Summary: FAITH HAS BEEN A NEEDED PART OF MAN¡¦S LIFE WITH THE LORD SINCE THE EARLIEST GENERATIONS. In Hebrews 11, we discover three early examples of early faith
July 31,1994 - PM
EARLY EXAMPLES OF FAITH
INTRO: (1) Faith is a bridge which connects the present with either the future or the past.
(2) The bridge that all men of God walk on to cross great challenges, is faith.
PROP: FAITH HAS BEEN A NEEDED PART OF MAN¡¦S LIFE WITH THE LORD SINCE THE EARLIEST GENERATIONS.
In Hebrews 11, we discover three early examples of early faith
I. (verse 4) BY FAITH ABEL,
OFFERED unto God
„h Abel gave God His due.
„h He gave with excellence.
„h Only by faith do we give the Lord His due with excellence.
„h The word for witness is the same root from which we get our English word martyr.
„h Abel¡¦s God-honoring message outlived him.
„h Here are some words about suffering for Christ - even to the point of death. God does much without the use of fighting force.
Gregory Nazianzen said : ¡§Do they cast us out of the city? They cannot cast us out of that which is in the heavens. If they who hate us could do this, they would do something real against us. The only thing we really have to be afraid of is fearing anything more than God.¡¨
To the King of Navare, Beza said: ¡§Sire, it belongs truly to God¡¦s Church rather to suffer blows than to strike them: but let it be your pleasure to remember that the Church is an anvil which hath worn out many a hammer.
Leighton said: ¡§The Church has sometimes been brought to so low and obscure a point that if you can follow her in history it is by the track of her blood, and if you would see her, it is by the light of those fires in which her martyrs have been burnt.¡¨
Jorton remarked: ¡§To banish, imprison, plunder, starve, hang, and burn men for religion is not the gospel of Christ, but the gospel of the devil. Where persecution begins, Christianity ends. Christ never used anything like force or violence, except once; and that was to drive bad men out of the temple, and not to drive them in.¡¨
Milner said: ¡§Persecution often does in this life what the last day will do completely - separate the wheat from the tares.¡¨
Spencer said: ¡§Let the Church¡¦s enemies plough never so deeply, and make furrows on the backs of God¡¦s people never so long; yet God¡¦s ends are grace and mercy and peace to do them good in the latter end.¡¨
Bowes said: ¡§If you are made to suffer for religion, see that religion does not suffer by you.¡¨
Tertullian said: The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.¡¨ (424-25) # 14-13
Through the ages, from the earliest days, the testimony of martyrs has served the Lord well. The Message of the Martyr is Mighty!
II. (verse 5) BY FAITH ENOCH,
„h He was changed from a realm governed by death to one that was characterized by eternal life. The two compete against each other. When one is prevailing in a life, it tries to restructure everything in that life to meet its own characteristics. This reminds me of the two current word processors for computers at the top of the market. Whenever a WordPerfect document is put into a Microsoft Word program, it tries to change the document to match its own criteria. It will translate it.
„h Since we will be translated by faith we may act on the fact that it will be so. We will not die eternally with our faith in Christ.
Was not FOUND
„h Enoch was not located when he was sought among those still under the rule of death. He was not among the lost but the living.
„h The search for the faithful should be performed among the pages of the Lamb’s Book of life.
Was PLEASING to God
What pleases the Lord?
„h In Hebrews 10:6,8, & 38 we learn that offerings could never please the Lord.
„h In 11:6 we learn that faith pleases Him.
„h In 13:16, we learn that sacrificial praise is pleasing to Him.
THE ABSENCE OF FAITH . . . makes it impossible to please God.
THE ESSENCE OF FAITH . . . is that God exists and that He is to be approached..
THE PRESENCE OF FAITH . . . results in reward for the faithful believer.
III. (verse 7) BY FAITH NOAH,
MOVED with fear
„h Noah viewed God¡¦s word as important and believed His warning about coming Judgment.
„h God¡¦s warnings motivate the faithful.
PREPARED an ark
„h Noah built a place of safety for his family. In the Ark, he could spare his household.
„h We want to spare our households and we need faith to point them to the place of eternal security in Jesus Christ.