A House Faith That Pleases God | Hebrews 11: 1-6 Part 2
This is part two 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) Let's pick up where we left off last time.
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
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!
II) The Demonstrations of Pleasing Faith, vs. 2-5
Let’s climb the stairs to the main floor where we will see firstly, the demonstration of the commendation of the saints. Verse two: “For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good testimony.”
Faith is both practical and beneficial. “For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” By it, by what? The means of or “though the medium of.” In this case, the medium is faith. The word for elders is presbuteros, used in the New Testament to refer to a person older in years, a person of rank, or to an official leadership role in the church (“bishops” or “pastors”). Others renderings are “men of old” (NASB), “the ancients” (NIV), or “our ancestors” (HCSB).
This is an obvious reference to the past patriarchs and prophets that demonstrated pleasing faith. Beginning in verse 4, the writer will look back in history to God’s faithful people in the Old Testament to provide illustrations of those who exercised or lived out faith as he has just described it. He uses several throughout this chapter.
Great men and women of faith’s past. Giants and heroes of pleasing faith. Images of great giants of the faith displayed on the honorable wall of faith for us to admire and to learn from.
Abel, vs. 4, offered a more excellent sacrifice.
Enoch, vs. 5, lived a life so pleasing to God that he was translated or transferred from this world to the next.
Noah, vs. 7, Prepared a massive ark without ever knowing what a flood looked like.
Abraham, vs. 8, followed God to an unknown country; believed God would provide a family even to the point of offering his promised son as a sacrifice. Here’s what Nehemiah prayed about Abraham. Nehemiah chapter nine in his prayer, he prayed, “You are the Lord God, Who chose Abram, And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, And gave him the name Abraham; 8 You found his heart faithful before You, And made a covenant with him To give the land of the Canaanites, The Hittites, the Amorites, The Perizzites, the Jebusites, And the Girgashites—To give it to his descendants. You have performed Your words, For You are righteous” (Neh. 9: 7-8, emphasis mine). Abraham believed what God said. Abraham had a pleasing faith, a faith that pleased God.
Sarah, vs. 11, believed God for a child to come from her barren womb
Isaac, vs. 20, by faith blessed Jacob and Esau of things to come
Jacob, vs. 21, Blessed Joseph’s sons and worshiped God
Joseph, vs. 22, Believed a teen-aged promise from God and never gave up on returning to his homeland
Moses, vs. 23, forsook the pleasures of Egypt choosing suffering instead of a royal and pleasurable life
Rahab, vs. 31, Received, hid and helped escape the spies from Joshua’s command
And on and on the list goes. Men and women of faith. Men and women, elders of the faith, ancients that exercised a faith that pleased God! Faith that was convinced of things hoped for and faith that believed in things unseen! Faith that received a good report or a good testimony.
Did you know this list is still being made? Oh yeah, God has a pen and is still writing this list for others to learn from. What will our faith say? What will the next generation and the one after that say about the faith of the saints of Harbor Baptist Church? - - - Or still yet, what testimony will your faith have to say? Believe God for GREAT things!
The commendation of the saints. The first demonstration of pleasing faith on the main floor of our house of faith. Now look at verse three where we see that our faith in the creation of the universe is the second demonstration of pleasing faith.
“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.” By faith we understand, by faith, we know that the universe was created by the Word of God. We weren’t privy to the beginning of our universe.
You and I were not there when “Thus saith the LORD” when He made the heavens and the earth. We know through means of our faith in the Word of God that there was the beginning of our earth made or created when there wasn’t anything in existence for Him to use. There is the historical Latin expression “creatio ex nihilo” means creation out of nothing.
The Trinity were involved in Creation by special design or by intelligence as the scientists refer to it. There is significantly more substantiating truth for Intelligent design than there is for evolution. But that is not the issue here. The point the writer is stating is we Christians believe in a Creator Who created the world and the Universe we see out of nothing. We were not there, we did not see, we did not experience that magnificent week, but we know, we understand, we believe that what we see was made from not things that were visible.
John MacArthur stated: “Demanding sensational proof is not evidence of faith but of doubt. To long for the visible sign, the big miracle, the dramatic proof is nothing but masked unbelief. It is the farthest thing from faith.”
We believe through the means of our faith in the words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And the multiple times in the beginning of the book of Genesis, “Then God said, “Let there be light; Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters;” we believe in God’s Word. Eight different times in the first twenty-six verses of the first chapter of the Word of God we read the truthful words: “Then God said....”
“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.” “creatio ex nihilo”
Demonstrations of pleasing faith. The commendation of the saints or the elders; the creation of the Universe; now look at verse four where we see the third demonstration of pleasing faith is the contribution of Abel. The contribution or sacrifice of Abel was a demonstration of the kind of faith that pleases God. “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.”
We all know the story of the first human murder in the Scriptures. Cain and his brother Abel were to bring a sacrifice to God as an act of worship. Cain was a master gardener and brought God some fruit and veggies from his bountiful crops. It is believed Abel killed one of his finest animals and brought the blood sacrifice which was pleasing to God.
The reason being is without the shedding of blood, there is no remission or forgiveness of sin. Cain did not obey God’s wishes for an animal sacrifice and therefor displeased the God and Creator of his parents: Adam and Eve. God was pleased with the animal of Abel; displeased with the crops of Cain. God was displeased with Cain’s faith, his attitude toward God. Cain became steaming angry and jealous red of his brother and killed his brother Abel, spilling his blood in the field.
And yet we have the record of Abel’s faith as a demonstration of the kind of faith that pleases Almighty God. Abel received a “good report” from God Who expressed His approval of Abel’s faith which motivated his obedience in his contribution or gift of sacrifice of the first fruits of his herd.
God Almighty declared that Abel was a righteous man. God the Son, Jesus Christ Himself called Abel a righteous man (Matt. 23: 35). The Apostle John as well declared Abel to be righteous. “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother (Abel). And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s (works were) righteous” (1st John 3: 11-12, added and emphasis mine). Abel’s faith is testifying to us still today. Again, I ask you, what will your faith testify to others further down the road of life? Believe God for GREAT things to happen in this church. Let’s have a faith that pleases Almighty God!
The demonstrations of pleasing faith: the commendation or approval of the saints; our faith in the creation of the universe; the contribution of Abel’s sacrifice. Now let’s see the fourth and final material of demonstration of the main floor of our house of pleasing faith he has listed for us in verse five where we see the companionship of Enoch.
“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 (what?) he pleased God” (added mine).
I would that each and every one of us so walked with God that we lived a life of faith that was pleasing to God. I pray that our church will believe God for revival, that we would believe God for great things to happen in our fellowship.
Enoch believed God! Enoch was another elder of the faith who has the esteemed honor to be the only human being to have been walking along one moment and raptured the next.
The verb for “taken away” is from the word metatithēmi which means to transport or to transfer. It is a joint word from a preposition which means after or beyond and a verb with the action of placing or setting someone or thing: to set or place beyond. God placed Enoch beyond death and this old world. Enoch was the first Christian to experience the rapture or to be taken away by the Lord God Almighty.
Why? Because he had the kind of believing faith that walked and talked with a living God! His faith pleased God! He practiced the preaching of James where he stated for us believers to draw near to God and He will draw near to us! Enoch lived so close to God that one day, God couldn’t stand it anymore and wanted Enoch to be with Him in glory! This account comes from the book of Genesis, chapter five. Enoch pleased God. Let me say it again, Enoch pleased God!
The Greek word for pleased in our text is the word euaresteō which carries the idea of being well pleased with a person and what he or she does. The writer uses the same word in Hebrews chapter thirteen in some of his concluding
remarks where he admonished, “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (euaresteō, same word) vs. 16, emphasis mine.
Enoch lived a life of faith that pleased God. We should commit to do the same. We should live a life of faith that walks and talks with a living God! We need to believe God for great things! We need to believe God will bring revival. We need to believe God for salvation of souls here in our church! Let’s draw near to God and He will, not might, not even maybe, but the Scripture says “He will draw near to you” (James 4: 8). Believe God for GREAT things to happen in this church!
Let’s review for a moment before moving on to the next floor of our house of pleasing faith: faith that pleases God. We looked at a description of faith where we understood that faith is being confident of the things hoped for and having a conviction of the things we cannot see.
We then climbed the stairs up to another level of truth where we just finished with witnessing four demonstrations of pleasing faith on the main floor. The examples of the commendation of the saints, the creation of the Universe; the contribution of Abel and then the companionship of Enoch. Now let’s see what’s on the third and final floor of our house of faith where we will see the demands of faith. First floor, the description of pleasing faith, secondly, the demonstrations of pleasing faith, and now, thirdly, the demands of a faith that pleases our heavenly Father.
This has been part two 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: email@example.com