A House Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6
This is part one of a three-part study from my message entitled "A House Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6. I hope it will be a blessing to you and encourage you with your walk with Jesus our Lord. :0)
Here is the outline we are working from.
A House of Faith That Pleases God. Heb. 11: 1-6
I) The Description of Pleasing Faith, vs. 1
A) Faith is being confident in the things we hope for, 1a
B) Faith is being convinced of the things we cannot see, vs. 1b
II) The Demonstrations of Pleasing Faith, vs. 2-5
A) The commendation of the saints, vs. 2
B) The creation of the Universe, vs. 3
C) The contribution of Abel, vs. 4
D) The companionship of Enoch, vs. 5
III) The Demands of Pleasing Faith, vs. 6
A) We are to have faith that pleases, Vs. 6a
B) We are to have faith that presumes, vs. 6b
C) We are to have faith that pursues, vs. 6c
There is a well-known story concerning J.C. Penny, the founder of the modern-day retail stores named after him. Mr. Penny had a great compassion for the men and women who served in the ministry. Whenever he was traveling about, wherever he was on the Lord’s Day, he would go to the nearest local church.
One Sunday he was in a small country town and after the worship service, the pastor of the little underfunded church asked Mr. Penny for lunch at his home. Mr. Penny could see that the church was in desperate need of funds as it was in disarrayed of sorts. And it was obvious that the pastor’s family was operating on a not so well funded budget.
After eating their meal, the pastor and his well-known guest were fellow-shipping on the porch when Mr. Penny asked the preacher if he believed in biblical tithing. The minister sheepishly acknowledged so but ashamedly stated that he couldn’t afford to tithe on his limited income from the pastorate. Mr. Penny made an offer to the preacher that if he would begin tithing to the Lord and teach his congregation to do the same, that surely, the Lord would provide for their needs. A House Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6
Tithing! Oh No! That's all those preachers talk about, wanting my money!
Mr. Penny was so positive about tithing that he made a commitment that he, Mr. Penny would provide any necessary funds that the family would be lacking because of tithing their income. After enjoying the afternoon together, they parted ways. About six months later Mr. Penny checked in on the pastor to see how he was doing.
The pastor was hysterical with joy. He was amazed at the miraculous provision that God had supplied both to the church as well as to his family from both his practicing and preaching biblical tithing. After he hung up the phone with Mr. Penny, the pastor went from tears of joy to weeping crocodile tears of sorrow.
His wife asked what was wrong? After weeping tear drops of regret, the pastor told his wife that he was ashamed due to the lack of faith that he had. He told her, “I had the faith to believe Mr. Penny and take him at his word. But I did not have the faith to believe God and take Him at His Word!” He did not have pleasing faith or better yet, a faith that pleases Almighty God. His house of faith needed a complete makeover. Turn in your Bibles to the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews. Hebrews, chapter eleven, where we are going to answer the question of what kind of faith pleases our heavenly Father. Let’s read the text.
“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. 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. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 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.”1
I) The Description of Pleasing Faith, vs. 1
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews has been called the great faith chapter of the Bible. It is the Cuda gra of the teachings on faith that pleases Almighty God. Hebrews chapter eleven is the Delmonico of the steaks of faith. It is the gold standard amongst the metals of believing faith. A House of Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6
Hebrews chapter eleven could also be considered the foundation for your house and my house of faith. It begins and ends with great teachings about the faith that pleases our Jehovah God and Lord and Savior-Jesus Christ.
Faith is the foundation of the house, the main floor and the upstairs of our house of faith. Our house of faith begins and culminates with the materials of faith that pleases Almighty God. We will be studying the first six verses for our session today. The author of the book, whom many believe to be the Apostle Paul, begins the chapter with a description or a glimpse of what pleasing faith is.
In verse one he states: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (vs. 1).
Just what is faith? What does the word “faith” mean? J. Oswald Chambers stated, “Faith is never defined; it is described, as in Hebrews XI. 1, but never defined.” That great Southern Baptist theologian and biblical scholar Hershel Hobbs states this about the word faith: “The English word faith is the Greek word pistis, which is commonly used in the New Testament. It means “conviction of the truth of anything, generally with the included idea of trust.” Therefore, the degree of faith can vary from believer to believer. Faith can be weak, possessed in differing measures; and faith can grow, being strengthened as it is tested. Faith in general requires an object. For some, the object of faith is self, plans, relationships, resources, or even faith itself. The object of biblical faith is the Lord. Other objects of faith will fail; the Lord never fails. Therefore, faith in God is trusting a certainty, not just a possibility or a wish.” 2
The word faith is found twenty-four different times alone in Hebrews, chapter eleven. The verb form of the word faith or pistis is pisteuo which is translated “to believe”. It is found 241 times in the New Testament and 81 times in the Septuagint which is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew language of the Old Testament. One of the meanings of pisteuo, the verb “to believe”, is to totally trust oneself to an entity or deity with complete and assuring confidence. A House Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6
Here in Hebrews eleven and verse one, in the foundation of our house of faith, we see two different aspects of the writer’s description of the kind of faith that pleases God. The first is being confident of the things we hope for. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for....” The word the writer used for substance is “hü-po'-stä-sēs”. 3
The word means “confidence, firm trust, assurance.” The same word is used in 2Cor. 9: 4 where Paul used it in referring to “confident boasting”.
“This word is from a compound Greek word hypostasis (hupo, “under;” histemi, “standing”). A foundation under a standing structure. In the ancient world, it referred to anything that stood under something else, such as a foundation supporting a building or structure, a contract supporting a business transaction, or even a promise undergirding a personal commitment. Other translations render it “assurance” (NASB, ESV), “confidence” (NIV, NLT), and “reality” (HCSB)”, Hershel Hobbs.
Substance or the reality of things hoped for; we have the assurance of things hoped for and the confidence of the things we have hoped for.
Abram, whose new name by God became Abraham, hoped for children from an old woman named Sari who was barren. He had faith’s confidence of things hoped for.
He left his family, his farm and his fatherlands to go to a place unseen to him. He hoped for a land that was unseen, yet promised to him. A land flowing with milk and honey. He hoped for a family. He did this by faith. Can you imagine the fun people had when they found out that Abraham, whose name means father of many, didn’t have any children? Think about his patience and persistence believing God for His promises to him.
Abraham agreed with the Psalmist who declared, “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You” (Ps. 39: 7). What do you hope for? What has God promised to you and you have the confidence of them, even though they are not presently realistic?
What do you hope for our church? What about your small group? What about the lost all around you? Do you hope for their salvation? Do you hope to see folks walk these aisles and give their hand to Sam and their heart to the Savior? What do you hope for concerning this church? The first aspect of the description of faith is the confidence of things hoped for. A House of Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6
The second aspect of the descriptive foundation of faith found in verse one is that of faith is being convinced of things we cannot see. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (vs. 1, emphasis mine). The evidence or the conviction, the certainty or the proof of things we cannot see.
Convinced of those things in which we cannot see. I am reminded that just because something is not visible to the eyes of our understanding does not mean that they do not exist. I am deeply convinced this way about angels.
We know from the writings of God’s Word that angels do in fact exist. We can’t see them, well, most of us anyways :0). We can’t see them with our empirical senses, but we know that they are all around us. Many doubters argue the existence of these beautiful warriors of the LORD, of the armies of heaven. The naysayers believe that the angels, both good and bad, are not a reality because of their stealth ministry and service to God’s people on behalf of His plan and purpose.
I believe this is one of if not the greatest deception that satan has placed over the Church of God. The holy angels, the host of heaven are one of the greatest assets that the LORD has given to His children and yet most believer’s think of them once a year as part of the Christmas story. Listen to me as I YELL this from the tips of my fingers as they land on the keyboard: Angels, both holy and unholy are as real as anything else with the kingdom of God!
My answer to these doubters is quite simple: bacteria. There are millions and millions of various living entities called bacteria that are all around us, on our clothing and skin and inside our bodies. Keep in mind that we can’t see them with the naked eye, but we know from the magnificent work of biologists that these miniscule little germs do in fact exist!
Please remember something very foundational to life: just because something or some “things” are invisible to our natural and physical eyes, does not mean that they are not real and that they don’t exist! There are many things that we understand that they exist but we can’t see them.
Examples would be:
- the wind
- the past or the future
- communication waves (TV, radio, cellular)
We can’t see any of these things because they are invisible, yet we know they exist! No one denies the existence of any of these, and yet, we can’t physically see them. Faith is like that. Faith believes what God says! Faith believes in the unseen! Faith believes “thus saith the LORD.” A House Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6
Pleasing faith to Almighty God believes in things not seen! J. Oswald Chambers said “Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.”
Noah had this kind of visible pleasing faith. The writer points this out a few verses down in this chapter. Verse seven, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (emphasis mine). Noah utilized a faith that pleased God! He built an ark without ever witnessing a flood. He didn’t even know what it looked like. Noah’s faith pleased God. Will our faith believe God for great things?
Think about the things that can happen in this church? Not the churches down the street. THIS Church, Harbor Baptist Church! The conviction of things not seen!
The Apostle Paul knew this. He stated, ““For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Ro. 8: 24-25). We hope, we have the conviction, we have the faith for things yet unseen. Folks, can we muster enough faith amongst us to believe God? To believe God for GREAT things to happen in this church? A House of Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6
Faith is being confident in the things we hope for and is being convinced of the things we cannot see: the two aspects of the writer’s description of faith that pleases God. The two main materials in the foundation of our house of faith. Now we are going to see what he has to say about the demonstrations of faith in verses two through five. He gives us four demonstrations or examples of the kind of faith that please God!
This has been part one of a series of studies from Hebrews 11:1-6 from my message entitled “A House of Faith That Pleases God.” Please check out my new book entitled, “Letters of Divine Revelation from an Old Man in Prison”. The book is available from Amazon in paperback and in an E-Book form from Amazon Kindle. It is a commentary on the seven churches from chapters two and three from the book of Revelation. I hope you find it inspiring and helpful with your walk with Jesus.
Let’s go to church this Sunday. These are certainly troubling and uncertain times that we live in. From the ever growing national debt, to corrupt, lying, greedy politicians, extremist’s terrorists, slipping moralities to God only knows what will be next.
I never in my wildest dreams thought there would be a national debate over sex gender and bathrooms! Whoever came up with the term “gender fluidity”? I don’t remember a time when people had such a low opinion and dismal outlook about our country and where it is headed. Very few people that we come in contact with on a daily basis have a very positive attitude.
Both born from above and the un-regenerate, very few! This great nation of ours is on a speeding train of moral declination. The train is on a track to degradation and she is picking up steam: fast! Ole Uncle Sam needs a revival. From the president and his administration in the White house right down to the kid behind the counter at Walmart. Our country needs a fresh awakening from the Holy Spirit of God. America needs an outpouring of the Holy Ghost as was experienced by the first century Church.
Come join our pastor, our church and me in praying for revival. Won’t you join me today and start by carrying ourselves and our loved ones to church. I need church, you need church, your family needs the church. All God’s people need the Church! If you are in the Clay county area of North Florida come worship with us at Harbor Baptist church located on the corner of Clay Street (1120) & US Hwy 17, Fleming Island, FL. We are located just to the right of Corky Bell’s Seafood restaurant. Morning worship is at 10:30 and we meet Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.
Better yet, come join our group for Bible study with the adults. I lead the adult class entitled: “Harbor Haven, for pairs and spares”. (For couples and singles) We meet @ 9:14 in the main room of the education building. This is the building located right next to the church. We would love for you to come and fellowship with us around the Word of God. And feel free to bring a guest. Whether you attend the worship service or choose not to, we hope to see you for Bible study!
We pride ourselves with being a smaller church with the big difference. I don’t believe you will find another fellowship of believers who have a greater love for God and as a result of His love for us, we have love for one another. You’ll find me and my family there, come visit, both you and our church will be glad that you did!
I am happy to speak on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ in the North Florida area. I am a conservative and evangelical teacher whose doctrinal beliefs align with those of the Southern Baptist Convention. My doctrinal views are listed in the menu section of this site. If your pastor is sick, has a sudden emergency or needs a vacation, I am happy to fill in for him. You can contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A House Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6