Sunday, February 24, 2013

For Without Faith

Temple Baptist Church - 2-24-2013
Hebrews 11:6
A. Hebrews 11 and 12 deal with this thing called “faith.” Bear with me over the next 2-3 weeks as I deal with Hebrews 11:6 for it is one of the most important verses in the Bible! I know of no easy or quick way to expound this verse in order to get its meaning. I will take my time for it is foundational to salvation and “if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
1. The Principles of Faith are found in verses 1-3:
a) Faith has Confidence – “substance of things hoped for”
b) Faith has Conviction – “evidence of things not seen”
c) Faith has Consequence – “for by it the elders obtained a good report”
d) Faith has Comprehension – “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God”
2. The People of Faith are found in verses 4-40 (Which we are will be dealing with.)
a) The Description of their Faith – verses 1-3 (Faith adhered to – having not seen the end yet trusting.)
b) The Demonstration of their Faith – verses 4-38 (Faith in action – a faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted.)
c) The Disposition of their Faith – verses 39-40 (Faith in anticipation – received not the promise but trusted God for something better.)
3. The Pattern of Faith – verses 12: 1-29
B. What is faith?
1. Faith is a principle by which we live every day. We exercise faith in the unseen with complete confidence as we use cell phones, turn on light switches, watch TV, listen to the radio, etc. We exercise our faith when we use the switch, turn on the water, pick up the remote, etc. and then watch for the results.
2. The results of our faith come only after faith is exercised. If we do not try the switch, remote, phone, etc. then no results will be forth coming. We exercise these acts of faith because we have experienced or observed the results of such actions. Spiritual faith is no difference. In our verse, we find that faith is pleasing to God and is rewarded.
3. We teach our children the same faith principles when we teach them to personally use these devices. Neither we nor they understand how it all works but delight in the results. When a switch fails, we do not stop using other such devices. Though we have few electricians and computer “geeks,” we have a nation that is well trained in the use of modern conveniences. Thus it is with our faith in the Lord. He does not fail but, oft times, His ways are not our ways and His time certainly is not our time.
C. In verse 6, we find that faith is essential to pleasing God. Let’s take a look at the progression of such faith in reverse order: Hebrews 11:6 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.
1. Faith is rewarded by God. When men “diligently seek” God: that is to not only realize that there is a “Higher Being” but to actively seek to know Him, their faith will be rewarded in the knowledge of God. When the Lord began to stir my heart in 1976, I began to actively seek to know Him. My faith was rewarded! With the Apostle Paul, I can say, “I know whom I have believed!”
2. Faith is the agent that causes men to seek after God. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is.” I have been blessed in that I have never doubted the existence of God. Not just from my upbringing but from the very nature of the world and the things in it. I full well understand why the Bible declares a man to be a fool if, in his heart, he declares that there is no God. I am not talking about with his mouth for men may doubt but this verse deals with the man who has made up his mind—being fully persuaded—that there is no God.
3. Faith is the only way to please God. “For without faith it is impossible to please him!” The Bible also declares that whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Man was made by God in the image of God for God! We are born in this world with purpose. Man is different from all of the rest of God’s creation as he is a trichotomy: a whole divided into three parts.
D. The Foundation of our Faith is the Word of God. Romans 10:8-17 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
E. If the foundation of our faith is the Word of God, then it is imperative that we have the Word of God.
1. It is impossible to comprehend an incomprehensible God without revelation from God. Our faith in God comes from seeing His fingerprint in nature. The creation of the heavens and earth declare the glory of God. There is no possibility of such design and perfection being the result of a random act. A random act will always produce a random result but our universe and all of creation work as a perfectly synchronized unit.
2. Checks and balances are found throughout nature as things exist in harmony with one thing depending upon another for its existence. From the birds that eat the mites that pester the rhinoceros to the bee that is essential to the pollination of a flower or tree. This list could go in infinitely. God’s universe is in perfect harmony which requires intelligent design.
3. The Bible declares that man is made in God’s image while the evolutionist calls man an “animal” likened to all other animals. Man is different from all animals while all animals have common threads of actions and thinking. Our faith is not some “blind faith” in a Creator unseen but rather a faith with both substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. Just to see the “fingerprint” of “intelligent design” in nature, though it reveals that God is, will not give knowable information about Him.
4. The first step is Faith in our Bible. An incomprehensible God has been made comprehensible through divine revelation. In the beginning, the “voice” of God walked with Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden and that same “voice” has remained in one form or another ever since. We must have a revelation that is divine in order to know God. It is IMPERATIVE that we have God’s Word!

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