Summary: What is real faith?
Text: Hebrews 11:1-4
Title: Real faith
“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. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”
In that sense everyone lives by faith. In fact everything would stop if there was no faith. No one would work if there was no assurance of ever being paid. No one would travel if there was no certainty that other drivers will obey the rules of the road. The world could not operate without faith.
Everyone, Christian or non-Christian, puts their faith in something or someone. The secret of the Christian life is the faith Christians have in God.
There is two parts to having faith in God
1.The first part to having faith in God -By faith we understand certain things (v3)
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
Faith 101 The universe was formed at God’s Command
1.It establishes the existence of God (Intelligent Design)
2.It establishes that God is in command of everything
3.It establishes that the Bible is true (In the beginning God created…)
4.It establishes that what we do not see is greater than what we do see
5.It establishes that what we do not see has the power to form what we do see
If you understand that the universe was formed at God’s command then you understand why evolution is such an attack against our faith in God.
1.Evolution attacks the very existence of God
2.Evolution attacks the reliability of the Bible
3.Evolution attacks our belief in the supernatural
There is a second part to having faith in God because faith is more than just understanding certain things. Understanding certain things by itself is never enough faith in God.
As James tells us “faith without works is dead (useless).”
Verse 4 of Hebrews 11 points out that having faith in God is also about undertaking certain things.
2.Second part to having faith in God -By faith we undertake certain things. (v4)
“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”
James said “what good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?”
What is one thing we are all called to undertake by faith?
“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did.”
We are all called by faith to undertake to offer God a better sacrifice.
“Therefore I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God which is your spiritual act of worship.”
Illustration: One time I received a tithing envelope. Instead of writing an amount she wrote a word; “myself.”
Faith is not about speaking something positive. Faith is about sacrificing something positive.
Quote: “There is no success without sacrifice. If I succeed without sacrifice it will be because someone before me made the sacrifice. If I sacrifice without success then someone coming after me will reap the success from my sacrifice.
What is success?
Abel’s success was “he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offering. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”
Success is when God speaks well of you.
Success always follows sacrifice! Success always follows sacrifice! Success always follows sacrifice!
Abraham – sacrificed Isaac
Moses – his position in Egypt
Peter – his fishing business
Paul – his position in Judaism
Jesus – his place in heaven
If i want to have a successful Christian life i have to sacrifice some things by faith.
•I wish I was better at understanding worship.
•I wish I was better at understanding praying
•I wish I was better at understanding the Bible
•I wish I was better at sharing my faith
What might God want me to sacrifice by faith in order to get better at all of these things?
Warning: I can either be like Cain or be like Abel. If I’m like Abel I’m going to do it. If I’m like Cain I’m not going to do it.
If I am to reach my potential I must