Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the series "Jesus Is Better- The Better Way".
Series: Jesus Is Better- The Better Way [#5]
FAITH IS THE VICTORY
In a week that we will elect a President and celebrate Veterans Day, I want to talk about victory. There are some teams that lose most of their games. They don’t know how to win. They don’t expect to win. I’m afraid that many Christians have lost their will to win. Regardless of who our next President is, Jesus is still King. Our text shows us how to have victory.
Hebrews 11:29-30 (NIV)
“By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.”
Victory comes from an…
1. Unstoppable faith.
This faith doesn’t waver. It never turns loose. It doesn’t know the word can’t. It will not accept defeat. It moves on and on and conquers. It is unstoppable.
The illustration of unstoppable faith is shown to us through 2 examples of the Israelites- The crossing of the Red Sea and the victory at Jericho. The Red Sea was the way the children of Israel came out of Egypt. Jericho was their first encounter after coming into the Promised Land.
This tells us there is a time to pray and a time to act. God’s command was clear. He told Moses to tell the people to move on even in their dilemma. When they did, the water divided and the wind rose and rolled back the sea. That must have been a sight as the Israelites watched the water held back by the wind. They had faith when they walked across the corridor through the Red Sea. They believed God and they went over on dry land.
Following 40 years in the wilderness wanderings they crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho. There they met an awesome challenge. There they also demonstrated tremendous faith. God’s command didn’t make sense, it seemed illogical. Joshua told the people to say nothing and to march around the wall every day as God commanded. The Israelites did this every day and nothing happened; but they had unstoppable faith. They had been through the Red Sea and though they did not always act like people of faith, they obeyed God. Then on the 7th day, silence was broken with the sound of a ram’s horn. The order from God was, “Now you can shout”. They shouted and the walls of Jericho collapsed. All of this was accomplished by faith.
What happened at the Red Sea and at Jericho was God working in the Nation of Israel. Their faith was not doing the work. Their faith was active and invested in God. They believed God and they obeyed God; and when they did, their faith allowed God to work. Man’s faith simply allows God to do what He wants to do. Our faith doesn’t do the work or perform miracles. God does the work and God performs miracles.
Hebrews 11:31 (NIV)
“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”
Victory comes from an…
2. Unashamed faith.
In addition of being unstoppable, our faith should not be ashamed. This is 1 of the most amazing statements in the Bible. The writer of Hebrews identifies a great number of some of the most godly men ever known. He begins with Abel, then Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. Then in a list of great heroes of the faith, he inserts the name Rahab the prostitute. How did she make the line-up? It just doesn’t seem right to list all of these great saints and then a prostitute. It is truly amazing; but with this reference to Rahab, we come face to face with 1 of the greatest instances of grace in the Bible.
Primitive as it was, Rahab had faith. She didn’t understand it all; but she knew that these men who came to her place and asked her to hide them were messengers from God. Even though it meant turning her back on her people, even though it meant the destruction to her own nation, she believed God. God heard her pleas and responded to her. No one is too dirty with sin for God to save. In Matthew, Rahab is listed in the genealogy of our Lord.
Hebrews 11:32-34 (NIV)
“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.”