:15.
C. A personal example.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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