Church of Christ
at
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34) Hebrews - Chapter 11:1 and following
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"Faith" in the original languages:  The Greek is pistis - in its forms means "steady, faithful."  In the Hebrew several
words are used, also with the idea of stability, steadiness.  The world of men lives by faith in all realms.

An auto is driven by faith, or else we would stay off the highway - we have faith in the machine, faith in self, faith in
others.  We travel by train, bus, airplane, and ship, by faith in these respects:  in pilot, navigator, and engineer and
on the signal system.  We marry on faith.  Faith is important for true love.

History is accepted by faith.  Some of the questions about faith:  The importance of faith.  How important is it?  
Hebrews 11:6 - Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Abraham's life illustrates it to be a basis of friendship
with God.

What is faith?  Hebrews 11:1 defines it.  Belief that God exists, belief in Christ, belief in the unseen or the spiritual.  
The substantiating of things hoped for.  How do we get faith?  Romans 10:17: It comes by hearing - Illustrations of it
include Pentecost, Philippians Jailor, Ethiopian Eunuch.  See John 7:17.  It comes by knowing two things about God
- He exists and, He is a rewarder.

Christ is the Son of God.  See John 20:31 and Hebrews 11:1 ("Things hoped for").  How is this faith stated?  
Matthew 16:16: "Thou art the Christ."  What part does the Bible have in faith?  John 20:31: "These are written."

Does faith alone save us?  James 2:24: "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only."  
See John 14:1-4.  What is the end of your faith?  1st Peter 1:9: "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation
of your souls."

ye have a new body every seven years, but it slowly wears out - through it all the real person endures.  What is the
end of one who does not believe?  John 8:24: "If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins."  Revelation
21:8: "But for the fearful and unbelieving, their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is
the second death."

Faith is the substantiating or giving substance of these things hoped for.  Faith precedes prayer.  Prayer is not
working at God's reluctance, but taking hold of His willingness.  We see them in Hebrews 11 - what faith was to
others:
       a) To Abraham, a new city
       b) To Daniel: Mouths of lions to be stopped

Our faith becomes hope when it expects, anticipates.  Some Christians are so pessimistic and faithless that they
blow out their candles to see how dark it is.  Too many are like Peter, who was afraid and began to sink (Matthew
14:30).

Forsaking all - this is spiritual.  God, Christ, divine power, heaven are not seen, but by faith we believe in their
existence.  Rewards, reunion is unseen, but are nonetheless real to the person.  Faith therefore becomes a power
in our lives when it launches us out beyond the physical; things are nonetheless real in other realms.  Wind is
unseen, yet we believe it exists.  Force of gravity exists.  Tracks of an unseen person convince us of his existence,
so does God's handiwork convince us of His existence.

Hebrews 11:2-3 - He now illustrates what faith has accomplished.  In their faith they were conquerors.  The elders.  
"Elders" ordinarily refers to those in authority.  Here it refers to all the heroes of the faith.  Approved by God, by His
blessings perhaps.  Enoch had witness born to him that he had been well pleasing.  Abel had witness born to him
that he had been well pleasing.  Disapproval of God by His curses was manifested.  Cain was sent out.  God turned
the Israelites free to wander for forty years.

Things that seem impossible are understood when faith takes hold.  Faith puts meaning in life.  Atheists are always
chronic complainers.  The atheists build no hospitals, orphanages, or charitable organizations, but condemn the
faith of those who do.

Genesis says that God spoke things into existence with the words, "Let there be".  The "Word" takes on new
meaning when we come to the New Testament.  John 1:1 says Christ was the Word.  Hebrews 1:2: "By whom also
He made the worlds."  Hebrews 11:3: Framed by the Word.