A RESPONSE Of SAVING FAITH-I—Hebrews 11:3-40
Faith’s response to life’s challenges
Personal attempts to honor God in my work before entering pastoral ministry.
Handing out Bibles to managers, etc.
We indeed bring something of value to the table when we are saved!
The Hebrews writer sought to encourage & exhort his readers(hearers) by recounting the very practical responses which faith had wrought in their forebears/ancestors.
Saving faith yields practical responses to life, which encourage others.
What are some practical responses to life by saving faith?
How does saving faith respond to life?
3 responses to life’s challenge afforded by saving faith.
1. A PARTICULAR WORLDVIEW(:3)—Concept presented 05/20/2012 with 10:39—11:3 as FELLOWSHIP
2—Saving faith meets life’s challenge with...
OFFERINGs Of PECULIAR QUALITY(:4)
Explanation:(:4)Quality vs. Quantity
:4—“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; & through it he being dead still speaks.”
Gen. 4:1-5—“1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, & she conceived & bore Cain, & said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.” 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock & of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel & his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain & his offering. And Cain was very angry, & his countenance fell.”
Abel had an opportunity to worship God thru his sacrifice.
His Sacrifice required time/energy—Feeding, Animal husbandry, Gathering animal products(Eggs, milk...?meat?(but...Gen. 1:29-30; Gen. 9:3-7)... It involved his entire life & his part in the means of provision.
Abel’s offering was a sacrifice. ‘To give what you have a right & desire to keep as your own.’
Cain’s sacrifice, as Abel’s, required his personal time/energy—Seed gathering, Land preparation, Seed sowing, Weeding.
Cain also ‘sacrificed’ as Abel did, i.e., he gave what could’ve been his.
However, Abel’s sacrifice was “better” than Cain’s. Yet we are not directly told the reason(s) Abel’s offering was accepted & Cain’s was not. It is stated that Abel offered “of the firstborn of his flock & of their fat.”(Gen. 4:4), whereas Cain offered to YaHWeH “an offering of the fruit of the ground.”
Obviously Abel’s blood sacrifice was recognized as acceptable. I believe this speaks to the significance of man’s sin & his absolute need for forgiveness, atonement, & redemption which can only truly be had thru the shedding of blood. Abel recognized & accepted these facts. Cain did not!
How was Abel’s sacrifice “more excellent”?
1)His was a blood sacrifice.
2)His was an offering of the “firstborn” & 3)of the “fat”(Gen. 4:4), each of which held significance for the Jews both prior to & thru the Mosaic Law.
Deut 21:15-17—““If a man has two wives, one loved & the other unloved, & they have borne him children, both the loved & the unloved, & if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn. But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.”
Gen. 25:29-34—“Now Jacob cooked a stew; & Esau came in from the field, & he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, & sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread & stew of lentils; then he ate & drank, arose, & went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
Rom. 16:5—“Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.”
1Cor. 15:20—“But now Christ is risen from the dead, & has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
Js. 1:18-22—“Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness & overflow of wickedness, & receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, & not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Lev. 3:13-16—“‘He[the priest] shall lay his hand on its head & kill it before the tabernacle of meeting; & the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar. Then he shall offer from it his offering, as an offering made by fire to the LORD. The fat that covers the entrails & all the fat that is on the entrails, ‘the two kidneys & the fat that is on them by the flanks, & the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; ‘& the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the LORD’S.”
Num. 18:17—““But the firstborn of a cow, the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, & burn their fat as an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the LORD.”
1Sam. 2:12-17—“Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD. And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; & the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come & say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.” And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; & if not, I will take it by force.” Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.”
1a)Cain’s sacrifice was not a blood sacrifice.
2a)Neither was it of the firstfruits.
“Grain offerings were to serve as reminders that God was the source of all their food. They were thank offerings. But the primary & necessary offering was the animal sacrifice because it is that which spoke of the need for substitutionary death for sin.”—John MacArthur
The reason for God’s “not respecting” Cain’s offering is not stated explicitly here. It must be derived either from 1)previous verses, 2)the Law, &/or 3)other biblical references to the incident.
“But more significantly he[Cain] didn’t bring an animal sacrifice. And I’m convinced that God had instructed them to bring an animal sacrifice. There had already been a demonstration of the need for substitutionary death to cover the sinner back in Chapter 3 Verse 21 when the Lord God had to slay an animal to make garments of skin for Adam & his wife & clothe them. .... that was a picture of substitutionary death of an innocent victim to provide a covering for the sinner.”—John MacArthur
*“Apparently Cain didn’t have[maintain] any recognition of the sin & that becomes very clear as the story goes on. Apparently he didn’t think he needed substitutionary death on his behalf. He didn’t need to depict the reality that he was a sinner worthy of death who needed an innocent substitute to die in his place.”—John MacArthur
Why was Abel’s sacrifice better?
Abel offered not only the first & the fat BUT he did it without regard to his personal loss...These acts are true acts of trust in God. Abel’s actions were true acts of saving faith.
Abel’s sacrifice brought him the testimony of righteousness in God’s eyes.
God testified of Abel’s “gifts”/sacrifices.
Thru the means/catalyst/conveyer/ of faith Abel still speaks to us today/now. Thus Abel’s sacrifices are pictures & patterns for application to any of biblical faith for all time.
*Personal faith & the actions of faith transcend time & eternity.
Cain’s ‘faith’ brought him nothing but emptiness & contention with God. The result of God’s disregard/unacceptance of one’s ‘sacrifice’/‘work.’
Ps 51:15-17—“O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken & a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.”
Php. 3:7-14—“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, & count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ & be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him & the power of His resurrection, & the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind & reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Eph. 5:1-2—“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us & given Himself for us, an offering & a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
Php. 4:18-19—“Indeed I[Paul] have all & abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
?Of what does my/your/our sweet-smelling sacrifice consist?
I Surrender All—#275
?What is the PECULIAR QUALITY of your Offerings to God?
?How do you Respond to life’s challenge?
?Is yours a Response of Saving Faith?
3—Saving faith meets life’s challenge with...
DESIRE For GOD’s SATISFACTION(:5-6)
Explanation:(:5-6)God’s satisfaction vs. self-satisfaction
:5—“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, & was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
“Enoch” was commonly known among the writer’s target audience(Gen. 5:18-24). Such familiarity with an otherwise obscure person remains because he was uniquely “taken” by God.
Enoch was very literally “taken away.” This meaning that he was taken to heaven without dying.
Enoch was thus “not found” again by any mortal man on earth, as he had been taken directly into God’s presence, avoiding fleshly “death” completely. This contains a quote from Gen. 5:24.
God is the One who took Enoch.
God saw Enoch as worthy of immediate translation. The reason was that Enoch—prior to his unique translation—maintained himself as a witness to God’s glory so that Enoch’s walk of faith was “pleasing” to God.
“Taken away/Translated/Taken up/Taken from this life”2X—metatiyhmi—V.—Aorist Passive indicative—1) To transpose (two things, one of which is put in place of the other)—1a) To transfer, 1b) To change, 1c) To transfer one’s self or suffer one’s self to be transferred—1c1) To go or pass over, 1c2) To fall away or desert from one person or thing to another. Strong—To transfer, i.e. literally--Transport, by implication--Exchange; reflexively--Change sides, or figuratively--Pervert. Used 6X.
“Found”—euriskw—1) To come upon, hit upon, to meet with; 2) To find by enquiry, thought, examination, scrutiny, observation, to find out by practice & experience; 3) To find out for one’s self, to acquire, get, obtain, procure. Strong—To find(literally or figuratively).
“Had...Testimony/Obtained...Witness/Commended”—marturew—V.—1) To be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration. Strong—To be witness, i.e. Testify (literally or figuratively).
“Pleasing to”(See :6—“Please”)—euarestew—1) To be well pleasing; 2) To be well pleased with a thing. Strong—To gratify entirely. Used 3X.
From—eu—&—arestov—= ‘Well fit/agreeable.’
:6—“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, & that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” ”
Satisfying God vs. satisfying Flesh
Without personal faith(as in 10:39-11:2) no one can “please” God. No one can live a life that pleases God apart from faith.
We must approach God.
We must believe(have faith), first & foremost, that “He is” who “He is” & that He exists.
In opposition to this, the fool believes(has faith) in his very heart that there is no God.
Ps. 14:1; 53:1—“<
Prov. 14:16—“A wise man fears & departs from evil, But a fool rages & is self-confident.”
Prov. 26:10—“The great God who formed everything Gives the fool his hire & the transgressor his wages.”
Ps. 10:3-11—“For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy & renounces the LORD. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. His ways are always prospering; Your judgments are far above, out of his sight; As for all his enemies, he sneers at them. He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.” His mouth is full of cursing & deceit & oppression; Under his tongue is trouble & iniquity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places he murders the innocent; His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor; He catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, That the helpless may fall by his strength. He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.””
The one who approaches God must believe that God “rewards” those who “seek” Him. Otherwise there would be no need to come to Him in the first place. If a person does not believe that God is worthy(a rewarder offering—salvation, meaningful life, purpose, power, etc.) of being sought out, then he/she will not expend the effort/energy needed to do so. But this person also must realize that God absolutely is not placated thru their mimicking Christian behaviors, no matter how sincere & ‘good for the common welfare’ their actions may be.
Mk. 12:29-31—“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, & with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.””
1Jn. 4:9-10—“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us & sent His Son to be the propitiation[satisfaction] for our sins.”
Isa 42:18-21—““Hear, you deaf; And look, you blind, that you may see. Who is blind but My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, And blind as the LORD’S servant? Seeing many things, but you do not observe; Opening the ears, but he does not hear.” The LORD is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will exalt the law & make it honorable.”
Under what law do we serve?...the perfect law of liberty(Js. 1:25, ) which is had by grace thru faith in Christ Jesus!
Mt. 12:18—““Behold! My Servant[Jesus] whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.”
If Jesus full pleases God, then we, as Christians, should also be fully pleasing to God!
Living For Jesus—#282
?Is your greatest DESIRE for God’s SATISFACTION?
?How do you Respond to life’s challenge?
?Is yours a Response of Saving Faith?
4—Saving faith meets life’s challenge with...
:7—“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world & became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” ”
Noah also acted in faith as had Abel & Enoch.
Noah was “warned” by that which is beyond man. It was a divine mandate to business from the God who had revealed Himself to mankind thru Adam & Eve in the line of Seth(Gen. 4:25-6:9).
Noah was warned about something which would take place in his future.
Noah acted on the warning he had received.
Noah acted in reverence regarding the warning as it had been received from the very God whom he had recognized & accepted as true.
Noah “prepared” out of reverence for God.
Noah prepared an “ark” out of reverence for God’s desire.
Noah’s ark would bring about the “saving” of his entire “household,” & thereby, the entirety of mankind.
Noah’s reverent preparation by faith simultaneously & in contrast to the salvation, “condemned the world” in which Noah lived.
The quality of Noah’s faith, which produced his reverent preparation of the ark, ensured his “becoming heir.” Noah become heir to “righteousness.” Such a “righteousness” is a “righteousness” peculiar to “faith.”
Noah’s status as an “heir” united him with others, thru the ages, “of the righteousness” which is had by faith.
Of greatest importance is not so much what Noah did but why he did it. Others could have built an ark of like proportions. However if such an undertaking would have been done in the flesh, their actions would not have secured them an inheritance of the righteousness which can only be had by faith.
*All heirs of righteousness become heirs thru saving faith.
*Salvation is a two-sided coin—Deliverance is balanced by condemnation. “Divinely warned/Divinely instructed”—crhmatizw—V.—1Aorist Passive participle—1) To transact business, esp. to manage public affairs—1a) To advise or consult with one about public affairs, 1b) To make answer to those who ask for advice, present enquiries or requests, etc.—1b1) Of judges, magistrates, rulers, kings; 2) To give a response to those consulting an oracle, to give a divine command or admonition, to teach from heaven—2a) To be divinely commanded, admonished, instructed, 2b) To be the mouthpiece of divine revelations, to promulgate the commands of God; 3) To assume or take to one’s self a name from one’s public business—3a) To receive a name or title, be called. Strong—To utter an oracle(compare the original sense of craomai—to furnish what is needed as in giving an oracle), i.e. Divinely intimate; by implication(compare the secular sense of creia—employment, i.e. an affair)--To constitute a firm for business, i.e. generally--Bear as a title. Used 9X.
“Moved with godly fear/In Reverence/In holy fear”—eulabeomai—1) To act cautiously, circumspectly; 2) To beware, fear; 3) To reverence, stand in awe of. Strong—To be circumspect, i.e. by implication--To be apprehensive; religiously--To reverence. Used 2X, here & Acts 23:10.
From—eu— &—lambanw—=‘To hold well.’
“Condemned”—katakrinw—1) To give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment—1a) To condemn, 1b) by one’s good example To render another’s wickedness the more evident & censurable. Strong—To judge against, i.e. sentence.
From—kata—&—krinw—To separate, approve, be of opinion, determine, judge, rule, contend together= ‘Thru judgment/determination.’
“Heir”—klhronomov—1) One who receives by lot, an heir; 2) One who has acquired or obtained the portion allotted to him. Strong—A sharer by lot, i.e. Inheritor(literally or figuratively); by implication--A possessor. Used 15X.
“Righteousness”—dikaiosunh—N. f.—1) in a broad sense: State of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God; 2) in a narrower sense, Justice or the virtue which gives each his due. Strong—Equity (of character or act); specially(Christian)--Justification.
“According to/Comes by”—kata—1) Down from, through out; 2) According to, toward, along. Strong—a primary particle; prepositionally--Down(in place or time), in varied relations(according to the case [genitive case, dative case or accusative case] with which it is joined).
I am an alien & stranger in this world because the world is under the sway of the devil(1Jn. 5:19), the prince of the power of the air(Eph. 2:2)...& I am not!
Eph. 2:1-9—“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses & sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh & of the mind, & were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), & raised us up together, & made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, & that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
1Jn. 4:1-6—“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, & every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, & is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, & have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, & the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth & the spirit of error.”
2Kgs. 17:13-15—“Yet the LORD testified against Israel & against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, & keep My commandments & My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, & which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes & His covenant that He had made with their fathers, & His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, & went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.” Not ‘doing’ ultimately requires trust(faith) which correspondingly rejects. This works for both the Christian as well as the worldly. Their ‘trusts’(faiths) are in two separate entities...Either God or that which God created!
Jn. 16:7-11—““Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper[Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, & of righteousness, & of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father & you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
Jn. 9:39-41—“And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, & that those who see may be made blind.” Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, & said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”
1Jn. 2:15-17—“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, & the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, & the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
1Jn. 3:13—“Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.”
Jn. 15:18-21—““If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
I Have Decide To Follow Jesus—#305
Everything apart...from that which is brought about by faith in Jesus...is nothing & futile.
?Does your life speak of a CONDEMNING TRUST in God?
?How do you Respond to life’s challenge?
?Is yours a Response of Saving Faith?
Personal attempts to honor God in my work.
Saving faith meets life’s challenge with...
1. A PARTICULAR WORLDVIEW(:3)—Concept presented 05/20/2012 with 10:39—11:3 as FELLOWSHIP
2. OFFERINGs Of PECULIAR QUALITY(:4)
3. DESIRE For GOD’s PLEASURE(:5-6)
4. CONDEMNING TRUST(:7)
Presented 07/22/2012am to:
Needmore Baptist Church
1620 Mt. Vernon Rd.
Woodleaf, NC 27054