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What is faith? (Hebrews 11:1-3)

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Heroes of faith – Hebrews 11. What is faith? (Hebrews 11:1-3). Penge Baptist Church 29 th June 2014. Context . A church under pressure to renounce its faith Chapters 1-10:18: the Jesus in whom we can have faith

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context
Context
  • A church under pressure to renounce its faith
  • Chapters 1-10:18: the Jesus in whom we can have faith
  • Chapter 10:19-38: warning that some people do not persevere in faith, and the consequences
  • Chapter 11: encouragement to keep faith from heroes of Scripture:
    • “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
what is faith
What is faith?

Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion based on spiritual conviction rather than proof?

Complete, firm and resolute trust or confidence in someone or something

god s promises
God’s promises
  • Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
  • Active certainty, conviction and confidence
  • Going beyond our senses and the material world of science, informed by God’s word
  • “Faith is looking at God and trusting him for everything, hope is looking at the future and trusting God for it” (N T Wright)
god s people
God’s people
  • This is what the ancients were commended for. (Hebrews 11:2)
  • They witnessed to God…
  • …but he also showed his approval
    • “Abraham my friend” Isaiah 41:8
  • They only had fragments of what we have!
    • The Old Testament
    • The New Testament
    • The presence and power of the Holy Spirit “when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13)
god s power
God’s power
  • “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.” (Hebrews 11:3)
    • “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” (Romans 1:20)
what faith is not
What faith is not

“a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:23-24)

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (James 2:19)

let s be inspired by the heroes of faith
Let’s be inspired by the heroes of faith!
  • Who showed “complete trust and confidence in our God”….
  • ….looking forward to the promise that was fulfilled in Jesus
  • “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:29-30)
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