A Faith That Pleases God (Pt. 1)

Hebrews 11:1 is a verse that every Christian knows even if they don’t know that it is Hebrews 11:1.
Faith1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

We see that verse on signs, wall decorations, cups, and t-shirts. We see it on cards and, people use it as encouragement when they, or someone they know, is going through something that makes no sense.

It’s a great verse and a wonderful message, but like so many verses, it’s one that we take and run with for comfort but seldom consider its deeper meaning. How often, when we think about Hebrews 11:1, do we also consider Hebrews 11:2?

If we are going to move from milk to meat, we must take the time to read the verses around the verses that mean so much to us and learn what the authors were trying to teach us. There is so very much more than we think; there is so much more that we need to know. There’s so much more that we should want to learn instead of remaining comfortable with a milk diet, and it breaks my heart that we don’t seem to want to learn.

Hebrews 11:1-16

Bible Study of Hebrews 11

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What Difference Does it Make?

One of my favorite preachers loves the Charles Wesley hymn “And Are We Yet Alive.” In the past, and sometimes still today, conference and district meetings begin with singing: “And are we yet alive, and see each other’s face? Glory and thanks to Jesus give for His almighty grace.”
And are we yet alive? That’s the question I’d like for us to think about today. Do we have a new life in Christ or are we mired down in our old sinful and selfish ways?

You’ve heard the story of the resurrection. The question is so what? What difference does it make?The Apostle Paul would be quick to say, “Everything!” The resurrection of Jesus makes all the difference in the world. In his 1st Letter to the Corinthians, he says:
1 Corinthians 15:14–19 (NIV)
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
The resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith. It’s what separates us from all the other religions of the world. It’s what gives us purpose and direction when we’re perplexed, confidence when the storms of life threaten to overpower us, hope when all seems to be lost. And that’s why Paul is quick to go on and say:
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (NIV)
Can people tell from looking at your life that the resurrection makes a difference to you?

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