Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.
Hiram W. Smith says, Let's listen in. Living by faith, Hebrews chapter 11 is pictures of people living by faith. So first of all, we begin with review. There are four things that we look at. People living by faith, four things are true about them that we glean from this chapter.
I'm sure there are more than four, but we're going to focus on these four. People living by faith have a single ambition, and that single ambition is the pursuit of God. That becomes very clear in this chapter. They have a single ambition, and that ambition is the pursuit of God. People living by faith. Then for today, what we learned from today's text in chapter 11 verses 7 through 12 is that people living by faith take action. They have a single ambition, and that ambition is the pursuit of God.
And then we learned from this text today that people of faith take action. In other words, it's not just something that they know in their head. It is something that they take action upon. They entrust themselves to the information that they have received, and they act upon that information.
Let me give you a very simple illustration, if I may, to begin with. You get a loud knock on your door in the middle of the night because you forgot to change the batteries in your fire alarm when the time change happened, right? When Daylight Savings Time ended, you didn't change the batteries, so your fire alarm isn't working. You get a loud knock on your door in the middle of the night.
Get up, get up. Your house is on fire. Now, that's information, isn't it? If you believe that information, what are you going to do? Ah, go away. I'm tired. I don't want to get up, right? If you believe that information, you're going to get up, you're going to grab the kids, and you're going to run.
Hopefully, you'll grab your kids and run, okay? But that's the whole point. If you believe the information you've received, if you believe that the one giving you the information is credible and trustworthy, then you're going to act on that information. If you don't act on it, the truth is you don't believe it or you don't trust the one who gave you the information. Folks, that's what faith is, pure and simple. People living by faith take action. There's a comedian, Louis E.K., he said this, and I quote, he says, I have a lot of beliefs and I live by none of them. That's just the way I am. They're just my beliefs. I just like believing them. I like that part. They're my little believees.
They make me feel good about who I am, but if they get in the way of a thing I want, I just do what I want to do. That's not faith. Just because you say you believe something doesn't mean that you have faith. People living by faith take action because the truth is simply put this way. As Hiram W. Smith put it, your behavior is a reflection of what you truly believe. Your behavior is a reflection of what you truly believe. A.W. Tozer was a prophet in his day and he said some very striking things.
And I have this book, this World Playground or Battleground, and I read it and I'm like, this is really, really challenging stuff. He said to many Christians, Christ is little more than an idea or at best an ideal. For those of you here in the south, those two are not the same thing.
I just want you to be aware of that. To many Christians, he is not a fact. Millions of professed believers talk as if he were real and act as if he were not.
Our actual position is always to be discovered by the way we act, not by the way we talk. People living by faith take action. What you believe, you do. Everything else is just religious rhetoric. And so the question comes up then, well, is faith blind? And that's what a lot of people believe today.
A lot of people accuse religious people, people of faith, that faith is just blind. Well, whatever you want to believe, that's fine for you. If you want to believe that, then go for it. But faith is blind. That's what some people believe. First of all, begin with understanding that just because you believe something doesn't make it true. Just because you believe something doesn't make it true.
If you begin with yourself, if you begin with just something you want, in other words, a self-reference point, then yes, it is just wishful thinking because you are not sufficient enough to be a reference point for yourself. But if you have an informer, one who gives you information, and that informer has a bigger view than yours, he has a much greater perspective than yours. And not only does that informer, the one who gives information, not only does he have a much greater perspective than yours, but he has communicated to you what to do about that perspective and about that information. And if you have evidence that what the informer has said is true and that he is trustworthy, then you have reason to act upon that information.
It is reasonable to entrust yourself to the informer's instructions. That's kind of a philosophical approach to reasonable faith. Faith is not blind. Credulity is blind. If you want to believe something just for the sake of believing it without any reason or evidence or support or justification to believe it, that's one thing, but don't call it faith. That's not faith. Faith has an object.
And the object is the one who has given the information and you entrust yourself, you take action upon the information that that object has given you. For example, before the 1988 Winter Olympics, in Calgary I believe it was, blind skiers were being trained for slalom skiing. If you're familiar at all with downhill skiing, you know that's not an easy thing.
Improbable as that sounds, it is true. They were paired, the blind skiers were paired with skiers, of course, who could see. And they were taught on flat slopes, how to make right turns and left turns and when they mastered that, they were taken to the slalom slope. Where the sighted partners skied beside them shouting left, right and as they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line.
Depending solely on the sighted skiers word. You see, it was either complete trust or catastrophe. They had information, the one giving the information was trustworthy, therefore they acted upon that trustworthy information from the trustworthy informer. That's faith, that's trust. So it is with faith in God. The basis for action is the object of faith. And as Michael Horton said, we quoted him last time, faith embraces truth.
Just because you believe something, doesn't make it truth. You take something that is true and faith embraces that truth. That is the nature of faith. Now, as we learn from today's text, we're going to look at three examples today of people who are examples of faith. And it points to the trustworthiness of the one who is the object of faith. It's not that these people had such great faith, it's just simply the matter that they had faith and because they had faith, they acted upon that faith, trusting the one who gave them the information as the basis of their faith.
So there's three elements, there's three common components that we see here in people who exercise faith. And the first one is information, that that information comes from a trustworthy informer who is the object of their faith, the basis of their trust. This is the one that they are trusting, the one who is giving the information and the information that he gives. That is the basis of their faith, this information that comes from a person who gives information. The second common component is that there are unknowns. The one who gives the information does not give all the information that a person may desire or does not give all the information that the person is even capable of receiving.
Maybe because the person receiving the information isn't even capable of handling all the information. That's you and me in contrast to God. He is an infinite mind and we are finite creatures, we cannot possibly handle all the information that God has and knows. He knows it all. He's infinite in his understanding and he does not give us all information, but he has given us information. So there are unknowns and because there are unknowns, that's the very reason why the person exercising faith needs to trust the one giving the information, because there are unknowns.
If you knew everything, you wouldn't have to trust, would you? We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-14 12:14:00 / 2023-11-14 12:18:26 / 4