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Summary: A New Year’s message, encouraging us to live in faith in the new year!

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Hebrews 11:1-6 – “Faith for 2007”

By James Galbraith

First Baptist Church, Port Alberni

December 31, 2006

Text

11 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 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.

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

5 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. 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.

Introduction

I simply have to start the year off by sharing with you my favourite New Year’s cartoons…

(share Calvin and Hobbes strips)

Sometimes Calvin is closer to my thoughts than I like to admit.

Now onto more serious pursuits…

Faith

No matter what resolution you may have made,

or if you do not bother with resolutions at all,

there is one thing that I know you need this year.

Not only you, but me too,

and everyone else in this room, neighbour, city, province, nation and world.

Faith

- not just faith for faith’s sake – just because you believe something does not make true!

- you can believe that red means go all you want, but if you live that out,

you won’t live for long, and you’ll probably take others out with you

- faith in God as the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of this world

- faith in Christ as the crucified Saviour and risen Lord of all who believe

- faith in the Holy Spirit as our connection with God,

our guide and protector, the giver of our strength

Faith in our passage is described so well as:

“being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”

Sure of what we hope for

- we hope for God’s promise to come to fruit, knowing that God keeps his word

- we hope for God’s love, knowing that he gives it unconditionally

- we hope for daily bread, knowing that God can give it

Certain of what we do not see

- we have not seen Jesus, but we are certain that he is real, and that he loves us

- we have not seen Heaven, but we are certain that God is preparing it for us

- we have not seen our lives end, but we are certain that in God’s hands we’ll be okay

That said, faith shows itself in many ways,

This chapter passage gives us many examples of faith in God at work,

Two of which I’ve already read:

Abel’s faith

- trusted God from the beginning

- as one of only three people in world for a while,

he had a pretty unique perspective on God!

- thought of as righteous because he makes an acceptable offering to God

- when it was time to make an offering, as a shepherd,

he offers up one of his prize animals

- while his brother Cain, as a farmer, offers up some of his produce


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