Summary: Study trough the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, learning to live by faith in order to please God.
Let Your Faith do the Walking Part 1
The Description of Faith
My purpose for beginning this series is quite simple, God told me to. There is definitely a crisis of unbelief in our day and time. Not only among the unbelieving world which is evident to us with more and more empty pews in our churches. Not only in the unbelieving world is there a crisis of unbelief but also among the church, those who claim to be “in the household of the faith”. So often we believe in God, but we don’t believe God. In order to believe God it requires faith. It requires walking or living out our lives by faith. God brought it to my attention through bible study and prayer that the church doesn’t really know how to live by faith. If we really knew how to live by faith then our lives would match up with God’s word, and so often that is not the case.
We are going to begin tonight a brand new series on “Letting your Faith do the walking.” What I mean by that is learning to live by faith. So we are going to do that the same way that God is teaching me, and that is by going the through the entire book of Hebrews chapter 11. This is one of the great chapters in all of Scripture. It is knows as “God’s great hall of Faith”. It is made up of men and women who not only believed in God, but they believed God.
The key to greatness with God is faith. The person who truly believes God is great in God’s eyes. The first part of this chapter gives us an overall study of faith. This is the foundation that we will build on for the next few Sunday nights. Tonight we will see the Description of Faith.
Read Scriptures: Hebrews 11:1-6
I. The meaning of Faith.
Vs. 1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
What does faith mean? This is the only place in all of Scripture that we actually have a definition of faith. Time and time again the Bible speaks of faith and the great importance of faith. The Bible tells us that we must have faith—we must believe God—and it tells us the great things that happen to those who believe God. The Bible also gives examples of men and women who have or have not believed God and shows clearly what happen to each person.
But nowhere does the Bible define faith but here. So it is really important that we see what faith means. The biblical definition is:
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
The word sure in the original Greek means the foundation, assurance, guarantee of things hoped for. The word certain means conviction. So with those words in mind, this is how the definition would read, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Look closely at what is being said, faith is being described as an act, an act of the mind and heart. It means that our heart and mind believe something and we have assurance and conviction that it is true.
Faith is being sure, the actual possession (the promises of God, or heaven), of what we hope for, the certainty and reality of what we do not see. It is both an act and a passion of what we are believing in, in this case God and his promises.
--Faith is trusting and possessing all that God is and says.
--Faith is believing and possessing all that God is and says.
--Faith is having Confidence in and possessing all that God is and says.
--Faith is hoping for something and possessing it because God exists and has promised it.
Faith is not: “I think so, I hope so, It maybe so; it may not be so, It might be true; it might not be true.”
Biblical faith is truth and reality, it is “knowing what is real, experiencing what is real, possessing what is real.”
II. The Reward of Faith
Vs. 2 “This is what the ancients were commended for.”
What is the reward of faith? It is God’s approval. God is pleased, very pleased, when we believe Him and His promises. This is the point of this verse, the great men of God who lived in the past, believed God, and followed God. They turned away from the world and its possessions and pleasures and followed God.
They believed that God’s promises of an eternal land and of eternal life were true.
Therefore they staked their lives on it, all that they were and all that they had, upon that hope. Their faith in God pleased God to no end.