Summary: This message is another in my series on the Book of Hebrews.
TEXT: Hebrews 11:4-7
TOPIC: “Four Facts About Faith”
A minister tried to illustrate the difference between fact and faith. He hit upon a brilliant analogy that involved the congregation to which he was speaking. He said, "It is indeed a fact that you are sitting in the pews. It is also a fact that I am standing behind this pulpit. But it is only by faith that I believe any of you are listening to me."
· The Happy Clergy, Herb Walker, 1977, p. 14
I. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD WITHOUT FAITH (V.6).
A. Impotent Faith (v. 6a). (adunatov = unable to be done, impossible)
1. The children of Israel were without faith when they came to the edge of the Promised Land.
B. Imperative faith (v. 6b) (dei =[must] necessity established by the counsel and decree of God).
1. Must believe that “he is”.
2. Must believe that he rewards those who diligently seek him.
II. FAITH EMPOWERS THE GIFTS WE GIVE GOD (V.4). (pleiwn = greater in quality, superior, more excellent).
A. Empowers the gifts given as God directs.
1. Abel’s gift took on a better quality than Cain’s because he had enough faith to be obedient.
2. Abel offered a spotless lamb according to the requirement,
3. Cain offered the bloodless sacrifice of his own works.
4. Real faith produces obedience to God’s directions.
B. Empowers the gifts with God’s approval.
1. Abel’s faith was rewarded with God’s approval.
2. Cain was warned by God and urged to take the path of God’s approval (Gen. 4:6-7).
3. When we have the faith to obey, our gifts become pleasing to God.
C. Empowers the gifts with an element of testimony.
1. A testimony that bears witness even after we are no longer around (Revelation 14:13).
III. FAITH ENABLES A STRONG TESTIMONY (V. 5).
A. A Strong testimony that removes the sting of death.
1. Enoch was one of only two who did not experience death.
2. The sting of death is removed for the believer by faith (1 Cor. 15:54-57).
a. Personal experiences of observing dying saints demonstrate this fact.
B. A strong testimony that clearly identifies us with God.
1. Identified with Christ by an intimate walk with Him.
a. Enoch had the testimony that he walked with God (Gen. 5:23-24).
b. When we live by faith we establish a strong testimony that we are walking with God.
2. Identified with Christ by living a life that was pleasing to God.
a. Enoch had the testimony that his life pleased God.
b. Are you living a life that is totally pleasing to God?
IV. FAITH ENERGIZES OBEDIENCE THAT IS CONVICTING (V. 7).
A. Obedience that pays careful attention to what God says.
1. God never says anything that is not important.
2. God expects us to obey what he says to do (Luke 6:46).
B. Obedience that brings about the redemption of our households.
1. Noah’s obedience brought about the saving of his own household.
2. Lot’s lack of living in obedience to God resulted in the destruction of his household (Gen. 19:12-38).
C. Obedience that produces righteousness in us.
D. Obedience that causes others to be drawn to Christ.
2. Faith produces an obedience that causes the rest of the world to see their own sin more clearly; resulting in conviction from the Holy Spirit.
3. Conviction of sin will cause unbelievers to be drawn to Jesus, especially as we witness of Him.