Drop files to upload.
Faithlife Corporation

Historical Evidence for Faith

Notes & Transcripts

Historical Evidence for Faith

Hebrews 11:1-6                                               June 22, 1997

Scripture:  Responsive Reading #662, Hymnal

Introduction:

          Recap:  Hebrews has been talking all along about faith in Jesus Christ.

          How would you define faith?  I mean, you can’t see it, touch it, taste it, hear it, or smell it?  Or can you?  It would seem to be an intangible figment of anyone’s imagination to empower them in whatever direction they feel good about.  Our politically correct world puts a premium on anyone’s right to believe whatever they want to believe - whatever makes them feel good - that all religions (or patterns for faith) lead to the same place.   And they do have that right to believe whatever they want.  But is all faith equal?

          We have been given absolute proof all along in Hebrews about the superiority of Jesus Christ as our Great High Priest by his person and his work and by the Word of God.  We have been told about God’s faithfulness to us through his promises.  We have been told about the privilege of faith that we can draw near to God in full assurance by faith in Christ, having a pure heart, a pure conscience, and a pure body.  We have been told that it is faith in Christ that gives us forgiveness of sins and victory over sins.  We have been invited to remember our testimony of what God has successfully brought us through in our spiritual journey of faith.  We have been invited to remember our coming reward for faith.

          Faith in Christ Jesus: can you take it or leave it?  Sure you can.  But to do so you will have to ignore the evidence and make a conscious decision to reject Christ.  It is faith in Christ alone that saves us for eternal life by adequately dealing with man’s sin problem.  The key to greatness with God is faith in God.  Here in Chapter 11 we are overwhelmed with evidence for faith in God and his plan for mankind.  The culmination of that plan is faith in God’s Son Jesus.  Let us look at the historical evidence for faith.  This is the great faith chapter of the Bible, God’s great hall of fame.  It is a running commentary on 10:23 regarding the faith of God and the faith of men in response to God.

I.       The Description of Faith: its characteristics.  (vv. 1-6)

 

          A.      The meaning of faith.  (v. 1)

                   {Faith that saves is visionary.}

                   1.       It is sure.

                   2.       It is certain.

This is the only time the Bible ever defines faith.  Time and again the Bible discusses faith and the great importance of faith.  It gives us many examples and tells us the great things that happen to those who do believe God.  It also tells us in very clear terms of what happens to those who do not believe God.  So it  is very important that we clearly see just what faith means.

Now faith being sure means that faith has substance.  It is the foundation, assurance, title-deed, and guarantee of things hoped for.  Faith being certain means conviction based upon evidence.  Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith is being described as an act of the mind and heart.  Our mind and heart believe something and we have assurance and conviction that it is true.  But it is also more than this.  In considering this passage, Vincent sees it as describing faith as a “moral intelligence directed at an object.”  In this sense it is more than an act, it is an actual possession of reality.  This is what the definition of ‘title-deed’ refers to; that whoever holds the title-deed to property actually possesses the property.  Certainly from God’s perspective, we already possess his promises; he has already seated us in the heavenlies; and we already possess eternal life (through faith in Jesus).  It is not that we are going to possess it; we already possess it. 

Holding the title-deed to property and possessing something is more than assurance and conviction; it possessing reality, something substantial and real; the land, the promises of God.  So we possess by faith the substance of the promises of God, the evidence of things not seen.  If I possess them, the substance and evidence are there; they are my assurance and conviction.  The substance and evidence are the fact that I possess eternal life; the basis of my assurance and conviction, of never tasting and experiencing eternal death.  So faith is both an act and a possession of the thing believed.

We may not be able to see it, but it is real and existing, and we can possess it by believing and having faith in it.  We who believe can truly see what others cannot see.  We see what is hopeful.  But it is not hopeful in the sense of wishful thinking, it is hopeful in the knowledge and experience of truth and spiritual reality.  There is spiritual and historical evidence all around us.

Examples of being sure and certain in faith:

          B.      The reward of faith.  (v. 2)

                   {Faith that saves is recognized.}

The reward for faith is having God’s approval.  Ch. 11 goes into a whole list of those who lived by faith and gained God’s approval.  We are not alone in this faith journey.  Verse 39 of ch. 10 says we are of those who believe and are saved.  If we believe, we are together with them.  We are commended along with them.  When we turn away from the world - its possessions and pleasures - and follow God, we are commended.  We believe that God has much more to offer us than what we can see here. 

Common sense tells us that there has to be more to life than this.  And there is.  There is an eternal land and an eternal life and there are others who have staked their earthly lives on it and won it by faith.  They won it because their faith in God pleased God; he accepted them and honored them.  We are about to hear of many examples of those who believed from past generations to challenge us in our faith.  Will our faith challenge those of future generations?  God has fulfilled their faith and he will fulfill yours.

When God approves of us he accepts us into his eternal presence.  This means he looks after us and cares for us, giving us victory over all the enemies of this world, including death, for all eternity.  God fulfills all his promises to us which become a living reality in our daily and eternal experience.

          C.      The basic understanding of faith.  (v.3)

                   {Faith that saves is conclusive.}

The basic understanding of faith is creation; that God made the world.  This, in fact, is something we truly can physically see.  Yet it is amazing how many people refuse the evidence.  If we refuse the overwhelming evidence of God’s eternal power and divine nature in creation (Rom. 1:20), how can we believe anything else about him?  We have the testimony of God himself as well as that of creation that he made it, and no other made it, it did not make itself, it is too intelligent.

On the one hand, in verse 1, we understand that we can have faith in what is invisible to the eye.  On the other hand, in verse 3, we understand that we can see visible evidence of what is invisible.  God’s fingerprints are on his creation.  What is visible testifies to what is not.  There is a God of the universe.  He is the One we worship.  Even if you only believe in the “big bang” theory, there had to be a “Big Banger.”  But the point here is that God created it all out of nothing; he spoke it into existence.  If creation is evidence of God’s existence, so is eternal life.  He spoke them both.

          D.      The spiritual power of faith.  (vv. 4-5)

                   1.       Illust. by Abel:  The power to be counted righteous.

                             {Faith that saves is heard.}

From the moment of Adam and Eve’s sin, they became aware of the evil nature of the flesh towards sin.  They exalted the pride and selfishness of the flesh against Almighty God in doing what he said not to and brought the curse of sin upon themselves and all generations after them.  God did not create the flesh corrupt (in fact, it was good) but morally neutral, that is, able to sin, and man made that choice.

The first thing that happened was that they became aware of the sinful nature of the flesh by noticing their nakedness.  They made coverings of fig leaves, but God soon put some animals to death in order to make a more suitable covering for them.  Blood was shed because of sin.  Sin had to be paid for by a substitute (Gen. 3:21).

After Cain and Abel were born, they tended toward certain occupations.  Cain was a farmer.  Abel was a herdsman.  It was necessary for them, as it would be all mankind, to make offerings to God for sin.  Certainly they were taught the necessity of blood sacrifice to pay for sin since the penalty for sin was death (Gen. 3:19).  Man had to pay for his own sins by eternal death or obtain an acceptable substitute.  Abel brought a blood sacrifice but Cain did not.  Abel’s was acceptable but Cain’s was not.  Perhaps we could argue that Cain had a right to bring from the fruits of his labors.  Perhaps he argued this too.  But that wasn’t God’s program.  Sin has to be paid for life for life.  Here in the first generation we see God laying down the program for the coming of Christ as the perfect sacrifice. Absolutely everything in God’s program pointed to the payment for sin by the righteous sacrifice of God’s only Son.   The work of a man’s hands can never pay for sin.  The works of religion can never pay for sin.  Cain’s religion was a ritual born of his own imagination.

God graciously gave Cain a second chance (Gen. 4:7).  But Cain’s heart was hard against God and he took it out by jealously killing his brother, spilling his blood which cried out from the ground (Gen. 4:10).  Abel became the first martyr, dying for his faith.  His faith was righteous because he believed God.  His faith still speaks to us.  He was a type of Christ, pointing toward Christ from the first generation of man.

The spiritual power of faith is that it makes us righteous before God.  But it very much matters what that faith is in.  There is none righteous except for Christ.  Faith in him has the power to be heard before God.  His blood speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (Heb. 12:24).

                   2.       Illust. by Enoch:  The power to walk with God and to be                                  delivered from death.

                             {Faith that saves is realized.}

Just as the power of Abel’s faith illustrates righteousness, so the power of Enoch’s faith illustrates deliverance.  Abel’s faith by sacrifice was heard and accepted.  Enoch’s faith in living for God was seen and glorified.  Just as Abel was a type of Christ in illustrating a blood sacrifice, Enoch was a type of Christ in illustrating the righteous life possible through faith in Christ and the eternal life, deliverance from death, the resurrection, that comes through that kind of faith.  Just as Abel was the first martyr, Enoch was the first one raptured, or taken up without bodily death (Gen. 5:24).  This happened because he pleased God.  It is faith in Christ that pleases God and will lead to the rapture of all of God’s saints at the time of Christ’s return.

Enoch believed God that if he walked and fellowshiped with God day by day then God would look after and care for him.  God did that and more.  God even conquered death for Enoch.  When Enoch was ready to go home to God, God transferred him right into heaven, right into his very own presence.  Enoch experienced the promise that is made to every believer: we shall never experience eternal death.  Oliver Greene tells of an application on Enoch that stirs our hope of conquering death:  “It has been said that Enoch was walking with God on day, and they walked and talked so long in such sweet fellowship that near nightfall God said to Enoch, ‘It is nearer to my house than to your house, so let us go on to my house.’  That is a wonderful way to think about it, but the Bible simply tells us that ‘Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him.”

Enoch was seventh in the line of Seth, who was given by God to replace Abel (Gen. 4:25), at which time “men began to call on the name of the Lord” or when true religion began.  Contrast this with Lamech who was evil personified and was seventh in the line of Cain.  Enoch walked with God and found that his faith delivered him directly unto eternal life.  Our walk with God is through faith in Christ and will deliver us unto eternal life.  Our walk with God is only possible through faith in Christ.  (See Jude 14.)  Enoch lived in a time of wickedness even as we do, but God delivered him from that wickedness.

          E.      The necessary beliefs of faith.  (v. 6)

                   {Faith that saves is sincere.}

                   1.       We must believe that God exists.

                   2.       We must believe that God rewards the diligent seeker.

It is impossible to please God without faith.  By faith is meant a living, active faith, a faith that knows and follows God, communes and fellowships with God.  It does not matter what a person does; without faith he cannot please God.  Without faith we are not acceptable to God and cannot be accepted by God, will never live with God in this world or the next.  Without faith, we will have to plow through this life all alone and handle all the trials, temptations, sufferings, accidents, diseases, and deaths by ourselves.  Without faith we stand alone, or try to, utterly without God.  Without faith it is impossible to please God at all.  (Jn. 3:11; 3:18; 3:36; 8:24; Heb. 3:12.) 

 

Joh 3:11  I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

Joh 3:18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Joh 3:36  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

Joh 8:24  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

Heb 3:12  See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

The person who comes to God must believe two things: 

1.       He must believe that God exists.  A.T. Robertson says it is a “moral necessity to have faith --- The very existence of God is a matter of intelligent faith --- so that men are left without excuse (Rom. 1:19).”  A person can look at creation and believe in God.  He can look at the Bible and believe in God.  He can look at Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, who reveals God to man, and believe in God.

2.       He must believe that God rewards those who diligently seek him.  We must seek out God.  God does not reward the sleepy-eyed, complacent, non-thinker, half-interested, worldly-minded, pleasure seeker.  He rewards those who diligently seek to know and follow him.  The idea is that we must be in earnest and persevere and endure to the end.  What is the reward to those who diligently seek God?  It is the same reward given to Abel and Enoch:  righteousness and eternal life - God’s care in this life and deliverance from death into the next.

 

Lu 11:9  "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Lu 11:10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Joh 6:28 ¶ Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Ac 17:27  God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

Ro 10:17  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

1Jo 3:23 ¶ And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

De 4:29  But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

2Ch 7:14  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Pr 8:17  I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

Jer 29:13  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

A person can grow in faith and power.  Faith and power can be developed by doing two things:

1.       By practicing hope (Heb. 11:1), that is, by hoping for something and claiming it because God has promised it.

2.       By diligently seeking God (Heb. 11:6).  Christ tells us what is meant by diligent seeking.  It means ---

a.       To hunger and thirst after righteousness

Mt 5:16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

b.       To ask, seek, knock

Mt 7:7 ¶ "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Mt 7:8  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

c.       To seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness

Mt 6:33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

d.       To persevere in prayer

Mr 9:29  He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."

The person who needs something and lives on his face in prayer before God (asking, seeking, knocking) will experience God answering his need.  Thus he will be encouraged to trust God, that is, to seek and knock even more and more.  A genuine faith in God lives before God.  Faith is entrusting one’s life to God.  It is trusting God, depending upon God, believing God, seeking God, conversing with God, sharing with God, and fellowshiping with God.  A person who really believes that God exists will do these things.

The greater the need, the greater amount of time true faith spends alone with God discussing the need.  The greater the need, the more diligent true faith seeks the answer to its need.  What happens is this:  as a person diligently seeks God, he discovers that true faith diligently lives before God in prayer and devotion and is given what is hopes for.  Therefore the person learns to trust God more and more.  He grows in faith.

One thing, however, always needs to be remembered.  God is not going to reward sinful, carnal trust, nor is he going to reward a doubting trust.  If he answered a doubting trust or a carnal hope and prayer, then the doubting and carnal person would begin to think that the life he is living is acceptable to God.  God does not approve sinful and carnal living, nor does he approve a doubting heart.  God honors righteous living and a believing heart.  It is the person who truly lives righteously and believes enough to diligently seek God who grows and grows in faith.

 

Jas 4:3  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

1Co 3:1 ¶ Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly-- mere infants in Christ.

1Co 3:2  I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

1Co 3:3  You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

Mt 20:21  "What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."

Timeless Truth:   The wind of God is always blowing -- but you must hoist your sail of faith to catch it.  Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will always be able to see farther.  The way to the heart of God is by faith.  It is a journey of infinite discovery and reward.

Philip Yancey defines faith as:  "Believing in advance in something that will only seem logical when seen in reverse."

 

You and I were in the mind of Jesus Christ the night he was betrayed. Isn't it a shame that He is so little in our minds?"



Historical Evidence for Faith

Hebrews 11:1-6                                June 22, 1997

 

I.       The Description of Faith:  its characteristics.  (vv. 1-6)

 

          A.      The m _ _ _ _ _ _  of faith.  (v. 1)

                   {Faith that saves is v _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .}

                   1.       It is sure.

                   2.       It is certain.

 

          B.      The r _ _ _ _ _  of faith.  (v. 2)

                   {Faith that saves is r _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .}

 

 

          C.      The basic u _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  of faith.  (v.3)

                   {Faith that saves is c _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .}

 

          D.      The spiritual p _ _ _ _  of faith.  (vv. 4-5)

                   1.       Illust. by Abel:  The power to be counted righteous.

                             {Faith that saves is h _ _ _ _ .}

                   2.       Illust. by Enoch:  The power to walk with God and to be                                  delivered from death.

                             {Faith that saves is r _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .}

 

 

          E.      The necessary b _ _ _ _ _ _  of faith.  (v. 6)

                   {Faith that saves is s _ _ _ _ _ _ .}

                   1.       We must believe that God exists.

                   2.       We must believe that God rewards the diligent seeker.

 

Timeless Truth:   The wind of God is always blowing -- but you must hoist your sail of faith to catch it.  Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will always be able to see farther.  The way to the heart of God is by faith.  It is a journey of infinite d _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  and r _ _ _ _ _ .



Historical Evidence for Faith:  Part II

Hebrews 11:7-16                              June 29, 1997

 

Scripture:   Unison Reading, Heb. 11:7-16, page 1875, Pew Bible

 

Introduction:

10:19ff        We have faith in Christ - reaffirmation of the basis and benefits                         of faith in Christ.

10:26ff        Don’t destroy your faith in Christ - the destructive nature of sin                        upon our faith.

10:32ff        Protect your faith and confidence - by remembering where it                              came from, what it cost, and the power it had.

11               Understanding faith - the description of faith (its                                                characteristics), the life of faith (its actions), the fruit of faith                             (its benefits).

12               God works with us to increase our faith - the benefits of God’s                          discipline.

To those who believe, no explanation is necessary. To those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.

   Franz Werfel (1890–1945)

Faith knows itself to be weak and uncertain, and yet, like the reed it will survive the storm better than the proud oak. It knows that in this world it can never penetrate all the unfathomable mysteries of God, and yet, however tiny the light it receives from him, this is the only light that can really show it the way.

   Paul Tournier (1898–1986)

Faith laughs at the shaking of the spear; unbelief trembles at the shaking of a leaf: faith finds food in famine and a table in the wilderness; unbelief starves the soul.

   Robert Cecil (1563–1612)

Without faith man becomes sterile, hopeless, and afraid to the very core of his being.

   Erich Fromm (1900–1980)

II.      The Life of Faith:  its actions.  (vv. 7-16)

          A.      Noah; the faith of holy fear in response to warning.  (v. 7)

                   Faith is a place of refuge.  Are you building a place of faith?

Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites.

Noah was the best financier in the Bible. He floated his stock while the whole world was in liquidation.

Majorities mean nothing: during the Flood only one man knew enough to get out of the rain.

God's darkest threatenings are always accompanied with a revelation of the way of escape. The ark is always along with the Flood. Zoar is pointed out when God foretells Sodom's ruin. The brazen serpent is ever reared where the venomous snakes bite and burn.

   Alexander Maclaren (1826–1910)

                   1.       His faith took action.              

                             a.       His action by faith was effective to save himself.

                             b.       His action by faith was effective to save his family.

Acts 16:30  He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

31  They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-- you and your household."

32  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.

33  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.

34  The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God-- he and his whole family.

                             c.       (His action by faith was effective to save creation.)

Rom 8:19  The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

20  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope

21  that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Is. 11:6  The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

7  The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8  The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.

9  They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Is. 65:25  The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD.

                             a.       His faith preached righteousness to the world                                            (salvation was offered).

                             b.      His faith condemned the unrighteousness of the                                        world (salvation was rejected).  Gal. 6:14

                             c.       His faith inherited the righteousness of God (faith                                              was rewarded with salvation).

Mt 3:7¶  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Lu 3:7  John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

1Th 1:10  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-- Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

Ru 2:12  May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."

2Sa 22:3  my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-- from violent men you save me.

2Sa 22:31  "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Ps 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Ps 5:11  But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Ps 9:9  The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Ps 18:2  The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Ps 31:19¶  How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.

Ps 34:8  Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Ps 34:22  The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

Ps 36:7  How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Ps 37:40  The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Ps 46:1¶  For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to <alamoth.> A song. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Ps 57:1¶  For the director of music. To the tune of "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A <miktam.> When he had fled from Saul into the cave. Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

Ps 59:16  But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Ps 61:3  For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.

Ps 61:4  I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. <Selah>

Ps 62:7  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Ps 91:4  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Ps 141:8  But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD; in you I take refuge-- do not give me over to death.

Ps 142:5  I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."

Pr 10:29¶  The way of the LORD is a refuge for the righteous, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

Pr 14:26¶  He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.

Pr 14:32¶  When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.

Pr 22:3¶  A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

Pr 30:5  "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Isa 14:32  What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? "The LORD has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge."

Isa 25:4  You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall

Isa 27:5  Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me."

Isa 57:13¶  When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain."

Jer 16:19  O LORD, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, "Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good.

Joe 3:16  The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.

Na 1:7  The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

          B.      Abraham; the faith of holy quest in response to calling. 

                   (vv. 8-10) 

                   Faith is a journey.  Are you on a journey of faith?

                   1.       His faith took action.

                             a.       His action by faith heard the call of God.

                             b.       His action by faith obeyed the call of God.

                             c.       His action by faith trusted the call of God.

                   2.       His faith obtained a resting place.

                             a.       His faith did find a temporary home (tent) in the                                                promised land.

                             b.       His faith made him, and the heirs of his faith,                                            strangers on earth but not with God.

Homeless with men on earth but very much at home with God, or temporary with men but permanent with God.

                             c.       His faith would find a permanent home (mansion)                                             in the city of God.

                                      (1)     The foundations of God’s city are built on                                                          the permanence of faith.

                                      (2)     These foundations are unshakable (12:27).

                                      (3)     God builds both his city and its inhabitants                                                        upon faith (Mt. 7:24-27).

Ge 2:24  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

          C.      Abraham and Sarah; the faith of holy regeneration in response to            promise.  (vv. 11-12) 

                   Faith reproduces.  Are you multiplying your faith?

                   1.       Their faith took action.

                             a.       Their action by faith made physical response to the                                           promise of children.

                                      (1)     By faith, seed was produced even from a dry                                            tree (Abraham was 100).

                                      (2)     By faith, seed took root even in dry soil                                                    (Sarah was barren).

                                      (3)     They had to wait 14 years past the birth of                                                         Ishmael by Hagar because Abraham wasn’t                                                        old enough yet to justify faith.

                             b.       Their action by faith made possible by God what                                               was not possible by man.

                             c.       Their action by faith unleashed God’s faithfulness.

                   2.       Their faith obtained the future.

                             a.       Their faith brought life from death.

                             b.       Their faith made many from few.

                             c.       Their faith proved God’s promise.

          D.      The proper view of faith.  (vv. 13-16)

                   Faith endures.  Are you taking others with you on your faith                     journey to the place of refuge?

                   1.       Faith lives and carries us beyond death even as it carried                                    us through life.  (v. 13a)

                   2.       Faith is far-sighted, not near-sighted, being spiritually                                        assured of what it hopes for.  (v. 13b)

                    3.       Faith holds out for the best as it looks past time and goes                                  the distance.  (v. 13c)

                   4.       Faith admits that this life is not all there is.  (v. 13d)

                   5.       Faith knows where it belongs.  (v. 14)

                   6.       Faith never turns back.  (v. 15)

                   7.       Faith longs for the best.  (v. 16a)

                   8.       Faith receives the best.  (v. 16b)

                             a.       Faith’s reward is our approval with God.

                             b.       Faith’s reward is our identification with God.

                             c.       Faith’s reward is our presence with God.

                             d.       Faith’s reward is our place with God.

The highest reward of a man's labor is not what he gets for it, but what it does for him.

   John Ruskin (1819–1900)

Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.

   Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430)

Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.

   Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430)

Timeless Truth:   The life of faith is unstoppable in its power, unquenchable in its vision, and unparalleled in its reward.  But the act of faith must flow from the fact of faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Workless faith God never regards,

   Faithless work God never rewards.

      D. L. Hood

Works without faith are like a fish without water: it wants the element it should live in. A building without a basis cannot stand; faith is the foundation, and every good action is as a stone laid.

   Owen Felltham (C. 1602–1668)

You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.

   Nicholas Murray Butler (1862–1947)

Heaven is not a reward for "being a good boy" but is the continuation and expansion of a quality of life which begins when a man's central confidence is transferred from himself to God.

   J. B. Phillips (1906–1982)

Hell is the highest reward that the devil can offer you for being a servant of his.

   Billy Sunday (1862–1935)

Hell is where everyone is doing his own thing. Paradise is where everyone is doing God's thing.

   Thomas Howard


 


Historical Evidence for Faith:  Part II

Hebrews 11:7-16                              June 29, 1997

II.      The Life of Faith:  its actions.  (vv. 7-16)

          A.      Noah; the faith of holy fear in response to warning.  (v. 7)

                   Faith is a place of r _ _ _ _ _ .

                   1.       His faith took action.              

                             a.       His action by faith was effective to save h _ _ _ _ _ _ .

                             b.       His action by faith was effective to save his f _ _ _ _ _ .

                             c.       (His action by faith was effective to save c _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .)

                   2.       His faith obtained righteousness (salvation).

                            a.       His faith p _ _ _ _ _ _ _  righteousness to the world                                         (salvation was offered).

                             b.      His faith c _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  the unrighteousness of the                                                 world (salvation was rejected).

                             c.       His faith i _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  the righteousness of God (faith                                           was rewarded with salvation).

          B.      Abraham; the faith of holy quest in response to calling. 

                   (vv. 8-10)  Faith is a j _ _ _ _ _ _ .

                   1.       His faith took action.

                             a.       His action by faith h _ _ _ _  the call of God.

                             b.       His action by faith o _ _ _ _ _  the call of God.

                             c.       His action by faith t _ _ _ _ _ _  the call of God.

                   2.       His faith obtained a resting place.

                             a.       His faith did find a t _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  home (tent) in the                                               promised land.

                             b.       His faith made him, and the heirs of his faith,                                                     s _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  on earth but not with God.

                             c.       His faith would find a p _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  home (mansion)                                            in the city of God.

                                      (1)     The foundations of God’s city are built on                                                                   the p _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  of faith.

                                      (2)     These foundations are u _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

                                      (3)     God builds both his city and its inhabitants                                                                 upon f _ _ _ _ .

          C.      Abraham and Sarah; the faith of holy regeneration in response to            promise.  (vv. 11-12)  Faith r _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

                   1.       Their faith took action.

                             a.       Their action by faith made physical r _ _ _ _ _ _ _  to the                                           promise of children.

                                      (1)     By faith, seed was p _ _ _ _ _ _ _  even from a dry                                                    tree (Abraham was 100).

                                      (2)     By faith, seed took r _ _ _  even in dry soil

                                                (Sarah was barren).

                                      (3)     They had to wait 14 years past the birth of                                                                  Ishmael by Hagar because Abraham wasn’t                                                                 o _ _  enough yet to justify faith.

                             b.       Their action by faith made possible by G _ _  what                                                     was not possible by m _ _ .

                             c.       Their action by faith unleashed God’s

                                      f _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

                   2.       Their faith obtained the future.

                             a.       Their faith brought life from d _ _ _ _ .

                             b.       Their faith made many from f _ _ .

                             c.       Their faith proved God’s p _ _ _ _ _ _ .

          D.      The proper view of faith.  (vv. 13-16)       Faith e _ _ _ _ _ _ .

                   1.       Faith lives and carries us beyond death even as it carried                                             us through life.  (v. 13a)

                   2.       Faith is far-sighted, not near-sighted, being spiritually                                                 assured of what it hopes for.  (v. 13b)

                   3.       Faith holds out for the best as it looks past time and goes                                           the distance.  (v. 13c)

                   4.       Faith admits that this life is not all there is.  (v. 13d)

                   5.       Faith knows where it belongs.  (v. 14)

                   6.       Faith never turns back.  (v. 15)

                   7.       Faith longs for the best.  (v. 16a)

                   8.       Faith receives the best.  (v. 16b)

                             a.       Faith’s reward is our a _ _ _ _ _ _ _  with God.

                             b.       Faith’s reward is our i _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  with God.

                             c.       Faith’s reward is our p _ _ _ _ _ _ _  with God.

                             d.       Faith’s reward is our p _ _ _ _  with God.

Timeless Truth:   The life of faith is unstoppable in its p _ _ _ _ , unquenchable in its v _ _ _ _ _ , and unparalleled in its r _ _ _ _ _ .



Historical Evidence for Faith:  Part III

Hebrews 11:17-40                                      June 29, 1997

III.    The Fruit of Faith:  its benefits.  (vv. 17-40)

RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
Get this media plus thousands more when you start a free trial.
Get started for FREE
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →