There seem to be countless sermon illustrations on faith—but some are better than others. Find six memorable ones below!
Sermon illustration on enduring faith
From Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes:
Faith honors God, and God honors faith! A story from the life of missionaries Robert and Mary Moffat illustrates this truth. For ten years this couple labored faithfully in Bechuanaland (now called Botswana) without one ray of encouragement to brighten their way. They could not report a single convert.
Finally the directors of their mission board began to question the wisdom of continuing the work. The thought of leaving their post, however, brought great grief to this devoted couple, for they felt sure that God was in their labors, and that they would see people turn to Christ in due season. They stayed, and for a year or two longer, darkness reigned.
One day a friend in England sent word to the Moffats that she wanted to mail them a gift and asked what they would like. Trusting that in time the Lord would bless their work, Mrs. Moffat replied, “Send us a communion set; I am sure it will soon be needed.” God honored that dear woman’s faith. The Holy Spirit moved upon the hearts of the villagers, and soon a little group of six converts was united to form the first Christian church in that land. The communion set from England was delayed in the mail, but on the very day before the first commemoration of the Lord’s Supper in Bechuanaland, the set arrived.1
Sermon illustrations on full faith in Christ
From 10,000 Sermon Illustrations:
Imagine that you are out in the middle of a lake and there are two rowboats and you are standing with one foot in each boat. One boat, however, is filled with holes and is sinking fast. It is obvious that unless you do something you will soon be in the lake. The boat with the holes represents ourselves with all of the leaks caused by sin. The boat without holes represents Christ. It should be obvious that with one foot in each boat we shall end up in the same place that we would have ended up in had we had both feet in the boat marked “self.” The only safe place to be is to have both feet firmly planted in the boat marked Christ.2
From 300 Sermon Illustrations from Spurgeon:
Your condition is like that of a child in a burning house, who, having escaped to the edge of the window, hung on by the windowsill. The flames were pouring out of the window underneath, and the poor lad would soon be burned, or falling would be dashed to pieces. He therefore held on with the clutch of death. He did not dare to relax his grasp until a strong man stood underneath, and said, “Boy! Drop! Drop! I’ll catch you.” Now, it was no saving faith for the boy to believe that the man was strong—that was a good help toward faith—but he might have known that and yet have perished. It was faith when the boy let go and dropped down into his big friend’s arms.
There are you, sinner, clinging to your sins or to your good works. The Savior cries, “Drop! Drop into my arms!” It is not doing, it is leaving off doing. It is not working, it is trusting in that work which Jesus has already done. Trust! That is the word—simple, solid, hearty, earnest trust. Trust and it will not take an hour to save you, the moment you trust you are saved.3
Sermon illustration metaphors for faith
From Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More Than Thirty Years of Preaching and Public Speaking:
1. Faith as a wire
We can picture faith as a connection between the work of the Holy Spirit and the power at work in our new nature. Faith is a wire that conducts a current called grace that flows from the Spirit so that the new nature receives power.4
2. Faith as an on switch
Most things that are powered by batteries have an on and off switch. If the batteries are included when an item is purchased, then it is ready to be used immediately. However, it still must be activated by the switch. As Christians, our switch is faith. When we turn on our faith, we are able to access the power included in us.5
3. Faith as a corn kernel
From 300 Sermon Illustrations from Spurgeon:
To all appearances, the most absurd thing that ever was done by mortal man is to throw away good corn, burying it in the ground. If you had never seen or heard of its results, it would seem the way of waste and not the work of [farming]. Yet the farmer has no doubt, he longs to be allowed to cast away his seed, in faith he even covets fair weather that he may bury his corn. And if you tell him that he is doing an absurd thing, he smiles at your ignorance, and tells you that thus harvests come.
This is a fair picture of the faith that grows from experience. It helps us to act in a manner contrary to appearances, it leads us to commit our all to the keeping of Christ, burying our hopes and our very lives with him in joyful confidence that if we are dead with him we shall also live with him. Jesus Christ who rose from the dead will raise us up through his death unto newness of life and give us a harvest of joy and peace.6
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- Robert J. Morgan, ed., Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes (Thomas Nelson, 2000).
- James Kennedy, Evangelism Explosion, 3rd edition, p. 101, in 10,000 Sermon Illustrations (Biblical Studies Press, 2002).
- Charles Spurgeon, 300 Sermon Illustrations from Charles Spurgeon, ed. Elliot Ritzema and Lynnea Smoyer (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017). C. H. Spurgeon, “A Sermon to Open Neglecters and Nominal Followers of Religion,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 13 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1867), 180. Spurgeon repeated this illustration a number of times, including in, “Christ a Sanctuary,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 62 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1916), 353.
- Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More Than Thirty Years of Preaching and Public Speaking (Moody, 2009), 270.
- Evans, Tony Evans Book, 272.
- 300 Sermon Illustrations. C. H. Spurgeon, “Faith: What Is It? How Can It Be Obtained?” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 27 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1881), 408.
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