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Summary: The word “believe” is broad and is open to all kinds and variations of meaning depending on what the person has in mind. What does the Bible say about belief, believing and faith?

Belief, Believing and Faith - Interchangeable Terms?

Today we will be reading from Hebrews 11:1-6

We live in the era of cheap grace and easy salvation.

“Just repeat after me.” “Did you mean that with all of your heart?” “You’re saved! Write that date down in your Bible and make sure you tell someone!”

The word “believe” is broad and is open to all kinds and variations of meaning depending on what the person has in mind.

What does the Bible say about belief, believing and faith?

Let’s read Hebrews 11:1-6

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

(prayer for help)

Hebrews is often called the “Faith Chapter” of the Bible.

In reality, the Bible is a Faith Book from beginning to the end.

Today we will be looking in particular at Hebrews 1:6

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

Today we will be looking at four sections of this Bible verse. We will be taking it kind of from the inside out and then wrapping it around.

First, let’s look at this phrase, “Anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists …”

Here we are seeing the idea that a person must have a belief that God exists before a salvation encounter can take place.

John Wesley described this as prevenient grace.

What is prevenient grace?

Prevenient grace is an awakening in the human spirit that there is something or someone who is above us and whom we need.

Prevenient grace or awakening grace is brought about by the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of an unsaved person.

Prevenient or awakening grace can come to us through a variety of avenues:

- General revelation - nature - the earth, the heavens, the intricacies of creation

- Family influences - mother, grandmother, aunt, uncle, father, brother sister, etc.

- Church relations - pastor, Sunday School teacher, classmate

- Chance interactions with perfect strangers who know Jesus

- Etc.

Prevenient or awakening grace is almost always accompanied by a grace that draws the person toward salvation.

Now, remember that we are looking at this verse kind of from the inside-out.

Once a person comes to believe that God exists they come to a time of decision making. This decision is described in the next phrase we will be looking at.

Hebrews 1:6

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because [anyone who comes to Him] must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

“Anyone who comes to Him …”

The unsaved person who now has a belief that God exists must make a decision. Are they going to “come to Him” or turn their back on the truth? Are they going to add believing in God to their belief that God exists?

Belief that God exists will make no difference in your eternal destiny. Even the demons believe and shudder (James 2:19) but they are still eternally lost.

Salvation requires that belief in God is followed by believing IN God. This happens when a person cooperates with God’s saving grace and enters into the Kingdom of God as an adopted son or daughter of God.

This decision has tremendous benefits - new creation - in Christ

2 Corinthians 5:17

“If anyone is in Christ He is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”

When belief about God is accompanied with believing in Jesus a new relationship is established. Not only are you adopted as a son or daughter of God but you are filled with the Holy Spirit who enables you to follow God faithfully.

So, what have we seen so far?

1) We must have an accurate belief about Jesus that is prompted by prevenient grace

2) We must be born again or have a spiritual birth which is accomplished by participating with God’s saving grace

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