The Dangers of Superficial Faith Part 1 by Ed Pruitt

John 2:23-25

The Dangers of Superficial Faith
Part 1
Sunday October 14, 2001

We want to thank you again and we want to praise the Lord this morning, again for the privilege we’ve had to be bringing you this series on prayer for the last few weeks.

Just as I have said before, we trust you’ll never let the spirit of revival die—it can—unless we keep throwing fuel on it. Amen.

But God would have us move right on.

Keep the good spirit moving right forward because there are lots of people who need help on every side.

And we’re glad that God is ready as never before to work in and through His people, if we will just submit ourselves to him.

I have been studying throughout the week about how to get a hold of God in prayer.

And certainly God has sent His word, to let us know that He is waiting to hear from us, and that he does want to answer prayer and bless us if we truly look to him.

Now this morning, may we move from the line of thought that we may have been going to deal with and want to study a little bit in the second chapter of John;

Pray that God will bring us the help that we stand in need of this morning.

In the second chapter of John, we’re going to read verses 23-25 and we’re going to look to the Lord in prayer.

Father, we thank thee again this morning for the privilege that you give us to assemble together.

And Lord as we assemble together our eyes are lifted to thee, our heads are looking up.

My God, we know our health cometh from thee.

We pray in the name of Jesus that you’ll anoint now this morning.

You know the very anointing that’s needed.

Let us be able to speak the word of God with authority and clarity.

We pray you’ll rebuke the enemy of souls, rebuke every spirit that isn’t like thee, contrary to the working of your Holy Spirit.

That you might be able to have free intercourse with each heart this morning.

My God, give us understanding hearts and minds.

Oh, in the name of Jesus, sanctify us through thy truth this morning.

In Jesus’ name and we give you the praise. Amen.
John the second chapter, please.

I want to read the 23rd to the 25th verses and I might say, before we begin, there may be some things that before we get through this morning that would be contrary to your thinking.

And certainly all we ask you to do is just consider, give thought to God’s eternal word.

We’re sure of this, that God is able to clarify every line of truth where there is the least bit of confusion—Amen—if we’ll just look to him.

In John the second chapter, 23rd verse, “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, speaking of Jesus, in the feast day, many believed in His name when they saw the miracles which he did.

But Jesus did not commit himself unto them because he knew all men and knoweth not that any should test the fire of man for he knew what was in man.

I want to read that again for the benefit of those that may not have the scripture with them.

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, speaking of Jesus, in the feast day, many believed in His name when they saw the miracles which he did.

But Jesus did not commit himself unto them because he knew all men and knoweth not that any should test the fire of man for he knew what was in man.
In our text this morning before us is pictured a group of people that believed in Christ’s name but their faith didn’t satisfy Christ.

He didn’t take a bit of faith in their faith.

This morning we are preaching on, The Danger of Superficial Faith.

And I’m preaching on a subject my friend that is valid and needed because there is much superficial faith today.

Amen. And we need to feel the danger.

I want to say there are some people that have never had real faith in God, never had it.

And then there are some who once had real faith in God, but through circumstances their faith today has become superficial.

Amen. I’m not speaking in a way of condemning anyone, but I do want you to study with me, please.

Loan your mind to God and let him help you this morning.

I want you to notice that the scripture said, “Many believed in his name.”

But the next verse said, “Jesus didn’t commit himself to them,” cause he knew their faith wasn’t real.

And went on to say.
That he knew what was in man, and he didn’t need no one to tell him.”

He’s got understanding.

He knows what’s going on down inside of everyone of us right now, every thought, every attitude, every desire.

He not only knows what we’re doing, he knows what we’re thinking about doing.

Amen. It’s so necessary we consider these things.

Now the scripture said, many believed in his name when they saw the miracle, but Jesus didn’t take faith in their faith

Their faith didn’t satisfy Christ, and I could go a little further, it didn’t satisfy them.

Amen, It didn’t even satisfy them.

If we go just a little further in John’s gospel over in the 8th chapter, see Jesus knows how to handle every situation.

It wasn’t a few, it was many.

Many believed on his name, but it wasn’t real faith, and Jesus knew it wasn’t real faith.

So he has a way of drawing people out.

He’s got a way of bringing us to a place where we can understand what’s in us.

We may not know what’s in us.

But He knows what’s in us, and He has a way of drawing us to the place where we’ll know what’s in us.

So this group that said that many believed in him I’d like to follow chapter after chapter, if I could, but I can’t.

So just jump to the 8th chapter, you’ve got the same group and Jesus speaking here in John 8:31.

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him.

Now it’s the same group, “If you continue in my word, then you’re my disciples in thee.”

Now what did he say to them?

“The deciding factor of whether your faith in me is real or not, is going to be determined by your attitude toward My Word.”

And that is still true this morning.

Oh, we have all kind of people that tell you how to believe in Jesus, but they can’t hold stead of the word.

They fuss the word, fight the word.

I know the Lord will help us. Amen.

Somebody said, “Brother Pruitt, you’re starting off close.

No. I just want to lay this out here that you might see the difference between real faith and superficial faith.”

So Jesus said to them, “If you continue in my word, then you’re my disciples.”

Who did he speak to? These many that believed in him.

They said, “we believe in him.

Well Jesus said, “I have a way of knowing whether you believe in me.

You continue in my word, then you’re my disciples.”

Now you go right on through the 8th Chapter and get to the last verse.

Through that 8th chapter he laid down several truths.

And the last verse said they took up stones and stoned him.

Who did? The many that believed on him.

Now you can’t stone me this morning.

I’m not at least bit afraid of you stoning me.
Somebody said, “Boy, you stone me, I’ll have you put in jail.”

Yeah, we’re living in a time of different law now.

Someone said, “would you like to have me put in jail?”

“Throw a stone at me and see.” The law is for the lawless.

I’ll call the police that quick if you go throwing stones at me today.

Amen, I mean that.

But even though people don’t throw stones, the same spirit is there in the hearts of men and women that raise up against the truth, that say they have faith in Christ all of the time.

Amen, I’ll let that soak in a little bit.

Somebody said, “Brother Pruitt, what are you troubled about?”

“I’m troubled about the danger of superficial faith.

There is much of it today. Far too much of it today.

Amen, It leads, just as we’ve seen in the scripture thus far, superficial faith leads men into deception.

And verse 24 is my text.

John 2:24, says “Christ never commits himself to the people.”
They never really receive Christ.

And they don’t every receive anything from Christ.

I want to help some that may be sitting around and saying, “Brother Pruitt, I want to really get something out of services.”

But it don’t do me no good to get down to the church anymore, I don’t get anything.

Amen, There is a reason for it.

Friend, when your faith becomes superficial, Christ don’t commit himself to you.

You don’t get nothing out of praying.

You don’t get nothing out of reading.

You don’t get nothing out of preaching.

You don’t get nothing out of nothing.

Brother, this thing even gets in the ministry.

Where preachers were once on fire for God and had faith, their faith becomes superficial and Christ don’t commit himself to them.

So they preach a dry, short message. No Christ in it.

No life in it. No power in it. What’s the trouble?
Christ don’t commit himself to them, cause their faith is superficial.

Now, let’s study a superficial faith. God help us this morning.

A superficial faith has no deep root in the heart.

I want you to see what their faith was built on.

John 2:23, “Many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he done.”

Their faith was built on the ground of miracles.

And they believed in his name, here, speaking of believing in his name, they believed he was the Messiah but they would not except him as a Savior.

And the reason for it, their faith was merely grounded on his miracles.

While they accept the facts of God, they don’t want to get involved with him.

Such faith, superficial faith is mere opinion.

Do you ever hear people say today, “in my opinion.”

My friend, real faith goes deeper than the opinion, or the opinions of men.

I want you to see that this faith took root in the miracles they saw.

That’s exactly where it took root and I’m not preaching against miracles.

I believe in them and the gift of miracles will be working in the church until Jesus comes again, with all the other gifts, if you’ll let it work.

But I am saying, my friend, even as these people, there are too many people today letting their faith take root in something they see.

Something they hear, and whenever that something they see don’t work like it use to exactly, they don’t have any faith.

I want to help some of you.

I deal with people all over Amarillo, that has laid out of church,
they’ve quit.

And one reason they have quit is well, they say, Well the power of God is not being manifested in the Church of God like it once was.

Been a long time since we’ve seen a miracle.

Been a long time since we’ve seen a real manifestation of God’s power and because of that, we’ve lost faith and we don’t go around.

Friend, that’s superficial faith. Your faith is built in circumstances.

Amen, Miracles, your faith is built merely in an answer to prayer or God working some great thing.

Somebody said, “Where does real faith take root?”

In the heart.

Real faith takes roots in the seat of your affection, right in the middle of your love.

And when it takes root there, my friend, when real faith takes root in your heart, no matter what anybody else does,

That real faith will move you to the place of giving your life to God in service, seven days a week, no matter what happens, you will serve God.

Real faith is not believing with the mind, real faith is believing with the heart.

With the mouth, man makes confession, but with the heart, man believes the salvation.

My friend, too many people have got the roots, even in this minister, that minister, this group, that group, and if they go down, we go down.

Superficial faith. It won’t work. Why?

God is going to allow your faith to be tested.
And that thing you have your faith in, God will let it become shaky right in front of your eyes? Why?

To see whether your faith is in that, or fixed in Jesus Christ and rooted in your heart alone.

I’m sure you can understand already, that there is much superficial faith today.

I say that superficial faith is mere opinion, it contains no commitment.

The Bible says that Christ didn’t commit himself to these people.

You know why? Because they didn’t commit to him.

Friends, before Christ ever commits himself to you there has got to be a commitment on your hand.

Their faith was built in miracles.

As long as he worked the miracles, fed the multitudes, they were right on hand.

They were believers. But when he got them out far enough.

He said, “I’m going to preach to you now and if you’re real disciples, you’ll continue not in the miracles, you’ll continue in my word.

If you never see a miracle wrought, you’ll follow me because of the word.”

What did they do? Picked up stones and threw at him.

You just let your mind wonder the least bit; you’ll know there is a lot of superficial faith out here in the world, my friend, and the way it’s determined is by the straight word of God.

So this faith is mere opinion, it contains no commitment; no appropriation; or no submission.

This faith rests in intellectual acknowledgment of Christ and doesn’t pass on to spiritual surrender.

Now we’ve already read right from the lesson

Since this faith had no real root in the heart, it doesn’t lead to loyal acceptance of Christ’s doctrine.

Just as soon as he got the preaching doctrine, their faith faded, and they started throwing stones.

You’d be surprised how many got superficial faith out over the land.

They’ll drop into services but they will make it known to you what they are interested in.

They don’t believe in indoctrinating anybody, they say, don’t get on that doctrine.