As we begin Hebrews 11 we will be camping here a few days. This is a very special chapter in scripture. It is the FAITH chapter – or the faith hall of fame if you will. The writer here shares a list of the great people through history who got it right – who lived by faith – and then shares some of the hows, whys and most importantly results of living that way. First though – faith is defined. Here is what is called the “fundamental fact” about faith. It is “trust in God…the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living”. How is that for fundamental? Faith is the core of what we are. It is the foundation upon which we live. We have to get this part right. Three examples are shared in the first part of this chapter:
- Faith allows us to “see the world called into existence by God’s word”. Creation is all about faith. It doesn’t necessarily make sense by science or human understanding, but that does not change the reality of what God did. Faith is key to our basic belief in God Himself.
- Faith allowed Able who “brought a better sacrifice to God”. The sacrifice was not the key but “what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference”. God is about the heart – not just the external actions. Faith is key to what happens in our heart.
- Faith allowed Enoch to move on – he “skipped death completely” because “he pleased God”. Faith is key to our ability to please God.
Is faith important? The writer shares three examples here in the first section about just how important it is. But the key lesson in these first few verses comes in verse six. Check this out: “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him”. How is that for clarity about the importance of faith? We cannot please God without faith. It is absolutely impossible to have a relationship that is pleasing to Him if we don’t believe in His existence and caring. It can’t happen. This is a defining truth for each of us. What are we going to do with this faith thing? Will we believe it and make it our own? Will be grow to understand the wonder of God’s creation and know Him intimately? Cause if we don’t – things go nowhere fast. We will see many more examples of faith in the coming days as we continue our walk through Hebrews 11. But the question really is: what are you going to do with God and His truth? What are you going to do with Jesus? Here’s a hint: Faith is the only acceptable response. We need to find it and make it our own. We need to hold on to it with all our energy and might. We need to live it and teach it to every person around us. Without it we can never please God. Are you there? Do you have faith?