Sunday, January 20, 2013
Temple Baptist Church - 1-20-2013
A. Chapter 11 begins with the word “Now” to show that 10 and 11 are a continuation of the same thought. The context of both chapters is “faith” and the contrast is between “faith” and “unfaithfulness.”
1. Chapter 10 shows the necessity and workings of faith as we see both faithfulness and unfaithfulness in the chapter. There are the “let us” people who continue in faithfulness and the “as the manner of some is” crowd who find faithfulness a thing of prerogative. With unfaithfulness, there always comes chastisement! While chapter 10 involves failure, admonition, chastisement, and exhortation—chapter draws a contrast.
2. Chapter 11 is often called the “Hall of Faith” and rightly so as the Holy Spirit names men and women who are specifically known for their faith. Chapter 11 shows the overcoming of faith in the most difficult of circumstances. I feel that, in light of the difficult days of spiritual decay, in which we live, that it is essential for us to understand the victory of our faith in overcoming our circumstances.
B. What is biblical faith? “Now faith is!” In our text, we find God’s definition. I want to take a few minutes looking at these 3 verses to see what biblical faith is and what it accomplishes. People live by faith each day and the principle is actually the same.
1. We sit down in a chair which we have never sat in before by such faith. It is not the knowledge that this new chair is stable because we have never tried it before. It is faith based upon the knowledge that a chair like this new one has been sat in before and held up people like us. It is built after a specific pattern and has been tested and tried many times. We do not ask, “Will this chair hold me up?” We just, by faith, sit down in it.
2. The same with a light switch, a water faucet, or turning the ignition on a car. By faith in past experience and performance, we simply trust these new ones.
C. Therefore, biblical faith has basis upon which we rely to guide us in the future. Our faith in the Bible and the God of the Bible is not a blind faith. At this point, let me say that just a belief that God is does not constitute biblical, saving faith. The “devils” also believe and tremble when it comes to knowledge of who Jesus Christ is.
D. What is biblical faith: a faith that believes the Bible to the point of trusting Christ for salvation, eternal life or security, protection, and the daily needs of life. Faith is not something that can be seen, heard, or sensed but neither is a baseless hope. I want to look at biblical faith for a few minutes as we are people of faith.
1. Faith Explained
a. Faith has substance. Substance defined - a physical material from with something is made. A substance is something deemed solid to the touch. Thus our faith is as real as what you see or touch in the world. It is assurance and confirmation at the same time.
b. Faith gives hope. An expectation or trust, not “I hope I am going to heaven” or “I hope there is a real heaven,” but rather a blessed hope or expectation. What God has done in the past causes us to expect or trust what He must do for us in the future.
c. Faith is based upon evidence. Evidence is proof! Eyewitnesses give evidence in a court of law. This evidence is something that they know, have seen, or have experienced. The works of God and the “fingerprint of God” declare the glory of God in His creation. Verse 3 sets forth God’s creation instead of Satan’s evolution theories. No Big Bang, not intermediate species, no millions of years, no “Origin of the Species,” no Theistic Evolution, but just God Said! The world was framed by the Word of God in six literal days. I cannot see Him but I know that He is because I can see what He has done!
2. Faith Essential. Verse 6 says, “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.”
a. Faith is essential to God’s Pleasing. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
b. Faith is rewarding to God’s People. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
3. Faith’s Foundation. The foundation of our faith is found in two things: example and ensample. The examples being God’s Word and the ensamples being God’s people. Let me explain what I mean.
a. The Foundation of God’s Word - Romans 1:17 says, “So then faith cometh hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
1) The foundation of our faith is found in the Bible. Faith in anyone or anything else is misplaced faith. Once again, we find the importance of establishing what the Word of God is.
2) The Word of God is the final authority on all matters of faith. Not churches, not schools, not preachers or teachers, but the Bible. We saw the illustration of creation in verse 3. God said it and it was done!
b. The Foundation of God’s Work - 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1) Ensample – a pattern, repetitious, repeated blows, a model to be observed. New “versions” change ensample to example claiming that ensample is archaic and means the same thing as example but I dare to differ with them.
2) The translators of the King James Bible, the greatest men to ever translate the Word of God into English, used both words. If example and ensample were the same, they would not have used example and not the supposedly archaic word “ensample.” Though they came from the same root word, these men understood their difference. Many Greek and Hebrew words are translated differently in various places because of the context in which they are to be understood.
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (Undecaying in essence or continuing not subject to decay or everlasting.)
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Mortal speaks of being subject to death while immortal speaks of never dying or decaying.)
3) Difference in example and ensample: example is the pattern such as a pattern for a dress while ensample is the product of following the pattern which is the dress itself or “the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made.” The example is right but the ensample can be either right when following the example or wrong when it does not follow the example or pattern.
c. These two, the Word of God and the work of God, go hand-in-hand to give us the confidence that we need in order to remain both hopeful and faithful. The Word of God gives us the example or pattern to live by while the people of God who follow that pattern give us the ensample or proof of the work of God; therefore, the two together give us confidence in God.
4. Faith Exemplified.
a. By trusting God with our salvation. 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
b. By trusting God with our security. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
c. By trusting God with our protection. Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
d. By trusting God with our provision. Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
e. By trusting God with our situations. Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.