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Summary: Building a life that will be pleasing to God

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Building A Life of Faith

Hebrews 11:1-40

Scripture reading (1-3)

I. The Mandate of Faith v. 6

What do you think it takes to please God? Some people think that the way you please God is through ritual, that you chant certain prayers, you do certain rituals over and over again, you light some incense or a candle and you please God with all the things that you do. But that is not what the Bible says!

Some people think the way you please God is through keeping rules and regulations, that you make a list of all the things you're supposed to do and all the things you're not supposed to do. If you do all the things on the "Do" list and you don't do all the things on the "Don't" list then God says your're okay. But that is not what the Bible says!

Others think that the way that you please God is through religion, that you observe certain holy days or go to a bunch of religious experiences or maybe go to communion and you're a religious enough person then God gives you the "thumbs up." But that is not what the Bible says! If you can't please God by doing all of these things, then how can you please God.

Hebrews 11:6 says that;

"6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

Martin Luther.

"God our Father has made all things depend on faith so that whoever has faith will have everything, and whoever does not have faith will have nothing."

If you can't please God without faith then it makes sense that the first thing we need to do is find our just what faith really is. Thankfully in God's Word we have what Dr. Stanley Outlaw calls a "working definition," of faith.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that;

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

What does this mean in laymen's language? Faith is the substance, the very foundation, of things hoped for (Greek present tense continuous action "things that are being hoped for") because it gives us confident assurance that those things will come about. The things hoped for are the promises of God that are yet to be realized; the bodily resurrection, heaven, eternal life, etc. The second line is a parallelism, being synonymous with the first. It reads like this; "It is the proof of things not seen (Greek present tense continuous action "things not being seen") The things that matter most to believers are never visible, "for we walk by faith and not by sight" 2 Cor. 5:7

II. The Meaning of faith v. 1

If you can't please God without faith then it makes sense that the first thing we need to do is find our just what faith really is. Thankfully in God's Word we have what Dr. Stanley Outlaw calls a "working definition," of faith.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that;

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

What does this mean in laymen's language? Faith is the substance, the very foundation, of things hoped for (Greek present tense continuous action "things that are being hoped for") because it gives us confident assurance that those things will come about. The things hoped for are the promises of God that are yet to be realized; the bodily resurrection, heaven, eternal life, etc. The second line is a parallelism, being synonymous with the first. It reads like this; "It is the proof of things not seen (Greek present tense continuous action "things not being seen") The things that matter most to believers are never visible, "for we walk by faith and not by sight" 2 Cor. 5:7


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