Title: The Meaning of Faith #1
Purpose: To move Christian to Total Faithfulness

  1. Chapters 11 & 12 Are the High point of Hebrews
  2. Major themes are hope & faith (2 are interchangeable in Hebrews)
    1. 10:35 - Don’t throw away your confidence
    2. 10:36 - Have need of endurance
    3. 10:37-39 - My righteous one shall live by faith (we don’t shrink back)
    4. Leads up to the “faith chapter”
  3. Definition of Faith - a kid said “believin in what you know aint so”. (that’s not faith)
  4. Text: Hebrews 11:1-7
  5. Faith is
    1. The assurance of things hope for
      • You stake your life on it
      • Stake your family on it
    2. The conviction of things not seen
      • Has anyone seen God lately? Seen Jesus?
      • Yet you see evidence of him, and by faith you believe he is alive!
  6. This passage doesn’t stop with a definition, but gives examples from “men of old”
  7. They gained God’s approval through Faith. How would you describe faith? Ways-

I. Faith moves you to believe (v.3)

  1. It is interesting, he doesn’t start with men of old, but with us
  2. We understand God prepared the universe by faith
    1. Was anyone around when he created it?
    2. God said he did, and we believe it
    3. He made it out of nothing (something no one else can do)
    4. Notice he didn’t just “make it, but he “prepared” it
    5. Is there a difference between just making something and preparing?
  3. I Remember meeting Stacey’s family for first time
    1. I had to prepare to make sure everything was just right
    2. Instead, I found myself putting in a kitchen floor
    3. When you prepare something special, you take care with it
  4. God didn’t just make the world, he prepared it -- for us
    1. Man kind was the crowning creation of God after everything else was made
    2. God loves you - Do you believe it
    3. John 14:1-3 - Jesus is lovingly preparing a place for you
II. Faith moves you to worship (v.4)
  1. God has always wanted worship that comes from faith
    1. May do everything by the book, but if heart not in it, he could care less
    2. What he cares about is that your worship honors God
  2. The account in Genesis 4 says that God did not have regard for Cain’s offering
    1. Used to say it was because it was not a blood offering (but this was before law)
    2. Hebrews says it was by FAITH Abel offered a superior sacrifice
    3. How? Abel brought forth the firstlings of his flock
    4. How did offering the firstlings requrie faith?
      1. Abel a success at sheep raising, wouldn’t you want to display your prize sheep at the fair?
      2. Instead of keeping for himself, he honored God who blessed him
      3. Abel recognized that he did not make the sheep grow, nor the grass
    5. Remember offerings at the temple? Who did Jesus notice? poor widow(mk 2:41
      1. Worship is about giving your best to God
      2. The widow have ALL she had - don’t worry God will take care of you
  3. Stacey’s grandmother, wealthy, nice house, care, clothes. etc.
    1. At Christmas she gave her stained used clothes - how would you feel?
    2. Why do we expect that God will be pleased if we give him leftovers?
    3. 2 Sam 24:20-25 - David would not offer the Lord what cost him nothing & act like it was such a great thing
    4. Prov 3:9 - Honor the Lord from your wealth & from the first of all your produce
      1. Honor means to “value”
      2. How does what you give to God show how you value him?
        • If I’ve got nothing better to do, I’ll give my time to God
        • If I’m not to busy, I’ll read my Bible
        • If I don’t have something important to do, I’ll pray with my kids
  4. Faith that moves you to worship says
    1. I know God has prepared so much for me (even sacrificed his only son)
    2. He gave me the very best, out of love I give him the very best
    3. I look forward to honoring my God -This is why Psalmist said “I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord” (Ps 122)
    4. When you give him your best, doesn’t it start on Saturday evening?
      1. The Bible calls it the “Lord’s Day”, prepare for that day
      2. Special day, the day when Jesus rose, the day H.S. given, church began
      3. Like Abel, faith leads you to give God your very best
III. Faith moves you to walk (v.5)
  1. Enoch had a very rare experience (Gen 5:21-24)
  2. Enoch did not see death because of faith
    1. How did Enoch have faith?
    2. Genesis says he walked with God (no details given)
    3. What does it mean to walk with God?
  3. Linda Thornton
    1. She used to walk around talking, I thought she was talking to self, but was talking to God
    2. Always said short prayer (like when looking for a house)
    3. She truly walked with God
  4. Suppose I had girlfriend & hide her when friends come around? How long last?
    1. I know Jesus died for me, forgiveness, will be in Heaven when world destroyed
      1. Yet when friends come around, I tell him to hide
      2. How much faith is that?
    2. Jesus saved me, and I belong to him, and he is coming for me
    3. I’m not going to stop walking with him just because people poke fun at me
  5. Do you have faith in God’s love, in his son?
    1. The faith will move you to walk with God ALL the time
    2. Walk with him when you leave here
      1. when go to bed at night
      2. when wake up
      3. when drive to work
      4. when with co-workers and friends
      5. when you have free time, fishing, golf, bowl
IV. Faith moves you to work (v.7)
  1. Noah worked in faith when building the Ark
  2. How it take faith. Imagine
    1. God says will destroy world with flood
      1. Some believe it never rained before this (Gen 2:6)
      2. Was warned by God about something not seens
    2. Noah begins to build 450X75 ft Ark 45 ft high, on dry land
    3. Spends 120 years building (think ever had 2nd thoughts)
    4. I Pet 3 says he preached during that time, no one listened
    5. He started his own zoo in the meantime (including bugs and worms etc.)
    6. Text says Noah built the Ark in reverence
      1. Synonymns: Respect, regard, awe, devotion, honor
      2. He honored God through his obedient trust
  3. James says faith without works/ actions is dead (useless) (James 2)
    1. Boating trip, faith in life jacket, but not put it on?
    2. Belief without any sort of action is useless
  4. Belief in Christ does no good unless you put him on
    1. Gal 3:26-27 - “for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ”
    2. When baptized you didn’t just get wet, you put on Christ
      1. He is now in you
      2. You are taking every thought captive to him
      3. You are being conformed to the image of Christ
      4. You are taking up your cross daily and following him
      5. You and he are a part of each other now
    3. Do you have faith in Christ? Does it show through faithful obedience? SONG: “Trust and Obey”


  1. Even in the midst of challenges here you can gain approval from God (and be in Heaven) by faith
  2. This confident faith is one that
    1. Moves you to believe in what is unseen
    2. Moves you to worship God with your very best
    3. Moves you to walk with God every day
    4. Moves you to work for God in faithful obedience
  3. Read Verse 6
    1. Are you truly seeking God?
    2. God will reward you!
    3. Don’t throw away your confidence
  4. Don’t be distracted by what is seen
    1. Concentrate on the assurance of what you hope for (he is coming)
    2. and the conviction of what you do not YET see (Jesus is preparing a place)