Summary: From the "Heroes" Series. A Sermon on Grace from Hebrews 11:31.
ILL – You may remember seeing on the news earlier this year about a man named Wesley Autrey, a new York city resident and construction worker, who performed a tremendous act of heroism in the NYC subway.
A 19 year old film student suffered a seizure and fell ONTO the subway tracks. Autrey jumped onto the tracks and pulled the student to safety, actually lying on top of him while the train moved past.
Since, he has been awarded the Bronze Medallion, recognized by the President of the United States during the State of the Union address, and listed in Time Magazine’s 2007 100 most influential people.
He said just following the incident “I don’t think I did anything spectacular. I just saw someone who needed help, and did what I thought was right”
Most heroes are just ordinary people, who in the time of trouble, get courageous in a big way.
This morning we’re going to read about a woman who believed God enough, that she stood up against her entire city.
Rahab is one of two women mentioned in Hebrews 11. As the writer of Hebrews chronicled the history of faith, and gave praise to the people of faith…most of those people were men. With the exception of Sarah, the wife of Abraham…Rahab is the only other woman mentioned.
READ Hebrews 11:31
oASSURANCE - She was pursuaded by Truth. She was assured that what she believed was true
(about Abraham) Romans 4:20-21 - Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
DEPENDANCE - She believed that God could provide for her what she needed. Salvation.
It’s a question we all ask, "Can I really trust God?"
In order to be a person of faith, you have to come to grips with that question.
COMMITMENT - It’s not a onetime assumption, it’s a lifelong consistancy in following God.
People say, "I need to be more committed". The problem is not your commitment, it’s your faith. If you really believed, if you were really depending on God for all of your needs…you could not be anything else but committed!
•The question to ask is "What is keeping me from Believing?"
oCould be a lack of knowledge…
Romans 10:17 - Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
ILL - It’s like the man who saw on television that there was a car driving the wrong direction down the interstate. He knew his wife was traveling that road so he called to warn her. “Honey, there is a car driving the wrong direction on the interstate” – she says “ONE CAR! NO THERE ARE HUNDREDS!”
Some people just don’t realize they are going the wrong way.
God’s Truth is revealed in His Word.
oCould be a lack of understanding…
You’ve heard about faith, but you don’t understand what it means to be a believer.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”
oCould be a lack of desire…
“The prostitute Rahab,”
•Let me ask you a serious question. Does it surprise you see a prostitute listed among Abraham, Moses, and David?
•How many of you are more surprised that I’m preaching about a prostitute on Mother’s day?
•Joshua 2:1 (NLT) - Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove.[a] He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.
•This was the last stage of life in the desert for the Israelites. Moses led the people through the 40 years of wilderness wandering…a whole generation. His replacement…is Joshua. Joshua had trained under Moses most of his life and God told him to choose him as his successor. Moses Led the people out of Egypt…it was Joshua’s task to TAKE the people into Canaan…the Promised land.
•But in order for the Israelites to gain access to the land they had been promised, they would need to Fight for it. Jericho was a large city that was built inside these walls. Inside the wall were people’s houses and the roofs were flat and they could walk out onto the roof and peer either into the city or outside the walls. Rahab’s house was inside those walls.
•Joshua 6 tells us the story of the conquest of Jericho.
oJoshua 6:1-5 - 1Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. 2But the LORD said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. 3You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. 4Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. 5When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.”