Summary: We as believers must live our lives every moment on the basis of faith in what God will do solely because He has said it.
Get Beyond the Chair
Griffith Baptist Church – 10/12/08
Text: Hebrews 11:1-3
Key verse: Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Premise: We as believers must live our lives every moment on the basis of faith in what God will do solely because He has said it.
A man was lost in the desert and was near death for lack of water. Soon he came across a pump with a canteen hung on the handle and a note. The note read as follows: "Below you is all the fresh water you could ever need, and the canteen contains exactly enough water to prime the pump."
It takes GREAT FAITH to pour out the whole contents of the canteen for a promise of unlimited water. What would you do?
Faith has often been illustrated in trusting in a chair. (elaborate)
But faith is more than that.
The faith in the chair illustration is inadequate.
• Because, you see, my faith in the chair is based, in part, on previous experience.
• I’ve sat in a chair before, so there is no reason to doubt that it will hold me again.
• I have seen others sit in a chair and it held them so I can assume that it will hold me as well.
Now, if the chair breaks, it will mean one of two things; either the chair was faulty or I need to lose weight. But it does not ruin my trust in sitting in a chair ever again.
With God, if it were possible for Him to do something untrustworthy, than I cannot trust Him as much as I did before, if at all.
• The fact is, God does not fail and is always faithful.
• God is a responder to faith; the chair is not.
We have to get beyond the chair.
There is faith that is saving faith
There is faith that is living faith – that is what we are dealing with here in this text.
Transition Statement: First, faith is confidence in the unproved.
1. Faith Is Confidence in the Unproved – 1a (the substance of things hoped for)
A. Confidence in God’s faithfulness
i. Missionary statesman Hudson Taylor had complete trust in God’s faithfulness. In his journal he wrote: Our heavenly Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning … He sustained 3 million Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. We do not expect He will send 3 million missionaries to China; but if He did, He would have ample means to sustain them all … Depend on it, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. Our Daily Bread, May 16, 1992
B. Confidence in God’s purpose
i. God has created you with a purpose, both in your first birth and especially in your second.
ii. Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
a. To be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29)
b. To bring glory and honor to God - 1 Peter 2:9 - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
Transition Statement: Second, faith is conviction in the unseen.
2. Faith is Conviction in the Unseen – 1b (evidence of things not seen)
A. Conviction leaves no room for doubt
i. A defendant was on trial for murder in Oklahoma. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom." He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened. Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that there is reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty." The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty. "But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door." Answered the jury foreman: "Oh, we did look. But your client didn’t."