Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Faith, so we may Obtain the Promises.

Hebrews 11:1-2 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

For by it the elders obtained a good report.”

The apostle was writing a record of those in the Old Testament, whose faith in God and His Word had led them into lives of productivity, and peace.

Always opposition, but lives which pleased God, because of their faith in Him.

He is writing it to encourage these failing believers to hang on, by faith, and to obtain all that the Lord had for them.

It is by faith we receive all things from God.

These believers were the very first to believe. They had been through a lot. But time had passed and they had not grown in the grace given them; on the contrary, they had remained children in the faith. (They were “Tossed about” Ephesians 4:14-15)

(Paul rebukes them for this, but encourages the faith that they have, for anywhere along the way, we may wake up, and get back into the Way….going forward in the faith.)

Hebrews 5:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”

Hebrews 10:35, 38-39 “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

Hebrews 11:6 “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 Him that diligently seek Him.”

So he reminds these of the faith of their fathers; and the reward God had for them.

At the end of the faith chapter—Hebrews 11, there is a little verse which states plainly the stages of faith, for ourselves.

And all “through faith”.

Hebrews 11:33 “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,”

“Subdued kingdoms”. There are three kingdoms here on earth we are to subdue: the kingdom of man’s soul, the kingdom of the world’s influence, and the kingdom of the devil’s influence.

Each, by Christ’s atonement, have been defeated.

But each, by our faith, needs to be overcome, in our practical living of today.

How?

The blood of Christ was shed to save us from our sin and self (old nature: which is the inclinations of our minds, emotions, and wills, apart from God)

He paid the penalty of death for us. And He opened an access into His life within us. A life of faith.

His life is given us by His Holy Spirit within us, Who gives us love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, etc.

Faith enables us to “see God”.

Many in the Old Testament had a vision of the Angel of the Lord. But we do not need such a vision.

We have much better than a vision, for we have the Blessed Spirit of God indwelling us, and His voice is heard within us.

By faith we can subdue ourselves, our sin, and much of the influence of the world when we “see” that is God with us, in authority and power.

When we see God, then plainly, we are here in this situation, by His appointment.

In other words, He wants to show me something, here.

Either He will show me how He can empower me.

Or He will show me how He can remove any hinderance.

Or He will show me how I must navigate through this trial, lighting my path, and leading me through, for His sake.

The life of faith is a life where we always look to God in the situation. Where does He want me to be, here? And when we “see”; we “walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Faith is unique, in that it is a gift of God to us: and it gives access into all the other graces, which God by His Spirit implant within us.

Romans 8:31-32 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

Paul goes on to say we cannot be separated from the love of God, and lists the things that might try to separate us…and there are a lot.

But in the process of this life of faith, we may obtain the reality of the promise of what God will do for us.

We begin to stop arguing about the way to do things, and deny ourselves: and do them as God directs.

There is the influence of the world and the devil: we need extra help here, so the Lord has given us the armor, and the protection of His blood.

(Revelation 5:6, When we plead the blood, He covers us in a effectual way when we are being attacked)

Ephesians 6:10-18 shows us the armor:

The truth: we need to establish the truth of the situation, by the Holy Spirit’s discernment, and that will strengthen our wills.

We need to put on the righteousness of Christ: all that we do, is accepted by His merits, not ours, and our hearts are strengthen.

We need to walk in His paths of peace, keeping our peace, and seeking it for others.

Holding on to faith [seeing God in this] when the Adversary attacks with whispers of doubt, or brings up past failures or successes to distract us. And how much our faith saves us here.

Thinking saved: I am God’s child, and servant, and I do this for Him.

Knowing and using the Word of God, as we need against the words of the devil.

When we do this, we are working righteousness; His righteousness through us to a hungry world.

Then we are obtaining those promises He has given us….actually getting them into our possession. We have faith, grace, hope, and love.

God has given them to us, but now we have them in our experience, as well. They are real to us.

And then we will stop the mouths of lions: the roaring to frighten us away from doing God’s Will. It is all under Christ’s protection, not our own strength.

1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

Faith is a gift from God to us, by the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is to be used and grown. We are to overcome with it.

1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

We are to live by it. And by it we will “see God” and obtain HIs promises to us.

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