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Invincible, Irrepressible Faith (Hebrews 11:1-50)

Ken Miller, July 21, 2013
Part of the Sermon series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

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He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7
How do we deal with the various hard circumstances that we face at times? Things like conflict, sickness, uncertain
future, financial setbacks, or death.
How did the people portrayed in the last part of Hebrews 11 deal with the hard things that they faced? They were
tempted, persecuted, wandered in deserts and mountains, killed, and even sawed in half. They did it "through faith".
We can expect these things in a fallen world, maybe even more so as Christians. Jesus' answer to that is in
John 16:33; "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
We have modern day examples of people who thought a family member might be dying but instead of hopelessness
or despair there was tranquility, grace, hope, and trust that God would take care of them. Also a young girl lost her
parents at ages 11 and 12. Her husband died after she was married for 39 years. A living faith empowered her to
respond to life in a constructive way. This is demonstrated by her positive disposition late in life. This kind of faith
triumphs over the worst of enemies, even death. Romans 8:37 "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us." v. 39b "[Nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord."
Hebrews 11:3. The visible creation points to God. Through faith we believe that God created the world. This basic
belief is essential to our belief and trust in God.
Hebrews 11:1. Faith is a spiritual foundation. David had faith to fight Goliath. The statements that David made to
Goliath had a foundation. They weren't empty boasts. They were not based on David's strength but in a living God.
We may have seeming giant sized problems and it may seem hopeless. A foundation of faith changes our
expectations.
What isn't obvious physically is seen with the eyes of the soul. What Noah saw with his spiritual eyes motivated him
to prepare even though nothing was visible yet. Romans 4:17 "God calls those things which be not as though they
were." When people build on a foundation of faith it makes the invisible attributes of God visible to the world.
Romans 4. Abraham's faith was regarded as righteousness. God's promise is that He will do the same for us. The
most glorious part about faith is that it brings the reality of being righteous.
To get a stronger faith we need to seek it. We may need to confess unbelief. Spending time in nature with God can
be worthwhile. Ultimately faith is a decision of the will to believe God. Faith is meant to be exercised. The more we
use it the stronger it becomes.

--Jeffrey Miller

Hebrews 11:1-50

1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. 17By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. 20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 22By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. 23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. 32And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (KJV)

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