Summary: The book of Hebrews is all about Jesus!
FAITH IN JESUS
WHAT IS FAITH?
-The whole book of Hebrews has been building a case that we can be confident in the faith we’ve put in Jesus.
-Our author has gone to great lengths to show that Jesus offers us a better covenant.
-That Jesus is the better priest for that covenant, that he himself made the better sacrifice for sins, and that there is no better option than Jesus.
-To the Hebrew Christians who were waffling and thinking about going back…this letter says “keep your faith in Jesus!”
-Amen? But exactly is what is faith? We just “amened” it but do we even know what it is?
-This is the premier passage in Scripture on the subject of faith
-Some even call this chapter “the heroes of the faith!”
-There are a few teachings that are central in Christianity.
-One of those core beliefs is that we receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
-You are not saved by works, not by baptism, not by good deeds, not by giving, serving, or coming to church on Sundays.
-We are only saved by God’s grace through faith…but what exactly is faith? How would you describe it to someone without it?
Hebrews 11:1 starts this way: Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen;
A. CONFIDENCE IN WHAT WE HOPE FOR. (VS 1A)
-What are we hoping for? All kinds of things.
-We have a confident hope that Jesus Christ coming back.
-We have a confident hope that when he returns there is going to be a great day of reckoning.
-We have a confident hope that Satan will be finally defeated, and God’s people will have the final victory.
-We have a confident hope that God is going to destroy everything and recreate a new heaven and a new earth.
-There is going to be a do-over!
-We have a confident hope that the God who created us will bring us into his presence and there will be no more sin, suffering, pain, death or sorrow in that eternal Kingdom of our Lord!
-Whew…I get excited just talking about it!!!
-Because of our faith…we have a confident hope that we’re going to be reunited with all the Christians who have gone before us.
-In heaven, I have the confident hope of meeting the apostle Paul and the lesser known disciple Arthur Hulse…my great-grandfather
-I have the confident hope that all the things I’ve given up, that all the hours I sacrificed for Jesus…is going to pay dividends one day.
-We have these hopes because of our faith in Jesus.
-What is faith? Its confidence in all the things we hope for.
-But look at the second half of vs 1.
it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
B. ASSURANCE OF WHAT WE CAN’T SEE. (VS 1B-3)
-Part of the reason that faith is necessary, is that there are things we can’t see.
-We can’t prove that God created the heavens and the earth.
-We can’t prove beyond a shadow of doubt that there is life after death. We can’t prove the existence of angels.
-We can’t point out the Holy Spirit in a line up.
-We can’t even tell people what Jesus looked like.
-And yet we have the assurance of those unseen things…how?
-Through our faith.
-This is a major objection for some people. They want to see.
-They say I can’t see God, touch God, hear God, so I can’t believe in God. There is no empirical data to support the existence of God
-The apostle Thomas said something like that.
-And when Jesus reappeared to Thomas he told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (Jn 20:29)
-Why has God made faith the lynch pin for everything we believe and stand for?
-Why didn’t he make hard facts, and visible proof the basis of our beliefs?
-If we only accepted God with physical evidence we’d end up trusting our evidence not our God.
-People say if God would prove to me that he exists, then I’ll have faith! But that would mean we were accepting him on our terms.
-And though God is loving, though He is kind, though He is compassionate…he is still the Lord of all.
-And you will not dictate terms to him. When you come to salvation you do it his way…on his terms.
-And the way we come to saving faith in Jesus a puts all the
emphasis on Him, and that’s the way he designed it.