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  • Writer's pictureGreenhills Christian Fellowship Durham

Here’s Ptr. Luis’s message for this Sunday

More Reasons to Hold on to Faith

Part 14, Maintaining Your Faith Series, Hebrews 11

 

1. They made our faith a lot easier to understand.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

A.) The Old Testament believers’ experience with God enabled the New Testament to define faith for us.

• Faith cannot be purely based on observable facts and evidence but on the assurances of God.

• Faith cannot be tested in a laboratory but must be understood spiritually.

B.) The writer provided examples how faith works. See Hebrews 11:4-34.

• Physical eyesight reduces faith to the minimal understanding but the divinely touched human spirit heightens faith.

• Faith enabled them, to persevere over and under their circumstances.

• Faith helped them to succeed in their goals.

 

2. They helped us see the silver lining.

“36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted, and mistreated 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.”

 

A.) What they endured.

Torture v.35, ridicule v.36a, cruel flogging v.36b, imprisonment v.36c, stoning v.37a, being sawn in two v.37b, extreme poverty v. 37d-38. They were called heroes of faith, because in spite of great adversities, they held on to faith.

 

B.) Why they endured hardships.

They saw the invisible city of God.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.” Hebrews 11:13-16, NIV.

 

They saw the suffering Messiah from a distance.

“24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:24-27, NIV.

 

They saw the coming of their own resurrection.

35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.” Hebrews 11:35, NIV.

 

C.) What they received.

God’s earthly and temporary approval.  

“Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”  Hebrews 11:16, NIV.

God’s assurance of perfection.

40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:40, NIV.

• “To be made perfect” means to bring something to conclusion.

• The Old Testament Law and its practices all pointed to Jesus. The New Testament teachings also pointed to the same Messiah.

• Both groups were firmly persuaded by God’s promise of a Savior.

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