|Letter To The Hebrews - Chapter 11--The Hero Hall of Faith|
LETTER TO THE HEBREWS
The Hero Hall of Faith
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is one of those words too wide, too high and too deep for the human language to express. It believes the promise though the promise is not yet manifested. It is the absolute knowing there is a God; that His Word is sure; and that which is unseen in the realm of the Spirit is as real as that which we see and feel with our natural senses.
How do we know this? Faith is a conviction that arises from within. The source of conviction is the Holy Spirit. Faith is a Fact! Hope is a Certainty! Love is a Reality! Without Faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is the opposite of fear.
There are many ways we are able to please God with our Faith.
6. We obey His spoken Word. As we walk by Faith in that Word, then we receive the promises.
11:2-3: “For by it (Faith) the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
God merely spoke and the entire universe appeared made out of things we cannot see. That means this physical world is a manifestation of something unseen. The apostle Paul assures us that “…the things which are seen are temporal, and the things which are not seen are eternal”. (2 Cor. 4:18) Nuclear physics proves that what appears to us as matter is made entirely of spinning bits of energy; that which appears as solid matter is made entirely of non material energy. God is in complete control of everything that happens to His people. The ages were planned by the Word of God. The Book of Genesis declares that God spoke and the world came into existence. The writer of Hebrews confirms that truth.
The elders here are the list of faith-worthies beginning with Abel. There is no report given of Adam and Eve.
Each of the heroes of the Faith listed in this chapter released their Faith for the supernatural power of the Lord to manifest in the natural in different ways. Their Faith advanced the Kingdom of the Lord on earth with regard to His eternal purposes to reveal Himself through a people through whom His, Son, Jesus Christ would be born to save the world from sin. Through their Faith actions, we have a testimony and witness of the Lord’s great power to reveal Himself from the invisible realm of the Spirit to the visible.
11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Faith will seek the will and purpose of the Lord in the visible realm of life and the living.
Rev. 22:12: “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
By Faith the Lord spoke into Abraham’s life and from his loins a nation was birthed that would carry the royal seed of the Son of God. Through his faith out of the invisible realm of the Spirit, a visible nation was born that had Kingdom destiny.
Abraham by faith got a hold of the promise of the Son of God, Resurrection of the dead; the eternal city, New Jerusalem; and the Kingdom of God. When Abraham reached the promised land, none of it was his, except a grave site which he bought from the inhabitants. Though it was all his by promise, he had to live in it as an alien. What a test. What a test after having been assured by God that the land was his. Often it is harder to wait on God than it is to work for Him. Abraham never waivered in faith.
11:13-16: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country that is a heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he has prepared for them a city.”
It is clear from this that the promises of God went far beyond any earthly blessings and that they expected God to do all that He had promised them, even after their deaths. The patriarch’s eyes were not on inheriting the land. Their hopes were fixed on something infinitely greater than a piece of real estate. They’d been promised a spiritual inheritance which exceeded anything this world could offer. The viewed their lives as a journey to that inheritance.
We must keep our eyes on the heavenly city. That’s where “our citizenship” is, says the apostle Paul (Phil. 3:20). One of the stumbling blocks of Christianity is that many, who profess to receive Christ, never get their eyes on that city. It is a glorious thing to catch sight of the celestial city of eternity.
Abraham saw that city by faith and gladly exchanged the world for it. The Lord honors them by saying, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Ex. 3:6). What a fantastic honor to have God call Himself by your name! Those who lived before Christ are part of the same family of God and share the same glory as we who have received Jesus after Pentecost.
Abraham is listed twice in God’s hero hall of faith. This great man is worthy of double honor. He was first written up for three specific acts of faith; (a) leaving his home to follow God’s leading, (b) living as a stranger in the land that was promised to him, (3) trusting God for the birth of Isaac when it was a natural impossibility. Now he is honored again. This time for when his great faith was put to its severest test. God put Abraham’s faith to its greatest test when He asked him to offer up Isaac (the promise) as a sacrifice. This great man, to whom the promises were made, didn’t waver. God had made it clear that all the promises were to be fulfilled through Isaac; and all of Abraham’s descendents were to come through the Son of Promise.
Abraham simply reasoned that God must be able to raise people from the dead. He took it on faith that God would solve the dilemma by restoring Isaac to him. We know this from what he said to his servants when he ordered them to wait at the foot of the mountain, “You men wait here while the lad and I go yonder, and we will come back to you” (Gen. 22:5). This is perhaps the most outstanding act of faith in the whole bible with the exception of the faith of Jesus Christ who was crucified, died for our sins and was raised from the dead.
The faith of Moses’ parents was fearless faith. They believed God had a kingdom destiny for Moses. Centuries earlier God told Abraham that the great nation which was to come from him would go into bondage for 400 years. Moses had the faith to trade the temporary for the eternal. To him, the shame of being identified with the coming Messiah (Christ), was greater wealth that the treasures of Egypt. The Hebrew nation belongs to Jesus. He is the One who appeared to Abraham and spoke the nation into existence. He is the rock that followed them in the wilderness and led them as a pillar of cloud and fire. He is the King of the Jews. So for Moses to be identified with Israel was to be identified with the Messiah, the Christ.
We will continue next week with the Hero Hall of Faith:
Taught by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Eastgate Ministries, Inc.Scripture from Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible. Comments and conclusions are my own as revealed to me by the Holy Spirit
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