By Faith... Sacrifice is Made - pt. 1

Faith of Our Fathers  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:06
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We are coming to a close in our Series titled ‘The Forefathers of Faith’.
In our series, we began by looking in depth:
God’s Definition of Faith: Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The Importance of Faith in the Eyes of God: Heb. 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
And so as we consider Faith in God specifically, this chapter deals with the Faith of our Spiritual forefathers, AND WHAT IT MOVED THEM TO DO.
Messages in this Series:
v4 ‘By Faith… Abel Sacrificed’
v5 ‘By Faith… Enoch Walked with God’
v7 ‘By Faith… Noah Feared God’
v8-10;17-19 ‘By Faith… Abraham Obeyed, Became an Outcast & Offered’
v11-12; 20-22 ‘By Faith… Come Blessings & Bones’
v24-29 ‘By Faith… Moses Walked’
v30-32 ‘By Faith… History is Laid pt. 1 &2’
Where we looked at several acts of faith including all those named there in v32 including Gideon, Barak, Samson, David, etc.
Now we’re coming down tot he final messages which will be delivered today and then during tonight’s service titled ‘By Faith, Sacrifice is Made.
Over the last few weeks, we have looked at what could be described as ‘positive’ aspects of faith. All the things that Faith can do. Such as:
Provide Salvation - like in the case of Rahab
Secure the Victory - like the COI at Jericho
Slay Giants - like David with Goliath
But today we’re going to notice a change. Kind of the flip-side to that in that Faith demands Sacrifice. Faith WILL INCLUDE SACRIFICE.
(Ill.) The most obvious example of what I’m speaking of is that of Abraham and Isaac. In order for Abraham to display his faith, he had to be willing to sacrifice his son.
(Ill.) I continually place my faith in the LORD for my protection & provision… but I want to share two specific instances in my life for the sake of ministry, I placed what to me is great faith in the LORD. Twice I quit my job, uprooted my family for something that was unknown.
When I went to pastor my first church, I had a high paying, cushy job as a territory manager for a national company. I had great perks & benefits - and I quit in the middle of the recession to move back to NC and take a part-time pastorate position - that they hadn’t even offered me yet! Then a little over 4 years ago I quit my job managing 2 companies, leaving my home to come here and be your pastor - not knowing what my compensation would be.
I didn’t share that to lift me up, I shared that because I wanted to stress the point that Demonstrations of Faith Demands Sacrifice. In my case I wasn’t sacrificing my son, but I was sacrificing my security & peace of mind. I sacrificed friendships & the familiar.
Faith in the ONE-TRUE GOD is the most wonderful thing a person can have - but it will cost you something. There will be Sacrifice connected to it - and that is what we’ll be focusing on today.
That being said, the First thing that I want to show you today is that Faith will Show Regardless of Circumstance

I. Faith will Show Regardless of Circumstance (v35)

Notice the Change
There are two words that stand out when you begin to study this passage - particularly in this verse. ‘… and others...’
It goes from speaking about these great works of faith to OTHERS who are suffering for their faith!
Recognize the Commonality
All these that are mentioned in this passage of Scripture - whether it be those Slaying the Giants; Escaping the Sword; Subduing Kingdoms OR THE OTHERS that are tortured, scourged, sawed asunder; wandering destitute… they are all here BY FAITH! Faith is the center of it all!
What this tells us is this: Faith can Overcome the World with Physical Victory - OR, it can Endure Persecutions BY the world with Spiritual Victory - but either way, Faith brings the Victory!
This is important to understand, as it goes back to something I mentioned a week or so ago - and that is Faith is not subject to CIRCUMSTANCES, faith is Settled upon a Sovereign God! Through the good and bad times, through the thick & thin - whether you’re facing a giant or the whipping post, Victory can be had!
Now we’ll examine specifics for a few moments. Faith will Show Regardless of Circumstance, #2 - Faith will Stay the Course

II. Faith will Stay the Course (v35b)

Choosing to Endure Suffering in this Life
Notice the wording - ‘not accepting deliverance’ - in other words, there was a deliverance to be had, but they refused.
(Ex. About 170 years after the Sacrifice of the LORD Jesus, there was a woman of Carthage Africa named Perpetua. Perpetua was a young mother, 22 years of age from a wealthy family. She was also a convert to Christianity in a time of great persecution. She was arrested and given a hearing before the governor.
(From her diary) “One day while we were eating breakfast we were suddenly hurried off for a hearing. We arrived at the forum, and straight away the story went about the neighborhood near the forum and a huge crowd gathered. We walked up to the prisoner's dock. All the others when questioned admitted their guilt. Then, when it came my turn, my father appeared with my son, dragged me from the step, and said: 'Perform the sacrifice--have pity on your baby!' Hilarianus the governor, who had received his judicial powers as the successor of the late proconsul Minucius Timinianus, said to me: 'Have pity on your father's grey head; have pity on your infant son. Offer the sacrifice for the welfare of the emperors.' 'I will not', I retorted. 3 'Are you a Christian?' said Hilarianus. And I said: 'Yes, I am.'” She then (and the others with her) were condemned to the beasts. (In other words, they were to be placed into the arena to face various predatory animals)
If you were to continue reading her diary, it tells of a vision to which she describes as showing her that the beasts were not the enemy that she was facing, but rather the Devil Himself.
After some time, the day of her sacrifice arrives. on March 8, 205, she and another young mother named Felicitas were run down by a bull. As the story goes, we’re told: First the bull tossed Perpetua and she fell on her back. Then sitting up she pulled down the tunic that was ripped along the side so that it covered her thighs, thinking more of her modesty than of her pain. Next she asked for a pin to fasten her untidy hair: for it was not right that a martyr should die with her hair in disorder, lest she might seem to be mourning in her hour of triumph. Ultimately, the animal didn’t kill them, they would give their lives by an executioners sword.
This is but one example of the countless souls who’s faith chose to endure Suffering in this life. But they chose the Endure Suffering in this life because they considered the Next life Greater!
Considering the Next Life Greater
They knew that this life to which we value so greatly was NOTHING compared to the one to come! They knew that this life, no matter how many years you get - whether 102 or 22 is but TEMPORARY, BUT THE ONE TO COME IS ETERNAL! They understood - just like: Stephen, Paul, Peter, Andrew, James, Ridley & Lattimer, William Tyndale - this life - whether 102 or 22 years are worthless if it’s not sanctified unto the LORD who gave it to you!
Church, I know that walking by faith is never easy. I know that.
But True Faith will stay the course.
It will continue when Hope fails.
It moves forward in the face of fear
It will soldier on when doubts arise.
Faith Will Stay the Course.
Faith is Willing to Stay the Course - that being said, Faith is Willing to Sacrifice

III. Faith is Willing to Sacrifice (v36-37)

Faith will put God before Family (Mat. 10:34-39)
As in the biography of Perpetua, she had a father that loved her and (though I didn’t read it) he was so distraught by her conversion, he’d begged her time & again to recant - but she wouldn’t. She had a husband and baby that she had to leave behind. That’s Sacrifice!
Jesus said in Mat. 10:34-39 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
As we had mentioned last week in examining Jephthah,
These are certainly hard sayings, but it could be that at some point in your life you’re going to have to choose between being faithful to your God or to your family.
(Ill.) I’ve heard testimony on multiple occasions over the last handful of years that goes something like this: ‘I believed that Homosexuality was a sin - until my child told me they were gay’. Then all of a sudden, they have an epiphany that God is somehow ok with what He called an abomination.
Faith will put God before Family.
Faith will put God before Flesh (Act. 7:54-60)
We think of Stephen: After preaching truth unto those of the synagogue, the Bible gives us the reaction: Act 7:54-60 “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
When they first pounced on him, Stephen wasn’t crying ‘Get off, you’re hurting me!’ - he cried out ‘Looky there, I see Jesus!’
Stephen’s Faith put God before his flesh - yes, he died for his faith, but let me ask you this - IS YOUR FAITH NOT WORTH DYING FOR? What IS worth dying for? Your family? IF YOU WOULD DIE FOR YOUR FAMILY BUT NOT FOR YOUR FAITH, YOU’RE NOT WORTHY OF JESUS!
Church, we must for the furtherance of the faith put our flesh into subjection! We must commit to being ‘crucified with Christ’ - it’s only then when we’ll truly live!
Faith will put God before Flesh
Faith will put God before Freedom (Act. 16:24-28)
We notice Paul & Silas in Act. 16:24-28 “Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.”
Paul & Silas were freed physically, but they relinquished their freedom! Some will wonder ‘Why in the world would they do that?’ - the answer is easy; there was a Jailor that needed Jesus!
Faith will put God before Freedom! What I mean by that, is that we need to adopt the Committal of Christ when He was in the garden when He prayed ‘Not MY Will, but THINE be done’! We need to forsake our free will to choose OUR way and be prisoners of the Gospel for Christ’s Sake!
WHY? Because there’s people that need Jesus! And the only way they’re going to know the transforming power of this great God that we serve is if we put our Faith before our Freedom!
Faith will Show Regardless of Circumstance, #2 - Faith will Stay the Course, #3 Faith is Willing to Sacrifice

IV. Faith will Separate from the World (v38)

Faith Can Be a Place of Isolation (…deserts…)
Faith will separate you from the world - and it can feel like a very desert place at times
Out of the multitude bowing in Babylon - only Shadrach, Meshach & Abednigo stood for the LORD
Out of the 12 spies, only Caleb & Joshua gave the good report
Out of the 12 apostles - only Peter got out of the boat
Moses was the only one at the top of Mt. Sinai
Faith can be a place of isolation. It can be a lonely place. Not everyone here will choose to exercise their faith in any type of meaningful manner, WHY? BECAUSE FAITH WILL SEPARATE YOU FROM THE WORLD. But I would like to point out something to you: In all those instances of faith, from the wilderness to Canaan’s Land to Babylon, those men were not alone - for the LORD was there every time!
Faith can be a Place of Isolation
Faith Can Be a Place of Exaltation (…mountains; 2Ti. 4:7-8)
When I typically think of mountains, I don’t see them as obstacles to overcome, I see them as victories that have been won! When I think of mountains, I think of mountaintops!
What I’m saying is that Faith will Separate you from the World - from everyone else in the sense that the greater you demonstrate your faith the greater your exaltation will be! Whether it be from the LORD Standing on the right hand of the Father when you’re headed home or within your own heart as Paul declaring 2Ti. 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Few experience what it’s like to walk through the fire with the Angel of the LORD
Faith can bring you to a place where few dare to trod
Faith Can Be a Place of Protection (…dens & caves; Psa. 27:5; Dan. 6:20-22)
My initial thought when considering this was Psa. 27:5 “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: In the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.”
But as I meditated on it, I thought of another den that was a place of protection.
I’m sure you know the story found in Daniel 6; where wicked men conspired against Daniel. They got the king to sign a decree that stated no one could worship anything except the king himself for 30 days… then Daniel placed his faith in the LORD and prayed anyway! The king didn’t want to put Daniel in the Lions Den, but because of the oath he had to. Well the next morning the king rushed down to check on Daniel and we find: Dan. 6:20-22 “And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.”
Faith can be a Place of Protection. Yet faith will separate you from the world, for few know what it’s like to be present when God shuts the mouths of the Lions.
Faith will Show Regardless of Circumstance, #2 - Faith will Stay the Course, #3 Faith is Willing to Sacrifice; #4 Faith will Separate from the World


Faith Sows…?
Faith Spans the Gap - from the impossible to the possible
Faith Submits to God’s Will
Faith is Willing to Sacrifice
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