Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
Not only is this passage our Today's Verse and Verse of the Day; it is also the center of our message video and the organizing passage for our song selection for the full ToGather worship video, below. Most importantly, this definition of faith in our verse is the Holy Spirit's explanation of what genuine faith looks like, embedded in one of the most powerful chapters in the Bible. Many Bible teachers call Hebrews 11:1-40 the "Faith Hall of Fame" of the Bible. This week, we focus on three key messages about faith from this wonderful chapter.
Our first message from Hebrews 11 is the Holy Spirit's definition of faith:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).
The Spirit tells us that God's people of faith demonstrated what they believed in their lives (Hebrews 11:1-2). Such faith assures us that what is not immediately visible can still be real — like God's grace, mercy, power, goodness, guidance, and promises. This faith gives us confidence in our hope in Christ's resurrection and what it brings us — like new life, God's abiding presence in us through the Holy Spirit, and our future with Christ in glory. Once we grasp this robust definition of faith, we understand why active faith is so important to us!
The second message involves three principles ensuring our faith is real — something more than what we think in our heads, feel in our hearts, and talk about with our voices. As the examples in Hebrews 11 and James 2:14-26 teach us, genuine faith is alive, displaying itself in our actions and in who we are becoming. This faith shapes us into people who live for God. Notice the following three principles in Hebrews 11:6:
- Our faith brings God joy and delight: "without faith it is impossible to please God."
- Our faith means we are more than involved in the life God wants us to live; we are fully committed to knowing and being in relationship with our living God: "anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists."
- Our faith assures us that God will bring us to himself and share his glory with us: "anyone who comes to him must believe he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
Finally, our faith doesn't mean we can live our Christian lives perfectly. As the list of people in the "Faith Hall of Fame" teaches us, we all have times when our faith is strong and others times when we struggle with our faith. God's greatest heroes had days when faith was hard, and they needed to ask God to help them overcome their unbelief. Sometimes, God's people needed him to save them from their messes brought upon them by temporary loss of faith. Phil's video lesson includes two beautiful stories from Jesus' ministry that help drive these truths home for us. We pray that you are blessed by both videos below!