1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 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. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Is this what your faith looks like. I hope so, because that is what true faith looks like.
"sure of what we hope for"
"certain of what we do not see"
Faith is not a wistful longing that something may come to pass in an uncertain tomorrow. True faith is an absolute certainty, often of things that the world considers unreal and impossible. Christian hope is belief in God against the world-not belief in the improbable against chance. If we follow a God whose audible voice we have never heard and believe in a Christ whose face we have never seen, we do so because our faith has a reality, a substance, an assurance that is unshakable. In doing so, Jesus said, we are specially blessed (John 20:29). John MacArthur.
Folk wisdom = "The only thing certain in this world are death and taxes."
Interesting that in these six verses are mentioned a man who almost certainly never paid taxes, and another man who never died.
The Only Certainty is God.
God's Word is always true.
God's holiness is absolute.
God's love is always certain.
"This is what the ancients were commended for."
Absolute belief in God and the certainty of His word.
Faith is Believing God's Word
3 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.
Evolution = big bang theory, primordial ooze, amoeba to people.
There is plenty of evidence that evolution is false and creation is true. But we are not to base our opinion on evidence. It is to be understood by faith. God said it, therefore it is absolutely true.
Six real days, not thousand year days. "God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning-- the first day." Genesis 1:5
Pool of Siloam - thought by some to be a made up by John as a literary device. It was found a few years ago by construction workers in Jerusalem.
Faith is not believing in God, Faith is Believing God.
4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
Abel approached God and said, in effect, "Lord, this is what You said You wanted. You promised that if I brought it, You would forgive my sin. I believe You, God. I acknowledge my sin and I acknowledge Your prescribed remedy. Here it is." Cain had the same knowledge of God's requirements, but decided to worship in his own way. In the tradition of his parents, he did his own thing. In effect, he was denying his sin.
Cain believed in God, else he would not have brought Him a sacrifice. He acknowledged a supreme being and even that he owed Him some sort of worship. He recognized God, but he did not obey God. He believed in God, but he did not believe God. He thought he could approach God in whatever way he wanted, and expected Him to be impressed and satisfied. In so doing, Cain became the father of all false religion.
Abel's faith brought him commendation as a righteous man.
Abel still speaks. He says three things: man comes to God by faith, not works; man must accept and obey God's revelation above his own reason and self-will; and sin is severely punished. This is Abel's timeless three-point sermon to the world, which he has been preaching for thousands of years to those who will hear. It could be titled, "The Righteous Shall Live by Faith."
Faith pleases God
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
Lack of faith displeases God
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
37 For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."
Faith Comes Only from God
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Allow God's Word to build up your faith.
An evangelist of many years ago told the beautiful story of two little boys he once visited in a London hospital. The cots were side-by-side. One boy had a dangerous fever, the other had been struck by a truck and his body was badly mangled. The second one said to the first, "Say, Willie, I was down to the mission Sunday school and they told me about Jesus. I believe that if you ask Jesus, He will help you. They said that if we believe in Him and pray to God, then when we die He'll come and take us with Him to heaven." Willie replied, "But what if I'm asleep when He comes and I can't ask Him?" His friend said, "Just hold up your hand; that's what we did in Sunday school. I guess Jesus sees it." Since Willie was too weak to hold up his arm, the other boy propped it up for him with a pillow. During that night, Willie died, but when the nurse found him the next morning, his arm was still propped up.
We can be sure that the Lord saw his arm, because the Lord sees faith and the Lord accepts faith. By faith Willie saw the way to heaven. By faith he saw what the learned will never discover on their own. God's greatest truths are discovered by simple faith. It is not the world's way to truth, but a thousand years from now-if the Lord tarries that long-the world will still be devising and rejecting its theories. The person of faith knows the truth now. Faith is the only way to God.
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