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Sermon -01-27 -2008 - Faith and Hope

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NORTHEAST HOUSTON COMMUNITY CHURCH

Sermon – New Years’ Eve - Faith and Hope

Scripture:     Heb 11:1-2

01/27/08

Heb 11:1-2      Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. NKJV

1 Cor 13:13     13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Faith (243 times in the NKJV)

Do you have faith? Over time I believe we have diluted the Biblical meaning of faith. It has been used to represent religions, People say, “I am of the Baptist faith,” when asked, “What faith are you.” We often take word and twist their meanings, Bad can mean good, saying he slays me can mean the is funny and that’s cool can me that is good, and that’s hot can mean that is good. When we read the words of an author we must understand the context in which the word is used.

Definition                 : Webster                   (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>

 

Synonyms

Belief       1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.

Trust       1 a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b: one in which confidence is placed2 a: dependence on something future or contingent

The word faith to identify your religious association is a secondary definition, 

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Paul defines faith in Hebrews as.

Heb 11:1-2      11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. NKJV

First let us look at the first part of what faith is according to the Apostle Paul What he meant by the “substance.”

Substance Grk - a setting under (support), i.e. (figuratively) concretely, essence, or abstractly, assurance

Webster - 1 a: essential nature : essence b: a fundamental or characteristic part or quality 1b 2 a: ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and change.

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I understand this to mean that faith is the foundation, the support of everything we hope for and faith is the evidence of that which we do not or never have seen. Faith is essential.

The essentialness of faith is recorded in verse 6. If we want to please God, and I know I really do, then we must have faith.   

Heb 11:6    6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. NKJV (next month’s Memory verse)

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Faith must be accompanied by belief. It is not enough to believe in God, we must have faith/trust in God. If we do not have faith in God then we are not much better than the non-believer.

Belief comes before faith. Another way to put is that faith is a result of belief.

Rom 10:14      14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? NKJV

You cannot have faith in something you do not know about.     

Prov 9:10        0 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. NKJV

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Do you want more faith the year?

1.      Faith begins with knowledge of God

2.      Knowledge of God is followed by a better understanding of God.

3.      Our understanding of God is followed by belief in God.

4.      Belief in God is followed by faith/trust in God.

5.      If you want more faith then get to know more of God.

   

1 Peter 1:20-21           20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. NKJV

The next interesting words in the verse are the words “hoped for.”

HOPE (142 times in NKJV)

Definition:       1: to cherish a desire with anticipation 1: to desire with expectation of obtainment2: to expect with confidence : trust

All these definitions are great and should apply to every Christian.

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We have heard the encouraging words “keep hope alive.” I want you to know the “Hope will keep you alive”

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I believe that when a person commits suicide they have lost all hope. Some people hasten their death when sick because they lose all hope of ever getting better.

Find story

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We are starting a brand new year. Enter into the year with hope in God, with hope in Christ. We, as wanting animals, usually think of hope in terms of what we are hoping FOR. I am asking you to focus on what your hope is IN.

Hope is another word that the true meaning has been diluted. For example; if someone asks you if you are going to the Super Bowl and you say “I hope so” but you have not purchased a ticket. In fact you may not really believe you are going. But if you begin to make plans and purchase a ticket they your desires are joined with anticipation, expectation and confidence.

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Some Christians when asked are they going to heaven; I have heard people say, “I hope so.” Where are the anticipation, expectation and confidence in that reply? Perhaps they have not got their ticket yet because they think they have to buy it.

Hallelujah, Jesus has already purchased my ticket on the cross of Calvary.  All I had to do was receive it and begin to live like it with anticipation, expectation and confidence.

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That is the way I want to live in 2008 and beyond.  I have hope in the words of Jesus and of God. I believe in what they have said and I have faith that they will do just what they said.

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I’ve got my ticket and I am on my way home.

“God want us to have a know so faith not a hope so faith.”

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None of us knows what all 2008 has in store for us. We have an upcoming election, the economy is said to be approaching a recession, there is talk of expanding troops into Pakistan, and companies are laying people off. But in light of all that, there is hope through Jesus, hope in God. For there is never any panic in heaven, only plans. God still has the whole world in His hands. God knows the plans He has for us.   

Jer 29:11    11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. NKJV

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Verse two of our passage say that the elders through faith obtained a good testimony.

2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. The word testimony is not in every translation. The word testimony is referring to the testimony ABOUT them. (report kvj, commended niv).

Because of their faith, there are good things to be said about them. Ch 11 is the faith hero’s hall of fame. If you were to read the entire chapter you will see some familiar names and recall that life was not easy for them. All of these heroes suffers tribulations but held on to their faith and their hope.

Would you like for your name to be counted among these heroes? I want mine to be. I know there have been trials in my life and very well may be more, but with the help of God and Christ I will still hold on.

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I am learning to count it all joy when they come because God is still working on me to make me in the image of His son, working on me to make me perfect. I may not reach perfection while down here on this earth, but I believe the word of God when it says that: I SHALL be like Him.   

1 John 3:2-3    Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. NKJV

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So when the trials come in 2008 and beyond I know that God is testing my faith

James 1:2-4     2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. NKJV

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V2 says that these heroes had a good testimony and testimony begins with T-E-S-T. If we have no tests then we have no testimonies.

My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus love and righteousness. My hope is on the substance/foundation of my faith in God.  Faith and hope go hand in hand.

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My faith supports my hope not only for this life but for the promised eternal life.

1 Cor 15:19            19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. KJV

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Have faith in God, Have faith in Christ. Enter into this New Year boldly trusting in His words.

Hold on to your faith, hold on to your hope and hope will keep you alive and your faith will please God and bring you through.

End


 

Responsive Reading

1 Cor 13: 1:13

 

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

 

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,* but have not love, it profits me nothing.

 

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

 

5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

 

6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

 

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

 

10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

 

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

 

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

 

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. NKJV


 

James Cash Penney, coming from a long line of Baptist preachers, grew up with deep convictions. He was unwaveringly honest. He never smoked or drank, and he was a hard worker. But in 1929 when the Great Depression hit, Penney found himself in crisis. He had made unwise commitments, and they turned sour. Penney began to worry about them, and soon he was unable to sleep. He developed a painful case of shingles and was hospitalized. His anxiety only increased in the hospital, and it seemed resistant to tranquilizers and drugs. His mental state deteriorated until, as he later said, I was broken nervously and physically, filled with despair, unable to see even a ray of hope. I had nothing to live for. I felt I hadn’t a friend left in the world, that even my family turned against me.

One night he was so oppressed he didn’t think his heart would hold out, and, expecting to die before morning, he sat down and wrote farewell letters to his wife and sons.

But he did live through the night, and the next morning he heard singing coming from the little hospital chapel. The words of the song said,

Be not dismayed what e’er betide

God will take care of you.

Entering the chapel, he listened to the song, to the Scripture reading, and to the prayer. Suddenly—something happened. I can’t explain it. I can only call it a miracle. I felt as if I had been instantly lifted out of the darkness of a dungeon into warm, brilliant sunlight.

All worry left him as he realized more fully than he had ever imagined just how much the Lord Jesus Christ cared for him. From that day J. C. Penney was never plagued with worry, and he later called those moments in the chapel “the most dramatic and glorious twenty minutes of my life.”

When he died at age ninety-five, he left behind 1,660 department stores in his name and a legacy of integrity that honors Christ to this day.

[1]

Fifteen-year-old David Marks, eyes blurred with tears, left home with a dollar in his pocket to preach the gospel. The “boy preacher” soon created a stir in the American northeast, and he kept going for the next twenty-five years, becoming one of the most powerful preachers in early American history. He rode one horse nineteen thousand miles, preached to thousands, organized Freewill Baptist churches throughout New England, published books, wrote articles, taught school, and worked diligently in opposition to slavery and in support of foreign missions.

Marks preached one of his most unusual sermons just before sunset on May 13, 1828. He had ridden into the little town of Ancaster, Ontario, announcing he would preach in seven minutes in the park. A small crowd gathered, and he asked if anyone had a text he would like to hear preached. A man mockingly said, “Nothing!”

Marks immediately began preaching on nothing. God created the world from nothing, he said. God gave us laws in which there is nothing unjust. We have broken God’s law and there is nothing in us to justify us. There will be nothing to comfort sinners in death or hell. But, while we have nothing of our own in which to boast, we have Christ. And He gives nothing to cause us grief, nothing to disturb our peace, and nothing to fear in eternity.

Finishing his sermon, Marks mounted his horse and traveled to the next village. But some time later he returned to Ancaster. This time a larger group assembled, and the meeting house was opened to him. David preached something to them. He said there is something above all things. There is something in man designed to live forever, but there is also something in us that makes us unhappy. There is something about the gospel that reverses our unhappiness, something that gives us hope. There is something that will disturb the impenitent in death, but something resides in Christians that the world can’t understand, and something in eternity to give us everlasting joy.

All that from an uneducated young circuit-rider, his mind filled with Scripture and his heart full of Christ, who had something to say—and nothing to fear.

Years passed. On November 18, 1845, David Marks, was forty years old and dying, having utterly exhausted himself from his tireless labors. He had one more unusual sermon up his sleeves. Though he was on his deathbed, he asked his friend Charles Finney, if he could address the students of Oberlin College.

Marks’ friends tried to dissuade him, but he was insistent. He was carried to the college and Finney announced him to the startled students, warning them that Brother Marks would probably not survive his sermon. He said Dr. Dascomb could find no pulse in one wrist, and only “a little tremulous motion” in the other. If he should die while preaching, the students were to remain calm and not leave their seats.

Thus introduced, Marks began his last sermon. His text was Micah 2:10. He said:

My dear friends, I thank God that I have the prospect of addressing you once more, and for the last time. This has been the desire of my heart. The lamp of life has for some time been flickering in its socket, and in the opinion of friends I have but a few hours to live. I suppose my coffin is being made.

My extreme weakness, and the distress of suffocation in consequence of the dropiscal difficulty in my chest, and which is probably drowning my heart, has not allowed me to spend a moment in preparation for this meeting. Hence my remarks must be made offhand. The first and leading thought of which I wish to dwell is that God has not designed this place as our final home. As the prophet said, “Arise and depart, for this is not your rest.…” The light of a blessed immortality dawns beyond the tomb. Christ is so near and so precious that I cannot fear death. O, my brethren, no reality is so sure, none so sweet, none so glorious, as the Christian’s hope.…

He spoke of the brevity of life, the certainty of heaven, then he ended by urging the students, O live for God and your generation! You enter life at a glorious time to live—there is so much to do for God. Farewell. Brother Finney, I want to give you my hand. All of you who love God, farewell.

None of the students ever forgot that dramatic sermon. Marks was carried back home where he shortly “arose and departed” to his rest.

[2]


 

Through It All

I have many tears and sorrows I have questions for tomorrow

There’s been time I didn’t know right from wrong

But in every situation God gives blessed consolation

That my trials come to only make me strong.

Chorus

Through it all, through it all, O I’ve learned to trust in Jesus

I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all

I’ve learned to depend upon His word

I thank God for the mountains, I thank Him for the valleys

I thank Him for the storms He’s brought me through

If I never had a problem I wouldn’t know God could solve them

I wouldn’t know what faith in God could do.

Chorus

I’ve been to a lot of places, I’ve seen millions of faces

But there were times I still felt all alone,

in those lonely hours, those precious lonely hours

Jesus let me know I was His own

Chorus

 

 

We’ve Come This Far By Faith

We’ve come this far by faith leaning on the Lord

Trusting in His Holy Word He’s never failed us yet

Oh ooh ooh we can’t turn around; we’ve come this far by faith

Oh ooh ooh we can’t turn around; we’ve come this far by faith

Just remember all the good things God has done

The things that seemed so impossible

we thank him for the victories we have one

That’s why

We’ve come this far by faith leaning on the Lord

Trusting in His Holy Word He’s never failed us yet

Oh ooh ooh we can’t turn around; we’ve come this far by faith

Oh ooh ooh we can’t turn around; we’ve come this far by faith

I Will Trust in the Lord

 

Verse 1            I will trust in the Lord

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord until I die—

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord until I die.

 

Verse 2            I’m goin’ to treat everybody right.

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right.

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right until I die—

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right.

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right.

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right until I die.

 

Verse 3            I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield.

(optional)         I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield until I die—

I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield until I die.

 

Verse 4            I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee.

(optional)         I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee.

I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee until I die—

I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee.

I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee.

I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee until I die

On Christ the solid Rock I stand

(Intro)

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Chorus:           On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
Chorus

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
Chorus

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
Chorus

*Faith is not getting from God what you want; faith is accepting from God what gives"

MEDLEY- We’ve Come This Far By Faith

 

We’ve come this far by faith leaning on the Lord

Trusting in His Holy Word He*s never failed us yet

Oh ooh ooh we can*t turn around; we’ve come this far by faith

Oh ooh ooh we can*t turn around; we’ve come this far by faith

 

I Will Trust in the Lord

 

Verse 1’I will trust in the Lord

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord until I die*

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord until I die.

 

Verse 2 I’m goin to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin to stay on the battlefield until I die

I’m goin to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin  to stay on the battlefield until I die.

 

Verse 3 I’m goin to treat everybody right.

I’m goin to treat everybody right.

I’m goin to treat everybody right until I die

I’m goin to treat everybody right.

I’m goin to treat everybody right.

I’m goin to treat everybody right until I die.


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[1]More real stories for the soul. 2000 (electronic ed.) (238). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2]More real stories for the soul. 2000 (electronic ed.) (89). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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