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Sermon No: 1097-Hebrews 11 - Part 2 - Hall of Faith



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SERMON TOPIC: Hebrews 11 - Part 2 - Hall of Faith

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 4 August 2013

Topic Groups: HEBREWS, FAITH, BOOK STUDY

Sermon synopsis: The cemetery at Westminster Abbey could rightfully be said to contain the 'who's who' of figures from British history.
In a similar fashion Hebrews 11 reads much like the 'who's who' of the Old Testament, listing Abel, Enoch, Noah,
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets.
As such some have referred to Hebrews 11 as the Bible's 'Westminster Abbey', God's 'Hall of Fame' or 'Hall of Faith'.
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Hebrews 11

Part 2: 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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The KJV and NKJV render Hebrews 11:1 as follows, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…”

The word ‘substance’ is hupostasis, made up of stasis ‘to stand,’ and hupo ‘under’. ‘Hupostasis’ 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

We saw that ‘hupostasis’ also means ‘confidence.’

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.

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. 1

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

(2) CONFIDENCE

Remember that ‘hupostasis’ was also used in Greek as the equivalent of our modern “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

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

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

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

The Polynesians sailed a thousand miles in canoes to settle in New Zealand. Although they had never seen the land, they believed that it was there because for generations they had seen a long white cloud on the horizon. They knew that when a cloud stayed in one place for a 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 travelling to an unseen land. But it is not mere guesswork, chance, or superstition. There are facts behind faith, facts that suggest conclusions.

THINGS NOT SEEN

And then we looked at 5 ways in which we get faith:

God gives us faith.

By seeing the work of God.

By observing God’s providence in nature.

Past experience - remembering what God has done in the past.

By hearing the Word of God.

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)

HEBREWS 11

NOW FAITH IS BEING SURE OF WHAT WE HOPE FOR AND CERTAIN OF WHAT WE DO NOT SEE.

THIS IS WHAT THE ANCIENTS WERE COMMENDED FOR.

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.

BY FAITH ABEL OFFERED GOD A BETTER SACRIFICE THAN CAIN DID. BY FAITH HE WAS COMMENDED AS A RIGHTEOUS MAN, WHEN GOD SPOKE WELL OF HIS OFFERINGS. AND BY FAITH HE STILL SPEAKS, EVEN THOUGH HE IS DEAD.

HEBREWS 11

BY FAITH ENOCH WAS TAKEN FROM THIS LIFE, SO THAT HE DID NOT EXPERIENCE DEATH; HE COULD NOT BE FOUND, BECAUSE GOD HAD TAKEN HIM AWAY. FOR BEFORE HE WAS TAKEN, HE WAS COMMENDED AS ONE WHO PLEASED GOD.

AND WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD, BECAUSE ANYONE WHO COMES TO HIM MUST BELIEVE THAT HE EXISTS AND THAT HE REWARDS THOSE WHO EARNESTLY SEEK HIM.

BY FAITH NOAH, WHEN WARNED ABOUT THINGS NOT YET SEEN, IN HOLY FEAR BUILT AN ARK TO SAVE HIS FAMILY. BY HIS FAITH HE CONDEMNED THE WORLD AND BECAME HEIR OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT COMES BY FAITH.

Westminster Abbey in London is the final resting place of many famous people from history including 17 monarchs. To mention but a few, we have the likes of William Tyndale, John Bunyan, William Carey, David Livingstone, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, William Wilberforce, Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, Isaac Newton and William Shakespeare.

The cemetery at Westminster Abbey could rightfully be said to contain the “who’s who” of figures from British history.

In a similar fashion Hebrews 11 reads much like the “who’s who” of the Old Testament, listing Abel, Enoch, Noah, faith Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets. As such some have referred to Hebrews 11 as the Bible’s “Westminster Abbey”, God’s “Hall of Fame” or “Hall of Faith”.

Writing to the Hebrews, the author cites their heroes as examples of the faith we ought to emulate.

Heb 11:2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

WHO’S WHO

So in the book of Hebrews we’re given 3 broad examples of those we should imitate with regards to faith:

Hebrews 11 - the heroes of old i.e. Biblical heroes and those in Church history.

Hebrews 12:2 - Jesus

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 13:7 - Our leaders

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

WHO’S WHO

In Hebrews 11 we begin to have illustrations given of a point that was made back in Hebrews 10:39. Hebrews 10:26-39 begins with another one of the warnings in the book of Hebrews. The warning against defecting from our allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ, the warning against our turning our backs on Christ and seeking to fellowship with God in some other way. A warning against our taking lightly the person and work of Christ, a warning against our spurning the blood of the covenant. But the end of that passage ends rather optimistically. Having given a very stern warning to the congregation, the preacher then says, “But look, I am hoping, I am expecting better things of you.” And as he explains that if you will cast your eyes on Hebrews 10:39, he says this. 1

1 J Ligon Duncan

WHO’S WHO

“We are not of those who shrink back to destruction.” He is expressing his hope for the congregation. “We are not the ones who are going to fall away from the faith along the way.” He goes on to say, “But of those who have faith to the persevering of the soul.” And it is a phrase that he is going to spend a chapter illustrating. He is saying, Now, look, I’m not just talking about some abstract concept that ever existed in real humanity. I am going to show you person after person from the Old Testament, from the time before the Flood, from the times of the Patriarchs, from the times of Moses, and from the times after Moses, in the Old Testament, of people who lived by faith, persevering to the end of their course, even though they didn’t have some of the advantages that you and I have as Christians. 1

1 Ibid

WHO’S WHO

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Without faith we cannot please God. The converse is true - if we have faith we know that we are pleasing God.

The author doesn’t say it is hard to please God without faith, but that it is impossible!

There are 2 reasons for this:

anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists

and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

FAITH PLEASES GOD

Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists

The Harris Interactive Poll found that 59% of Americans are “absolutely certain” there is a God, and 15% claim to be “somewhat certain” God exists. The strongest “absolutely certain” belief in God and other areas came from respondents who claimed to be born again Christians. 1

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t. - Blaise Pascal

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. - Thomas Aquinas

1 SOURCE: Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

FAITH PLEASES GOD

In his book, “What Bothers Me Most about Christianity Honest Reflections from an Open-Minded Christ Follower” pastor Ed Gungor asks the question, “why would God hide?” As he reflects on the question, Gungor explores the possibility that this is part of God’s plan regarding faith. Gungor writes, “Perhaps God hides because he has chosen to establish a relationship with humanity through the pathway of faith.” 1

1 Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

FAITH PLEASES GOD

Ed Gungor, lead pastor of People’s Church in Tulsa, Okla.

“In order for faith to be faith, God must remain invisible and unprovable to the senses. If God could be seen as plainly as the sun or experienced as unquestionably as gravity, faith would not be required. God’s existence would be an undisputed fact. The pathway of faith insists that relationship with God is a matter of human free will and not forced or involuntary. Faith can only exist in freedom, where we can choose to believe or not to believe. Because God uses faith as the only modality for connection with him, any relational connection between us has to be the result of choice or free will. He wants authentic relationship with us, so he honours our right to ignore him. Authentic relationships require choice.” 1

1 Ibid

FAITH PLEASES GOD

But to acknowledge God’s existence is not enough (Remember the demons believe in God’s existence too – James 2:19). We must believe in the inherent goodness of God, i.e. he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Some people believe in God, but are not convinced of God’s goodness – they make all sorts of accusations against God, especially when they encounter hardship or see suffering in the world.

In the parable of the talents we find this attitude in the man whom the master termed a “wicked, lazy servant”. He makes an accusation against his master’s character and uses that to justify the fact that he has done nothing with what God has given him. (Matt 25:24-25)

FAITH PLEASES GOD

Master, I knew that you are a hard man… So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.

To these Hebrew Christians who are being persecuted, the writer encourages them to persevere by remembering the heroes of faith. Faith will give them the courage and hope to endure those hard times:

Faith does not deny the evil, but it sees around it.

Faith makes: The uplook good, the outlook bright, the future glorious.

He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly. - B. C. Forbes

COURAGE & HOPE

Herbert Vander relates:

“A terminally ill man in the hospital told me that life had given him a raw deal. He felt cheated because he had worked hard but would not be able to enjoy retirement. Besides, he was lonely. He and his wife didn’t have a good relationship, and his children and grandchildren seldom visited him. His former business associates ignored him. He was bitter and didn’t want to hear about God. The writer of Ecclesiastes also felt a sense of futility. He observed hardworking people caught up in a monotonous and pointless cycle, only to die and be forgotten. He wrote, ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ (Eccl 1:2).” 1

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

THE CURE FOR FUTILITY

But he recognized that this was not the whole picture. Throughout the book he said that life gains meaning when God is acknowledged. And the writer of Hebrews, penning his words after the life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, declared that faith instils hope and helps us to understand the truths that give meaning and purpose to life. Do you feel as if life has cheated you? If you do, look in faith to Jesus. He was unjustly nailed to a cross so you could be forgiven of your sin and have a life that is fulfilling (Jn 3:16; 10:10). As you choose to live by faith for Him, He will deliver you from those feelings of futility. 1

1 Ibid

THE CURE FOR FUTILITY

People of faith speak out against sin. Speaking of Noah it says, “By his faith he condemned the world…” (Heb 1:7)

People of faith believe in the coming judgment of God and act on this belief by preparing. Heb 11:7 states, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.”

Noah, for example, truly believed God. He could not possibly have embarked on the stupendous, demanding, and humanly ridiculous task God gave him without having had absolute faith. When God predicted rain, Noah had no concept of what rain was, because rain did not exist before the Flood. It is possible that Noah did not even know how to construct a boat, much less a gigantic ark. But Noah believed God and acted on His instructions. He had both assurance and conviction—true faith. His outward building of the ark bore out his inward belief that the rain was coming and that God's plan was correct for constructing a boat that would float. His faith was based on God’s word, not on what he could see or on what he had experienced. For 120 years he preached in faith, hoped in faith, and built in faith. - John MacArthur

FAITH & WORKS

Our faith is evidenced by what we do:

“He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.” - Thomas Fuller

“Believing requires action.” - James E. Faust

James 2:14-26 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? … In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder… As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

FAITH & WORKS

Let’s look at some cases in the Gospels where Jesus commended people for their faith.

Mark 2:1-4 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.

FAITH & WORKS

Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.

Son, your sins are forgiven.

Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

How did Jesus see their faith? It was evidenced by what they did. It’s hardly likely that they would have gone to all the trouble of carrying the man on a stretcher to the house, after finding it full carrying him up to the roof, making an opening in the roof at the risk of upsetting the owner, and then to lower the man down to where Jesus was – if they didn’t believe that Jesus could heal him. And that is exactly what Jesus subsequently does:

Mark 2:10b-12a So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God…

FAITH & WORKS

Matt 9:20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.

If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.

Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.

The woman never spoke audibly. Where was the faith Jesus commends her for? It was evidenced by her actions and determination in pushing through the crowd to touch Jesus.

Luke 10:46-47 … a blind man, Bartimaeus… was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout…

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!

Luke 10:48-52 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

FAITH & WORKS

Go, your faith has healed you.

Rabbi, I want to see.

Luke 10:52 “… Immediately he received his sight…” Bartimaeus’ faith was demonstrated by his actions - his determination to get Jesus’ attention despite the discouragement given by the crowd.

Heb 11:22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

So Joseph didn’t just believe in the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He acted on his belief and in faith gave explicit instructions about his bodily remains being returned to Israel.

Gen 50:24-25 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

FAITH & WORKS

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

Although he doesn’t appear to have had any explicit instruction from God as to what sacrifice he should bring, by faith Abel instinctively offers an acceptable blood sacrifice as a sin offering, thereby setting a precedent for all future offerings. We read that Abel :

“offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did” – His faith was evidenced by his actions (or works).

“was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings” – He was pleasing to God (without faith it is impossible to please God)

“by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.” – He has a godly legacy and stills inspires people today. He serves as an example while Cain serves as a warning to people – which one are you?

A GODLY LEGACY

We cannot be righteous before God if we have no faith.

ABEL: By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. (Heb 11:4)

NOAH: “became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith”. (Heb 11:7)

ABRAHAM: What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. (Rom 4:3-5)

HEIRS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

We saw in our last study that 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

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.

We live in an age where people have “faith in faith” or who are taught to have faith in themselves (basically humanism).

OBJECT OF FAITH

U.S.S. OWN ABILITY

But true Biblical faith has God as it’s object.

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

Acts 20:21 … have faith in our Lord Jesus.

2 Tim 3:14 … salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Jesus speaks of “those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:18)

Gal 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus

Eph 3:12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God…

Rom 3:22 This righteousness… comes through faith in Jesus Christ

OBJECT OF FAITH

Rom 3:26… the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Phil 3:9 … righteousness… which is through faith in Christ

And the ‘saving faith’ is specifically in Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice:

Rom 3:25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood

When we have God as the object of our faith, we develop a relationship (which implies trust) with God.

OBJECT OF FAITH

Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.

Without faith it is impossible to please God, but we read here of Enoch that “was commended as one who pleased God”.

Faith stems from a relationship with God – “Enoch walked with God” (Gen 5:22).

RELATIONSHIP

If you go on holiday you might have a friend go to your house every couple of days and feed the animals, water the plants, and make sure everything is okay. If you trust the person, you won’t worry about your house because you have an assurance and are convinced that what you expect will happen even though you do not see it. This trust is based on your relationship with the person and your previous experiences with them.

RELATIONSHIP

“Faith is a reasoning trust, a trust which reckons thoughtfully and confidently upon the trustworthiness of God.” - John R. Stott (an English Anglican cleric noted as a leader of the worldwide Evangelical movement).

John Stott (1921–2011)

RELATIONSHIP

Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation. - D. Elton Trueblood (20th century American Quaker author and theologian, former chaplain both to Harvard and Stanford universities)

D. Elton Trueblood (1900–1994)

RELATIONSHIP

Every special exhibition of the power of faith was the fruit of a special revelation of God… Our spiritual power depends on God Himself speaking those promises to us.” - Andrew Murray (South African Dutch reformed pastor and author)

RELATIONSHIP

Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

This confidence in God’s character is illustrated in a letter of Hudson Taylor, written to his wife during one difficult time in the work of the China Inland Mission, “We have twenty-five cents – and all the promises of God!

RELATIONSHIP

Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)

The Greek term for ‘faith’ (pistis) is translated by three English terms: ‘faith,’ ‘belief,’ and ‘trust.’ Faith is a human response to God’s faithfulness and His promise. We trust His trustworthiness, not our own. His character is the key. - Bob Utley (contemporary Baptist Bible teacher)

Dr. Bob Utley (1947- )

RELATIONSHIP

Thus biblical faith is not blind trust in the face of contrary evidence, not an unknowable “leap in the dark”; rather, biblical faith is a confident trust in the eternal God who is all-powerful, infinitely wise, eternally trustworthy—the God who has revealed himself in his word and in the person of Jesus Christ, whose promises have proven true from generation to generation, and who will “never leave nor forsake” his own (Heb 13:5). - ESV Online Study Bible Crossway or Wordsearch)

RELATIONSHIP

Years ago the captain of a large vessel set sail with his family from Liverpool. His destination was New York. One night when everyone was asleep, a sudden squall arose. The wind came sweeping over the water, struck the vessel and almost capsized it.

Everything movable was sent tumbling and crashing, and the passengers became aware that they were in imminent peril… The captain’s little daughter, just 8 years old, was awakened and cried with fright, “What’s the matter?” When they told her about the storm she asked, “Is Father on deck?” Assured that he was, the little one dropped back onto her pillow without a fear. In spite of the howling winds and crashing waves, she was soon fast asleep. This ought to be the attitude of every Christian as we face the rough seas and stormy days of life. – “An Anatomy of Faith” by Alan Carr (Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Lenoir, NC)

RELATIONSHIP

“Faith is dependence upon God. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends. And self-dependence only comes to its end, with some of us, when sorrow, suffering, affliction, broken plans and hopes bring us to that place of self-helplessness and defeat. And only then do we find that we have learned the lesson of faith; to find our tiny craft of life rushing onward to a blessed victory of life and power and service undreamt of in the days of fleshly strength and self-reliance.” - James McConkey Robinson (Professor Emeritus of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California.)

RELATIONSHIP

Trusting God turns problems into opportunities.

Faith or trust in God is at the foundation of a relationship with Him… You are calling God a liar if you do not trust Him, and you cannot be close to a liar. Truth is the basis for trust. If you doubt the truth of God’s Word, including His promises for the future, you cannot trust Him and thus will be distant from Him… Some of the things that God says are not easy to accept … When He sends difficult trials into our lives, whether persecution, the loss of our health, or the loss of a loved one, we have to trust Him, believing that He is acting in love to form Christ in us. If the enemy can get us to doubt God’s love in a time of trials, we will draw away from God and disobey His Word of truth. To draw near to God, we “must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (He 11:6). - Steven Cole (pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship in Arizona.)

RELATIONSHIP

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/ ">www.Lockman.org)

Scripture taken from The Message ("http:// www.biblegateway.com/ versions/ Message-MSG-Bible/ ">http:// www.biblegateway.com/ versions/ Message-MSG-Bible/ )

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.




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