Hebrews 48


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 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 them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:1–40, KJV)

Wow, that’s a lot to read.

For the preacher boys, here’s how I’d preach this. This is one of the few times I’d say, get animated. There are many great chapters of the Bible – this one reads like the Rolls Royce version. Seriously.

Pace around while you’re delivering this sermon. Delivering this sermon, your timing, timbre and pitch all should vary constantly. This is one of the great chapters of the Bbile – do it justice. Do not bore the congregation. “By faith… Moses… By…faith, the harlot Rahab…” If ever a chapter, a sermon, demanded EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT… this is it. This is one of the grandest chapters in the Bible. Rise up to this challenge. Try listening to the fifth sympohny of Beethoven, to get the feel for this kind of majesty.

Remember, the Bible is not isolated coffee-cup verses. THe Bible is written in units of thought, called pericopes. And… news to Word Faith people, but… Hebrews 11 follows HEbrews 10, and carries on the same thought.

πιστεύω pisteuō Faith, believe. It is found in the Gospel of John over 130 times in that form. In Hebrews 11:1, the way to understand it is “having faith in Christ.” How do I determine that?

Because that’s how the Gospels have used it, and all of Paul’s Epistles up to now. Belief in Jesus Christ. But grammatically, it’s imprecise to render πιστεύω pisteuō as “belief” in Hebrews 11:1.

So why did the translators render “belief” as “faith” in Hebrews 11? Because Paul used the word, and reading in the Greek is exceptionally powerful. This is Paul’s convincing argument. This is the “Closer”. This is the “You’re either staying true, or you’re not saved in the first place” argument.

It’s not about repeating firmly that you believe you’re getting a Mercedes with no money down. It’s not about denying you have cancer, and hoping everything Benny Hinn says is right.

Hebrews 11 follows a long series of apologetic arguments that Jesus Christ is truly the Messiah, and that if these people leave, they were not saved, now face a VERY difficult barrier to ever getting saved in the future, and are in extreme danger of going to Hell forever. Remember, even leaving Christianity, the readers of this letter know with trembling and terror the odds are good they’re going to be tortured to death anyway, just for being Jews.

Many of l the heroes of the Jewish faith are mentioned here, in connection with the same word that the Pastors have been preaching about believing in Jesus Christ – πιστεύω pisteuō. Believe!

“Because of their belief… the ellders obtained a good report.”

From Who?

God.

Just believe in Jesus Christ, you will be approved by God as well.

The very next verse shoots down those liberal “Christians”, who think that you can believe in evolution and the Big Bang, and still be Christian.

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3, KJV)

Believe!

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” (Hebrews 11:4, KJV)

Believe!

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” (Hebrews 11:5, KJV)

“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 them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6, KJV)

So… believe. Or Be damned. Believe… and be blessed and rewarded.

Christian, did you KNOW that you are getting rewarded by God??? REWARDED! Just because you got saved!!!

Because of Jesus Christ and His actions, deeds abd ressurection, WE get rewarded!

It’s almost like Christmas, in a way. Jesus Christ opening His presents at the same time we do. “I got you this, because I truly love you.”

Believe.

Noah. Abraham. SArah.

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” (Hebrews 11:13–14, KJV)

“And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:15–16, KJV)

NOW you understand why these two verses are sitting here in the middle of Hebrews 11! Don’t you think when things were the darkest, that Abraham and Sarah looked at each other, and thought, “we left home and family for this, to dwell amidst thieves and murderers and worse, in a wasteland.”

Did they go back? NO. THey believed God, who told them this was the land He had appointed for them. He promised them this is the land He would give them.

You know what? We’re STILL waiting for God to give us all the land He promised Abraham. And you know what? Won’t be long now!!!

Because I believe.

Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. Joseph. Moses. The Exodus. Paul is reminding his audience that everything that is Judaism is the roots of Christianity. But Judaism derailed into Rabbinic teachings, and sidelined the Biblical Judaism. Judaism rejected Jesus. And these people heard the Gospel, believed, and came to Christianity.

Christianity is not a different religion. Christianity does not replace Judaism. Christianity IS Judaism, completed. Finished. In it’s Sabbath state, merely awaiting the return of King Messiah, our Rebbe. Rabbi Jesus Christ.

Call no man Rabbi… the title is reserved for Jesus Christ alone. I will address teachers who bear that title in Rabbinic Judaism by that title, but it is not me calling them that. It’s like telling me your title is “Professor”. I didn’t give you that title. “Coach.” You’re not my coach, but since you wear that title, sure.

But only Jesus Christ is my Rabbi. Melech Ha’Moshiach, l’olam vayed. I will sing the Yechi no longer, unless Jesus Christ tells me when we meet face to face that He approves of it sung of him. (If you’re not Lubavitch, don’t worry about what that means. If you’re Lubavitch and find these articles, The Yechi belongs to Jesus Christ alone, not to the Rebbe).

I will not return to Judaism… because I’m already THERE. Christians didn’t move. You were offered KIng Messiah, and what did you choose? “We have no king but Caesar!”

“And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:36–40, KJV)

Paul finishes his appeal now, reminding them… “God permitted many of His prophets to be killed, for reasons known only to Him. Should it be any different with us, who are lesser men? Believe.”

Remember the word “without” here means “outside us.” Who are those wtihout? Gentiles, who do not believe.

Jews, who do not believe.

What did we learn earlier the word perfect means? Completed, arrived at maturity.

WE’re almost done with one of the grandest books of the Bible. My study of Hebrews brought me to tears several times. I’m hoping you’ve REALLY dwelt on this topic, learning it’s lessons.

Two more articles.

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Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???