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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

"Beyond Belief"
Epiphany III--Series B
Text: Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Note: This outline centers on the belief of the sailors--who certainly were affected by the storm--as opposed to the trust of Jonah and the Ninevites post-big fish and "circuit riding" episodes.

A. Belief (intellectual comprehension, even being astounded or "wow-ed")

1. Believing we're saved because of who we are or what we do (e.g., the great capital city [Assyria], center of commerce Nineveh)

2. Believing we're worthy of God's grace (ibid)

3. Believing repentance is more for others than for us ("It's the [our] economy, stupid!")

4. Believing others are more deserving of God's wrath--e.g., those worldly and cruel Ninevites

B. Trust (i.e., faith)

1. There's almost always an element of surprise (shock therapy?) in it--e.g., that the Ninevites would ever repent...especially with no evidence of miracles

2. Calls us to repentance and promises forgiveness (the "Jonahs" in our lives)

3. Listens to Christ--even if begrudingly and with fear ("It's God's economy [stewardship], stupid!")

4. God's Word is its base--a pointed (40 days until doom and destruction!), persistent (yet not pushy), and powerful Word (first-day[!] repentance from the king on down, fasting and mourning! Repentance even from God! [verse 10] and eternal forgiveness effected!

Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM