Summary: The Definition and Description of Faith
Faith - Lesson 1
I. The DEFINITION of faith (11:1).
A. Now, Faith is...
1. "The SUBSTANCE..."
> Definition: "That which is solid and practical in character, quality, or importance."
> Substance has solid weight. It is a force that can be measured.
> Faith is not simply an emotion, or a feeling.
2. "The substance of things HOPED for..."
> Word "hope" in the Bible is not the same as how we have come to interpret it.
> When we says "hope", we mean, it may or may not be: "I sure hope he comes today..."
> But, the Bible word "hope" means something expected. This is our Hope (1 Thes. 5:6-11).
3. "The EVIDENCE of things..."
> Evidence means you can show proof.
> Real faith will be evident, because there will be visible, and physical signs of its presence.
> We see the evidence that the wind is blowing, even though we cannot see the wind.
4. (v. 3) "Through faith we understand..."
> As we yield to God in faith, we begin to understand the things of God.
> The carnal man cannot understand these things, they are foolishness to him.
> Carnal man has a hard time believing the Bible is the word of God.
> Carnal man has a hard time believing the Gospel. He has no problem accepting "All religions", but cannot and will not accept the one true religion.
> But, "Through faith we understand..."
B. Faith is the basis for things we cannot see.
1. Faith that is seen is not faith at all (Rom 8:24-25; 2 Cor 4:18).
> If it were easily seen and understood, we would not need faith.
2. Have you ever wondered why Jesus spoke in parables?
> The Pharisee’s asked Jesus to tell them plainly (John 10:24-27).
> Jesus spoke in parables on purpose (Matt. 13:1-16).
> Why? If God wants all to be saved, why didn’t He just tell them plainly?
> Because, God requires faith!
3. Why haven’t we found Noah’s ark?
> Why haven’t we found the Ark of the Covenant?
> Why haven’t we found any of these physical things?
> We have found MUCH manuscript evidence. God has preserved His word.
> When it comes down to it, all we have is His word on it.
> God wants there to be an element of faith!
II. The DECLARATION of faith (11:6).
A. We call Hebrews 11, God’s hall of faith!
1. The saints of Hebrews 11, because their faith pleased God.
> Faith is given not to perform miracles, but that we may please God.
> The Devil can work miracles, but he cannot please God.
2. This is why God spoke in parables.
> This is why God left no physical evidence.
> Because HE REQUIRES FAITH!
> FAITH PLEASES GOD.
B. "Must believe that He is..."
1. Faith believes that "God is" even when it looks like "He isn’t..."
> Sometimes is seems like God isn’t anywhere around, nor involved in our lives (Job 23:8-9; 10).
2. There are times when it looks as if God isn’t (Hab 1:1-4).
> The Chaldean’s threatening to annihaliate the people unless God intervened.
> God answered and told him He was doing something (Hab 1:5-6).
> In fact the marching of the Chaldean’s was what God was doing!
> You say, "God where are you while I am going through this trouble?"
> And, God answers, "I’m the one sending the trouble!"
3. Are you willing to accept the work of God in your life by faith?
> It takes faith to be saved; faith to praise God for the good things; AND ALSO, faith thank Him for allowing trouble to grow us...
C. "Must believe that He is a rewarder of them that seek Him..."
1. Jehoshaphat is a great example of seeking the Lord (2 Chron 20:1,3,12,14-17,22).
> When trouble comes, do you seek God?
> When you seek God, do you believe He is a rewarder of them that seek Him?
> Faith is not a passive word, it is a passionate word.
> Faith is not mediocre, nor vanilla; Faith is bold, bright, on fire!
> James said, "The effectual FERVENT prayer of a righteous man availeth much!"
III. The DEGREES of faith
A. Are there degrees (or levels) of faith?
1. There is No faith (Mk 4:40).
2. Little faith (Matt 8:26).
3. Weak and Strong faith (Rom 4:19-23).
4. Great faith (Matt 8:10).
5. Personal faith (your faith)-(Matt 9:29).
B. How would you describe your faith?
1. Are you faithless, having no faith?
2. Do you have little faith, weak, strong faith or do you have great faith?
3. There is only one way whereby we are able to increase our faith (Rom 10:17).