Faith Series: Examples of Faith (part 2)

In this series on faith, we have done a lot of studying and discovering on the subject of faith. We started with an introduction to the meaning of faith, trying to get a better understanding of its definition. The second part was defining work by faith, and how without good works, it is impossible to prove your faith. In the last article we started to look at Hebrews 11, and looked at and discussed the first four verses viewing the examples of faith from man in the Old Testament. This time, we will continue

this ‘series within a series’ and continue to look at Hebrews 11 and look at the many great ‘examples of faith’ that Paul mentions in this chapter from, as he writes “the ancients” NIV, or “people from old”.

(As we go through this article, notice the footnotes. These footnotes are the references from other books mentioned in Hebrews 11. Scroll down to the bottom of the article to read the reference.)

Starting in Hebrews 11:5 Paul writes, “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God has taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”[1] Here Paul says that because of Enoch’s faith he was taken away from this life to enter the presence of God. But why was he taken? In verse 6 Paul says, “without faith it is impossible to please God…” Since Enoch had such great faith and he pleased God very much, and he believed in him God gave Enoch a reward. Colossians 3:23-24 says “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” That reward is a life in heaven with God.

Hebrews 11:7 says , “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”[2] Now moving on from Enoch we move forward a little bit to the time of Noah and the flood. We’re probably all familiar with the story of Noah. God called Noah to build an ark for his family and the animals because there was going to be a flood. Noah did as he was told, the flood came and wiped out everything and everybody except for Noah’s family and the animals on the ark. But faith is what triggered Noah to do all of this. When God called Noah to build this ark, did he not have to have faith to do it? Paul says in verse 7 “when warned about things not yet seen”. Noah had not seen the flood yet, nor had he even seen God. Yet his faith in him was so astounding that he took the instructions given to him and ran with them. The faith he had is a great example of what we should have. Just ask yourself this question, would I have built the ark? Would I have done exactly what Noah did? The answer may surprise you, and you may find out exactly how strong your faith really is. The obvious quality here is that Noah trusted in the Lord and his commandments. Jeremiah 17:7 says “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.” We are blessed when our whole trust is in the Lord but also he is the truth. Just as Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus is the truth, he’s the true way and the true life.

In verse 8 of Hebrews 11 Paul starts an almost “miniseries” on the faith of Abraham and all that he did. It goes from verse 8–19, taking a break from 13-16. We will start in verse 8 and only go to verse 10 and pick up there next time. Hebrews 11:8-10 states, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance,obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God.” [3] Let’s break this down verse by verse so it’s easier to understand. In verse 8 Paul takes note of Abraham’s faith in his journey. God calls Abraham to get up and leave, leave everything and everyone and go to this land. Now how hard would this be? You would have to leave your whole family and your house, and just walk away not even knowing where you’re headed. Walking by the promise of some voice you heard telling you he will make a great nation out of you if you go to this land. But Abraham knew it was God telling him these things and he knew he would lead him to where he needed to go. That’s real faith right there! He didn’t know what his future held, but he knew God wanted him to go there for an inheritance. In verse 9 Paul just says that by faith he made his home in the promised land (which is the land of Canaan) and lived in tents. Verse 10 says, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Here Paul is not speaking of Canaan the promised land, he is speaking of the heavenly city. God designed and built heaven, (along with everything else) and Abraham was a faithful servant to God and did everything he commanded to get to his home, heaven.

So in conclusion, Enoch, Noah and Abraham were all wonderful examples of faith. They each have individual stories that make them all unique, yet different they may be, they all have one thing in common, and that is the one faith they have in God. They all share one faith. Ephesians 4:5 says, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” We should all follow these examples of faith.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Genesis 5:18-24  “18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died. 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”                                                                                           https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+5%3A18-24

[2] Genesis  5:28 — 9:18

[3] Genesis 12:1-9 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you and I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord,who had appeared to him. 8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2012:1-9

One Comment Add yours

  1. Forrest says:

    Good Job Zach

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.