By Faith the People

By Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Hebrews 11:29-40

Does your faith make a difference?

You’ve made a profession of faith - now what?
Is your faith that insurance policy, just to get you out of a pinch when trouble comes, but otherwise making no discernible difference in your life today?
That's not the faith of the Bible, not the faith of Hebrews 11, not the faith that endures.

A People United By Faith

A Strange Assortment of People

Wrapping up the list
The Red Sea - relying only on God’s promise, they walked through the sea, some full of doubts, some who would later turn and worship idols, but by faith they were counted among God’s people
Jericho - The first of many cities to fall as Israel entered the promised land - and the won it by marching around it 7 times and blowing their trumpets - you’d have to believe it to see it
Rahab - A prostitute, but she heard of God and feared Him, protecting the spies that came to her house, and by her faith, she was spared the judgment that came upon Jericho, would be the great-great grandmother of David
Gideon - purified Israel of idols, starting in his own father’s home, ruled as a judge, but his sons became a downfall to the nation
Barak - Wouldn’t go into battle unless the prophetess Deborah went with him, gained the victory, but another got the glory
Samson - a man of terrible strength, but also terrible self-control when it came to women, but he brought judgment upon the Philistines
Jephthah - born an unwanted child, rose to great power as a judge of Israel, made a hasty pledge to sacrifice the first thing to come out of his house, his own daughter
David - a man after God’s own heart, but also a man who stumbled mightily in sin with Bathsheba, brought about a unified Kingdom
Samuel - a mighty prophet of God, but he continued Eli’s sin by appointing his sons to be prophets after him
All were notable, but all were flawed
They left their sin, and followed in faith

By faith many were made one, looking to the promise

This is the picture of the Church
Palm Sunday - Blind, sick, lame, sinners all - called to follow Christ

What holds us together as the Church

We are sinners
We have come to rust and rest in Jesus Christ
1 Cor 6:17-20 “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

By Faith the Church Endures

The Church Militant

A history of victory
Conquering kingdoms - Joshua and Caleb
Enforced justice/established righteousness - the Judges and Prophets and Kings
Stopped the mouths of lions - Samson, David, Daniel
Quenched the power of fire - Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego
Others: Escaped the sword, made strong out of weakness, mighty in war, put armies to flight, women received back their dead by resurrection
Suffering for the Lord
Tortured but refused release to rise again
Mocking and flogging, even chains and imprisonment
Skins of sheep, goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated wandering in the deserts, mountains, dens and caves
This is all too clear today

A faith that endures will work to advance the kingdom:

Tearing down strongholds, taking every thought captive to the Lord, proclaiming the gospel, preaching the righteousness of Christ, calling the lost to repent
Willing to lay down your life for the sake of following Christ
Violence against the church, an effort to silence the gospel - calling the message of sin and salvation judgmental and hate-filled
If the church is ever to be the church triumphant, she must first be the church militant. She must be willing to enter into a spiritual war, one that could cost us our very lives. However, if we look at church history, we can see that the gospel radiated with its greatest clarity and brightness in those eras when the proponents of the faith spent most of their time in prison. But we enjoy the comforts of this world so much that we would rather have them than to live like those who were pilgrims and sojourners on the earth.

By Faith A Better Promise Awaits

They didn’t receive everything that was promised, because God always had something better in store -
Had they received it all, they would have grown complacent, and we would have missed out
Always Looking Forward
All the saints mentioned in Heb 11- all the OT - they may have received parts of the promise, but there was always something more waiting God was providing something better for us - that we would be included with them in the coming blessing
They were looking forward to a work to be completed in the messiah, we look backward to the finished work of Jesus.
It is finished - his atoning sacrifice would complete the payment in full for our sins
Together we look upward to the risen Lord, where we find our promised rest, our inheritance, our victory, and our everlasting glory.
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