Summary: a different perspective of faith

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What do you look for in faith? What do you see?

Text: Heb. 11:1


1. Three simple questions challenge us daily in multitudes of ways:

What do you believe?

Why do you believe?

How do you express that belief?

2. Faith is not a random, isolated topic confined to religion, but

rather a foundational element of life:

a. we believe that as we drive down the road, the other driver

that we pass only a few feet from us will stay on the other side

of the road

b. we believe we have certain inalienable rights: life liberty and

the pursuit of happiness.

c. we believe that when we work, we deserve and will be in fact

compensated for our work.

d. we believe that the world we live in should be fair and operate

on some basic principles of justice---this is one of our greatest

obstacles when discussing faith

3. In each of these examples there are three factors:

An object---can be concrete or abstract

A response

A reason/purpose


A. We often struggle with faith—especially concerning our future

1. we hope we make it to heaven,

2. We question our obedience, our work, our goodness

3. the question is: just in what/who are/do you put your


B. This is the battle throughout the O.T. with God continually

challenging Israel and specific people in their faith.

1. Joshua---choose you this day who you will serve… Josh. 24

2. Elijah on Mt. Carmel—choose…if Baal is god, if Jehovah…

3. Ezek. 8 is a picture of how idolatrous Israel had become at

the time God punished them with captivity.

C. Today: still two choices:

1. self, money, position, power—all these are objects of belief

and trust---they are society’s currency

2. God, the God of the Bible: Jehovah, I AM

D. The object is what you believe will make a difference in your

life, it will preserve and protect you; give your life meaning and


1. you place your confidence in it, you trust it to do for you

what you need done in life

2. it is reliable, it can be depended on—when properly



A. Based on the perception of reliability, dependability, a choice is

made whether to trust and place confidence in the object

1. Faith comes down to a choice,

2. it isn’t automatic, it isn’t genetic, it isn’t contagious and

passed from person to person, but a personal choice based

on the evidence.

3. Not Paul’s comments to the Thessalonians: I Thess. 1:4-5;

2:13-14—they were convinced, convicted,

B. Note Rom. 10

1. Gentiles have attained righteousness because they believed

2. Jews have not: how can they believe…….

3. all day long I have held out my hand….

C. there is a confidence in the perceived reliability of the object:

1. Noah believed and saved his family

2. Rom. 4:21—Abraham believed God had the power….

3. David believed God would strike Goliath

4. Peter believed that Jesus would help him walk on water

D. This confidence in God leads to an accompanying action

1. In every situation in Scripture where faith is involved, and a

person believes, there is an accompanying and/or resulting


2. Faith in the Bible is never just a mental assent, but a whole

person response to the message

3. the only time “faith only” is mentioned it is in the negative

James 2:19—the demons believe and tremble

4. To say that only faith is needed to place one into a saved

relationship with God would need to be explained:

a. faith only—simple mental assent—cannot be found in

scripture; and also means that absolutely nothing else is

needed: no church, no prayer, no corresponding life, etc.

b. faith—Biblical faith is needed and includes the whole

person—i.e. love God with heart, soul, mind, strength

E. Believing is not a one-time isolated event, but rather a lifetime

of continued believing and in fact growing in that confidence

and trust.

1. growth in faith is therefore a growth, not only in knowledge,

but a growing dependence on God, growing confidence in


2. the song: tis so sweet to trust in Jesus

3. song: It is well with my soul


A. Why believe? Why this discussion?

1. the reasons for believing several

2. We’ve mentioned the purpose for life; faith gives meaning

3. Faith is our worldview: God is working in our world to restore

the relationship between us and him through Jesus Christ;

all that happens is viewed through that lens

B. We believe because God promises!!

1 It is this reason, perhaps above all that we believe: Our faith

places us in a positive and close relationship with God, and

we stand in his favor and grace and are promised that if we

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