Summary: The Author of Hebrews said - "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Because faith plays such an important role in our Spiritual lives, I thought it important to take some time to better understand it by answering the following questions: 1. WHAT
“WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?”
“Faith Defined and Applied”
Fr. Christopher M. Nerreau
Illustration: About a year ago a man entered a priest’s office with a great commotion. He was weary, distraught and weeping. The Priest who knew the man well asked – “What seems to be the problem?” The man began to tell the priest about his life and the giant mess he had made out of it. The man said – “Father, I have no hope, I have ruined my life and I have no chance of ever getting it back!” The Priest sat back in his chair with a smug grin and said – “Have faith my son.” The man sat us straight and said – “I would Father but I do not know what faith is? TELL ME – “WHAT IS FAITH, HOW DO I GET IT AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT.” The Priest’s smug look disappeared very quickly as he realized he himself was unequipped to answer the man’s questions.
This story hits home for me because I was that Priest!
Proposition: Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Interrogative sentence: If you were asked the same question as I could you answer it?
Sermon Preview: Because faith plays such an important role in our lives, I thought it important to take some time to better understand it by answering this man’s very applicable questions:
1. WHAT IS FAITH (Hebrews 11:1)
2. WHERE DOES FAITH COME FROM (Romans 10:17)
3. WHY FAITH IS IMPORTANT (Hebrews 11:6)
Transitional Sentence: Let’s begin by looking at...
I. WHAT IS FAITH (Hebrews 11:1)
Explanation: THE BIBLE SAYS: Hebrews 11: 1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
At first glance this might seem like a ridiculous question – “What is faith.” It seems that we should intrinsically know what faith is. But if you really think about it you may find yourself as much at a loss as I was.
• If we look at Hebrews 11:1 we will find that faith is defined as having two major components.
• The First Is Assurance: (GOD’S ROLE)_
o “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for” (v.11:1)
o Assurance conveys the idea of giving hope, something that people can hold onto.
o Assurance is what God gives us in the Gospel. Jesus said – “I will never leave nor forsake you.” He also said – “Though you die yet shall you live.” He was giving us assurance.
o Jesus healed the blind to give assurance that He was the cure for spiritual blindness. He healed the sinner to give assurance of forgiveness of sin. He raised the dead to give assurance that He is eternal life.
o ASSURANCE IS THE WORK OF CHRIST, GIVING HOPE!
• The Second Is Conviction: (OUR ROLE)
o “Conviction of things not seen.” (v.11:1)
o Conviction is pounding your fist over something.
o Our role in faith is to be convicted (pound our fist) over the assurances of God.
o God gives assurance and we are called to believe with conviction that causes us to pound our fist. Total conviction.
• The Two Together: (Consummation Of Faith)
o When the assurances of God meets the conviction of the heart what is born is faith.
o The consummation of assurance and conviction is true, living faith.
Illustration: When I was a teenager I pulled up to a gas station and said – “Fill er up.” It was not until the tank was full that I realized that I left my cash at home. The gas tenant was not going to allow me to leave to get the cash unless I could “Assure” him that I would return. I gave him my driver’s license and registration and that was enough, he had a conviction that I was going to return and what was birthed out of that assurance and conviction was faith in what was not seen – Namely that I would return.
Application: God has given you the assurance of things hoped for: Protection, Security, Peace, Rest, Strength, Purpose and Eternal life
• Jesus said – I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life! Jesus said – I am the gate, I am the good shepherd, I am the bread of life, I am the door…
• Today we are called to a conviction that these assurances of Christ as real as I am standing here.
There is no faith without conviction, and our conviction must be in those things that are “unseen”.
We MUST TRUST HIM, WITHOUT TRUST FAITH DOES NOT EXIST. Today are you convicted of the assurances of Christ?
Transitional Sentence: So we have seen what faith is… ( the coming together of the assurance of God and the Conviction of the heart.) Now, lets turn our attention to…