Summary: Study through the eleventh chapter of Hebrews; This passage is a picture of the great faith of believer’s, the faith of God’s pilgrim’s on the earth.
Letting your faith do the walking part V
The Patriarch’s Faith: A Pilgrim’s Faith
We have come to Part five in our Series, Letting your faith do the walking. Tonight as we consider this passage we look at the “The Patriarch’s Faith: A Pilgrim’s Faith.” As we saw last Sunday morning in first peter, a pilgrim or stranger is an alien, sojourner, visitor, exile.
Believer’s are only strangers and pilgrims on earth. We are only passing through this earth and this life which is very brief and corrupt. We are heirs and citizens of heaven. This passage tonight is a picture of the great faith of believer’s, the faith of God’s pilgrim’s on the earth. Tonight we see the faith that the patriarch’s had, the word patriarch refers to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other ancient men who had great faith in God, and believed God and His promises for their lives and for their inheritance, all of these died believing what God had promised on earth. None of these actually received on earth the promised land. We will learn about there faith tonight in our journey to Believing God.
Read Scriptures: Hebrews 11:13-16
I. The Patriarch’s Faith, was a visionary Faith.
VS. 14 “People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.”
They saw the promises of God afar off, they truly walked by faith and not by sight. They believed God with their hearts and minds. What was the promise? Verse 14 says “a country of their own.” Verse 16 says “they were longing for a better country, a heavenly world.”
Jesus even said in John 8:56 that “Abraham saw His day and rejoiced in the hope of it.”
How much more we can see and understand the promises of God. Jesus has already come once. To believe that He will return is much easier than Abraham believing that He was coming for the first time. Abraham had no precedent, whereas we do. Jesus came once and promised His return. We should have that same visionary faith, to look forward to that time when Jesus will come back just as he said He would. If we experience physical death on this earth before He does, it does not nullify His promise, He is still going to return to this earth.
II. The Patriarch’s Faith, was a Growing Faith.
Vs. 13 “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”
They saw the promise of God, and were thankful to God for the privilege of seeing it.
They were persuaded of the promises of God. They believed that the promises were true, that there was a promised land and that God was going to give it to them. They believed God and that what God promised He was going to fulfill. Some of us are not fully persuaded of God’s promises. If we were we would not have to take medication for depression, or anxiety. We would not worry about things that we can’t control.
They welcomed the promises. They rejoiced and loved the promise, setting their eyes on it and not looking away.
They admitted that they were only aliens and strangers on earth, just passing through until they could inherit the glorious hope of the promised land. There faith was a visionary faith, and a growing faith, and it is also an enduring Faith.
III. The Patriarch’s Faith, was a enduring Faith.
Vs. 15 “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.”
They never returned to the country they had left. They had separated from the world and began a search for the promised land of God and they stayed on that search.
They didn’t keep one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom of God. Did they have moments of failures absolutely, but there focus was on the promise of God.
They did not return to the old world when they had the chance. The Patriarchs endured to the end. In fact, they went to the grave believing God for the promsed land.
IV. The Patriarch’s reward for their Faith.
Vs. 16 “Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
The Patriarch’s reward for their faith was two fold.
1. The received the approval of God. God is not ashamed to be called their God. Notice the verb tense is present. They are still living today. And so is God. Why is God not ashamed to be called their God, because they were perfect and never did anything wrong, not because there life was characterized as believing God. When we believe God, we receive the approval of God.