Summary: Faith goes beyond mental assent; it is an active confidence in what God will do.
Faith goes beyond mental assent; it is an active confidence in what God will do.
• We have been on our Journey of Faith Series through Hebrews over the past few weeks.
• Remember the context of the book of Hebrews.
• As a result of the pressure they faced since coming to Jesus, some of the Christians that had a Jewish background were considering going back to Judaism.
• The book of Hebrews was meant to help encourage folks not to do go back to Judaism.
• This brings us to one of my favorite chapters of the Bible, Hebrews 11!
• Hebrews 11 covers the subject of FAITH.
• How do we define the word FAITH? The dictionary defines it this way, “CONFIDENCE OR TRUST IN A PERSON OR THING.”
• What Hebrews 11 shows us the results of faith, in other words, what faith LEADS on to do.
• Our BIG IDEA today is, FAITH GOES BEYOND MENTAL ASSENT; IT IS AN ACTIVE CONFIDENCE IN WHAT GOD WILL DO.
• Hebrews 11 shows us how faith been demonstrated in the lives of those the chapter memorializes.
• The author of the book of Hebrews goes on to list example after example of people in the Bible who lived by faith; even though their circumstances were not comfortable.
• The phrase “by faith” is said before each example.
• So, “by faith” Abraham was called and went to a land he did not know (v. 8)
• By faith, Sarah was able to bear children, even though she was old (v. 11).
• By faith, people passed through the Red Sea in the Exodus (v. 29).
• Over and over, we see that people were given a promise by God and had faith that it would come to pass, even when they could not see it in their circumstances.
• They had high confidence in the Lord and in what he could do despite their situations.
• Today we will spend our time together in Hebrews 11!
• Let’s turn to Hebrews 11:1 to begin our journey today.
Hebrews 11:1 (CSB)
1Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
1. I. The essence of faith.
• Many times when we look at verse 1, it is easy to think that verse DEFINES faith, when, in fact, verse 1 gives a description of what faith DOES, how faith manifests itself.
• A good Biblical definition of faith is suggested by E.J. Carnell in Gareth Reese’s Commentary on Hebrews.
Faith is whole-souled trust in God’s Word as true because of the sufficiency of the evidence.
Hebrews Commentary, Gareth Reese
• What this definition tells us is that we know that God’s Word is accurate, and then we trust Him, which in turn leads us to be obedient to Him.
• A simple definition of faith is “Faith is doing what God says!”
• What Hebrews 11 displays for us is FAITHFULNESS, which is faith in action!
• Remember that God requires us to be FAITHFUL until the end or Jesus returns, whichever comes first!
• We see when Jesus spoke in Matthew 7 about the servants who told Jesus that they did all these, what they thought were wonderful things in His name.
• Jesus told them to depart from Him because He never knew them.
• In verse 21 of Matthew 7, Jesus says only those who DO the will of the Father will get to Heaven, in other words, being FAITHFUL!
• Verse 1 tells us that faithfulness is the REALITY of what is hoped for!
• This word REALITY is translated many times as ASSURANCE. The best way to catch the flavor of the original text would be TITLE DEED.
• A TITLE DEED is a certificate of ownership. When you have the deed, you own the property!
• Faithfulness is the TITLE DEED to all that God all that God has promised us!
• You can choose to not be faithful, you have the free will to do so; however, faithlessness will not lead to blessing!
• Revelation 2:10 reminds us that when we are faithful until death, and when we do that, we will receive the crown of life!
• We also see that faithfulness is the PROOF or better word, CONVICTION of things not seen! This verse is the only place in the New Testament, where this word is used.
• Our CONVICTION or PROOF of things we cannot see drives our faithfulness to God. We do not see God, yet we believe in Him. We have such conviction concerning our faith that we can drive unbelief out of our system.