A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
LIVING BY FAITH
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This important chapter begins by telling us what faith is and what
it does. In the first three verses, we see the definition, description and
declaration of faith. Now we want to learn its demonstration. Faith, that
is, true faith never remains sterile or unproductive. Wherever there is true
faith in God through Jesus Christ, it acts and works - it is known by what
it does or produces.
Hebrews 11:1-3 teaches us that faith is a firm persuasion of the
things we hope for - it is having a firm confidence in God that He will do
as He has said (Isaiah 55:10,11; Jeremiah 1:12; Acts 27:25). Faith permits
its possessor to rejoice in firm assurance while waiting for the
accomplishment of the promise given by God. He knows that God cannot lie.
Faith grants us spiritual perception - allows us to have the substance
of things hoped for; to hold the evidence (the receipt) of
things not seen; to call those things which be not as though they
were; to be fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He is able
also to perform; to maintain in the
face of all contradictory events that He will do as He has
said (Hebrews 11:1; Romans 4:17,21; 2 Samuel 7:25).
This kind of faith pleases God, for without faith it is
impossible to please Him. Faith pleases God so much that He approves
and blesses those who put their faith and trust in Him. Today, we shall see
some examples of those who pleased God
by their faith. Abel, Enoch, Noah furnish us these pleasing examples of
OF THE LIFE OF FAITH
Hebrews 11:4; Genesis 4:4; 3:21; Hebrews 12:24; 9:22; John 1:29; Romans
Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he
obtained witness that he was righteous (Hebrews
11:4). This verse describes the beginning of the life of faith. Faith
cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). By
Gods action and revelation (Genesis 3:21), He had revealed (1) that in
order for a sinner to stand before the holy God, he needed a covering;
(2) that God Himself must provide the acceptable covering; and (3)
that the necessary covering could only be obtained by the death of an
innocent victim. This innocent victim was the substitute for the
guilty sinner. Abel brought his sacrifice by faith, believing that God was
merciful and would accept the death of an innocent substitute in his place.
This is where the life of faith begins.
Christ, the Lamb of God
has died in our place. He is the innocent victim - the innocent Substitute
who died in our place. Now, faith stretches forth its hand and lays hold on
the Redeemer. The sinner is pardoned and accepted by God, then he obtains
witness that he is righteous. Whosoever God accepts, He counts to be
righteous. All who are justified and accepted by God (because of faith in
our perfect Substitute and Saviour) also receive divine assurance in their
hearts that they are forgiven, righteous and justified.
CHARACTERISTIC OF THE LIFE OF FAITH
Hebrews 11:5,6; Genesis 5:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Jude 14,15; 1
Corinthians 15:51,52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; Luke 18:8.
Verses 4 to 7 reveal an
outline of the life of faith. As mentioned earlier, the example of Abel
shows us where the life of faith begins. The example of Enoch teaches us
what the life of faith consists - its characteristics. And Enoch
walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Genesis 5:24).
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? The term walk
signifies a voluntary act, a steady advance, a life surrendered to God, a
life controlled by God, and a life lived for God.
He who walks with God,
walking by faith, pleases Him. To walk with God, as Enoch did, is to walk
in newness of life (Romans 6:4), henceforth not walk as other
Gentiles walk (Ephesians 4:17), to walk uprightly, righteously,
humbly and honestly (Psalm 84:11; Isaiah 33:15; Micah 6:8;
Romans 13:13), to be undefiled and walk in the law of the LORD
(Psalm 119:1), to obey My voice... and walk ye in all the ways that I
have commanded you (Jeremiah 7:23), to walk in the truth
(3 John 3), to walk in the light (1 John 1:7), to walk in
the Spirit, [and not to] fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians
5:16), to walk even as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). This is the life
that pleases God and we can only live such a life by faith.
Enoch was translated... for... he pleased God. But without faith it is
impossible to please Him.
Enochs translation into heaven, a type of the Rapture, has prophetic
significance. All true believers living their lives consistently to
please Him in all things will soon be
translated into heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52).
THE LIFE OF FAITH
Hebrews 11:7; Genesis 6:9,12-18,22; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:3-6; Matthew 24:37-39;
Noah, being warned of God of things not seen
as yet, moved... and prepared an ark.
There had never been rain, much less a flood, before God spoke to Noah. Rain
and flood were things not seen as yet. All the world, walking by
sight, did not believe that there could be such things. It took the courage
of faith in the midst of ridicule and opposition for Noah to build the ark.
He believed Gods Word, feared the coming judgment and that faith led him to
obedience. He believed Gods warning that had determined to send a flood and
destroy the wicked world, so he moved with fear and prepared an ark
to the saving of his house.
He escaped the judgment of God because he believed in Him. It is by faith
that the sinner is saved and escapes judgment (Acts 16:31; John 5:24).
It is by faith that Christ dwells in the heart (Ephesians 3:17). It
is by faith that we live (Galatians 2:20). It is by faith that
we stand (Romans 11:20; 2 Corinthians 1:24). It is by faith we
walk (2 Corinthians 5:7). It is by faith we resist the devil
successfully (1 Peter 5:8,9). It is by faith we are
sanctified (Acts 26:18). It is by
faith we have access to God (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 10:22). It is by
faith we quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Ephesians 6:16). It
is by faith we overcome the world (1 John 5:4). It is by faith
the sick are healed and made whole (Acts 3:16; James 5:15,16). It is by
faith mountains are removed (Matthew 21:21; Mark 11:22,23). It is by
faith demons are cast out (Mark 16:17; Matthew 17:18-20). It is by
faith we receive the Holy Spirit and His fulness (Galatians 3:2,14).
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