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Sermon No: 1076-Hebrews 11 - Faith



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SERMON TOPIC: Hebrews 11 - Part 1 - Faith

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 25 November 2012

Topic Groups: HEBREWS, FAITH, BOOK STUDY

Sermon synopsis: Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
You may put your faith in an ship that doesn’t reach it’s destination.
That is why faith is not the same as positive confession, which is faith in faith, or faith in yourself and your own ability.
True Biblical faith has God as it’s object.
Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
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Hebrews 11

Part 1: FAITH

In Hebrews 1 we saw that Jesus is not just a prophet - but greater than the prophets.

JESUS GREATER THAN

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We then saw that Jesus, the Son of God, is not an angel - but greater than the angels.

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Hebrews 3 we saw that Jesus is greater than Moses, the mediator of the Old Covenant (Testament).

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Hebrews 4 we saw that Jesus is greater than Joshua, because through him we enter the true rest (from works).

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Hebrews 5-7 we saw that Jesus is greater than Aaron, because he has a better priesthood.

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Hebrews 5-7 we also saw that Jesus is greater than Abraham.

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Heb 8-10 we saw that Jesus was mediator of a better covenant, offering a better sacrifice in a better sanctuary.

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Hebrews 11 we’ll see that we have better grounds for having faith in God than those in the Old Covenant.

BETTER GROUNDS - FAITH

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Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

FAITH

The writer of Hebrews defines faith as follows in Heb 11:1 (NASB):

When missionary John Paton was translating the Scripture for the South Sea islanders, he was unable to find a word in their vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. He had no idea how he would convey that to them. One day while he was in his hut translating, a native came running up the stairs into Paton’s study and flopped in a chair, exhausted. 1

1 http:// preceptaustin.org/ hebrews_111-2.htm

FAITH

John Paton (1824-1907)

He said to Paton, “It’s so good to rest my whole weight in this chair.” John Paton had his word: Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That word went into the translation of their New Testament and helped bring that civilization of natives to Christ. Believing is putting your whole weight on God. If God said it, then it’s true, and we’re to believe it. 1

1 Ibid

He said to Paton, “It’s so good to rest my whole weight in this chair.” John Paton had his word: Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That word went into the translation of their New Testament and helped bring that civilization of natives to Christ. Believing is putting your whole weight on God. If God said it, then it’s true, and we’re to believe it. 1

1 Ibid

Faith always has an object – i.e. that which you put your faith in.

In order for faith to be of any value, you must have a worthy object for your faith.

You might (like Goldilocks in the fairytale) put your faith in a chair which breaks when you put your whole weight on it.

OBJECT OF FAITH

Society rests on the faith which man has in man. 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 time-tables; 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. Nothing, therefore, is more disastrous for an individual or a community than for its credit to be impaired, or its confidence shaken. 1

1 “Way Into the Holiest” - F.B. Meyer’s detailed exposition of the book of Hebrews http:// www.ccel.org/ ccel/ meyer/ into_holiest.i.xxvii.html

OBJECT OF FAITH

You may put your faith in an ship that doesn’t reach it’s destination. That is why faith is not the same as positive confession, which is faith in faith, or faith in yourself and your own ability.

True Biblical faith has God as it’s object.

Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.

OBJECT OF FAITH

U.S.S. OWN ABILITY

NOT Positive thinking

The guiding principle of the Christian life is faith. This is not simply a psychological factor, however. To some people faith means believing that you can do a job better than you have done it in the past, or believing that a loved one will rise from his bed of sickness. There may be real value in such “positive thinking,” but this is not the meaning of faith. True Biblical faith has God as its object. We believe God and trust His Word. 1

1 Pfeiffer, C. F. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Chicago, IL: Moody Press

WHAT FAITH IS NOT

NOT presumption

Faith has a backward look. It declares that God has done mighty acts in days gone by. Faith also has a forward look. It declares that He can be trusted for the future.... Faith is the firm assurance, the conviction, that God will do what He has promised to do. It would, of course, be presumption to insist that He must do what we want done. Many Christians grow disillusioned in their Christian lives because God does not conform to their wills. Faith takes God at His word; faith does not insist that He conform to our ideas. 1

1 Ibid

WHAT FAITH IS NOT

NOT hope

Faith is not hoping that something is true, but having a firm conviction that it is true.

Faith is not hope but “an assurance of what is hoped for”:

Heb 11:1 But faith is an assurance of what is hoped for, a conviction of unseen realities. (New Berkeley)

And what is faith? Faith gives substance to our hopes, and makes us certain of realities we do not see. (NEB)

WHAT FAITH IS NOT

The KJV and NKJV render Hebrews 11:1 as follows, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Kenneth Wuest (1893–1962), noted professor of NT Greek at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago wrote, “The word ‘substance’ deserves careful treatment. It is hupostasis, made up of stasis ‘to stand,’ and hupo ‘under,’ thus ‘that which stands under, a foundation.’ Thus, it speaks of the ground on which one builds a hope.” 1

1 K. S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos

WHAT FAITH IS

‘Hupostasis’ was a very common word among ancient Greek authors, especially from Aristotle onward. It was used to describe that which stands under anything such as a building, a contract, a promise.

Faith is to a Christian what a foundation is to a house: it gives confidence and assurance that he will stand. (Warren Wiersbe)

(1) A FOUNDATION

Hupostasis is used 5 times in the NT (NIV).

2 Cor 9:4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we--not to say anything about you--would be ashamed of having been so confident.

2 Cor 11:17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool.

Heb 3:14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Hebrews 1:3a The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being (hupostasis)…

Heb 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

(2) CONFIDENCE

And so Heb 11:1 is rendered the following way in these Bible versions:

Faith is a confident trust in the things we hope for, and a firm belief in things that cannot be seen with our physical eyes. (Greber)

Faith is the confidence that the things which as yet we only hope for really do exist. It is the conviction of the reality of the things which as yet are out of sight. (Barclay)

But it is not self-confidence; it is confidence in God.

(2) CONFIDENCE

By defining faith (Gk. pistis) as “assurance” and “conviction,” the author indicates that biblical faith is not a vague hope grounded in imaginary, wishful thinking. Instead, faith is a settled confidence that something in the future—something that is not yet seen but has been promised by God—will actually come to pass because God will bring it about. 1

“When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” (Edward Teller)

1 ESV Online Study Bible Crossway or Wordsearch

(2) CONFIDENCE

True Bible faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences. This faith operates quite simply. God speaks and we hear His Word. We trust His Word and act on it no matter what the circumstances are or what the consequences may be. The circumstances may be impossible, and the consequences frightening and unknown; but we obey God’s Word just the same and believe Him to do what is right and what is best. 1

1 Warren Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary - New Testament. 1989. Victor or Logos or Wordsearch

(2) CONFIDENCE

PRESENT ASSURANCE

FUTURE REALITY

of a

is the

FAITH

‘Hupostasis’ was also commonly used in ancient Greek business documents as the basis or guarantee of transactions or with the meaning of a title deed. Thus the Amplified translation renders Heb 11:1:

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality — faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.

Faith does not put all its confidence in the present and the visible. Faith is to our hopes what a deed is to a piece of property. The deed guarantees ownership for the owner. (George Brooks)

(3) A TITLE DEED

Moulton and Milligan say of these varied uses of ‘hupostasis’ that “in all the cases there is the same central idea of something that underlies visible conditions and guarantees a future possession.” They suggest the translation, “Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.” 1

Vine’s Expository Dictionary – hupostasis lit., “… In Hebrews 11:1 it has the meaning of “confidence, assurance” (RV), marg., “the giving substance to,” AV, “substance,” something that could not equally be expressed by elpis, “hope.” It also may signify a title-deed, as giving a guarantee, or reality.

1 “Vocabulary of the Greek Testament”

(3) A TITLE DEED

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the title deed of things hoped for, the proof of things which are not being seen. (Wuest)

The Holy Spirit energized act of faith which a believer exercises in the Lord Jesus is the title- deed which God puts in his hand, guaranteeing to him the possession of the thing for which he trusted Him. 1

1 K. S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos

(3) A TITLE DEED

To substantiate this usage, a brochure by H. R. Minn relates the true story of a woman named Dionysia.

It seems that she had lost a case in a local court over a piece of land to which she laid claim. Not satisfied with the decision of a lower court, she determined to take her case to a higher court in Alexandria. She sent her slave to that city, with the legal documents safely encased in a stone box. 1

1 SOURCE: "http:// hopefaithprayer.com/ faith/ faith-is-hebrews-111-hupostasis/ ">http:// hopefaithprayer.com/ faith/ faith-is-hebrews-111-hupostasis/

(3) A TITLE DEED

On the way, the slave lost his life in a fire, which destroyed the inn where he had put up for the night. For 2,000 years, the sands of the desert covered the ruins of the inn, the charred bones of the slave, and the stone box. Archaeologists have recently uncovered these remains. In the box, they found the legal documents. They read the note, which this woman had sent to the judge in Alexandria, “In order that my lord the judge may know that my appeal is just, I attach my hupostasis.” That which was attached to this note, she designated by the Greek word translated “substance” in Heb. 11:1. The attached document was translated and found to be the title-deed to the piece of land, which she claimed as her own possession, the evidence of her ownership. 1

1 Ibid

(3) A TITLE DEED

What a flood of light is thrown upon this teaching regarding faith. The act of exercising true faith as one prays, or as one leans on the resources of God, is itself the title-deed or evidence of the sure answer to our prayer or the unfailing source of the divine supply. It is God’s guarantee in advance that we already possess the things asked for. They may still be in His hands, awaiting the proper time for their delivery, but they are ours. If the answers to our prayers are not forthcoming at once, let us rest content with the title-deed, which God has given us, namely, a Holy Spirit energized act of faith. We may be absolutely certain that our God will honour this title-deed at the right moment. 1

1 Ibid

(3) A TITLE DEED

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (New Living Translation)

Just as our physical eyesight gives us evidence of the visible, material world, faith gives us evidence of the invisible, spiritual world.

THINGS NOT SEEN

Augustine: “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”

C. S. Lewis: In our materialistic world we might be tempted to conclude that the only real things are those which we can experience with our five senses.

THINGS NOT SEEN

Yet “there are things we cannot see: things behind our backs or far away and all things in the dark.”

Physical eyesight produces a conviction or evidence of visible things; faith is the organ which enables people to see the invisible order. (F.F. Bruce)

2 Cor 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.

Faith is to the spiritual realm what the five senses are to the natural realm. The writer of Hebrews says that faith is “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). By faith we recognize the existence of the spiritual world and learn to depend on the Lord for His help in our daily life. Our goal, then, as George MacDonald once said, is to “grow eyes” to see the unseen. 1

1 http:// preceptaustin.org/ hebrews_111-2.htm

THINGS NOT SEEN

Faith is a kind of spiritual “sixth sense” that enables the believer to take a firm hold upon the unseen world and bring it into the realm of experience. All our senses do this. The eye takes hold upon the light waves that pulsate through space and make real to a person the things he sees. The ear picks up the sound waves and translates them into hearing. But there is a whole spectrum of waves beyond the range of the senses. We cannot see them or hear them or taste them or smell them or feel them. But they are real, nevertheless, and, with the aid of modern instruments, we can pick them up and translate them into phenomena that our senses can handle. Faith reaches out into the spiritual dimension and gives form and substance to heavenly and spiritual realities in such a way that the soul can appreciate them and grasp them and live in the enjoyment of them. (The John Phillips Commentary Series)

THINGS NOT SEEN

THINGS NOT SEEN

“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.” (Joni Erickson Tada)

Faith is taking

the first step

even when you

don’t see the

whole staircase.

(Martin Luther King, Jr.)

A. W. Pink uses the analogy of two men standing on the deck of a ship, looking in the same direction. One sees nothing, but the other man sees a distant steamer. The difference is, the first man is looking with his unaided eye, whereas the second man is looking through a telescope. Faith is the telescope that brings the future promises of God into present focus. Faith enables us to see the unseen world that the natural man cannot see. 1

1 An Exposition of Hebrews [Ephesians 4 Group], p. 652 http:// preceptaustin.org/ hebrews_111-2.htm

THINGS NOT SEEN

Faith is similar to electricity. With an electric globe you can’t see the electricity, but you can see the light (the evidence of things unseen).

THINGS NOT SEEN

There is another realm of reality, just as actual, just as factual, just as substantial as anything we see, hear, touch, taste, or smell in this world. It exists all around us—not out there “somewhere,” but “here.” There are legions of angels helping us, for which the world has no counter-measures (Hebrews 1:14) … We cannot see God nor His angels with our natural eyes. But they are there, whether we see them or not. 1

1 http:// preceptaustin.org/ hebrews_111-2.htm

THINGS NOT SEEN

Thomas is the classic example of those who say that “seeing is believing” – but that kind of belief is not faith. Jesus told Thomas, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”.

John 20:24-29 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

THINGS NOT SEEN

The sceptic says: “Seeing is believing”; God says: “Believing is seeing”.

Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them …

Peace be with you!

Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.

My Lord and my God!

Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

Once you have seen, it is easy to believe. Real faith is believing without seeing. It is the conviction of things not seen. And it is living on the basis of that conviction… Christians believe God to the point of banking their lives upon His promises. (The Hall of Faith) 1

Reason cannot produce faith. Although it is always consistent with reason, yet reason cannot produce faith, in the scriptural sense of the word. Faith, according to Scripture, is ‘an evidence,’ or conviction, ‘of things not seen.’ It is a divine evidence, bringing a full conviction of an invisible eternal world. (John Wesley) 2

1 http:// www.angelfire.com/ nt/ theology/ Heb11-01.html 2 The Case of Reason Impartially Considered (Sermon 70) - 1 Cor 14:20 http:// www.ccel.org/ ccel/ wesley/ sermons.vi.xvii.html

THINGS NOT SEEN

For centuries the islands of New Zealand were unpopulated. No human had ever set foot on them. Then the first settlers arrived. They were Polynesians from other Pacific islands who had sailed a thousand miles in outrigger canoes (Maori). The Polynesians came with the purpose of settling in New Zealand. How did they know the land was there? How did they know they would not simply sail across empty seas until food and water ran out and they perished? - The Polynesians had known for generations that land was there because their voyagers had seen a long white cloud on the distant horizon. 1

1 Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997)

THINGS NOT SEEN

They knew that when a cloud stayed in one place over a very long period of time, there was land beneath it. They called New Zealand the Land of the Long White Cloud. Faith is like that. It is voyaging to an unseen land, journeying to an unknown future. But it is not mere guesswork, or chance, or superstition. There are facts behind faith, facts that suggest conclusions.

THINGS NOT SEEN

Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

We believe in creation based on faith in an event at which we were not present. We have faith because nature shows evidence of design and hence a Creator.

Ps. 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (NIV)

Rom. 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (NIV)

THINGS NOT SEEN

Faith apprehends as a real fact what is not revealed to the senses. It rests on that fact, acts upon it, and is upheld by it in the face of all that seems to contradict it. Faith is real seeing. (Kenneth Wuest)

There is an unseen quality about faith. You don’t use faith when you can use your senses. If I hear your voice behind me, I am not exercising faith when I come to the conclusion that you are there. 1

1 http:// preceptaustin.org/ hebrews_111-2.htm

THINGS NOT SEEN

Faith is the vision of the heart; it sees God in the dark as well as in the day.

Corrie Ten Boom

Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

THINGS NOT SEEN

Whenever I mail a letter, it’s an exercise of trust. Let me explain what I mean. When I write to a distant friend, it’s impossible to deliver the letter myself. I need the help of the postal service. But for them to do their part, I have to drop my letter in the mailbox first. I can’t hang on to it. I have to place it in the mail slot and let go. Then I must trust the postal service to take over until my letter is delivered to my friend’s home. 1

1 Ibid

FAITH IS “LETTING GO”

Although I can’t see what happens to it, my faith in the postal service assures me that my letter is as good as there! Likewise, whenever we’re faced with a problem, our faith is challenged. Knowing that it’s impossible to resolve the difficulty ourselves, we recognize our need of God’s help. First, though, we must go to Him in prayer. Until that moment, we’re still holding on to our problem. We know the situation won’t get resolved until we let go and commit it into God’s hands. Once we let go, we then must trust God to take over until the problem is resolved in His way. Although we can’t see what He’s doing, our faith is “the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1), the assurance that His work is as good as done! 1

1 Ibid

FAITH IS “LETTING GO”

Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true (Phil 1:27; 2Th 2:13). Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. (Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary)

Faith has two kinds of objective, first a person, and secondly a statement. When we are drawn powerfully towards a person, so as to feel able to entrust our soul, our destiny, our most precious possessions to His care, with an inward feeling of tranquillity and certainty that all is safe with Him, and that He will do better for us than we could do for ourselves, that is faith. 1

“Faith is the power of putting self aside that God may work unhindered.” (F.B. Meyer)

1 Ibid

TRUST

There seem to be three necessary preliminaries in order to faith. First, some one must make an engagement or promise. Second, there must be good reason for believing in the integrity and sufficiency of the person by whom the engagement has been made. Third, there follows a comfortable assurance that it will be even so; in fact, the believer is able to count on the object promised as being not less sure than if it had already come into actual possession. And this latter frame of mind is precisely the one indicated by the writer of this Epistle, when, guided by the Holy Spirit, he affirms that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the persuasion or conviction of things not seen… These three conditions are fulfilled in Christian faith. 1

1 “Way Into the Holiest” - F.B. Meyer’s detailed exposition of the book of Hebrews http:// www.ccel.org/ ccel/ meyer/ into_holiest.i.xxvii.html

TRUST

In “Mere Christianity”, C.S. Lewis describes faith as follows, “Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.”

Eddie Zepeda - “Faith is doing God’s will when you don’t feel like it.”

The Campus Crusade tract called “Four Spiritual Laws.” uses a diagram of a train to illustrate the relationship between Faith, Fact and Feeling.

FAITH VS FEELING

The engine is Fact, the coal car is Faith, and the caboose is Feeling. Faith follows Facts and Feelings follow after Faith. The train will run with or without the caboose. However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. As Christians we should not depend on feelings, but we place our faith in the fact of God’s trustworthiness and the promises in His Word.

FAITH VS FEELING

Living by feeling and not faith might make you:

question God’s existence

question God’s love for you

question your own salvation

question your ministry and whether God really called you

question God’s will for your lives

question why as a Christian you might suffer at times

miss out on fellowship at church because you “don’t feel like it”.

want to give up because you were criticized.

FAITH VS FEELING

ELIJAH - FEELINGS

The Israelites have… put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too. (1 Ki 19:10)

ELIJAH - FAITH

O LORD… let it be known today that you are God in Israel… (1 Ki 18:36)

PETER - FEELINGS

Matt 14:30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out…

Lord, save me!

PETER - FAITH

You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matt 16:16)

God gives us faith.

Saving faith itself is given as a gift of God:

Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

Rom 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

HOW TO GET FAITH

By seeing the work of God:

John 11:45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.

John 7:31 Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, “When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?”

John 14:11 “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.”

HOW TO GET FAITH

John 2:11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

By observing God’s providence in nature:

Matt 7:25-30 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear… Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

HOW TO GET FAITH

Past experience - remembering what God has done in the past. The Israelites forgot God’s deliverance at the Red Sea and continually complained in the wilderness when faced by problems, instead of putting their faith in God:

Heb 3:7-12 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

HOW TO GET FAITH

Likewise in the following account Jesus rebukes the disciples for their little faith, because they did not remember his previous provision in the past.

Matt 16:6-10 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?”

When we face problems, do we forget what God has done in the past – or do we have faith?

HOW TO GET FAITH

By hearing the Word of God:

Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (NASB)

This is why it’s important to read God’s Word and to listen to doctrinally sound ministry. When you discover what the Scripture says about a particular situation you may be in, faith is established in your heart, and you are able to face the situation in the light of God’s Word.

Note how the man in Lystra received faith to be healed when he heard the Word preached by Paul:

Acts 14:8-10 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking.

HOW TO GET FAITH

Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!”

At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

Many put their faith in Jesus upon hearing his word.

John 8:30 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.

And Paul’s faith during the storm at sea while facing a pending shipwreck, was because of God’s word to him.

Acts 27:22-25 “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

HOW TO GET FAITH

Let us go over to the other side.

Consider this account in Mark 4:35-40 about Jesus and his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

Quiet! Be still!

Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the waves.

Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?

Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Before the boat trip, Jesus words were “Let us go over to the other side.”

But the disciples forgot his words and didn’t believe they were going to reach the other side. They say, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

After calming the storm, Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith.

Are we like the disciples who forgot that Jesus said they were going to reach the other side?

Or are we like Paul, who remains confident in the face of a shipwreck because God has told him that he’s going to Rome?

HOW TO GET FAITH

Carrie Judd Montgomery

“You get faith by studying the Word. Study that Word until something in you ‘knows that you know’ and that you do not just hope that you know.”

Smith Wigglesworth

“I can’t understand God by feelings. I can’t understand the Lord Jesus Christ by feelings. I can only understand God the Father and Jesus Christ by what the Word says about them. God is everything the Word says He is. We need to get acquainted with Him through the Word.”

HOW TO GET FAITH

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe. (Smith Wigglesworth)

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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