Summary: True faith is believing everything God is and says, and then acting upon it.
True Values: Faith
Text: Heb. 11:1-6
1. Illustration: Once two little girls, playmates, were counting over their pennies. One said, "I have five pennies. "The other said, "I have ten." "No," said the first little girl, "You have just five cents, the same as I. ""But," the second child quickly replied, "my father said that when he came home tonight, he would give me five cents, and so I have ten cents." The child’s faith gave her proof of that which she did not as yet see, and she counted it as being already hers, because it had been already promised by her father (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations).
2. One of the great principles of the Christian faith, and one of our core values, is faith. However, what exactly is faith?
3. As we explore the Biblical concept of faith we learn:
a. The definition of faith.
b. The Legacy of faith.
c. The expectation of faith
d. The voice of faith
e. The reward of faith
4. Read Heb. 11:1-6
Proposition: True faith is believing everything God is and says, and then acting upon it.
Transition: First, there is...
I. The Definition of Faith (1)
A. Faith Is
1. This chapter is by far the greatest treatise on faith in the entire Bible. It begins with a clear definition: "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."
2. There are three key words to this definition, and the first one is the topic at hand - faith.
a. The word translated faith "refers to confidence that something is real, with the strong implication that action will ensue from this belief" (NLT Study Bible, 2225).
b. The word is unique in that although it is a noun it functions like a verb and requires action.
c. Faith is a present and continuing reality. It is not simply a virtue sometimes practiced in antiquity.
d. It is a living thing, a way of life the writer wishes to see continued in the practice of his readers (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM).
3. The second key word in this definition is confidence.
a. This word means "the foundation, assurance, title-deed, and guarantee of things hoped for" (Practical Word Studies in The New Testament).
b. Faith starts with believing in God’s character, that he is who he says he is.
c. Faith culminates with believing in God’s promises, that he will do what he says he will do.
d. We often think of the word hope in terms of uncertain desire—”I hope it doesn’t rain on Saturday.” For believers, however, “hope” is a desire based on assurance, and the assurance is based on God’s character (Life Application New Testament Commentary).
4. The third key to this definition of faith is the word assurance.
a. The basic meaning here is "the evidence...as to the truth or reality of something - ’proof, verification (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
b. Anyone that has ever watch a CSI show knows that what we are looking for is the evidence, that thing which proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that someone is guilty or innocent.
c. Here it refers to proof of things we cannot yet see.
d. The deceased Bible scholar F.F. Bruce said, "Physical eyesight produces conviction or evidence of visible things; faith is the organ which enables people to see the invisible order" (Bruce, NICNT: The Epistle to the Hebrews, 277).
e. In other words, it is for us, the tangible proof of things we cannot see, taste, or touch. Even though we cannot touch them we possess them just the same.
B. Living By Faith
1. Illustration: Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.
2. Romans 1:17 (NIV)
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
3. Faith is having confidence in God.
a. Confidence in God based on His character.
b. Confidence in God based on His power.
c. Confidence in God based on His reputation.
4. Faith is having expectation about God.
a. Faith means believing in things we cannot feel, smell, or taste, and yet we know they exist.
b. Faith means expecting that God will do what He said He will do.
c. Faith means expecting God to make a way where there is no way.
d. Faith means expecting God to come through every time.
e. Faith means expecting the impossible.
5. Faith is anchored in the faithfulness of God.
a. 2 Timothy 2:13 (NLT)