Do you really believe in Jesus or do you just say it? A passing ‘fancy’, a flavor of the moment?
I believe and have ‘Faith’. . But, what is “Faith.?”
(1) Faith involves bold action.
Most of the examples delineated in Hebrews 11 involve a person acting boldly in accordance with the word of God. By faith Abel offered God a superior sacrifice, Noah built, Abraham obeyed by leaving familiar territory and later offered Isaac, Isaac blessed his sons and one of those sons blessed Isaac’s great-grandsons. And on the list goes. The author spits out action words in rapid succession in vv. 32-34: they conquered, administered, gained, shut, quenched, escaped, became powerful, and routed. Faith acts out a bold confidence.
(2) True faith is action taken in response to the unseen God and his promises.
Faith, rather than merely static belief or cognitive assent, spurs one to act in accordance with God’s truth. Its boldness, however, seems especially to do with the fact that these great people of faith are backed up by the Unseen. They step forward with eyebrow-raising tenacity and confidence and with no perceptible reason for doing so. Yet, God has spoken. God has manifested himself, and this is reason enough. Therefore, we too are called to an active, bold faith which finds its reason in the unseen God. If we have faith of another stripe we need to re-evaluate our “faith.”
(3) Faith involves God working extraordinary miracles in the lives of ordinary people.
We call the example list of Hebrews 11 the “Hall of Faith” and think of these inductees as specially heroic. Yet, if we stop and reflect for a moment we will realize that there is much about those in the list that is less than admirable. For example, Noah got drunk and lay naked in his tent; Abraham lied about Sarai; Isaac lied about Rebekah; Jacob lived the life of a deceiver; Moses committed murder; the people of Israel were a bunch of ungrateful grumblers, Gideon a doubter, and David an adulterer. We might think that the author of Hebrews is stretching things a bit in holding these people up as exemplary if not for one thing—real faith must be expressed by real people, real pilgrims who have yet to reach the heavenly city. They are searching; they haven’t arrived. These are “heroes” not because they are perfect, but because they worked with God in his perfect work. Thus we too are eligible for enlistment in the life of faith.
(4) Faith seems to be applicable to a variety of situations.
It is striking that in the list of Hebrews 11 we do not have one healing, although support for that form of miracle can be found readily elsewhere in the New Testament. We have an offering, a transportation to heaven, the building of a boat, the moving of a family, the ability to have a child, obedience in offering that child back to God, blessing of children, seeing into the future, defying an authority, the choosing of mistreatment above pleasure, the keeping of a religious ordinance, and so on. Faith involves conquering in war, deliverance from animals and fire, and resurrection.
(5) Biblical faith may have a variety of outcomes as well.
Notice that faith sometimes has an immediate, “positive” outcome, as when the children of Israel passed through the sea, the walls of Jericho fell, and widows received their dead back by resurrection. Yet, we also find that faith can be rewarded with a “delayed” outcome or even a “negative” outcome. Abel still got murdered. Abraham had to wait for the son of the promise. Faith also seems to involve being tortured, mocked, beaten, destitute, stoned, put in prison, generally mistreated, and even mutilated. These do not fit easily into a “see all the wonderful things God wants to do in your life” Gospel of modern, Western Christianity. Yet the picture is biblical. Our application of this passage must point out that faithful people sometimes do not see “results” in this life.
(6) However, faith is rewarded by God.
One resounding point of Hebrews 11 is that God’s pilgrims look beyond the immediate to grasp the significance of the ultimate. Faith involves believing “that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” One primary reward stands out in the chapter—God’s commendation (11:2,39), the “well done” every true believer longs to hear.
Because of our sins Jesus was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. Most paintings are inaccurate! Have you ever seen an individual whipped? I meane really whipped? There is no control of the thongs of the whip. To make it all the more unimaginable, the guards would have been experts of their trade. To further describe how intense their acts were. After the death of Jesus when Pilate was asked for the body, surprise was expressed that Jesus would be dead so soon.
According to John 19:38, upon hearing ofJesus’ death, this secret disciple of Jesus”asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission.” Joseph immediately purchased a linen shroud (Mark 15:46) and proceeded to Golgotha to take the body of Jesus down from the cross.
He poured out His blood for us in “LITERS!” Till there was minimal, to no blood left!
When we pray with “The blood of Jesus.” A Manvwithbno wrong was killed for us! He was found guilty of our sins! His suffering was for us! Thousands of years later we hear,know and at times understand just what this implied.
We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received. LIKE and AMEN
It has already been suffered we have been made whole in the past. Receive it, live it, believe it!