The Life Of Faith
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
“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.”
Preliminary reading: Numbers 13-14; Psalm 95; Hebrews 11
- If we are to please God, have a successful life, and secure our eternal inheritance, we must live by faith.
- The Christian life is a life of faith – and this faith is much more than mere belief, but rather confident action.
- Faith knows only one direction – forward. If you backslide or wander from truth and joy, it is a lack of faith.
- Faith is key to enjoying today’s worship, a happy marriage, success on the job, and facing death confidently.
- This message is incredibly basic and simple, but the fact is that most Christians have wavering faith. Shame!
- If the pastor has to preach an elementary sermon as to a nursery, it is because most Christians are like babies.
- If faith comes by hearing, and hearing by preaching the word of God, then preaching about faith should work!
- The O.T. is not primarily for children, but for adults to build faith by examples (Romans 15:4; I Cor 10:1-11).
- Jesus once asked, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8.) Yes! Us!
- Faith is not something we need to learn: it is something we need to exercise. Today is to set our resolve!
- Afflictions and trials are coming. Are you ready for them? Strong faith will not faint in adversity (Pr 24:10).
- If church members had strong faith, their pastor’s work would be made easier and he could lead them higher.
- Strong faith (a) keeps God’s commandments, (b) believes every word of God, and (c) trusts His promises.
What is Faith?
- Faith is strong confidence in the existence and precepts and promises of God (Hebrews 11:1,3,6).
- Faith believes God so strongly that things hoped for become real and the invisible becomes seen!
- Faith trusts the revelation of God so absolutely that it understands the creation of the universe!
- Faith goes to God with supreme confidence in His existence and reward of diligent obedience!
- See that faith is for (a) coming to God, (b) the way to seek God, and (c) confidence of reward.
- Abraham had great faith – he confidently believed promises seeming impossible (Rom 4:17-21).
- Peter had little faith – he became frightened quickly when he saw the storm (Matthew 14:28-31).
- True faith is much more than bare belief, for it results in action (Gal 5:6; I Thes 1:3; James 2:14-26).
- God has called us to a life of active obedience by faith, not bare belief (Eccl 12:13; Eph 2:10).
- Boaz blessed Ruth for noble deeds and promised God’s reward, all for her faith (Ruth 2:11-12).
- All the persons in Hebrews 11 are listed for some great action brought out because of their faith.
- Faith believes every word of God without question or compromise (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20; I Tim 6:20).
- We like the saying, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it,” but the middle clause is worthless.
- Not only should we happily preach and defend every word, we must believe and obey each one!
- Faith believes the Bible of (a) what He has done, (b) what we should do, and (c) what He will do.
Faith is Important
- Faith pleases God, and you cannot please God without faith: consider Enoch and faith (Heb 11:5-6).
- All the heroes and heroines of faith pleased God and received a good report by faith (Heb 11:2,39).
- Love is greater than faith, for the word of God declares it (I Cor 13:13). But faith is the foundation!
- We live and walk by faith, not sight (II Cor 4:18; 5:7). Therefore, we act different than any others.
Faith Illustrated and Applied
- The Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 was given to show us how the elders of Israel were great by faith.
- Abel rejected the peer pressure of his older brother and obeyed God’s word in worship (Heb 11:4).
- Do you allow the pressure of others, especially family, to compromise your faith? Get strong!
- The true worship of God, the more excellent way, is found by faith in God, not man’s approval.
- Enoch pleased God by faith so much that God simply took him straight to heaven (Heb 11:5).
- Are you more concerned about pleasing God, or pleasing a spouse, friends, coworkers, or self?
- There is only one way to know you are pleasing God, by obeying God’s precepts in the Bible.
- Noah chose to believe a severe warning and reject popular opinion to save his family (Heb 11:7).
- Can you read the warning about ignoring your child and choose God’s wisdom (Prov 29:15)?
- We live in the perilous times of the last days, and you should save your family (II Tim 3:1 – 4:5).
- Does your faith condemn the world and its things to be an heir of heaven (Gal 6:14; James 4:4)?
- Abraham was willing to end his peaceful life and follow God to some unknown place (Heb 11:8).
- There are commandments that we must trust by faith and do them without knowing the end.
- When a wife fully submits to her husband, she does not know for sure where it will take her.
- Sarah trusted God, after a momentary lapse in faith, that He could do the impossible (Heb 11:11).
- You may have no hope in your marriage, in a child, or in something else. But God is most able!
- In spite of a weak faith at times, if you repent and trust Him wholly, He can and will reward you!
- Abraham and his family were sojourners in Canaan without receiving the promises (Heb 11:13).
- How long are you willing to wait? Do you get impatient when God does not answer right away?
- He will wait a long time to answer some prayers to build our faith. Other answers are in heaven!
- Abraham was willing to trust God even in a matter that he thought was against His will (Heb 11:17).
- God had promised Isaac to be Abraham’s promised seed, but Abraham was willing to kill him.
- You might be confident that some choice you made was God’s will. Can you obey a new call?
- Moses knew that God’s reward in this life and the next exceeded anything in Egypt (Heb 11:24-26).
- Can you forsake the things of the world and exalt the spiritual things of God and His people?
- Moses valued affliction over pleasure and reproach over treasures, for he believed God’s reward.
- Faith cannot be bought! If you have true faith in God, then you will lose your life to find it!
- Moses defied the King of Egypt and led a helpless band of saints into the wilderness (Heb 11:27).
- Are you willing to face great opposition without worrying about consequences to please God?
- It requires you to be like Moses and see Him Who is invisible, for there will not be human help.
- Moses kept the first Passover, which was a new and strange act of worship in total faith (Heb 11:28).
- Are you so strong in diligently seeking God that you will keep His ordinances without question?
- Is your faith so committed to the words of God that you will do the strange things it may require?
- Israel was willing to trust God’s open door through the very frightening Red Sea (Heb 11:29).
- God may open a door for you in an area of your life. Are you willing to go through a fearful one?
- You may face a situation you have never seen or heard of before, but faith will begin walking!
- Israel believed God’s words to march around Jericho without seeing or understanding (Heb 11:30).
- There will surely be times when you do not know what to do but to pray and trust the great God.
- When you pray once, twice, thrice, and nothing happens, do you have faith that He will answer?
- Rahab was not discouraged or unbelieving because she had spent her life as a prostitute (Heb 11:31).
- Your past sins do not mean anything, if you repent of them and come to God by faith in Christ.
- You may know that your sins are equal to or worse than reprobates around you. Believe anyway!
- Gideon was willing to face numberless Midianites even with a greatly reduced army (Heb 11:32).
- In order to build your faith, God may take away from you the things in which you were trusting.
- Remember Jacob wrestling with God; his thigh went out of joint first, and things looked bleak.
- Can you crush personal choices and ease, like Daniel, to stand by faith on God’s word (Dan 1:8)?
- The easy way out in marriage is to do the least required, but faith calls on you to obey the Bible.
- If you think you will never get ahead professionally being godly, then you need to read the Bible.
- The twelve spies give us a great example of how most are faithless and few faithful (Num 13-14).
- The nation had no faith in God in spite of many miracles, so they desired spies (Deut 1:22-23).
- When confronted with a fearful and unwilling church, ten compromised and two stayed faithful.
- Most got emotional, blamed Moses, lied about Egypt, preferred dying, and wanted a new leader.
- The four leaders exhorted them to faith in God, but the crazy crowd wanted to stone them.
- The Lord threatened to destroy them all; Moses interceded; God promised glory in judgment.
- God killed the faithless spies, swore to kill the rest, and chose to let them wander for forty years.
- The rebels thought they could remedy it by a little change, but without God they were beaten.
- Caleb and Joshua defied the other spies and went against the entire nation of fearful unbelievers.
- David wrote about it, and Paul and Stephen used it against the Jews (Ps 95; Acts 7,13; Heb 3-4).
- Faith rejects sin and temptation, will only do things God’s way, and fully believes every promise of Scripture.
- Faith will be tried, because the blessed God (a) wants to see it in action and (b) make it perfect by adversity.
- Are you committed against personal preferences, opposition, feelings, tradition, difficulties, the unknown, fear, questions, popular opinion, slothfulness, and lethargy to be a diligent seeker of the Lord Jesus Christ?
- Are you committed to diligently seeking the Lord and obeying Him, even if all hell breaks loose in your life?
- A good report, and blessings now and in eternity, are lay hold of by believing and obeying God fully! Do it!
- If you lack faith this morning, then it should be your chief concern to go to God asking for more (Luke 17:5).
For further study:
- The sermon outline, Enduring Affliction, which shows the role and duty of faith in troubles.
- The sermon outline, Ass’s Heads and Dove’s Dung, uses Bible history to build faith.
- The sermon outline, Two Spies, which focuses on the events of Numbers 13-14.
- The sermon outline, Faith or Feelings, teaching how to make decisions by faith.