THE CENTER OF THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE.
1. The above verse of scripture is the beginning of that great "faith chapter" of the Bible.
2. We read in verse 3 that "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God."
3. Also in this chapter are listed "great heroes of faith" who served God.
4. In this chapter are many valuable lessons for all who would "walk by faith", 2 Cor. 5:7, and "live by faith", Rom. 1:17, in the world today.
5. Faith must be the center of the Christian's spiritual life.
A. It is by faith that we understand our origin. Gen. 1:1,26; Heb. 11:3.
B. It is by faith that we understand our purpose in this world. Eccl. 12:13; Heb. 11:6.
C. It is by faith that we understand our destiny. Jno. 14:1-3.
D. Faith is the motivation that impels us toward God and Christ. Heb. 11:6.
E. Faith is the shield that protects us form the fiery darts of Satan. Eph. 6:16.
6. So, in this chapter on faith, let us study some of God's descriptions of faith for our lives:
I. WITHOUT FAITH WE CANNOT PLEASE GOD. v. 6.
A. Because we are "saved by grace through faith", Eph. 2:8.
B. Paul writes in Rom. 5:1, "Being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
C. Jesus, speaking with reference to the promised Messiah of the Jews, said:
1. "Except ye believe that I am He, ye shall die in your sins", Jno. 8:24.
D. Faith in God, and faith in Jesus as His Son, is necessary to one's salvation.
E. In introducing the means of our salvation, see what Paul wrote in: Rom. 3:23-25.
F. What do you trust to take away your sins? Your goodness? Your works?
1. If so, then you will be lost!
2. The only thing that can cleanse us from sin is the blood of Christ.
a. So, "through faith in His blood" we are saved.
b. There can be no other Savior, but Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12.
c. And "He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him." Heb. 7:25.
II. FAITH COMES BY THE HEARING OF GOD'S WORD.
A. How do we know where the world came from?
1. Faith answers, Heb. 11:3, by the word of God.
2. We read in Gen. 1:1, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
3. We believe that God is the Creator, because we read it in His word.
a. It is stated in Rom. 10:17, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
B. There is really no other source of true faith.
1. Jesus said that we believe because of the word He gave to His apostles. Jno. 17: 20.
2. John wrote about the miracles tht Jesus did and said that: "These are written that ye may believe..." Jno. 20:31.
C. Our access to God is revealed by Jesus in Jno. 6:44,45. Read it.
1. So, by the hearing, and learning, of God's word, we are enabled to come to Him through Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-14.
a. This is the reason that Jesus said the following: Mk. 16:15,16.
2. God calls us to salvation, and He does so by the gospel. 2 Thes. 2:13,14.
3. While many look for other "calls" and think the Bible is a "dead letter", look what God tells us: 1 Thes. 2:13.
III. WE ARE TO BELIEVE THAT "GOD IS" AND THAT HE IS "A REWARDER" OF THOSE WHO SEEK HIM.
A. There are two parts to the faith described in Heb. 11:6. "God is" and "He is a Rewarder."
1. If we are to please God, we must believe that He exists! There is plenty of evidence of this.
a. We look at the universe. Read: Psa. 33:6,9.
2. Why did God make the world, and us?
a. Let us let the apostle Paul answer this question: Acts 17;24-27.
3. Yes, God made the world and He made us. If we are to please Him, we must believe that.
4. But acceptable faith has a second part: "them that diligently seek Him."
a. Too many of us overlook this part. But examples in the context help us to understand.
1) vs. 4, "By faith Abel offered unto God..."
2) vs. 7, "By faith Noah...prepared an ark."
b. What were they doing? Seeking after God!
c. When God told them what to do, they did it by faith.
1) Because they recognized that "He is a rewarder of them that seek after Him."
d. God has, from His very earliest dealings with man, until now, rewarded those who did what He told them.
e. And He has always punished those who refused.
f. When Peter was sent to preach to the Gentiles, look what he said: Acts 10:34,35.
IV. "BY FAITH, ABRAHAM...OBEYED" vs. 8.
A. One of the characteristics of acceptable faith, true faith, is revealed in 11:8.
1. The same principle is at work in the case of Abel, Enoch, and Noah, Vss. 4,5,7.
a. By faith they did what God said, they obeyed.
b. Look at what Jesus says in: Matt. 7:21.
c. To have faith to call Him Lord is one kind of faith, but true faith is understanding what is said in: Lk. 6:46; Jas. 2:19.
d. But to have faith to DO WHAT HE SAYS is another. So, it is hearing, believing and doing that constitutes saving faith.
B. The faith that saves, is not faith only, but faith that obeys.
1. It is that "Faith which works by love." Gal. 5:6.
2. Unless faith obeys, it can never be acceptable to God. Jas. 2:17-24.
3. Look at what Peter says in: 1 Pet. 1:22.
V. "FAITH UNTO THE SAVING OF THE SOUL" Heb. 10:39 ASV.
A. In the last vierse of Heb. 10, read what the writer says.
1. This type of faith is then described in chapter 11.
2. Read Heb. 5:9.
B. Jesus asks the question: "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?" Lk. 6:46.
C. The faith that saves the soul is faith that does His will.
D. When Jesus sent His apostles out under the great commission, He commanded them to teach obedience as well as faith. Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15,16.
E. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, told people what to DO.
1. They that gladly received the teaching, DID what they were told.
1. Truly, faith is the center of the Christian's life.
2. It leads one to Christ, it sustains one in Christ.
3. It will take one to the Father through Christ.
4. Yes, it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." Rom. 1:17.
5. How can and how does one express his faith in Christ? 2 Pet. 1:5-11.
by Jim Sasser
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