The sermon for Sunday August 7th, 2016. There is no audio this week.
This week we looked at Hebrews 11:1-16. This is often known as the heroes of faith chapter.
Our culture loves super heroes. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and all the rest. Most of these heroes were created in times of uncertainty and would give people moments of reprieve from the difficulties that surrounded them. The problem is that no matter how much we wanted it to be real, its not. It comes from the mind of an artist, its fiction, its made up. Can there be any hope in our troubling times?
When the church hears about heroes, I wonder if they lump it in with those of comic book legend. What happens to our hope?
The book of Hebrews is all about the foundation of hope. But before we get to the text, we need to understand the context.
Remember the early days…all kinds of persecution.
How do we become a people who:
-risk property and life in order to bring the love of God to people
-do not look for comforts and ease and security as necessary things in life
-are free from the American assumptions of style, wealth and leisure
-Live to be a blessing as we have been blessed
Verse 34 tells us it is because “knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one.” If we don’t believe this (and live by it) then we will always be thinking about how much we are losing out every time we make a sacrifice for others.
So, Chapter 11 is meant to deepen our confidence in God’s promises so that we turn from the fleeting pleasures of sin and live out the radical kind of love that comes from having your hope in God.
Verses 1-3 give a definition of faith:
-Assurance of things hoped for
-The conviction of things not seen
Confidence that we “have a better possession and an abiding one.” There is a link between the life of sacrificial love and the Heroes of Faith. This is a catalogue of people who illustrate that this kind of faith, really makes a difference.
Who are these heroes?
Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah…
These stories don’t read like a comic book. Nobody has super powers or has anything spectacular going on.
Heroes that live by faith, have an assurance of a better possession and an abiding one. When God’s people live by faith…they are heroes.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39
We are super conquerors because of what Jesus has done. There is nothing that can separate us from God, so who shall we fear?
The church today can be heroes that walk by faith.