Summary: The writer of Hebrews makes the intangibility of faith a practical thing.Faith is what allows us to understand what God does, to see what others cannot see. As a result, faith enables us to do what others cannot do.
“The Life That Pleases God”
July 9,2014 Chester FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A The writer of Hebrews makes the intangablity of faith a practical thing.
1 “By faith we understand . . .” (Heb. 11.3).
Hebrews 11:3 (NASB) 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
a Faith is what allows us to understand what God does, to see what others cannot see.
b As a result, faith enables us to do what others cannot do.
aa Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.” -J. Oswald Sanders
bb We have God’s Word, His promises in writing, and if we believe/fully trust that He’ll keep His promises to His own . . . we posse an incredible thing . . . not just hope, love . . . but faith.
2 The best way to grow your faith is to walk with the faithful.
a A few weeks ago I taught how we should be careful who get advise from, well the same goes with our faith.
b Godly, mature, Christians strong in the faith can help us increase our own faith.
B The text tonight covers some pretty good, high stepping faithful people (Able, Enoch, Noah).
1 This text describes the first three inductees in what has been called “God’s Hall of Fame”, “Westminister Abbey of the Bible” and “The Role Call of Faith”.
a Each of the inductees are from the Old Testament (covenant).
aa Operated under the Law, or in many cases, before the Law was ever given.
bb God’s way has always been the way of faith.
b Hebrews 11:4-7 (NASB) 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
2 Faith looks beyond to an invisible realm through the Word of God.
a It acts on the basis of what God says, promises given, guarentees that He has made.
b Tonight, we’ll see three characters that led lives that illustrate a life of faith, the kind of the faith that pleases God.
I Able: The Approach of Faith (11.4) (Image of Abel as background)
Hebrews 11:4 (NASB) 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
A Abel was the second-born son of Adam & Eve, the brother of Cain.
1 What catapulted Abel into the hall was his life answered the basic question of “How does a person approach God?”
a Genesis 4:2-5 (NASB) 2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
b Cain/Able grew up watching their father make regular blood sacrifices to YHWH as an offering for his sin.
aa I believe the regularity was weakly because something in the original language, specifically the phrase, “in the course of time.”
bb This phrase is also translated, “at the end of days.” What is the ending day of the week? Saturday; the traditional Jewish Sabbath day.
2 The blood offering offered by Adam spoke symbolically of the sacrifice of sin that God would one day offer through Jesus on the cross.
a Abel received that revelation by faith when he brought the best lamb from his flock as a sacrifice . . . evidence that he believed/had faith like his daddy, Adam.