Life Rooted in Christ - Walking by Faith (Heb. 11:1-16)
Life Rooted in Christ (2): Walking by Faith
Hebrews 11:1–16 - “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. . .
Understand the Definition of Faith (vv1-3) - This “faith chapter” gives a definition and description of faith: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (v1). The description is that men gain approval by faith. Faith is in the fabric of creation since the worlds were made from what is invisible by the Word of God (v3). We must accept this as a foundation of a life rooted in Christ. Faith is not a one-time decision; it is a continued disposition of heart and mind. We must “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Take Action: Examine yourself to see if your heart believes or if you demand to see it all now. Trust in Jesus and then do what He says. Be assured of Christ’s presence in your life or seek help. Seek counsel for your doubts and recognize that unbelief arises from a sinful heart, not from a lack of information or reasons for faith.
See the Demonstrations of Faith (vv4-12) - The demonstration of faith is through the lives of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and other patriarchs. Faith is required and demonstrated in - Right worship (Abel), deliverance (Enoch), approval (v6), household salvation (Noah), obedience and perseverance (Abraham), and the ability to fulfill the promised role (Sarah). Faith is not inactive. True faith acts. Take Action: Read about the lives of the faithful (in the Bible and bibliographies). Fill your conversation at the dinner table with stories of how you and others have acted out of faith in Christ.
Persevere with the Deposit of Faith (vv13-16) - These faithful patriarchs died without receiving the fullest object(s) of their faith, yet they did not lose hope. The presence of God in their lives was their deposit. Abraham was promised multitudes of descendants as an old childless man, along with a land/the earth and to be a blessing to all nations (Gen. 12). We are included in these same promises (Rom. 4:11ff). However, Abraham “was looking for the city” of God but we have come to that City (12:22). The promised age and city has now broken into our reality through Christ’s resurrection-ascension. We have access to this reality by faith. Take Action: Trust and obey ... Keep on this path. If you fall down, get up. If you struggle with seeing reality from a place of faith, reach out to other believers. Count your current blessings as part of the deposit. Make rejoicing in Christ’s victory and reign part of your ordinary devotional actions and part of your family discussion.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more