"A Walk Through the Hall of Faith"

26/04/2015 13:06

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Text:  Hebrews 11    

Title:  A Walk through the Hall of Faith.

Theme:  God's eternal record of His mighty men of faith.

Proposition:  We need some men and women of faith to do exploits for God.

Rhetorical:  What will God record of your accomplishments by faith?

Introduction:   

 

A hall of fame is a place where the highest achievers are recognized to inspire the next generation in the pursuit of greatness in that field.

 

A football hall of fame is where you go as a young person to get inspiration to become a great footballer.

 

A cricket hall of fame is where you go as a young person to get inspiration to become a great cricketer.

 

Olympic, tennis, snooker, etc.

 

God has put into His Word for the inspiration of young and old a HALL OF FAITH (Hebrews 11). It captures some of the great achievements in various fields of faith. The end of that chapter says....

 

32 ¶  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:

33  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, (The conquest of Canaan under Joshua) wrought righteousness, (The reign of the godly kings who brought revival to their realm) obtained promises,  stopped the mouths of lions, (Daniel in the  lion's den.)

34  Quenched the violence of fire, (The three Hebrew children) escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Midianites, Philistines, etc)

35  Women received their dead raised to life again: (Widow woman and Elijah) and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: (Jeremiah)

37  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, (Isaiah)  were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38  (Of whom the world was not worthy:)

 

exp.  Someday, you and I are going to meet these men and women of God who did great things by FAITH. Even now they are the cloud of witnesses who would testify to us of the greatness to be accomplished FOR GOD BY FAITH.

 

1 ¶  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

 

Ill. Like a runner, we need to get rid of sin and weights - so that we can achieve great things for the glory of the Lord. We need some men and women of faith to do exploits for God. What will God record of your accomplishments by faith?

This morning, we are just going to walk through the hall of faith and look at those who have gone before and WHAT THEY ACCOMPLISHED BY FAITH. May God use it to inspire us to seek greatness for the Lord!

 

I. Abel - a salvation by faith. v.4

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.

exp.  Abel is part of the first family ever. He is the second baby ever born into this world.

The story is found in Genesis 4:1-8

question: How would Abel know that a blood sacrifice was acceptable to God? If no revelation was given to him other that that of which we are aware, he would have at least known that God restored his parents by killing an animal to cover their shame.

app. Do you have faith to come to God in the way that he sets forth in His Word? Or do you add your own ideas/tradition/works/ etc.

YOU CAN WORSHIP GOD HOWEVER YOU WANT. BUT, HE WILL ONLY ACCEPT WHAT AGREES WITH HIS WORD. ARE YOU WILLING TO BELIEVE HIS WORD?

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

app.  You could accomplish your salvation this morning, if you have never put your faith in God's Way to come to Him. Let today be the day that you achieve this great gift by faith in God's Word.

 

II. Enoch - a walk of faith. v.5

5  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.

exp.  Enoch didn't please his religious leader. He didn't please the government. He pleased God and he walked with God. God took him without death because his life was so lived to the glory of God.

Genesis 5:23-24  And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:  And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

ill.  Have you ever met someone whom you couldn't please. No matter what you did, it was never good enough. That person is very difficult to be around. God isn't like that although his standards and expectations for us are high. With his mercy and grace He helps us to walk in a way that pleases Him.

note: You can live a life that is pleasing to God.

Proverbs 16:7  When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Col 1:10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

app.  How is your walk of faith? If you need to walk with the Lord more intimately this morning - you can do so by faith. God will help you to do those things that are pleasing to Him if you will trust Him to do that work in you.

Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Php 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 

III. Noah -  a work of faith. v.7

7  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.

exp.  It is unlikely that Noah had ever seen rain and yet when God told him what would happen, he responded by faith.

story: Genesis 6: 13 ¶  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

14  Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

15  And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

16  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

17  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

18  But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

22 ¶  Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

exp.  It took a century to build, but Noah and his three boys obeyed God despite what everyone else thought of their work.  They built by hand a boat that was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

ill.  George Mueller wasn't called upon by God to build an ark. He was to build orphan houses without any finances and without asking for any money. Muller operated his orphanages on the 'faith' system - having faith that money would be provided to him for their upkeep and never asking any man for money, trusting solely that God would answer his prayers. In this faith he embarked on the search for suitable land and found it in Ashley Down. The money for the construction as well as the other costs came from donations.

In 1845 he entered into a contract for the purchase of the 7 acres of ground at £120 per acre for the accommodation, feeding, clothing and education of 300 destitute and orphan children. On June 18th 1849 the orphans transferred to the new building. By 1886 he had received £700,000 through prayer and had over 2,000 children in his care.

app.  Young people God has a great work for you to do, but you must be ready to respond by faith. How many have failed to work where Noah and Mueller succeeded?

William Carey — 'Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.'

 

IV. Abraham - a move of faith. v.8

8  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.

exp. He was asked to move away from his home land by faith trusting in God's leading. He didn't even know where he was going.

ill.  James Stewart - "One night James was awakened as he slept in the room with Oswald and heard the young student sobbing. When he asked what was wrong, Oswald cried, 'Oh Jimmy, nobody seems to be interested in my missionf field in Latvia and yet souls there are going to hel because they do not know the Gospel.' James determined then and there in his heart that if the Lord would call him to these people, he would go....while he waited for a definite call to go to the continent, Jmes continued his preaching up and down the land, enganging in many types of evangelism to reach the masses who were not being reached by ordinary means. Then suddenly, and of all places, while James was on the Isle of Stronsay in the Orkney Islands, off the north coast of Scotland the call came. He had been led to arise early one morning to walk along the shore with the strong wind blowing inhis face, for he felt the Lord had something special to say to him. Surely enough, teh word for which he had been waiting came tohim, bidding him to go now to Eastern Europe with the gospel of salvation. "Where Lord?" James asked. "Go to Riga," the Lord commanded.

note: He left immediately for home and then for Riga without money or proper clothing for the Russian winter. God providentially led him to David Fetler and then to Robert Fetler. He became an instrument of revival because when God said to go, he went.

app. What about you? Do you move by faith? Where have you gone by faith? Has not God led you also to do things that TAKE FAITH OR YOU WILL NOT GO? Have you gone?

 

V. Sara - a miracle of faith. v.11

11  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.

exp.  There was no way this would work EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT GOD HAD PROMISED THAT IT WOULD WORK. They believed God and God allowed them to conceive a child in their old age.

story: Genesis 18: 10  And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

11  Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

12  Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

13  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

14  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

15  Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

note: We are still in Genesis. God's people have ALWAYS HAD TO FOLLOW HIM BY FAITH. RIGHTEOUSNESS HAS ALWAYS BEEN BY FAITH. IT HAS NEVER BEEN BY WORKS.

exp.  What has God promised you that your refuse to believe because IT IS IMPOSSIBLE?

ill.  The modernist says, "I don't believe in the flood, creation, miracles, because they are impossible.

exp.  The God of the modernist is not God at all. They believe in a God that they can understand and whom they can put in the box of their think. He can do nothing outside of the realm of their ability to rationalize and think.

note: THAT IS NOT THE GOD OF THE BIBLE. THE GOD OF THE BIBLE IS A MIRACLE WORKER FROM BEGINNING TO END.

app. Are you limiting God by your unbelief? Or will you let him work miracles in your life, your family and your church BY FAITH IN HIS PROMISES!

 

VI. Abraham - a test of faith. vv.16-19

16  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.

17  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

exp.  The miracle child is there in flesh and blood. Abraham knows that he is the promised seed. Then God says, "Sacrifice him to me."

note: God never intended to allow Abraham to kill his son even though he had commanded him to take this test of faith. He had provided a substitute .

ill.  Israel faced tests of their faith in the wilderness and they failed miserably. They thought, "God has led us out here to destroy us." Their faith was very fickle compared to father Abrahams.

app. How is your faith in time of test? Abraham is in the hall of faith because he faced a huge test of his faith and his faith passed the test.

 

VII. Moses - a decision of faith. vv.24-26

24  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

25  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

26  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

exp.  Moses had access to the royal inheritance, the royal name, the royal position, etc. But, he wouldn't stoop to take such low positions when he was a child of God.

ill.  Daniel - chose not to eat the kings meat and drink the king's wine - because he wanted to please the Lord. THAT IS A TOUGH DECISION WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT AND NO AUTHORITY IS TELLING YOU TO DO THIS.

app.  What tough decisions have you made BY FAITH to please the Lord?

 

VIII. Rahab - a separation of faith. vv.31

31  By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

exp.  Rahab was a citizen of Canaan. She lived in Jericho. She was not a Jew but she converted to faith in the True God by faith. In doing so, she seperated from her race.

NOTE: How my have come to JESUS AT THE EXPENSE OF losing their cultural identity and facing the ostracism of their families? Jesus is a dividing line. Rahab lost her culture but saved her soul.

app.  Our church this morning is not Scottish. It is not American. It is not Jewish. It is CHRISTIAN.  But, in becoming a Christian is often at great sacrifice. Are you willing to seperate by faith?

 

conclusion:  I love the Hall of Faith. These are great stories because these men and women TRUSTED GOD NO MATTER WHAT AND DID GREAT THINGS FOR HIM. What are you doing for God this morning?

 

Are you saved by faith? Are you walking by faith? Doing works of faith? Moving by faith? Seeing miracles by faith? Passing tests of faith? Making decisions by faith? Seperating by faith? 

 

We can do great things this morning that please God. But, they must be accomplished by faith.