Summary: Three specific ingredients necessary for a life of faith, drawn from the life of Abraham as recorded in Hebrews 11.
A Study of Hebrews 11
Sermon # 2
“The Ingredients of a Life of Faith”
Hebrews 11:8 – 19
Have you ever stopped to think about how you get God’s approval in life? Can you gain God approval by being religious? No. Can you gain God approval by going to church? No. Can you gain God approval by keeping the Ten Commandments? No. There is only one way that we can please God. In Hebrew 11:6 we learned that, “… without faith it is impossible to please Him.”
There are only two ways to live. One way, by far the most common, is to live by sight….to base everything on what you can see. The other way, far less commonly taken, is to live by faith, to base your life primarily and ultimately on what you can not see. That is the Christian way, the Bible way, that is the way that the people of God have always lived.
In our last lesson on Hebrews chapter eleven we looked at what faith is and what faith does. We saw how faith caused Abel to worship God, Enoch to walk with God and Noah to work for God. Today I want us to see together three specific ingredients necessary for a life of faith, drawn from the life of Abraham as recorded in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.
TRUE FAITH INVOLVES WILLINGNESS TO OBEY
The life of faith begins with the willingness to heed the call of God to leave the place and life of sin. In verse eight we are told, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
It was not Abraham’s plan to leave Ur. And then God revealed himself to Abraham and called him to life of faith. The life of faith begins with a willingness to leave one’s Ur, our place of sin and unbelief. The word of God calls not only for faith but also for action that springs from that faith in the word of God. True faith always leads to decisive action.
At the age of seventy-five Abraham set out for the Promised Land, a land he had never visited and knew nothing about. As a pilgrim Abraham was immediately willing to give up his homeland, friends and relatives, and his old way of life.
Remember as he stepped out on faith, that Abraham did not have the advantages that we have today. He did not have the example of godly men and women to stir him nor did he have the written word of God to instruct him.
Abraham left behind an inheritance of faith. We are each given one life, and we will leave behind an abundance of memories in the lives of those who love us. What will your friends and family, your children and grandchildren know about a life of faith by memories of your life? How will you and I be remembered? Will we be remembered for our faith? Or will our loved ones even have the assurance that we are in heaven?
Living by faith can be a lot like driving in a fog. When driving a heavy fog, you really cannot see that far in front of the car but you keep driving anyway, believing that what you can not see you will see once you get there. When you move forward one hundred feet you can see one hundred more feet than you could not see before. Thus you keep going until you reach your destination, driving by faith.
Some of you are that are here this morning are hearing the call of God to leave a life of sin. Perhaps Christ has been calling you for sometime to repent of sin and to receive Him as your Savior. Abraham heard the voice of God and as soon as he understood what God was telling him to do, Abraham said yes, he believed God and responded to Him in faith.
Some of you have already made a commitment of faith to Christ yet today you know that God is calling you to something more. Our response to the Lord should be, “Lord I don’t know what you want to do with my life…but I am yours.”
True faith involves a willingness to obey.
TRUE FAITH INVOLVES A WILLINGNESS TO WAIT
The life of faith did not end for Abraham when he left Ur of the Chaldees behind nor when he finally set foot on the territory to which God directed his steps.
Verse nine continues the story, “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; (10) for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.