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SERIES: The Book of Hebrews
TEXT: Hebrews 11:1-13
MESSAGE: “Building a life upon Jesus”
Jesus says in Matthew 7:24-27…“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
“If you build your life on your beauty, your beauty is going to fade. If you build your life on people who love you, they’re going to die. If you build your life on achievement and power, your records will be eclipsed…people who build their lives on power, comfort, success, and recognition will find their full stomachs turning into cosmic emptiness.” – Timothy Keller
TEXT: Hebrews 11:1-13
We must…(1. Test Our Foundation 2. See Real Examples 3. Trust the Builder)
  1. Test Our Foundation (v. 1-3)
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
“In 1966 Time magazine ran a cover story asking: Is God Dead? Many have accepted the cultural narrative that he’s obsolete—that as science progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe. Yet it turns out that the rumors of God’s death were premature. More amazing is that the relatively recent case for his existence comes from a surprising place—science itself.”  Eric Metaxas
This is old news and, while it’s an interesting fact, it certainly does not require a deity.”  Lawerence Krauss
  1. See Real Examples (v. 4-8)
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Real faith…
  1. Involves action
  2. Is a response to the living God
  3. Glorifies God
  4. Didn’t promise ideal circumstances
“Faith…involved being tortured, mocked, beaten, destitute, stoned, put in prison, generally mistreated…these do not fit easily into the ‘see all the wonderful things God wants to do with your life’ gospel of modern, Western Christianity.” — George Guthrie
 
     5.  Believes God exists — v. 6 for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists…”
     6. Is rewarded by God —  v. 6 he rewards those who seek him…” 
 
John 12:43 says, “they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
  1. Trust the Builder (v. 9-12)
By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” C.S. LewisMere Christianity
TAKEAWAYS:
  • What is your faith built upon?  

 

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”Martin Luther

 

  • Are you intentionally living a life pleasing to God?
  • Have you fallen into the trap of “practical atheism?”
“What is deadly to the church is when the external forms of religion are maintained while their substance is discarded. This we call practical atheism. Practical atheism appears when we live as if there were no God. The externals continue, but man becomes the central thrust of devotion as the attention of religious concern shifts away from man’s devotion to God to man’s devotion to man, bypassing God. The “ethic” of Christ continues in a superficial way, having been ripped from its supernatural, transcendent, and divine foundation.” — R.C. Sproul
  • Will you trust Jesus to build your life?
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” — Hebrews 11:13
Hebrews 12:1-2 — “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”