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Summary: From the Faith Chapter, a reminder that faith comes from hearing God’s word and obeying it.

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What Faith Is

Heb 11:1-16

Introduction

This is the great chapter on faith. It is the greatest example of faith in the whole Bible.

In the last few verses of the previous chapter, the writer outlines how the Hebrew Christians in Rome needed to persevere in their faith.

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

‘For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

Now the just shall live by faith;

But if anyone draws back,

My soul has no pleasure in him."

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Heb10:35-39)

Chapter 11 Verse 1: “Now faith…” Why does the writer say ‘now,’ ‘now faith’? He wants to tell us something important, something significant.

Professor Breward who taught Christian Thought and History at the University of Otago in Dunedin New Zealand, used to begin all his lectures with the word: “Now…”

The writer says “Now” because he is about to embark on an important journey.

He is about to take us through the evidence of things we have not seen, the evidence of the faithful who have gone before.

Faith is described in Hebrews as something that we can have.

But how do you get it?

Faith comes to us by hearing God’s word. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” says Romans 10:17.

OK, so once we have it, how do we keep our faith in all the ups and downs, the various circumstances of life?

It is in the warning of the previous chapter that we learn what is taught in the writings of all the Apostles: “do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” (10:35)

According to the writer of Hebrews, Abraham and Sarah obeyed God and a whole faithful nation sprang up. (11:8-12)

What are we supposed to be doing with our faith today?

Does your faith make you obey or cause you to obey God?

Genuine faith is indeed tested by how obedient the person is.

For example, Joseph (mentioned in verse 22) was tested as to whether he would sleep with Potiphar’s wife…and by faith he refused.

The genuineness of his faith was tested and rewarded.

He became the Prime Minister of Egypt.

Communication

In communication, the essential elements are that there is a sender of the information and one who receives it.

Send and receive, send and receive.

However, if the receiver and sender are not connected together, the message will not get through.

Illustration:

Most people have wonderful examples of modern technology in their homes. Most have radios and TVs in their houses receiving all kinds of stations.

If we tune to a negative station we will miss all the good news messages that are being broadcast.

The message of the gospel is the good news and you can hear it if you tune into a Christian radio or TV station. If you don’t you miss it.

Most people: a) Have been set a bad Christian example, or

b) Want to live life their own way, and do not care about God or

c) Believe that God cannot be reached or,


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