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Summary: The 11th chapter of Hebrews is a moving account of faithful OT saints. Chapter 11 has been given the title “Heroes of faith.” They all attest to the value of living by faith. Now, these faith heroes compose “the cloud of witnesses of Hebrews 12, who give

Faith With Muscles Hebrews 11: 1-2, 35-40

1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

35 Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.

The 11th chapter of Hebrews is a moving account of faithful OT saints. Chapter 11 has been given the title “Heroes of faith.” They all attest to the value of living by faith. Now, these faith heroes compose “the cloud of witnesses of Hebrews 12, who give great testimony to the Hebrews that they should come to faith in God’s truth in Christ.

I think it’s safe to say, “these men and women had faith with muscles!” They believed without much proof, they had a faith that went far beyond words; their faith was worthy to die for.

These heroes had solid assurance that their future was better than they’re past, and this kept them going!

Let me remind you that the best life could ever throw at you isn’t even worthy to compare with your heavenly home.

One man said, “Earth is a long goodbye, while heaven is a long hello. Earth’s separation is very temporal, while heaven is forever!”

These saints of old received divine approval from God.

Listen to Paul’s words in II Corinthians 4:18NLT So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

These elders had the ability to look beyond the physical to the spiritual; beyond the present to the future, and beyond the visible to the invisible.

I want you to understand four things about the faith that has been given to you.

First, Faith is filled with Journey. (You will arrive when you get home.)

Second, Faith is a test. (You won’t grow without them.)

Third, Your faith increases or grows. (Where you were last year isn’t where you are now.)

Fourth, Faith produces… fruit… gifts… it reproduces… It’s infectious!

*Picture of the beginnings of the church of God

Hebrews 11:35a Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.

This woman was properly, the widow of Zarephath in I Kings 17:22 and the woman of Shunem II Kings 4:34. Both of these women received miracles, for their dead children lived again.

Hebrews 11:35b But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free.

Tortured… This word indicates that they were beaten to death while strapped to some sort of rank.

Hebrews 11:35c They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.

Say, a better life! (The best is yet to come.)

Hebrews 11:36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons.

Think about Joseph being in prison, he was unjustly placed there, how could he stay? Faith, it was part of God’s plan to bring deliverance.

Hebrews 11:37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated.

According to tradition, between the period of the OT and the New (400 years) there were mass executions of God’s people.

Psalm 107:4-9 Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless. 5 Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died. 6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he rescued them from their distress. 7 He led them straight to safety, to a city where they could live. 8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. 9 For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

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