Summary: Over the last two decades in our country we have grown accustomed to hearing the concept that “true faith” is always evidenced by tangible success.But this is a false gospel.
A Study of the Book of Hebrews
Jesus is Better
Sermon # 21
“Faith is the Victory”
We live in a society where winning is everything. Everything in our society is success oriented. Even the church has acquired the success syndrome. Over the last two decades in our country we have grown accustomed to hearing the concept that “true faith” is always evidenced by tangible success. Proponents of what has come to be known as the “health and wealth gospel” have built Television empires that sell their ideas, that unless you are healthy and wealthy you not living up to your potential. Anything less than tangible success that leads to your comfort and prosperity in life is shamed as being a defective faith. So any failures, illnesses or tragedies are ruled to be outside of the will of God and beneath the dignity of the Christian. Is that what the Bible really teaching about faith?
No, in fact to believe this “false gospel” about faith is to ignore the principal that there is a difference between spiritual success and material success. There is a difference between being deemed a success by the world and deemed a success by God.
Last time in (11:23-29) we looked at “Moses: A Man of Faith” and noted how this man considered by the Jews to be the greatest of the Old Testament characters lived by faith. Today the author of Hebrews gives his summary to his great “Heroes of the Faith Hall of Fame,” he gives two great principles about faith. This passage is extremely important for blowing the fog of confusion away from what faith is and what kind of life faith guarantees. Today we will see the two-fold nature of faith, first we see the exciting victories of faith and secondly we see the enduring virtue of faith.
First, The Exciting Victories of the Faith 11:32-35a
In verse thirty-two it is as if the writer realizes that time constraints will not allow him to continue a detailed account of the heroic exploits of faith. He says, “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:” He has now confined himself to six additional figures whose lives span from the time of the Judges through the Monarchy and ends with the inclusion of “the prophets.” These men who are mentioned are intended to be suggestive of a host of men and women who had lived for God in a hostile world.
Gideon the first listed is a powerful example of faith, in that he and three hundred select men routed the Midianite army with torches and empty jugs (Judges 7:7-25).
Barak, when the judges ruled Israel, was a military leader who along with Deborah, led Israel to defeat Siscera and the Canaanites (Judges 4:8-10).
Samson, is usually remember for his great strength not his faith, yet in spite of his weaknesses, he was a great champion of Israel during period of the Philistine oppression (Judges 13:1- 16:31).
Jephthah, (Jud 11:1-12:7) often remember for his foolish vow, placed his faith in God and relied on his power to overcome the Ammonities.