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Summary: What this is saying is that God has provided something better for us and all of those people of faith in chapter 11, Abraham, Noah, Samuel, and David etc. have a task that has not been completed and it will not be completed without us.

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TEXT: Hebrews 11:4, 5, 8, 20, 23, 30, 32; 12:1

TITLE: DON’T DROP THE BATON

{Carry a baton with you into the pulpit as an illustration}

This is a chapter of faith. Most of the time when we preach this we stop around verse 30 or 35. The reason we stop around verses 30-35 is because the end of the chapter preaches something totally different from the first part of the chapter. You don’t here people preach faith at the bottom of the chapter because it is too hard to contextually deal with. It seems to be contrary to the other verses. We dismiss those last verses and go on to talk about the great cloud of witnesses in chapter 12. I don’t know if you know it or not but in the Greek it didn’t have the punctuation or chapter and verse divisions like we have it today. When you see the words therefore or wherefore it is connected to the previous verse and cannot be separated from it. Let’s look at verse 39 and 40. All those that we read about in the previous verses did not receive the promise. We read about all these great things these people did but none of them received the promise. Then we read verse 40. {read}

Hebrews 11:39-40 – “(39) And these men of faith, though they trusted God and won his approval, none of them received all that God had promised them; (40) for God wanted them to wait and share the even better rewards that were prepared for us” (TLB).

There are two words for the word “perfect.” One is “artios” and the other is “teleios.” The word here is “teleios.” Let me illustrate the difference between the two words. Artios is, if I took this microphone apart and unscrewed everything that could be unscrewed and then put this whole microphone back together I would have a complete object. It would be a perfect completed object. The object is finished and I could hold it up and say it is complete. Teleios does not mean an object, it means a task. If I said I am going to walk to that altar rail, when I take the steps necessary to reach that altar rail then my task is complete. Artios is a completed object, teleios is a completed task.

What this is saying is that God has provided something better for us and all of those people of faith in chapter 11, Abraham, Noah, Samuel, and David etc. have a task that has not been completed and it will not be completed without us. There is an uncompleted task. What that tells us is that somebody somewhere started something and it is not finished yet and it is not going to be finished without you and me. They did not obtain their promise, they have got a good testimony, a good record of what they did and we can look at that record and testify about what they did but they have not finished what they started and they have not obtained the promise and apart from us the task is imperfect.

Grandmother, and Grandfather, Dad and Mother all have a good testimony or record of what they did but they probably left with some unfinished task. They probably didn’t accomplish in this life all they wanted to accomplish and what they started will not be finished without you and me.


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