Letter to the Hebrews Message Twenty Five
III. Exhortation to believers 10:18—13:17 He began with an –
A. Exhortation to Faithfulness. Hebrews 10:18-39
We discover that if we are to understand our relationship and life with God, we need to understand the meaning of faith. Paul recognized this need and in chapter eleven he began by giving an –
B. Explanation of faith. Hebrews 11:1-3
This morning we are seeking to understand faith.
Consider for a moment the mention of faith in the New Testament –
Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
(Faith must result in courage to face danger and death)
Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
(Faith must result in a Godly goodness which points people to God)
Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
(Faith must result in foundational strength, able to support a growing structure)
Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
(Faith must result in noticeable changes in life through God which are reported by others and lead to rejoicing among the brethren)
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
(Faith must result in growing in righteous character that can only result by faith in God. Man has no righteousness to bestow upon others and so the natural man cannot live by faith. The just shall live by faith, and a man is only declared just by God through salvation in Him.)
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
(The result of faith is being no longer an enemy of God, but being at peace with Him)
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(The result of faith is acknowledging that the Word of God is true)
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight:
(The result of faith is that by acknowledging the Word of God to be true, the believer submits to the whole counsel of the Lord and lives accordingly)
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
(The result of faith is salvation)
So, what is faith?
1. A Promise. Hebrews 11:1 “Substance of things hoped for” (Promise, Title deed)
Illustrate: “Do you own a house? Yes, I own a house in America”. Can you prove that you own a house in America? Yes, I have an official document, the Title Deed. Do you stay in your house? No, I stay here at this time, but there is a time coming that I will live in it. I hope, or fully expect, to live in it”.
2. A Presentation. “Evidence of things not seen.”
“My faith is the evidence that I will live in the house that neither of us can see at this time.”
3. A Proof. Hebrews 11:2,3 The evidence presented by “…things that are seen were not made of things which do appear”
God’s Word is true and is proved by the empirical evidence provided in creation.
Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
Please note that while some are excited and encouraged when the sciences agree with the Word of God, it is just an anecdote in the timeline of history that a scientist caught up with a truth Bible believers have known for ages.
C. Examples of faithfulness. Hebrews 11:4-
The outline today is one that has been presented many times – the delight of those that like alliterative outlines –
1. Worship in faith – Able. Hebrews 11:4 “…offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice…God testifying of his gifts…”
Genesis 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
He went to God, worshipping Him, believing and acknowledging the promise given by God! He had the title deed written in the blood of the Lamb of God and offered a lamb which symbolized this truth.
2. Walk in faith – Enoch. Hebrews 11:5
a. How did Enoch walk? “…he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
b. How did the Lord Jesus walk? Notice the references to time in His life:
1). Purpose in His days. (24 hours each day)
John 2:4 “…Mine hour is not yet come,” John 7:6 “My time is not yet at hand”
Lk 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following
2). Purpose in His devotion.
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
3). Purpose in His direction.
To live –
John 4:4 And he must needs go through Samaria.
To die –
Matthew 26:2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
c. How are we to walk?
1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
The Lord told the disciples that He would teach them to work the works of God and that they should –
Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
This brings us to the final point today, working the works of God –
John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
3. Work in faith – Noah. Hebrews 11:7
Faith in Worship and faith in our walk leads to faithful service unto the Lord.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
a. God gave Noah a timetable –
Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
b. God gave Noah a promise –
Genesis 6:18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
Noah worked on this project for twenty years before his first son, Shem, was born!
c. God gave Noah a message for his generation –
1 Peter 2:5 “…a preacher of righteousness…”
By faith Noah was prompt (redeemed the time), he persevered, and he presented God’s message to the world.
How many mornings before beginning his work, did he look for someone who believed the message to come and work along side of him? Taking one day a week for rest, he worked 37,080 days and no one came except his wife, sons, and their wives. He kept on – faith! The title deed to unseen (yet promised) things! “The Substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.
Do you live according to the promise, the title deed, of your salvation and everything that it includes?