Summary: Why do we need faith? -- Faith gives us: 1. a rock-solid foundation for life (vs. 1). 2. a revelation of the unseen world (vs. 1&3). 3. real worship (vs. 4). 4. a good report (vs. 2&4).

Finding the Faith of Our Heroes - Part 1

Hebrews 11:1-4

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - July 12, 2015

*One of the hymns I grew up singing was:

"Faith of our fathers, living still,

In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;

O how our hearts beat high with joy

Whenever we hear that glorious Word!

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!

We will be true to Thee till death." (1)

*That's the kind of faith God wants us to have, and Hebrews 11 can help us, because this great chapter is the faith hall of fame. Hebrews 11 can help us find the faith of our biblical heroes. But why do we need faith? -- The opening verses of this chapter show us why.

1. First: We need faith because it gives us a rock-solid foundation for life.

*Faith in God is the only sure foundation for our future. As vs. 1 says: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for. . ." The original word for "substance" has the idea of something strong under us, something strong that we can stand on: A firm foundation. And faith in Jesus Christ is the only firm foundation for our godly hopes and dreams.

*"Faith is the substance of things hoped for." What are you hoping for today? I hope you haven't given up on your hopes and dreams, because life would be terrible without hope. There's probably only one thing worse, and that is a life based on false hope. But when we have faith in Jesus Christ, we have a rock-solid foundation for all of our hopes. We have something solid to build our hopes on.

*You see, real, biblical faith is not just positive thinking or having a positive attitude. Faith is not "The Little Engine that Could" trying to get up that hill: "I think I can. I think I can! I think I can!"

*Biblical "faith IS the substance of things hoped for." This means that right now, our faith in Jesus Christ is like a rock-solid foundation under our hopes and dreams. Our faith is something that we can rest on today, knowing that God will bring our godly hopes to pass.

*The original word God used here for "substance" was also the word used in business documents for "title deed." A "substance" then was a "title deed" or a legal guarantee of something you already owned. (2)

*And we already own our godly hopes, because Jesus paid the price for them when He died on the cross for us. So our faith in Jesus Christ is based on the perfect character of God, and the reality of what He already did for us on the cross of Jesus Christ. Our faith makes it possible for us to stand with Paul in Romans 8:32, and say: "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"

*That's faith: It's the "substance of things hoped for." And we need faith because it gives us a rock-solid foundation for life.

2. We also need faith, because it gives us a revelation of the unseen world.

*Faith gives us a revelation of the unseen world. It shouldn't surprise us that there is an unseen world all around us, because our physical vision is so limited. Of course we can't see the future. We can't see the past. And our eyes can only see a small portion of the total spectrum that includes light.

*There are many unseen things around us. But vs. 1 tells us that faith is "the evidence (or proof) of things not seen." Faith gives us a revelation of the unseen world. Matthew Henry explained it this way: "Faith demonstrates to the eye of the mind the reality of those things that cannot be detected by the eye of the body." (3)

*James Merritt tells us that: "Faith sees what the physical eyes cannot see. . . Faith sees the invisible, touches the intangible, hears the inaudible, and attempts the impossible. Our vision may be 20/20, but the eyes of faith can see farther, deeper, clearer, and better than our physical eyes will ever see." (4)

*"Faith is the evidence of things not seen." Faith opens us up to a whole new dimension in life. Faith opens us up to the most important things in life, because the most important things cannot be seen with our eyes. This is true in the physical world. We can't see air, but we can't live without it. I've never seen my heart, my kidneys or my liver, and I don't want to see them! But I sure am glad they are in here, doing their important work behind the scenes.

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