FAITH IS THE EVIDENCE
Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Hebrews 11:1 ¶ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Hebrews 11:4 ¶ By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
The very first verse in our text impresses upon us the immense value of faith. We are greatly urged never to cast away the confidence derived from our faith, as it has great compensation. For the grace of faith is that which makes us overcomers of the entire forces of the world. 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. And all overcomers shall receive great compensation for their continued faith. Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Faith is the only evidence of things not seen. 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. To perceive and have understanding of spiritual matters makes faith to be essential. No created being was there in the beginning when the Lord God spoke the world into existence. Therefore it can only be “understood” by the revelation that the grace of faith provides. Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
All faith, like Abraham’s, rests itself upon the Person of God. Therefore it ‘staggers not’ at God’s promises! Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And as this verse states, that gives glory to God and it also imputes righteousness to the believer. Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
For righteousness is not imputed except faith is evidenced by accompanying works. James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
For the very Author of faith – the Lord Jesus Christ – even though he had no sin to be repented of, insisted that John baptize him in order to establish righteousness to be connected to faith by this obedient work! And, like Abel, God testified of this as well! Matthew 3:13 ¶ Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1. The Receiving of Faith – The grace of faith is understood to be received by the hearing of the word. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Yet it is not just a bare physical hearing of preaching. John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. Romans 10:18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
The majority of organized religion is derived from but a literal hearing of ‘bible preaching,’ which only produces a degree of morality and a social organization. These ‘hearers’ are the stony ground and thorny ground hearers which have no lasting results. Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
But the hearing of faith does not simply hear with the outer ear the bare preaching of the bible. The hearing of faith is a blessed grace which hears not just the word of the bible. The hearing of faith is actually given to hear the Person of the Word! John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Consider how the Lord instructed Israel of the coming of the Holy Spirit to effectually speak to their hearts. Isaiah 30:20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
And after the Holy Spirit was sent from heaven, hear how the beloved Apostle John speaks of the inner, effectual hearing of the true believer. 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
There is a vast difference in a bare hearing of preaching and the spiritual hearing of faith! For the spiritual hearing is to hear Christ speak to the heart. Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
But both the hearing of the preaching with only the outer ear, and the hearing of faith with the heart have eternal consequences upon the heart. For hearing only the “letter” works death. But the hearing by faith of the spirit works eternal life. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
2. The Works of Faith – True, God-granted faith is always accompanied by works! Religious works, such as baptism, prayer, church attendance, morality, etc.. NEVER precede faith! But godly works always evidence the inner god-granted faith!
Notice how the Apostle Paul states, “not of works,” but it is “unto good works.” For these specific works are as much ‘ordained’ to be walk in as the believer was ordained to eternal life. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
It was by her works that Rahab, the harlot proved herself to be a child of faith, and became included in the line of Messiah. James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Rahab’s great-grandson was Jesse. And Jesse’s son was king David. Matthew 1:5 And Salmon begat Boaz of Rachab; and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6 And Jesse begat David the king;
There is no way to prove the possession of faith except by the ordained works of the Spirit. But there is no way one can obtain redemptive faith by one’s own works!
Hypocrites are not known by their outward appearance. They are known by the outward expression of their inner character. Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
This is why it is said the God shall judge every man according to their works! For their outward conduct reveals their inner character! Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
3. The Patience of Faith – It is only in patient endurance that true faith is rewarded! For it’s not the starting gate, but the finish line which evidences that which is true faith! Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
True faith does not draw back, but endures to the end, thus preventing eternal perdition and producing eternal salvation for the soul. Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
There is but one thing that goes with faith to produce patience, and that is sanctified afflictions! And the truly redeemed believer knows that therein he maintains he soul. Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
Failing to do so causes one to “make shipwreck of faith.” 1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
And if Hymenaeus and Alexander did not learn, they have been in the pit of the damned for some 2000 years now.
Listen how the Apostle Peter warns concerning the need of patient endurance. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
May God have mercy!
Pastor Gene Breed
September 27, 2018