Faithlife Sermons

By Faith We Understand

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Text - Hebrews 11.3
Hebrews 11:3 NKJV
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Title - By Faith We Understand


Man claims that faith and reason are incompatible
faith is said to be blind to reason; reason does not require faith
faith assumes truth; reason assumes that truth needs evidence
Why the misunderstanding?
people assume all beliefs (of different religions) are intended to be true
people assume the Christian faith is not based on hard evidence
the prophets heard from God
the apostles were eyewitnesses of Christ
The limits of reason or logic
reason can only understand the material world
reason cannot understand the supernatural
hence the “fool says there is no God”
Hebrews 11:1–2 NKJV
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 testimony.
faith is the basis, foundation, guarantee (substance) of the things Christians hope for (ex. coming of Christ)
faith is the conviction by which we agree to the validity (evidence) of things not seen
ex - things hoped for
“not seen” does not mean not real, but beyond material, supernatural
ex - God, heaven, hell

The Main Idea

Where reason fails, faith steps in
Faith in God and His word opens to us the opportunity to know and understanding things beyond human reason or logic

Sermon Points

Reason/Logic has its limit

Reason or logic can only understand the material world
1 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV
11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
man has the faculty to know and understand his world
the human mind cannot possibly know the things of God (divne, supernatural)
Reason/Logic is a necessary precedent to faith
John 3:9–12 NKJV
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
Jesus used the concept of birth to explain the kingdom of God
Nicodemus cannot understand the concept of birth
Example 1 - the fool
Psalm 14:1 NKJV
1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.
“fool” - Heb nabal, one who lacks good judgment, not reasonable, illogical
to say that there is no God is plain foolishness because human reason cannot know what beyond the material world.
Example 2 - Naaman
2 Kings 5:14–15 NKJV
14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
Naaman received a miracle according to the word of the prophet of God
he was healed of leprosy after he dipped 7 times in the river of Jordan
he believed and obeyed a simple instruction - he knew the true God
Example 3 - the disciples
John 6:68–69 NKJV
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
they have come to believe - by partiipating in His works
they have come to know - their understanding was established based on what they heard, saw and experienced
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God
Romans 10:17 NKJV
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
the same logic can be applied to secular knowledge - one has to believe the writings or thoughts of past intellectuals in order to gain knowledge in the present

Faith precedes understanding

Jesus rebukes the attitude of seeing is believing
John 20:26–29 NKJV
26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
to see is to believe is a foolish attitude
John 1:50–51 NKJV
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Jesus encourages those who believe in Him
John 8:30–32 NKJV
30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
to believe is to abide (continue, stay)
believing leads to knowing the truth - supernatural truth

Faith leads to understanding of God’s purpose

Hebrews 11:3 NKJV
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
worlds - ages
framed - Grk. katartizo, furnished and prepared for use or purpose, equipped, prepared
We understand that God has allowed things to happen in human history to serve His purpose
We understand that certain events in history were declared (spoken) and determined by God
We understand that the material world are made to exist by or with the aid of the invisibile world (supernatural)
Human reason can only understand HOW the material world works
Athiest cannot find meaning and purpose to life and the universe - everything is random and chance.
but Faith helps us understand WHY things are they way they are!
we understand why God allowed things to happen the way they did
we understand how the material world serves a purpose in the supernatural world
Because we believe, God shows us that -
nothing is random or by chance
even the pain, struggle, problem, becomes beneficial
Romans 8:28 NKJV
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
we know - the believers know
all things -everything included
work together - synergeo, contributes,
for our good
Romans 8:29–30 NKJV
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
God’s purpose has been established in His “forknowledge” of His elect
God’s purpose is the glorification of His elect
Romans 9:22–24 NKJV
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
some are prepared for destruction (this is not predestination)
some are prepared for glory! (THAT IS PREDESTINATION)


The best way to confront our present problems is -
NOT by reason - logical assessment of the present situations
BUT by faith - go back to God’s Word and ask for wisdom
Jeremiah 9:23–24 NKJV
23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
Sovereign over us (chorus)
What a faithful God! (chorus)
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