Summary: This message deals with some practical ways that faith is lived out in our lives. It is a part of my series on the book of Hebrews.
TEXT: Hebrews 11:23-29
TOPIC: “Faith In Action”
How strong is your faith? If you had to rate it on a scale of one to ten, where would your faith fall? Real faith is not demonstrated in the confines of a Sunday Morning worship service. It is revealed in the difficult times of life. Faith is defined in our lives when we are facing the hard decisions and firey trials of life.
Faith in action will be lived out in some practical ways:
I. FAITH CHOOSES OBEDIENCE TO GOD EVEN WHEN CONTRARY TO THE LAWS OF MEN (V. 23).
A. Sometimes the laws of men may dictate disobedience to God.
1. There are examples in scripture to this fact.
a. Moses parents kept Moses alive and in hiding even though the law said to kill him.
b. Daniel prayed to the Lord against the law of the King.
c. The three Hebrew children refused to worship an idol even though the law commanded it.
d. The Apostles preached the gospel even though forbidden by the authorities.
e. It is politically incorrect to stand for Biblical principles.
· Senator from Pennsylvania stands for Biblical values on Homosexuality.
B. Obedience to God is a higher calling than obedience to the laws of men.
1. Moses’ parents feared God more than they feared Pharaoh.
2. We must choose to obey god rather than men (Acts 5:29).
II. FAITH CHOOSES THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS INSTEAD OF THE WAY OF SIN (VV. 24-25).
A. Refuse to allow this world define who you are (v. 24).
1. This world will attempt to conform you to itself (Rom. 12:1-2).
B. Reject sin and embrace righteousness (v. 25).
1. Sin always will bring temporary pleasure and permanent heartache.
2. Righteousness brings temporary hardship and permanent joy.
III. FAITH RECOGNIZES WHERE TRUE RICHES ARE LOCATED (V. 26).
A. Count things as they really are (v. 26a).
1. The reproaches that the world gives those who follow Christ are worth more than all of the riches of this world.
2. The real riches are those that are not of this world.
B. Keep your eyes on the reward that is yet to come.
IV. FAITH FOCUSES ON THE LIVING GOD (V. 27).
A. When we trust in God, we will not fear what men will do to us.
1. Remember the example of those who have preceded us.
b. The Apostles
c. Michael Sattler
B. Our focus must be on the one that the world does not see.
3. We see him through remembrance of His faithfulness.
V. FAITH FOLLOWS THE PATH OF VICTORY (VV. 28-29).
A. The path of victory is the path of obedience (v. 28).
1. We must obey even when obedience does not appeal to us.
a. God’s way is repulsive to the physical senses.
1.) God commanded the Israelites to put blood on the doorposts and lintel of their houses.
b. God’s way does not appeal to the religious works mindset of the day.
· The religious mindset wants to work for salvation (ie: JW’s; Mormons, etc.)
· God’s Way is by grace thru faith (Eph. 2:8-9).
B. The path of victory is one that is saturated with God (v.29).
1. When the victory is won, it is evident that only God could have done it.
a. There is no way that man could have accomplished the victory experienced by the Israelites.
b. There is no way except God to change a sinner into a saint.
c. There is no way to accomplish God-sized tasks except with God doing it.
Faith, real faith, produces action.
A young fellow heard a preacher from the olden days, and was greatly moved, and the preacher said: "When you have a religious impression, the time to act upon it is right then. The time when you hear God’s call, in which you ought to respond is right then." And the young fellow walked down the aisle and publicly made his surrender to Christ, saying: "It shall be right now that I take Christ as my Savior." He went back to the sawmill in the mountains where he worked, and the boys said that next morning he sang continually. Religion in the heart makes men sing. The boys said that he sang all the morning, and they moved the great logs to the sawmill, and as he went singing all that morning--the first morning that he had ever known what it was to be Christ’s trusting disciple and follower--about noon his body was caught somehow in the machinery and crushed and mangled, so that a little while thereafter he went away into dusty death. When they got him out he faintly said: "Send for the preacher, that preacher in the church at the foot of the mountains that I talked to last night." The preacher fortunately was soon found and hurried up the mountain to the mill, and he bent down by the side of the dying fellow and took his hand and said: "Charley, I have come. What would you like to say?" And with a smile on his face that was never on land or sea, he faintly pressed the minister’s hand and said: "Wasn’t it a glorious thing that I settled it in time?" Oh, men and women, my men and women, I beg you, in the great Savior’s name, turn your boat upstream before it is too late! "Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2).
--George W. Truett