1. According to this verse, God's people must be "faithful unto death" to receive "a crown of life." 2. The book of Hebrews is especially designed to help Christians accomplish this goal -- it was written for the purpose of encouraging the Lord's people to remain faithful to Him. a. This letter contains a number of admonitions that involve faith. 1) (Hebrews 6:11-12) We must follow the example of those who received God's promises through faith and patience. 2) (Hebrews 10:22) We are to "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith." 3) (Hebrews 10:23) We are to "hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering." 4) (Hebrews 10:35-39) We are to "live by faith." b. The 11th chapter is a detailed study of faith -- it tells us about the faith demonstrated by a number of men and women in the Old Testament. 3. This morning we examined "5 lessons from Noah's faith" that are revealed in Hebrews 11:7. 4. This evening we are considering several fundamental principles relating to faith that are addressed in Hebrews 11. Discussion: I. (Hebrews 11:1) FAITH IS DESCRIBED
A. In general, faith may be defined as "believing what God tells us in the Bible and following His instructions so we can receive His promises." B. Faith is described in this verse as "the 'substance' [assurance] of things hoped for, the 'evidence' [conviction] of things not seen." 1. Our faith is to be based on God's Word (Romans 10:17). 2. With our faith based on God's Word, we can understand: a. things from the past we have not seen (Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1) b. things in the future we have not seen (Hebrews 11:13-16; John 14:2-3). II. (Hebrews 11:6) FAITH IS ESSENTIAL
A. Faith is essential in that we cannot please God without it. 1. It is possible to possess various degrees of faith, including: a. "no faith" (Mark 4:40) b. "little faith" (Matthew 6:30) c. "dead" faith (James 2:17) d. "great faith" (Matthew 8:10; 15:28). 2. Faith that pleases God includes: a. believing that He is b. believing that He will reward those who diligently seek Him c. obeying His will (James 2:18-24). B. Faith is also essential in that it will enable a person to obtain "a good report" (Hebrews 11:2). Conclusion:
1. We can be encouraged as a result of reading and studying about great Bible characters such as those listed in Hebrews 11. 2. As we examine their faith, let us remember these fundamental principles.