Summary: In order to ‘Live a Legacy of Faith’ we need to have a better grasp of faith in our lives; its definition, development, demand, design, & duty.
Text: Hebrews 10:35-39
1. In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute. It wasn't until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute. Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun. But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on. Faith in anything but an all-sufficient God can be just as tragic spiritually. Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the dangerous excitement of life. It is for this same reason we must pass our faith on.
2. As we continue the series ‘Living a Legacy’ the message this morning is on faith. Probably the most notable Scripture regarding faith is found in Hebrews 11. The writer goes to great lengths to tell of the faith of Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses; in addition to a number of others who too exemplified faith.
3. However, the ‘faith chapter’ is prefaced with vv. 35 & 36 of chap. 10 “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence (faith), which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” This is the central theme of the Book of Hebrews.
In order to ‘Live a Legacy of Faith’ we need to have a better grasp of faith in our lives; its definition, development, demand, design, & duty.
I. Faith’s Definition – Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
a. Faith’s connection to Hope – “assurance of things hoped for”
i. Hope and wishes are not the same thing. To hope is to long for, strive for something. It is based on promises that have been made. Faith takes that hope and accepts it as a reality even though it is yet complete. It puts a great deal of trust in the one who has promised. God is a faithful God, and He will do what He says He will do. Faith is believing even though it is not yet accomplished.
b. Faith and Convictions – “the conviction of things not seen”
i. A friend of mine (Jim Snyder) had a saying ‘knowing in your knower’. There’s some things we know in our heads – we’ve been taught in school or at home (fire is hot). But ‘knowing in your knower’ is more a gut thing. This is where convictions and faith collide. You may know something in your head; but you can justify your actions to make sense of things.
Convictions and faith take it to the next level. You ever get that gut-wrenching, heart pounding, feeling you need to do something? Yes, it’s a feeling, but it’s much more than that. You can’t dismiss it and go about your day. If you ignore it, it’ll eventually go away, but deep inside you know the truth. That’s God at work in your ‘knower.’
We’ll come back to your ‘knower’ in a moment. First we need to understand how faith is developed.
II. Faith’s Development (from the Word of God) – Romans 10:17
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.”
a. The world is loud around us. Satan would like distract us and drown out the voice of God in our lives. He does so by subtly using the things of the world. Music, television, friends, literature; anything he can to get our attention. He knows “faith comes from hearing” so if he can just keep us from hearing, he can stunt our faith.
b. But understand, hearing builds faith; so we must listen to the right thing: “hearing by the Word of Christ.”
i. World – it’s all about you. What makes you feel good, what brings you happiness, what do you think is “right?”
ii. Word of Christ – Believe in me, and I will make you new. Conform to my likeness. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, & strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.
c. In order to develop your faith you must spend time in God’s Word. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” Christ speaks to us through His Word, so we have to commit to get into the Word. As you develop your faith, you will be able to “hear” God better. Your ‘knower’ gets stronger.