A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
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We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard
(Hebrews 2:1). More especially we do need to pay attention to what the Holy
Spirit is teaching us today in this passage on the subject of faith. Many
preachers and teachers are confused and they misinterpret this passage: These
all died in faith, NOT HAVING RECEIVED the promises (Hebrews
11:13). They fail to rightly divide the Word of truth and so weaken the
faith of many. This chapter uses the word receive a number of
times: Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive
seed. These all died in faith, not having received the promises
...and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten
son, Women received their dead raised to life again,
And these all, having obtained a
good report through faith, received not the promise
(Hebrews 11:11,13,17,35,39). Scriptural interpretation (fully treated
in the third section of this study) will remove all confusions.
The faith of Bible believers was (and is) incorruptible and could not be
conquered by adverse circumstances. The eye of their hearts saw clearly the
blessings God had promised and they were persuaded that they would be theirs
in due season. The Scriptures commend the perseverance of the Old Testament
believers. Despite all the assaults of temptations and trials around them,
they persisted in clinging to God and His Word. They lived by faith and died
THE CONSTANCY OF FAITH
Hebrews 11:13-14; Genesis 25:5,8; 48:21; 49:28-31; 50:24; 1 Kings 8:56;
Numbers 24:17,19; Job 19:25-27; Isaiah 9:6; John 8:56.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises... Each
one of the Old Testament characters died in the firm expectation of the
promised Messiah, believing and beholding the heavenly glory afar off. Their
eyes of faith were strong, they were endowed with long-distant spiritual
vision. With the telescope of faith, they saw them afar off, were fully
persuaded and embraced them (Hebrews 11:13). Faith sees the invisible
clearly, brings strong persuasion in the heart and makes us to embrace Gods
These all died in faith. To die in faith is to have an assured
confidence in God till and at the point of death. They had a firm belief in
the reality and existence of life and fellowship with God after death. They
entrusted their departing souls into the care of a loving and faithful God.
They had strong faith believing in the final, blessed rest in the heavenly
country prepared for them by God. Their chief aim and supreme desire was to
lay aside all hindrances, live like strangers and pilgrims on the earth,
[seeking] those things which are above... [setting their] affection on
things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).
Do you have such faith that sees the promises afar off; being fully
persuaded, do you fully and firmly embrace those promises? Are Gods
promises really precious to us? Do our hearts cling to them with love and
delight? Do we plead those promises before the Throne of Grace? Does our
daily walk show that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, that we are
partakers of the heavenly calling?
THE COMMITMENT OF FAITH
Hebrews 11:15-16; Genesis 24:6-8; Job 17:9; Psalm
112:7; Proverbs 24:21; Galatians 2:18; Psalms 27:4; 73:25.
The patriarchs remained in the land where God placed them because they
surrendered to the total control of God. If they had desired to return to
the idolatrous land from which they were called, the opportunities were
many, instead of going back, they persevered in the path which God appointed
for them. Despite all discouragements, trials and difficulties, they
committed themselves to following that course marked out for them by God. So
firm was Abrahams conviction and commitment that he would not go back to
his native land nor allow Isaac, his son, to go there to take a wife. We,
too, should manifest such commitment of faith. Though enticements abound on
every hand tempting us to go back to the world and its vanities, we must
keep on looking unto Jesus, fixing our hearts on heaven and its glories.
The heavenly country was ever on the hearts of the Patriarchs as: (1)
Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and
maker is God (Hebrews 11:10).
(2) They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth
(Hebrews 11:13). (3) They seek a country
(Hebrews 11:14). (4) They desire a better country, that
is, an heavenly (Hebrews 11:16), (5) They declare
plainly that they seek a country (Hebrews 11:14). Are we
so desirous of that better country - the heavenly country? Then earthly
things will not hold our hearts captive.
THE CATALOGUE OF BENEFITS THROUGH FAITH
Hebrews 11:11,13,17,35,39; Psalm 103:1-5; 1 Kings 8:56; Isaiah 38:1-5,17;
Psalm 51:12; 68:19; James 5:11,16-18.
This chapter reveals that the Old Testament believers received the
fulfillment of many promises. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua
and many others received the promises (Hebrews 11:11,17,35; Genesis 12:2;
13:2; 26:12,13; 45:9-13; Deuteronomy 1:10). Also, many individuals in Israel
received many blessings by faith. They received salvation (Psalms
51:12; 32:1,2), healing (Exodus 15:26; Psalms 103:3; 107:20),
deliverance (Psalm 34:4,19), sanctification (Leviticus 20:8;
Isaiah 6:5-7), protection and preservation (Isaiah 43:2;
Daniel 3:20-25; 6:19-22), and answers to prayers (Psalms 66:19,20; 68:19).
Yet, these all died in faith, not having received the promises
(Hebrews 11:13,39). What promises were they not able to receive? Israel
became a great nation after Abrahams death (Genesis 12:2). All the families
of the earth being blessed through Abraham was fulfilled with the coming of
Christ (Genesis 12:3). Prophecies concerning the Messiah and the fullness of
the Holy Spirit were later fulfilled but not during the lifetime of the Old
Testament saints. God is faithful. Now, we can receive all He has promised
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