The first in our new series of sermons under the general heading of “fuelling faith.” The service will also include communion.
Just like American Football has its “hall of fame” into which the heroes of the sport are inducted; so the Bible has its “hall of faith” into which the heroes of Old Testament faith have been inducted, with a few surprising omissions such as Joshua and Elijah!
We may feel intimidated by such a roll call of the faithful, so it is worth remembering that despite their great faith, all were flawed and imperfect human beings – Noah had a drink problem; Moses was a murderer; Rahab was a “lady of the night;” while David was both an adulterer and a murderer!
Yet it would seem that God places a premium on the importance of faith, with the word being used some 27 times in this passage, to encourage the readers not to abandon the faith but to persevere to the end (Hebrews 10 v 36.)
Challenge – Do you have a persevering faith that will endure to the end?
This is important because not only are we saved by grace through faith, but we are also called to live by faith (Habakkuk 2 v 4; Romans 1 v 17; Galatians 3 v 11; Hebrews 10 v 38) this being the supreme law of the Christian life, with everything being “by faith.” So we please God by faith (Hebrews 11 v 6); all things are possible by faith (Mark 9 v 23); victory over the world and resistance against the devil is achieved by faith (1 John 5 v 4 & 1 Peter 5 v 9); problems are moved by faith (Mark 11 v 23); and answers to prayer come through faith.
So faith is not a luxury item or an optional extra, it is an essential commodity, about which this passage teaches us three important truths:-
1 – A Described Faith (v 1.)
This is probably the closest the New Testament gets to defining and describing faith. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” In a nutshell the believer is able to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen, unlike doubting Thomas who wanted to see before he would believe (John 20 v 29.)
Challenge – Is this a description of your faith?
2 – A Delightful Faith (v 2.)
“This is what the ancients were commended for.” The Old Testament heroes of faith were biographical illustrations of such faith which brought delight to God’s heart. Such faith also met with the approval of Jesus when he came upon it on earth (Matthew 15 v 21 – 28) with its aim being to please God and not men!
Challenge – Does your faith win God’s approval bringing delight to his heart?
3 – A Discerning Faith (v 3.)
Have you ever wondered why secular man refuses to accept the Biblical account of creation, preferring instead ideas such as the big bang and the theory of evolution? We here is your answer – “By FAITH“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” God did not create the universe out of existing matter, but out of nothing (Genesis 1 v 2.) He spoke it into existence, and as there was no one around at the time to witness this spectacular event, it needs to be accepted by discerning faith.
Challenge – Do you have that discerning faith when it comes to believing in a creator God?
Reading: Hebrews 11 v 1 – 3
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Chris Hughes