Much is said about "Faith" in the Bible because faith is the motivating force that enables a follower of God to continue.
There are some things in the Christian system that a person accepts on the basis of FACT, but there are
some things that must be accepted on the basis of FAITH until the facts are either learned or revealed.
Much has been said in the Hebrew letter concerning the Superiority of Christ and the Christian system.
Some of these things had to be accepted on a Faith basis.
Some of the brethren were "giving up" on Christianity.
The writer proclaims the necessity of "Saving Faith."
Today, in this lesson, let's investigate Hebrews 11 and see the motivating force called faith and see how it helped the people that followed God before us.
A DEFINITION OF FAITH - 11:1-3.
Faith is not based on the tangible - v. 1.
If you believe on the basis of sight, it is not faith.
II Corinthians 5:7.
Too often our actions are based on sight and not faith.
Men of old walked by this principle - v. 2.
Discussed in the later verses.
Illustrated by the creation - v. 3.
FAITH ENABLES MEN TO PERFORM DUTIES, ENDURE TRIALS AND OBTAIN BENEFITS THAT NO OTHER POWER CAN PRODUCE - 11:4-12.
Abel - v. 4.
It is suggested that Abel and Cain were both instructed by God as to the type of sacrifice to be offered.
Abel believed God - performed according to his faith.
Cain disbelieved God - performed according to his feelings.
Abel's faith stands as a testimony to this day and condemns the faithless.
Enoch - v. 5-6.
Enoch had a fellowship with God, God told him so, he believed God.
Verse 6 - we must have faith to please God.
Noah - v. 7.
Believed although he had never seen rain.
Abraham - v. 8-10.
Left his homeland on a promise made by God.
Felt the opposition of the inhabitants, yet he still believed God.
Looked for a promised city - far in the future - the "heavenly Jerusalem" - 12:22.
Sarah - v. 11-12.
Believed that God could make her conceive even in the deadness of her womb.
THE ANCIENT WORTHIES LIVED AND DIED IN FAITH - 11:13-16.
Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob never actually possessed the land, but they never gave up.
The land was given to their descendants.
The important point is that THEY WERE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH.
FAITH IS ABLE TO SUSTAIN VERY SEVERE TRIALS, PERFORM VERY DIFFICULT DUTIES AND OBTAIN VERY IMPORTANT BLESSINGS - 11:17-19.
Abraham's faith allowed him to offer up his own son.
Seed promise was through THAT son.
He believed that God would keep His word.
Abraham's faith led him to reason to the resurrection of his son's body.
FAITH ALLOWS ONE TO RISE ABOVE FEAR TO FOLLOW A COURSE PRESCRIBED BY GOD - 11:20-29.
Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau for future events - v. 20.
Jacob blessed Joseph's sons for future events - v. 21.
Joseph makes future preparation - v. 22.
Moses' parents disobey a king's orders in the face of death - v. 23.
Moses prefers ill treatment - v. v. 24-28.
FAITH OVERCOMES SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE OBSTACLES AND DENIES EVEN THE MOST BINDING TIES - 11:29-31.
Israel walks through the Red Sea on dry ground - v. 29.
Walls of Jericho fall down - v. 30.
Rahab denies her patriotism - v. 31.
FAITH HAS THE POWER TO DO WHAT OTHERWISE COULD NOT BE DONE - 11:32-35a.
These could only have been accomplished by faith in an all-powerful God.
FAITH HAS THE POWER TO SUFFER WHAT COULD NOT HAVE ORDINARILY BEEN SUFFERED - 11:35b-38.
FAITH HAS THE FINAL VICTORY - 11:39-40.
If you will just appeal to God in faith, He will keep the promises that He has made to you.
All of these men and women are witnesses of this.
What kind of faith do you have?
Have you realized the power at your command?
Remember, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him."