Summary: A journey through the great chapter of faith to consider what faith can do in our own living

1. Title: Look What Faith Can Do

2. Text: Hebrews 11:1-12:2

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, September 9, 2006, in the series “Nothing Better Than The Best”

4. Objectives:

-for the people to understand what qualities characterize heroes of faith and how we can emulate them

-for the people to feel confident that faith is achievable and a worthy goal for our lives

-for the people to place themselves more confidently into situations that require faith and that will end up bigger than man-sized

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to understand faith better, and to understand how and why it can be fit into our lives

6. Type: textual

7. Dominant Thought: People of great faith accomplish superhero sized feats with God’s help.

8. Outline:

Intro - We like superheroes. They’re the only guys who can get away with wearing tights and still be considered “cool.” When I was a kid, I inherited a Batman costume from my older brother. I would put it on, including the cape, and run around the house. For those hours I wore the uniform, I was Batman! I could do things that an ordinary, unmasked guy couldn’t do. Then, we grow up, and the costume doesn’t fit anymore. But we still have heroes, don’t we?

• You guys who play golf – does the name Tiger Woods mean anything to you?

• Brass players – does the name Wynton Marsalis mean anything to you? Even preachers have heroes.

• Ask any preacher if he’s ever heard Chuck Swindoll

The point is, we all have and need heroes. And that’s the power of Hebrews 11. As soon as it’s over, there’s

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Look at the heroes! Look at what they did! 19 people or groups of people are named in ch11. These people are “superheroes” of faith. They really are! They were the kind of people that 1st Cent. Christians, and a lot of Jews up to that point really admired. Why? Because they lived out their faith.

Hebrews 11:1-2

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

We have this big crowd of superheroes ahead of us. Their records aren’t spotless, but they accomplished some amazing things. They did it by faith – the assurance of things they were hoping for, the conviction of things they couldn’t see. Someday soon, I hope that there will be a reason to look at my life, and at this church family’s life, and to say to someone else, “Since they did this, you run the race now! You can do it now! Look at what they did and now do it!”

Do you want your life to be that way? Do you want your faithfulness to give someone else a reason not to give up? If that doesn’t matter to you, I’ll pray that the Lord helps you to quit being so selfish! The rest of us are interested in that, so here’s where we’ll go with it today…

Heroes of faith. What did they do? What did real, live faith, in the lives of people in the past, really accomplish? Here’s what I see in Heb 11…

I. Unwavering Trust In God

Having real faith means having an unwavering trust in God.

Hebrews 11:6

…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Real, live faith consists of at least 2 features: that God exists, and that He rewards people who seek Him. You have to grapple with this issue this morning. First of all, do you believe that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God Who created all things from nothing? Do you believe that such a god exists? There many who say No. You can’t see Him. You can’t contain Him in a laboratory for study. You can’t recreate Him to use Him how you want. Is He real or not? If you’re already accepting that, great! Of course, even demons accept that – some of them a lot better than we do!

Secondly, do you believe not only that such a God exists, but are you convinced that He’s good? Do you believe God is holy, and that whatever He does, no matter what it is, it will be the right thing? Do you believe that God will reward people who set their lives to please Him? Do you trust that God is paying attention to your honest heart and your honest desire to seek Him?

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