Summary: Live by faith: listen to God, do what God says, and focus on the eternal promise of God through Jesus Christ!
We have been learning from our Creator God from Hebrews 11. Many are commended for their faith as they took action on what God said with a focus on God’s Promises. again we should ask ourselves often: Will we be commended for our faith in Jesus Christ? Actually, the more important question to ask is “Is my love for the Lord Jesus Christ producing action in faith with Him?” As Christians, we are loved with an everlasting love from above; How much are we truly loving back our Creator Savior God? Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tells us in John 14:15…. “If you love me, obey my commands!”; and we obey God’s commands by faith!
Let us learn more how we can take action in faith from Hebrews 11:32-40; Turn there and read along with me…..
We read in v32 a list of faithful people including prophets. God did not really have to explain in the letter because the initial audience (Hebrews) already were familiar with those heroes in the Old Testament. For us who may not be so familiar, let us just briefly highlight those faithful people in v32: who took action in faith and who we are to imitate:
Gideon listened to God and led the Nation back to God (Book of Judges)!
Barak followed God’s appointed Deborah and won a battle (Judges).
Samson prayed to God for strength to destroy a Temple of God’s enemy (Judges).
Jephthah was dependent on the Lord in defeating God’s enemy the Amorites (Judges).
David revealed his strong faith in God by battling against Goliath (Books of Samuel and on)
Samuel responded to God’s call to be a prophet and a revival leader
The Prophets called by God to be His spokespersons (Major and Minor Prophets in the OT)
Verse 39 tells us that all the people listed in Hebrews 11 were commended for their faith and we can note again that their faith was based on what God told them, then they took action with God’s Word!
God then tells us in v33-38, the results of their actions in faith:
- there were glorious victories and miracles (v33-35…..)
- there were pains and sufferings (v35-38…)
We note in v39….they were commended for their faith but none of them received what had been promise.
But v33 states that they gained what was promised? How do we reconcile what seems to be a contradiction in the same chapter??
Obviously many of God’s promises for the faithfuls in the Old Testament became realities as noted in v33; the main examples of course are all the victories won in battle; how many times do we hear God saying “I will be with you always!”?
By the way, God still is saying that to us through Jesus Christ; let us keep this in mind that everyday God is telling us “I am with you always!” Our culture may change and are battles may be different to 3000 years ago, but God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
How do we interpret v39?
Verse 39 and v40 need to be interpreted together!
Who were the original letter to the Hebrews written to??
This Letter was originally written to Hebrews who became Christians, therefore, the “us” in v 40 is for Believers of Christ!
And so, what is the major promise of Jesus Christ to His Believers??
John 3:16…. eternal life through Jesus Christ!
Now what do you think the last part of v4 mean……..??
v40b: there will be perfection someday with all Christians and all the faithfuls before Jesus Christ!
God describes this like a perfect wedding in Revelation 19:6-9!
I would like to end this message by reading that wonderful passage; but let us first note some of the Biblical Principles from our passage this morning.
2. Let us not be surprised that living for Christ will have victories but also troubles (John 16:33…).
3. Let us also remember that Believers of Christ always have God (Matthew 28:20) and the promise of eternal life in heaven! Do you truly believe in Jesus Christ as your Only God and Savior? If you do, participate in communion today! If you are still not sure, pray to God or talk to me later.
Before we celebrate with communion, turn with me to Revelation 19 and read along with me v6-9….