Effortless Faith - Part 3

  • Now, moving onto part 3 of this awesome Truth. We have all heard about the “faith” chapter located in the book of Hebrews, Chapter 11. Studying this chapter reveals the “actions” of faith taken by the people mentioned, so it is a good place to start this part three.

    I’ll place the scriptures here and comment as appropriate. Before we start you’ll notice that faith begins as hope and indeed is unseen; so many doubt that it is real. What Hebrews 11 proves is that faith is a reality that can be trusted. There’s that reference to trust once again that we discussed previously.

    You can study verses 1-3 on your own. For purposes of this teaching we’ll start with verse 4, using the New Living Translation. Also, in order to avoid this teaching, which is already long from getting much longer (the reason for four parts), I will trim down some verses and eliminate others in this series of verses. That’s why it’s important for you to study all of this chapter on your own. The intent by trimming some and eliminating others is not to take scripture out of context. You’ll see that as you study the entirety of Hebrews 11.

    Hebrews 11:4-32.

    4 “It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did.”

    We notice here that Abel acted. He “brought” an offering to God. Faith in action. The verse goes on to say that although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. An example is not a theory, or belief, but an action. If I tell you 2+2=4, that’s a statement of truth. Now, there are many ways I can give you an example for that. I could use objects or write it on a chalk board or erasable ink board, plus other ways.

    5 “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.”

    The Message bible says it this way – “By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely”. The bolded words “taken” and “act” are action words. I like how it says he “skipped” death. He just skipped right around death. Skipping is an alternate walk/run style. How interesting.

    7 “It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood”.

    So we see that Noah acted on his faith by “building” a boat. That’s action in faith.

    8 “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going”.

    By now you ought to be getting the point that faith is action. Leave, go, and went. Skip to verse 11.

    11 “It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise”.

    She was able to have….Unless your Jesus’ mother Mary, this can only happen through action. Know what I mean?

    17 “It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him”.

    23 “It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command”. Moses’ parents acted on their faith and hid him.

    27 “It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible”. He “left” and “kept going”.

    29 “It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground”. They went…action.

    30 “It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down”.

    31 “It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies”. This harlet hid the spies. Action.

    32 “How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets”.

    Now that’s a good question. How much more do I need to say. If this doesn’t prove that faith is action, then there’s nothing more anyone can say to those who will not receive this truth.

    Anyone who is wondering, “Do I have enough faith?” is asking the wrong question? Look back again at Galatians 2:20. It’s not your faith, it’s His and He has all faith. Trying to trust in your own ability or decision to believe causes you to look within your own heart. As long as you’re looking at your own faith in this way, you’re looking at your works. Faith in Christ looks away from the heart to the person of Christ. It’s not about you and how hard you try to believe, it’s about the truth (Jesus finished the job).

    Faith does not say, “Do I believe?” but rather, “Christ is Savior.” Faith does not look at itself but at Christ. Otherwise, this “so-called” faith becomes a self-work. Law is about what we are to do. The Gospel is about what Christ did. The law or works says DO, but grace says DONE.

    Religious and legalistic teachings put people in bondage to works unto righteousness, holiness, and sanctification. When you tell people they have to believe, you’re actually preaching Law, not Gospel. But when you tell them Christ died for them, then you’re preaching the Gospel. You’re preaching Christ crucified.

    This is a good stopping point for part 3, but there's still more truth to come concerning Faith. Don't miss the final part 4 to this teaching. It will set you free from fear and works oriented christianity. Grace and Peace.