C'mon what can be said about Hebrews 11? It is on the top 5 most important chapters in the Bible (at least in my book). It's probably one of the topmost preached about as well. Needless to say, it is vital to our Christian walk.
So, if you don't know what faith is, you have come to the right place. Which brings up an interesting point!!
Do you notice the subheading of this chapter (found in some, not all, King James publishings) and that is "What faith is." Pretty self-explanatory, right? I mean that is exactly what this chapter is about. So, the 1st verse explains what faith is BUT the remaining verses in this chapter share what great men and women did by faith.
Have you ever tried to explain what faith is and the definition you gave to someone didn't quite cut it? I have always felt I could not fully articulate the true beauty and awesomeness of faith.
What I should have done, is learned from this chapter. One of the best ways to explain what faith is, is to share stories, exploits, miracles that were all accomplished by faith! What a fantastic and faith-provoking way to explain what faith is! My testimony and all the miracles that happened in my life happened BY FAITH, so why not share them?
Next time I'm asked what faith is, let me remember my journey, my story, my mountains, my valleys, my trials, my lion's dens, my furnaces and then, Lord willing, the message of faith will be delivered!
What is faith to you?
What faith is
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
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.
7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
How many times in our life have we looked at a circumstance, or something someone did or something that was said and responded "that doesn't make a lick of sense"! Pretty easy to do because we are LOGICAL. There is NOTHING logical about what these great patriarchs of faith ACTUALLY did or were expected to do. They just did it ANYWAY because they firmly believed God would handle it.
All we are and all we have been through in our lives makes us what we are today... a living testimony like what Bro Garrett mentioned, the sum of what God has done with us and for us through faith."We are the only Bible some people will ever read".
Thank you brother Garrett I would have to say Faith is coming to Colorado and knowing God is in it everyday. Sis Cheri, Sis Darla, Sis Betty, Sis Carol, Sis Cindy, Sis Jenny L, Sis Lauren and so many more Brothers and Sisters! Faith is so much hope!
And He is the author and finisher of our faith! Thank you Jesus that we can depend on you for everything and you are so very Faithful!!! ???
Wow! What a great insight into explaining faith. It is a difficult word to sum up with just a simple definition! Thanks Bro. Garrett!