Archive for January 15th, 2018

Hebrews 11

Hebrews 11 is the faith hall of fame.  This chapter, like none other in the Bible, tells us not only what faith is, but gives us dozens of examples of how people lived out their lives for faith.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.  Faith is believing and having conviction of what you know to be true.  Faith is needed for what we can’t see and can’t touch.  God cares about our faith. Faith is a belief beyond reason but not in contradiction to reason or against reason.  It is essential for us to receive what God has for our future and eternity.  “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth”.

The writer goes on to give us many examples of faith in this listing.  They all begin with by faith….

  • we understand that the universe was created by the word of God
  • Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous
  • Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death
  • Noah, being warned by God concerning….constructed an ark
  • Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place  that he was to receive as an inheritance
  • Abraham went to live in the land of promise
  • Sarah herself received power to conceive
  • Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac
  • Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau
  • Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph
  • Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones
  • Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents
  • Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter
  • Moses left Egypt
  • Moses kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood
  • the people crossed the Red Sea
  • the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days
  • Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient

What a list of folks who lived out faith on a daily basis.  They set the example for us.  It’s a pretty high bar to achieve.

Does faith matter?  The author makes it pretty clear it absolutely does.  “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him”.  The writer to the Hebrews doesn’t say that it is difficult to please God without faith. He says that it is impossible.  This is the basic faith required of anyone who seeks God. We must believe that He is who He says He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. We must believe that God is there, and that He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts.  That’s the key to faith.  To know God and to know He loves us and rewards us for our faith in Him.

But wait, there’s more.  The writer goes on to give us even more examples of those who belong in the faith hall of fame.  “For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight”.  Faith is powerful and has the ability to change the course of history if we live it in our life.  These people demonstrated faith in big ways.  But it is just as powerful in the day to day aspects of life.  Faith is foundational to our success in walking with Jesus!

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