THE NEW TESTAMENT
Epistle to Hebrews
Chapter 11 - part one
THE GREAT FAITH CHAPTER
Someone once said:
* Faith is like muscle which grows stronger and stronger with
use, rather than rubber, which weakens when it is stretched.
J.O.Freaser, missionary to China
* Faith is the Samsonian lock of the Christian; cut it off,
and you may put out his eyes - and he can do nothing. -
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
* Not a great faith we need, but faith in a great God. -
* Little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but great faith
will bring heaven to your soul. - Anonymous
Definitions of Faith
* The art of holding on to things your reason has once
accepted, in spite of your changing moods. - C.S.Lewis
* Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this
faith is to see what you believe. - St.Augustine
* Faith is voluntary anticipation. - Clement of Alexandria
Biblical Definition of Faith
* Believing there will be a fulfilment of those things told us
by the Lord - Luke 1:45
* Believing it will be just as we are told - Acts 27:25
* Not wavering at the promise of God, but being fully
convinced that what He has promised He is able to perform -
* Judging Him faithful who has promised - Hebrews 11:11
* The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen - Hebrews 11:1
Spurgeon on Faith
Look at the faith of the master mariner! He looses his
cable, he streams away from the land. For days, weeks, even
months, he sees neither sail nor shore, yet on he goes day
and night without fear, till one morning he finds himself
exactly opposite the desired haven towards which he has been
How has he found his way over the trackless deep? He has
trusted his compass, his nautical almanac, his glasses, and
the heavenly bodies; and obeying their guidance, without
sighting land, he has steered so accurately that he has not
changed a point to enter port.
It is a wonderful thing ... It is glorious to be so far out
on the ocean of Divine love, believing in God, and steering
for Heaven straight away, by the direction of the Word of
Why God Responds to Faith
A pastor describes a time when his daughter, age five, came
to him and asked for a dolls house. The pastor promptly nodded
and promised to build her one, then he went back to reading his
book. Soon he glanced out the study window and saw her arms
filled with dishes, toys, and dolls, making trip after trip until
she had a great pile of playthings in the yard. He asked his wife
what his little girl was doing. "Oh, you promised to build her a
doll house, and she believes you. She's just getting ready for
it." "You would have thought I'd been hit by a bomb," the pastor
later said, "I threw aside that book, raced to the lumber yard
for supplies, and quickly built that little girl a doll house.
Now, why did I respond? Because I wanted to? No. Because she
deserved it? No, Her daddy had given his word, and she believed
it and acted upon it. When I saw her faith, nothing could keep me
from carrying out my word."
Someone once said:
* Faithfulness to principle is only proved by faithfulness in
detail. - Francis Ridley Havergal
* My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, but
faithful. - Mother Teresa, to Senator Mark Hatfield who,
while touring her work in Calcutta, asked, "How can you bear
the load without being crushed by it?"
* Dependability: Fulfilling what I agreed to do even though it
requires unexpected sacrifices. (Proverbs 15:4) - Bill
* She Hath Done What She Could. - Inscription on the tombstone
of the blind hymnist Fanny J. Crossby
Old Faithful is not the largest geyser in Yellowstone
National Park, nor does it reach the greatest height. But it is
by far the most popular one. Why? It is regular and dependable,
hence its name, "Old Faithful."
Vance Havner on Faithfulness
God is faithful, and He expects His people to be faithful.
God's Word speaks of faithful servants, faithful in a few
things, faithful in the least, faithful in the Lord,
faithful ministers. And all points up that day when He will
say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." ..... The
only service that counts is faithful service. True faith
shows up in faithfulness. Not everyone can sing or preach,
but all can be faithful.
The Influence of a Very Average Life
In her little book, "Kept for the Master's Use" -
hymn-writer Frances Ridley havergal says:
Of ourselves we may have but little weight, no particular
talents or position or anything else to put into the scale,
but let us remember again and again God has shown that the
influence of a very average life, when once really
consecrated to Him, may outweigh that of almost any number
of merely professing Christians. Such lives are like
Gideon's three hundred, carrying not even the normal weapons
of war, but only trumpets and lamps and empty pitchers, by
whom the Lord wrought great deliverance, while He did not
use the other at all. For He hath chosen the weak things of
the world to confound the things that are mighty.
Two frogs fell into a tub of cream. The one looked at the
high sides of the tub which were too difficult to crawl over and
said, "It is hopeless." So he resigned himself to death, relaxed,
and sank to the bottom. The other one determined to keep swimming
as long as he could. "Something might happen," he said. And it
did. He kept kicking and churning, and finally he found himself
on a solid platform of butter and jumped to safety.
MORE QUOTES ON FAITH
Faith like Job's cannot be shaken because it is the result of
having been shaken - Abraham Heschel
What else will do EXCEPT faith in such a cynical, corrupt time?
When the country goes temporarily to the dogs, cats must learn to
be circumspect, walk on fences, sleep in trees, and have faith
that all this woofing is not the last word - Garrison Keillor
A weak faith is weakened by predicaments and catastrophes whereas
a strong faith is strengthened by them - Victor Frankl
Faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in
reverse - Philip Yancey
That you are sitting before me in this church is a fact. That I
am standing and speaking to you from this pulpit is a fact. But
it is only faith that makes me believe anyone is listening -
True faith goes into operation when there are no answers -
Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no
glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins
where man's power ends - George Muller
Hope is hearing the melody of the future. Faith is to dance to it
- Ruben Alves
I prayed for faith, and thought that some day faith would come
down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to
come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, "Now faith
cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." I had closed
my Bible, and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible, and began
to study, and faith has been growing ever since - D.L. Moody
FROM CHARLES SWINDOLL'S BOOK "ULTIMATE BOOK OF ILLUSTRATIONS AND
Your FAITH ought to get you in trouble at times. If everybody
thinks you are nuts, you may be. It's OK if some think you are.
You're probably in trouble if no one thinks you are.
TRADITION is the living faith of those now dead. Traditionalism
is the dead faith of those still living - Jaroslav Pelikan
FAITH is speaking truth in love even at the cost of position of
relationship - Palela Reeve
What you gonna do when the river overflows?
I'm gonna sit on the porch and watch her go.
What you gonna do when the hogs all drown?
I'm gonna wish I lived on higher ground.
What you gonna do when the cow floats away?
I'm gonna throw in after her a bale of hay.
What you gonna do with the water in the room?
I'm gonna sweep her out with a sedge-straw broom.
What you gonna do when the cabin leaves?
I'm gonna climb on the roof and straddle the eaves.
What you gonna do when your hold gives way?
I'm gonna say, "Howdy, Lord! It's judgment day."
Ben Patterson (Waiting)
I take the above as an illustration of DEAD faith (Keith Hunt)
If I Had Only Known You, Lord,
I crawled across the barrenness to You
with my empty cup, uncertain in asking,
any small drop of refreshment.
If only I had known You better
I'd have come RUNNING with a BUCKET.
Nancy Spiegelberg and Dorothy Purdy (Fanfare:
A Celebration of Belief)
This last poem is an illustration of HOW MUCH God wants to give
us, including a whole bucket full of real living faith (Keith
End quote from Swindoll's book
HEBREWS CHAPTER 11
We have pretty well covered verses 1-2 in the above quotes,
illustrations, examples, and poems.
It is reading the Word of God that we have faith that the
whole universe was created by the Word of God. Other passages in
the epistles of Paul tell us that it was the member of the
Godhead, who became Jesus the Christ, who created all things. All
that is seen and is not seen ( e.g.like angels most of the time)
in heaven and earth was created from NOTHING (see again
Even modern science says there was a beginning to the
universe. Science may have different opinions as to how it all
began, but today's science pretty well admits, the universe did
have a beginning (verse 3).
Abel was a righteous man. God gave witness to Abel being in
right standing with Him. Faith was in the life of Abel. His life
and offerings were acceptable to God. Not so with Cain, his life
and his offerings, did not have the faith of God in them. Hence
he was not accepted, nor were his outward signs of religion
towards God (verse 4).
Enoch had the faith in God and the faith from God. Enoch was
pleasing in God's sight. He was removed (translated - the Greek
word has nothing of itself to do with "going to heaven" per se).
Enoch was removed from the wicked world and taken to safety, so
he would not be killed by evil men.
Enoch was NOT taken to heaven. On this subject of Enoch,
Moses, and Elijah being in heaven, I have covered in a full in-
depth study on this Website. I refer the reader to that study.
Jesus, Paul wrote (Colossians 2:18) that Jesus has PREEMINENCE in
all things. Jesus was the very first human born from the dead
into the eternal glory of the Father. He was the first human to
ever gain IMMORTALITY in glory. It was not Enoch, it was not
Moses, it was not Elijah. It was Christ Jesus that was the FIRST
human to gain eternal life in resurrected glory. Jesus has indeed
preeminence in ALL THINGS.
You will notice that after listing all the people in verses
4 to 12, Paul clearly states, "These ALL DIED in faith, NOT
having received the promises, but having seen them a FAR OFF, and
were persuaded of them...."
FAITH is absolutely required for salvation. Without faith it
is impossible to please God, we are told in verse 6. Yes, we are
saved by grace THROUGH FAITH, as Paul was inspired to say in
Ephesians 2:8. We must have faith that God IS, and that Jesus
Christ is His Son, who came to earth as a human being, God with
us, who lived a perfect sinless life, and who died, shed His
blood on the cross, so our sins could be washed away, and we
could be justified, made righteous, with the Father. We must have
faith that this Jesus rose from the dead, was resurrected in
eternal glory, and ascended back to heaven to sit on the Father's
right hand as our day to day High Priest intercessor.
This faith we have will show itself in diligently seeking
our Eternal Father and His way of life that He wants us to live,
as laid out in His Word and sanctification through the Holy
Spirit (verse 6).
Chapter eleven to be continued