Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


The Definition of Faith


Hebrews 11:1-3


Introduction:

         We have faith in the bank where we deposit our paycheck.We have faith in the water company, the utility company, etc. Everyone operates on some level of faith

         Faith is about the object!

         The previous chapter gave us no alternative- you are either believing God, or you are drawing back

         This chapter is commonly known as the Hall of Faith

 

I.                    A definition of Faith

a.      After we have spent time on the doctrinal side of all that God has done for us, faith is the key which unlocks the door/access to those blessings!

b.      The Holy Spirit has given us this assurance of things hoped for, and the persuasion or conviction of things not yet seen.

c.       The world says, "Seeing is believing," but the child of God says, "Believing is seeing."

d.      Faith is absolutely certain that what it believes is true and that what it expects will come

e.      Faith is the laying hold of the future in the midst of the present, of the unseen in the midst of the seen

f.        Andrew Murray: Faith is the spiritual faculty of the soul that deals with the spiritual realities of the future and the unseen.

g.      Just as we have our 5 senses through which we interact with the physical world, so faith is that spiritual sense or organ through which we interact with the spiritual world.

h.      Just as the sense of hearing means nothing until there is a sound made- faith in itself is nothing until it interacts with the proper object of faith

i.        When eternal realities draw near faith becomes the substance, the foundation, the proof and conviction of things unseen. In other words God takes the initiative and wakens faith out of dormancy.

j.        Faith is not a blind leap into the dark, or a funny feeling. Faith gives me the assurance and conviction that God is real, and the Bible is the Word of God

k.       Faith is not opposed to evidence (the empty tomb for example substantiates my faith in the risen Savior!)

l.        Faith does not contradict reason, though it may go beyond human reasoning

                                                              i.      Intellectual assent- believing something is true

                                                            ii.      Trust- we believe it is true, but we also rely upon this truth

m.    Distinction for Saving faith- is a one-time transaction and dependence. Faith in living the Christian life must be strengthened and increased!

II.                  Faith of our Fathers- v. 2

a.      They had a great testimony!

b.      Elders here are most likely not just a group of old people. It refers to OT saints (see fathers in Hebrews 1:1)

c.       Maturity is definitely implied in this good report. Their faith was a sign of maturity.

d.      Faith is the source of al spiritual achievement!

e.      The elders walked by faith- the younger can and should learn from the example of the older!

f.        A good report- see Hebrews 11:6- Want a good grade on your spiritual report card? You need faith! The idea is steps of faith/obedience that we see illustrated throughout this chapter.

g.      Men like Noah who obeyed a commandment without complete human understanding!

h.      We saw last week- the just shall live by faith!

i.        This shows a personal responsibility when it comes to faith

III.                The mystery of creation revealed by faith

a.      The Bible teaches something came from nothing- the Bible does teach the Big Bang. God said it, and Bang! It happened!

b.      The power of Godís word- without lifting a finger, simply by His word He created all that we know!

c.       He upholds the world by the word of His power!

d.      There are two options when it comes to human origins

                                                              i.      Human Speculation

                                                            ii.      Divine Revelation

e.      The visible world is a great temptation to make us forget God! We all have the same set of evidences, yet our presuppositions determine how we view the evidence.

f.        ďI believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.Ē CS Lewis

g.      By faith we see Godís fingerprints upon all of the creation- illustr- artistís signature

h.      It is not faith vs. science or faith vs. facts. It is faith vs. faith.

i.        See Ps. 33:6, 9; Ps. 19:1

j.        We did not see this act of creation; we only know of it by faith. We also know this by reason, because we know the world was created and created by an intelligent Designer. Again, this is faith going beyond but not in contradiction to reason

k.       Calvin called Creation the theater of Godís glory. Only faith will allow you to hear its glorious melody and see the fulness of its beauty. The beauty of creationís song is that it sings of the glory of its composer.

 

Conclusion:

         FB Meyer said, "The workman, toiling through the week for the wage which he believes he will receive, the passenger, procuring a ticket for a distant town, because he believes the statements of the timetables, the sailor steering his bark with unerring accuracy in murky weather, because he believes in the mercantile charts and tables, the entire system of monetary credit, by which vast sums circulate from hand to hand without the use of a single coin - all these are illustrations of the immense importance of faith in the affairs of men" (The Way into the Holiest).

         If we can put such faith in men, we should certainly be able to trust in God.