What Is Faith

What Is Faith

Heb 11:1-8

I. Faith Defined
A. ESV, NRSV, ASV – same as NASB
1. NIV confidence, assurance
2. KJV, NKJV substance, evidence
B. Assurance – hupostasis
1. Suffix – hupo – under
2. Stasis – stationary – root of our words stable, static
3. That which stands under, solidifies, holds firm; underlying reality
4. Being assured about the future – promises will become reality
5. Faith is the foundation of every other spiritual attribute – everything rests on that
C. Conviction – elegkos
1. Recognition of truth, being convinced
2. Evidence – information outside self
3. Certain of unseen realities – creation of universe, resurrection of Jesus
D. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.
1. Key to pleasing God – what God wants
2. Convinced of what he has done
3. Assured of what he will do

II. Creation
A. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
B. God says it
1. Nothing else makes sense
2. Do you believe it
C. Current attempts to avoid evidence
1. Anthropic principle: the fundamental laws of the Universe, and our position in the universe, are finely tuned to allow for our existence
2. Non-godly explanation: multiverse = infinite number of universes making our special one inevitable
a. Couldn’t happen by accident on one try
D. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
1. Either God exists or the universe is an accident w/ no intelligent force behind it
2. Either God can speak heavens and earth into existence or we are product of random chance

II. Abel – Faith When Mistreated
A. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
B. Ge 4:6–7 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
1. If you do well – if you act by faith
2. Cain doesn’t believe seeking God will bring reward – wants things his own way
3. Opens door for sin – first murder
4. Abel sought God – was murdered, but faith still speaks – God rewards

III. Enoch – Faith in the Future
A. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.
1. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.
2. Ge 5:24 Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
B. Enoch believed God rewarded seekers
1. God rewarded him
2. That’s faith – walking w/ God b/c faith

IV. Noah – Faith Obeys
A. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
B. Faith to follow God’s warnings
1. Being warned by God
2. In reverence
3. Prepared an ark
4. Trust his word enough to do what he says to avoid destruction

V. Abraham – To Follow into the Unknown
A. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
1. Obeying when you don’t know where you’re going
2. Don’t understand reason
3. Believe seeking God will reward you b/c of who God is


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