Summary: Fifth message from the series, 'FAith The Greatest Power in the World
Hebrews 11:7; Gen.9
As we resume our study on faith, it would be proper at this point to do a brief review.
This chapter introduces the second half of Paul’s teaching on the superiority of Christ to the Jewish Old testament system of works.
In chapters 1 through 10:18 Paul gives his teaching on how Christ is superior to the law, angels, moses and even the sacrifices. In Verse 19, a natural divide takes place.. From this verse until the end of the book, Paul puts everything he has taught into practical application.
In other words,, now that you know the truth, this is what it means in your life.
This chapter introduces the final section of the letter .
In Heb_11:1-40 all Christians are called to live by faith. Every person possesses faith. The difference is how a person puts that faith into practice.
In this chapter , the writer discusses two important topics relating to faith.
First of all, he introduces a description of faith. ( 1-3)
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
This is not a definition of faith but a description of what faith does and how it works. True Bible faith is not blind optimism or a manufactured “hope-so” feeling. Neither is it an intellectual assent to a doctrine. It is certainly not believing in spite of evidence!
True Bible faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences.
This faith operates quite simply. God speaks and we hear His Word. We trust His Word and act on it no matter what the circumstances are or what the consequences may be. The circumstances may be impossible, and the consequences frightening and unknown; but we obey God’s Word just the same and believe Him to do what is right and what is best.
Faith is not some “feeling” that we manufacture. It is our total response to what God has revealed in His Word.
The second part of this chapter is devoted to how faith is DEMONSTRATED through the lives of the faithful.
The best way to grow in faith is to walk with the faithful. The remainder of this chapter is devoted to a summary of the lives and labors of great men and women of faith found in the Old Testament. So what does faith DO?
Faith Caused Abel to Worship God (v. 4)
“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”
We do not know the details of Abel faith. We do know that his faith caused him to worship God. This verse tells us, “Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice. ” He chose the choicest lamb as an offering and he brought it to the place of sacrifice.
True faith looks for an opportunity to worship!!
Faith Caused Enoch to Walk with God (vv. 5-6)
“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Enoch walked with God when everyone else chose to abandon God. The Hebrew form of the verb means he walked closely and continually with God. The walk that Enoch experienced was one of deepening intimacy with God.
He lived every day in the presence of the Lord and in constant communion with Him. His faith and his obedience, as well as his worship, were outstanding.
Faith Caused Noah to Work for God (v. 7)
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
He was only one man but God used that one man to actually save his family and in the long term the human race In order to understand what God did through Noah, we have to understand what Noah faced.
Let’s talk about ……
1. THE STATE OF NOAH’S WORLD
Listen to what the world was like in Noah’s time.
The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them.