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What Faith Is

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What Faith Is

Pastor Keith Hassell

 

 

Foundation Scripture:            Hebrews 11:6

 

I.          What faith is NOT

            A.        Faith is not DENIAL (“I am not sick.  I am not divorced.  I am not lost.”)

B.         Faith is not NEGLECT (“I am living by faith.  I do not have to work.  I do not have to do anything.  God will take care of everything.”)

C.        Faith is not a LEGALISTIC FORMULA (“All I have to do is name it and claim it and it will be mine!”  “If I tell God He has to do something, then bless God, He has to do it!)

1.         Try live out your marriage promises by living it out based on demands and formulas!  Faith is based on relationship, not ritualistic formulas.

            D.        Faith is not a ticket to a BLISSFUL LIFE (Just read Hebrews 11!)

E.         Faith does not override FREE WILL (“I believe and confess that that good looking man will be my husband.”  “By faith I believe that John will give me $1,000.00.”)

F.         Faith is not HOPE

1.         Hope is different than faith (I Corinthians 13:1  “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three:  but the greatest of these is love.”

2.         Hope comes with knowledge of God’s promise

G.        Faith is not believing that God IS (that God exists and is everything)

1.         Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

            H.        Faith is not believing that God is ABLE

1.         Mark 9:23 (Boy healed of demonic illness)  “But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.  Jesus said to him, ‘If YOU CAN BELIEVE, all things are possible TO HIM WHO BELIEVES.”

2.         Illustration of the tight-rope-walker with wheelbarrow.

II.        Faith is NOW (Hebrews 11:1)

            A.        NOW faith is

            B.         Anything that points to the future or looks to the future is hope and not faith

            C.        If it is not NOW, it is not faith

III.       Faith IS (Hebrews 11:1)

            A.        It is not future or past

B.         Faith is TODAY (John 11:1-44)

1.         YESTERDAY Faith (verse 21-22):  “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

2.         TOMORROW Faith (verse 24):  “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

3.         TODAY Faith (verse 41):  “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God   

C.        Faith is not limited

1.         LIMITED Faith (verse 39):  “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

2.         UNLIMITED Faith (verse 40):  “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.”

            a.         Faith is directly related to seeing the glory of God

III.       Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED FOR (Hebrews 11:1)

A.        There are natural substances and there are spiritual substances.  Faith is a spiritual substance that can be detected and measured in heaven.

B.         Faith gives substance to our HOPE

C.        Hebrews 11:1  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

1.         New English Bible:  “And what is faith?  Faith gives assurance to our hopes, and makes us certain of realities we do not see.”

2.         Jordan Bible:  “Now faith is the turning of dreams into deeds; it is betting your life on the unseen realities.”

3.         Amplified:  “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things we hope for, being proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality---faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”

            D.        Faith is a title deed to what we have hoped for in our heart.

                        1.         Hope is trusting that one day I will own a new home

2.         Faith is having the title deed to a new home placed in your hand.  It is no longer “one of these days” but “I am the owner of a new home!”  Have you seen it?   No, but my proof is the title-deed.

3.         Faith is possessing the title deed to God’s promise in your heart and responding accordingly.

IV.       Faith is the EVIDENCE of things NOT SEEN (Hebrews 11:1)

            A.        Faith is the inner assurance we have of unseen spiritual realities

B.         Example:  We believe in the existence of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.  We have the evidence of bones and complete skeletons.  From this evidence we are assured of their reality although we have never actually seen a living Tyrannosaurus Rex.  But if a Tyrannosaurus Rex came crashing down our street in real life, we no longer need faith.  It is REALITY.

C.        Faith is only needed between HOPE and REALITY (or MANIFESTATION of the PROMISE)

D.        Abraham’s faith vs. Thomas’ Faith

            1.         John 20:24-29              Thomas’ Faith

a.         Verse 27 (Wuest):  “ . . . call a halt to your progressive state of unbelief, but become one who is believing.”

            2.         Romans 4:17-21           Abraham’s faith

V.        Response

A.        It is time to call a halt to our progressive state of unbelief and become one who is believing

B.         It is time to regain hope in God’s word

C.        It is time to let faith give substance to our hope

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