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Summary: Faith in God is not a leap into the dark. Faith in God produces a light that we never saw before.The same God who spoke the stars into existence spoke promises in the Bible.

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Purpose: To show that faith is real.

Aim: I want the listener to see the reality that real faith produces.

INTRODUCTION: Faith seems to be a mysterious and illusive thing. Many of us tend to think that faith is a feeling that everything is going to be alright, sometimes we call it hope.

When we see others who are confident and happy we think, I wish I had their faith. The truth is we will never have the faith we should until we stop thinking of faith as a feeling and begin to understand it as a reality.

Religious liberals teach that life is divided into two categories: faith and reason. Faith is what we believe about God and the after-life. Reason is what we know to be true. You might say they divided life into "faith" and "facts." They are content to let you believe anything you want to believe as long as you understand that it was separate from reason. The Bible explains faith much differently.

"Faith is confidence in the trustworthiness of God. It is the conviction that what God says is true and that what He promises will come to pass." [1]

How can we have a faith like that? First, we must be sure what the Bible means by faith.

Vs.1 I. The Explanation of Faith

Faith is explained, not defined. For example you can’t define electricity. Is it matter or energy? There are two things that amaze me about science: what they know and what they don’t know.

The author has just finished warning us about having a false faith, notice 10:39. Now he is going to describe what real faith is.

There are two explanations that begin this discussion of faith.

A. Faith is real "the assurance of things hoped for"

"[The word faith] is common in the papyri in business documents as the basis or guarantee of transactions. And as this is the essential meaning in we venture to suggest the translation `Faith is the title deed of things hoped for’" [2]

When we have faith that means we are certain that what God says is so.

"The key is furnished by Heb. 11:27, "as seeing Him who is unseen." Faith apprehends as a real fact what is not revealed to the senses. It rests on that fact, acts upon it, and is upheld by it in the face of all that seems to contradict it. Faith is a real seeing." [3]

B. Faith has results "the conviction of things not seen"

CONVICTION 1650 elegchos (el’ eng khos); from 1651; proof, conviction: KJV evidence, reproof.

Paul makes it clear that real faith will change how we live. Romans 8:23-25 23 ...we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for {our} adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (NAS)

Jim Elliot put it this way: "To believe is to act as though a thing were so. Mere saying a thing is so is no proof of my believing it."

Noah not only believed God that it would rain, he built a boat!

The Lord gave a warning to Israel not to just say sin was bad but to act like they believed that sin was bad: Isaiah 1:16-20 16 AWash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless; defend the orphan, plead for the widow. 18 ACome now, and let us reason together,@ says the LORD, AThough your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. 19 AIf you consent [say you believe] and obey, [act on what you believe] you will eat the best of the land; 20 ABut if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.@ Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (NAS)


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