Stream or download Bright and shining lights in the Bible #8
This chapter 11 of Hebrews is all about faith. The word appears some 23 times in the chapter (if my counting is correct) as well as the words ‘believe, etc’ appearing many times as well.
Faith is DEFINED for us in verse1. “Now faith is the substance (the very foundation) of things hoped for, the evidence (proof) of things not seen.” We hope for that which God has promised on the basis that we BELIEVE that what God has said will come about.
I like the little definition often used. Forsaking All I Trust Him.
Again, I like the little chorus which says: “Faith is just believing what God says He will do”!
Faith is then DEMONSTRATED throughout the rest of the chapter.
1. ALL WHO ARE GOING TO HEAVEN HAVE FAITH. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” verse 6.
Here is a vital question indeed. Do you believe God today? Do you reject what every voice in opposition to God says and believe Him?
Remember: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God,” Ephesians 2:8.
2. BY FAITH THE OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS WERE WELL SPOKEN OF. Their faith in the Lord is what made them ‘good’ men and women.
3. BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND WHAT UNSAVED MEN CANNOT UNDERSTAND! “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,” verse 3. We believe in God’s mighty power and so it is easy for us to accept and believe in the creation of all things by God in 6 days.
4. FAITH IS ESSENTIAL FOR EVERY ASPECT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. We will be looking at this matter more closely as we progress down the chapter. But note first of all that we cannot WORSHIP the Lord aright without faith.
That which separated Cain and Abel was FAITH!
Abel believed God. “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,” verse 4. ‘A more excellent sacrifice than Cain’ means ‘a superior’ sacrifice. Abel’s sacrifice was seen by God as of great value whereas Cain’s was not and God rejected his.
Faith made the difference. Abel believed God’s promise of redemption through the promised ‘Lamb of God’ and so offered a lamb as a symbol or picture of the Lamb he was trusting in to save him. “Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock,” Genesis 4:4.
Cain offered his own works. “Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD,” Genesis 4:3.
Abel is in heaven while Cain in hell and all because one had FAITH in God and one did not!