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Wednesday, September 01 2021

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
Last week we started on the topic of faith where faith was unveiled and the first two patriarchs of faith; Abel and Enoch were mentioned as well as the testimonies of their faith. Today’s study is a continuation of the faith of the patriarchs, and we will continue with the next three patriarch’s. But first the Apostle Paul interrupts the flow with an amazing interjection in verse 6 . This interjection was deliberate! If the Jews believed that the patriarch’s pleased God, then they should know that it was by faith because “without faith it is impossible to please God”

VERSE 6: FAITH IS INDISPENSABLE
“And 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.” KJV 

If it is impossible to please God without faith. The opposite is also true; faith is what pleases God. Faith is a must, it is the entrance point to a relationship with God. He interacts with us based on His grace, we respond in faith. Faith is a key element for life. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus commented on people’s faith because it was important to Him, He looked for it and responded to it everywhere He went. (Matthew 8:26, “O ye of little faith”), (Matthew 8:10, “I have not seen such great faith,” (Mark 5:34 "your faith has healed you”), (Luke 18:8, “But, when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the Earth?”

So the underlying truth to draw from is that God responds to faith. It pleases Him, it moves Him to act and it is essential in the life of the believer because whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)

There are two parts to faith in this verse which show why it pleases God. First, the Apostle says that faith believes that God exists. Second, he says that faith believes that God is the rewarder of those who seek Him. In other words, we please God by being expectant.

VERSE 7: NOAH’S FAITH
"By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God." (MSG)

What Noah Did By Faith:
• He built a ship in the middle of dry land (Genesis 6:13–22)
We need to understand the optics to appreciate how the command to build an ark would have been received by Noah and everyone else – building a ship in the middle of dry land. How in the world are you going to move it to the sea?

No mention is made of rain on the earth until the Flood (Gen. 7:4,12). The original earth and the Garden of Eden were watered by streams, rivers, and mist instead of by rain (Genesis 2:5,6,10). So, the faith of Noah described in this verse was very strong. Noah was warned about things not seen, if it had rained before then the Bible would not have referred to the warning as of something not seen implying that rain was not part of humanity's early experience. That is why God made a covenant with the rainbow so humanity is not afraid whenever it threatens to rain. Genesis 9:8-17

If the earth did not experience rain before the Flood, then Noah's ark-building must have appeared especially foolish to his critics. Just imagine the ridicule!

How Did He Exercise His Faith?
• By acting on what he was told; even though it was something he hadn’t seen before

What Noah Gained By His Faith:
• His family was saved. (Genesis 7:7)
• His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world.
• He became intimate with God. (Genesis 9:8-17)

VERSE 8-10: ABRAHAM’S FAITH
"By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God." (MSG)

What Abraham Did By Faith:
• He said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. (Genesis 12:1-5)
• He lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. (Genesis 13:18)
• He passed the same belief to his children and grandchildren (Genesis 18:19)

How Did He Exercise His Faith?
• By keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.

What Abraham Gained By His Faith:
• He became father of many nations (Genesis 17:5)
• His offspring inherited the Promised Land (Numbers 34:1-12)

VERSE 11-12: SARAH’S FAITH
"By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. That’s how it happened that from one man’s dead and shriveled loins there are now people numbering into the millions." (MSG)

What Sarah Did By Faith:
• She was able to become pregnant in her old age against all odds.
Just imagine the pressure today people of child bearing age face when they are trying to conceive. It's not uncommon for such people to become depressed.

How Did She Exercise Her Faith?
• By believing the One who made a promise would do what He said.

What Sarah Gained By Her Faith:
• She helped Abraham become father of many nations and by that mother of many nations too! (Genesis 17:5)
• Her offspring inherited the Promised Land (Numbers 34:1-12)

CONCLUSION
Faith is indispensable; it gives substance to spiritual things and the things God is doing in our lives. For the Christian Jews, who were being accused and persecuted by family members and their rabbis that they were abandoning their heritage, it was important that they knew that a life of faith is a mark of their Hebrew heritage and not a departure from it. so the apostle wrote this chapter to link them to this heritage. In verse 2 of this chapter he said that it is by faith that the elders obtained a good report.
Having this faith we have discussed today means nothing without works. The faith these patriarchs exhibited was not by the words they said but by their actions. The ultimate practicality of faith is that the way we live is consistent with what we believe.
James 2:14 says: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?”
And in verse 26: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

• Noah believed and built the ark without seeing
• Abraham believed and moved from his home without knowing
• Sarah received strength to have a baby when it was humanly impossible

You and I can learn from this patriarchs and please God by our “active” faith. Believing He exists and being expectant that He will come through

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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