Review of Hebrews 1-10
How to Live by Faith (Chapter 11)

Fred R. Coulter—October 23, 2004

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Let's go back and we'll just do a little survey of the first four chapters of Hebrews, because this sets the theme for everything. This shows:

  • the office and power of Christ and Who He is
  • what He is compared to angels; compared to human beings
  • our calling and what we have to do
  • things we have to be aware of
  • it ends up in Heb. 4 that Christ is our High Priest

This is a written sermon that, I think, Paul perfected and Luke wrote it down so that by the time that the final product came out in 61A.D. it was really well refined and one of the best-written books of the New Testament as far as the Greek is concerned. It does one of the greatest and most powerful things, which is this: It shows that every human being upon repentance and baptism and belief in Jesus Christ as personal Savior is granted the privilege and blessing of not only having their sins forgiven through the grace of God, but to have direct access to God the Father in heaven above through Jesus Christ our High Priest!

  • with that blessing
  • with that privilege
  • with that connection to God the Father and Jesus Christ

we find in Heb. 6 & 10 the strong language about the unpardonable sin, because of what God has done to help us, to rescue us, to save us, and what God is doing to grant us eternal life. We need to keep that in mind.

Let's also understand this: God's way, as we have gone over how many times, is not a 'religion.' When you sit down and you analyze all the religions of the world, what are they? They are a substitute for the Way and the Truth of God.

People take just enough of God in their religion that they feel comfortable, and they keep just enough of the world so they can be accepted by them. That will be in varying degrees when you get into some of these pagan religions; they're off into demonism and Satan worship and witchcraft and all of that sort of thing. Yet, there is a certain lure and a certain wisdom that comes from the knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil—which is Satan's way—that people believe they have something good.

The book of Hebrews shows that all those kinds of things are just thrown to the wayside and we have direct access to God the Father and Jesus Christ:

  • that's the center of our lives
  • that's the reason for our being
  • that's the meaning to everything that we do
  • the purpose of every thought we think
  • gives us the strength and the faith to really overcome

It really shows very clearly that Christianity—true Christianity of God—is a created relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ and it is not something to be taken lightly! He wants us to know the very basis of our faith and our belief and our calling and everything that we do, because all the doctrine in the world—and you need good doctrine and you need right doctrine and you need right teaching—isn't going to do you any good unless you understand the reason for your calling and the relationship that you have with God.

Hebrews 1:1: "God… [isn't that interesting the way it starts out] …Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets… [we've got Moses and all the Prophets, the Psalms and so forth] …has spoke to us in these last days by His Son…. [greater than all of them, because the Son was the One Who talked to them] …Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the ages" (vs 1-2).

This tells us Who we're dealing with; this tells Who is dealing with us. This is to give us faith and strength and hope regardless of all the situations that we may be confronted with in our lives. We're going to see when we get back into Heb. 10 that they were confronted with a lot of things. And then when we get into the faith chapter (Heb. 11), we're going to see that's the very kind of faith that we need to have today. Not a good time Sunday-keeper or a good time Sabbath-keeper that as long as I have my friends and I go to church and I feel good.

  • What are you going to do when you don't have any friends?
  • What are you going to do when you don't have any church to go to?
  • What are you going to do when you are in the pit, in the bottom of a trial and a difficulty that you have to go through, and your only help is with God?

That's what this tells us about, so he wants us to know—and remember this was written in 61A.D.; sent to all the churches in Judea, especially to Jerusalem; and was a warning that the temple was going to be destroyed and eliminated. Everyone thought the way it was with the Jews—because they could read in the Old Testament that you come to Jerusalem as a place to worship and if you go to Jerusalem—there's a great blessing in doing so. God is saying, no; there is a greater blessing if you go directly to God the Father and Jesus Christ. Do not trust in physical things, be it a temple that even God instructed on how to build and the way to run the services. Quite an amazing thing! To show:

  • His office
  • His power
  • His character
  • Who we're dealing with

Verse 3: "Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person…" The Greek there is 'hypostasis'—which we will see can also mean substance and will have a great deal to do with faith (Heb. 11:1).

Verse 3: "…and upholding all things by the word of His own power…" (v 3). In other words, we cannot come to any higher authority than God the Father and Jesus Christ. By His word the heavens and earth exist. By His word they are sustained and if He were not righteous and true and Holy and perfect, they would not be sustained.

"…when He had by Himself…" (v 3). He had to do that by Himself—the whole crucifixion—as we've gone through with The Day Jesus the Christ Died. It had to be, because He was the One Who created Adam and Eve and hence created all mankind through the means of procreation; He alone was responsible. He alone was the only One Who could take away our sins, and that's the whole purpose of it when you get into the other chapters which talk about animal sacrifices and so forth. So, he is setting the stage with it.

"…sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… [then he compares Him with angels]: …having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them. For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son; this day I have begotten You'? And again, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me'? And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him'" (vs 3-6).

Then he shows again that the Son is God, v 8: "But on the other hand, of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God, is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness…" (vs 8-9).

That shows the love, the power, the perfection and everything of Christ. It shows how He is going to deliver the whole kingdom to Him. Then he gets down to us. How are we to react to God in the light of Heb. 1, because this is pretty powerful?

Hebrews 2:1: "For this reason, it is imperative…" People tend to get in ruts. Let me tell you how human nature is; you can see it as it relates to exercise. I know because I have to exercise a lot and if I don't, I won't be in good health. But I tell you what, every time I start exercising, my old body and brain say, 'You don't really have to do as much,' even though when I start I'm in the determination of doing it! And that's just the way human nature is with everything! If you get busy you'll pray later, God understands. You haven't studied. Well, I've memorized Scripture. Oh well, I don't have to read it; I don't have to do it; I don't have to do this.

That's why it says, v 1: "…it is imperative that we give much greater attention to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away." Then he gives his very first warning. I want you to think on this since we're dealing with God.

Verse 2: "For if the word spoken by angels was enforced without fail, and every transgression and disobedience received just recompense, how shall we escape…" (vs 2-3). Paul doesn't tell you here, but he shows later in Heb. 10 the fires of eternal judgment.

"…if we have neglected so great a salvation; which was first received when it was spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him" (v 3).

This is showing it is Paul who wrote it. Then he shows that, yes, Christ came having been made lower than the angels:

Verse 9: "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death…" Only His death—the death and no other death—can pay for the sins of mankind, and that's why it was written that way in the Greek.

"…in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone" (v 9). Just tie v 9 to Heb. 1:3—He purged our sins by Himself. That's how He did it! Then going one step further he says, 'Now look, God also took upon the same kind of flesh and blood and nature that human beings have so He can be a faithful High Priest' (v 17).

After he has laid this out, then Heb. 3 again shows that Christ is of a higher authority than Moses, by saying Moses was a steward.

Hebrews 3:1: "Because of this, Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of the faith we profess—Jesus Christ, Who was faithful to Him Who appointed Him, even as Moses was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of greater glory than Moses, even as He Who built the house has so much more honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but He Who built all things is God" (vs 1-4).

Verse 6: "But on the other hand, Christ was faithful as the Son over His own house; Whose house we are, if we are truly holding fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end." We are going to talk about faith, hope and love and see how that all works together.

Verse 7: "For this reason, even as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you will hear His voice.'" (vs Isn't that interesting? {note sermon: The Simplicity of Christ—Obey My Voice. That's the whole thing with all of us.

Then he shows what happened to the Israelites who really didn't believe God—all of those who rebelled, didn't want to go into the land when God promised. The reason the penalty was so difficult and harsh upon them was because they tempted Him ten times leading up to that in many different ways. When God promises something, which is also part of what the book of Hebrews shows, we can be guaranteed of those promises. And the ultimate promise that He has given, which cannot fail, is the resurrection from the dead! We know that that cannot fail because Jesus Christ rose from the dead!

Then he shows what they did—you cannot sin and walk with God. You cannot rebel and expect God's blessing. Then he gave a warning here:

Verse 12: "Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God." He really lays it on the line.

I think today, the world that we are living in, we really need to think about this because we have seen that happen over and over again that they count the calling of God with such lightness, and then with such contempt. Then know, sure enough, Satan is going to throw something in the mix, which is going to cause you if you do not recover yourself, to fall away by your own choice. Like some people in the world say, 'I'll believe God if He would prevent this, or do that, or do the other.' No!

  • You believe God because He is!
  • You believe God because He says so!
  • You believe God because His Word is true!

Verse 13: "Rather, be encouraging one another…" This is another thing that you find throughout the whole Bible: correction/encouragement.

"…each day, while it is called 'today'…" (v 13). That's what's important—never destroy today with the sins and problems of yesterday, last week, last month, last year, five years ago, ten years ago, fifteen years ago. Today, take each day. Don't put fear in yourself by being concerned about what's going to happen tomorrow. What did Jesus say? 'Sufficient for the day thereof is its own evil.' You have enough to handle today. If you go through today putting God first, then fine, that's great; do it tomorrow; do it everyday; take each day as today. That's what he is saying here.

The reason is, "…so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (v 13). Let's just stop and think about it for a minute because he's leading up to today, and then he is going to focus in on a specific day, which has everything to do with our salvation.

Let's see what that day is, Hebrews 4:3: "For we who have believed, we ourselves are entering into the rest…" We have rest from sin, as we overcome; we have peace with God because everything in the past is forgiven, but we need to enter into the rest of God, which is the Sabbath. That is a type of the Millennium and the ultimate rest is to be in the first resurrection and enter into the Kingdom of God; that is true, but Jesus Christ did not keep the Sabbath for us. The Sabbath and today becomes all important.

"…entering into the rest, as He has said, 'So I swore in My wrath, "If they shall enter into My rest—"'… [and that's the way it is in the Greek: 'if you love Me and keep My commandments, if you obey My voice, you shall enter into My rest.' So, it's conditional to enter into the ultimate reward of God.] …although the works were finished from the foundation of the world" (v 3). God's plan was all ready to go from the foundation of the world.

Verse 4: "For He spoke in a certain place about the seventh day in this manner: And God rested on the seventh day from all His works."

What is Paul doing? He is showing that the Sabbath does not rest upon a claim of Judaism, but it rests upon the creation of God and the resting of God on the seventh day. So, the true meaning of resting on the Sabbath means that you are resting in peace with God on the Sabbath Day; that's what it's talking about.
Verse 5: "And again concerning this: 'If they shall enter into My rest—'" Go back and read in the Old Testament how many times God had to send the children of Israel off into captivity because of sin and idolatry, and Sabbath and Holy Day breaking. Over and over again! Today, those who call themselves Protestants, are deluded into thinking that their Sunday-keeping has God's approval because there appears to be certain blessings to come with it, but the blessings that they have, are not the blessings that come from Sunday-keeping; they are reaping the blessings that God promised to Abraham to give to Isaac and Jacob and to give specifically to the children of Ephraim and Manasseh in the last days. That's the blessing that they are looking at, not the blessing that comes from their substituting Sunday for the Sabbath! What Paul is showing here is that Sabbath-keeping is absolutely essential to salvation!

Verse 6: "Consequently, since it remains for some to enter into it, and those who had previously heard the Gospel did not enter in because of disobedience." What does that mean? They didn't keep the first commandment! They rejected God even in the wilderness, while Moses was up on the mountain. They made the golden calf, so they had idolatry. They said 'let's have a feast unto God,' so they took God's name in vain, and they broke the Sabbath right there before the Old Covenant could even get off the ground! So, they didn't enter into the 'promised land' because of disobedience.

This also tells us that no one is going to enter into the Kingdom of God unless they are obedient to God, which includes the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is the key fulcrum commandment of the whole thing. As we have seen that comes from all the Holy Days! Very important to understand! That's why he backs up and talks about Joshua.

Verse 8: "For if Joshua had given them rest…" That is the true rest of God, the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God as spoken by the latter prophets.

"…He would not have spoken long afterwards of another day. There remains, therefore, Sabbath-keeping for the people of God" (vs 8-9). That's the literal translation of it.

People in the world don't like that kind of translation because it shows that their way of interpreting it is not correct. It is convicting because they're not keeping the Sabbath, and they don't like it! I tell you what, all these Sunday-keepers, their day of reckoning is coming. I guarantee you their day of reckoning is coming!

Verse 9: "There remains, therefore, Sabbath keeping for the people of God. For the one who has entered into His rest… [on the Sabbath Day, that's God's rest] …he also has ceased from his works… [you don't do your own work and labor on the Sabbath] …just as God did from His own works" (vs 9-10).

It's showing that the keeping of the Sabbath the way that God wants it kept, goes clear back to creation. That's what it's talking about. Here is how Paul links salvation and Sabbath-keeping:

Verse 11: "We should be diligent, therefore, to enter into that rest… [be diligent to keep the Sabbath] …lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience."

What happens when people start neglecting the Sabbath? You start losing contact with God, because God puts His presence in the Sabbath. Whether you are alone, or whether two or three are gathered, or whether you have a small fellowship group, or a large fellowship group, God has set aside the Sabbath Day as a day of fellowshipping that He gives His Spirit, He gives His inspiration. We all need to prepare for the Sabbath, not only physically, but we need to prepare spiritually.

  • How can any minister teach unless he prepares?
  • How can he expect to feed the flock of God unless he knows the Word of God?
  • How can he expect them to grow in grace and knowledge if he himself is not growing in grace and knowledge?
  • How can he expect God to inspire him, or inspire the brethren, if he is not doing the work and perspiration so the inspiration will come?

You know what they say, 'Inspiration is 90% perspiration.' In other words, you've got to have all the work up to it and then—BING!—the inspiration comes! So, there's got to be

  • the work of prayer
  • the work of study
  • the work of living God's way everyday of the week

Then when the Sabbath comes and we prepare, then God will make that:

  • a blessed Sabbath
  • a profitable Sabbath
  • a good Sabbath
  • an encouraging Sabbath

and draw us closer to Him. Then we can take all of the problems of the world that we are confronted with, and we can cast those aside for this seventh day, to come and worship and honor God and study His Word. Then we have strength spiritually and we have the ability, spiritually and mentally, to continue going living in a world filled with sin.
Verse 12 is the summation of everything up to this point and it specifically lays out how important the Sabbath Day is. There is no getting around it; all the vain reasoning and false interpretations of men are not going to change the Word of God.

Verse 12: "For the Word of God is living…" No one is going to get away from it; more powerful than the law of gravity.

"…and shaper than any two-edged sword…" (v 12). Who's going to fight against God? It also shows that if God is going to fight against you, you're going to pay! That's what he is warning about here:

"…piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit… [that that shows they are different] …and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart" (v 12).

No other book in the world is able to do that. What he is showing here is this: Christ is there at the right hand of God actively always enforcing the Word of God, and it is automatic; it is set in motion.

Furthermore, v 13: "And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account."

It says that everyone is going to stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ and give an account of himself! You can go through the parables, and you can understand how that accounting is going to be. Again, we have warning/encouragement, so we had the warning, vs 12 & 13. Now we have the encouragement because of this:

Verse 14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet, He was without sin. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 14-16).

What he is saying here is, as I have said many times, as long as there is life, there is hope! If you have sinned and you have gone back and if you have slipped; you can repent! King Manasseh did, and even Ahab did. So, as long as there is life, there is hope, and as long as there is true repentance, there is mercy and forgiveness always! There may be some discipline that will come along with it, so that you don't fall into the habit of doing it again, but nevertheless, that is mercy and grace in time of need.
Then in Heb. 5 he talks about how the High Priest of Jesus Christ works, that:

  • He was perfected
  • He suffered
  • He went through death

Heb. 6 tells about the unpardonable sin; Hebrews 6:11: "But we earnestly desire that every one of you be demonstrating the same diligence, unto the full assurance of the hope until the end." Then we'll see what kind of faith and what kind of hope when we get into Heb. 11.

Verse 12: "So that you do not become lazy…" I tell you what, if you sit around and do nothing long enough, it's going to be hard to get anything done. Like the old story, 'I've got to fix the roof, but it isn't raining so I don't have to do it now.' Then the rain comes so I said, 'Well, I should have fixed the roof, but I can't do it because it's raining.' A lot of people tend their lives just that way.

Trust me, we're all going to have enough trials and difficulties to overcome, that come just in the natural course of living and existing and growing in grace and knowledge, that we don't need to bring upon ourselves the trials and corrections that come with being lazy spiritually. Then he gives a solution, again: correction/solution.

Verse 12: "…but that you be imitators of those who, through faith and steadfast endurance, inherit the promises." The rest of the book is about faith and steadfast endurance. So, not only is this filled with fantastic teachings, our direct connection with God, what we need to do, but it is also a continuous admonition for long-time Christians, for faith and steadfast endurance to inherit the promises.

Verse 13: "For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself…" How much greater assurance of anything can we have but what God has sworn by Himself? Let's think about that for a minute:

  • Is God true? Yes!
  • God always gives us the Truth? Yes!
  • Does God love us? Yes!
  • Does God desire us? Yes!
  • Has God personally called us? Yes!

When God swears by Himself—He swore to Abraham and that's important because 'if you are Christ's then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.' We've seen how that ties in with the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread and so forth, and goes all the way back to Abraham, and Abraham believed God! That's the kind of belief, we're going to see that we need to have, but He's not basing that belief on an empty notion or a hollow promise; it is based upon the very existence of God.

God doesn't need to swear, but when He says, v 13: "…swore by Himself, since He could swear by none greater, saying, 'Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you.' Now, after he had patiently endured…" (vs 13-15).

Just go through and do a survey of the book of Hebrews and see how much there is with endurance—there's and awful lot, and remember what Jesus said, 'The one who endures to the end, the same shall be saved.'

Verse 15: "Now, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For indeed, men swear by the greater, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them. In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose, confirmed it by an oath" (v 15-17).

Let's 'put to bed' something that a lot of people ask: Why did God call me? Because He wants you, that's why. That He has His purpose, and it says here:

"…to show the heirs…"—which we are. Are we not the heirs—joint heirs with Christ? Didn't Christ inherit all things as we read there in the first chapter? Yes! Are we not co-heirs with Jesus Christ? Yes!

"…of the promise…" It's by faith, we haven't attained it, yet.

"…the unchangeable nature of His own purpose…" God isn't going to change His purpose, He has a plan. Isn't that interesting? I wonder what Protestants do with that? They have changed everything and say it is God's purpose. God says that, 'I have an unchangeable nature of My purpose.'

"…confirmed it by an oath; so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie…" (vs 17-18).

The very first thing Satan did with Adam and Eve was say that God lied! He didn't come out and say directly God lied, but he said, 'God hasn't told you everything. I can tell you more things; I can give you the benefit now.' That's the way Satan always does, he comes and he shows you the pleasure of sin for a season, and he's got you! Witness any holiday of this world, it's all for the children. It's all for good: 'Oh, we know we're lying, but it's for good.' God doesn't work that way.
"…it was impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge… [to God] …might have strong encouragement…" (v 18). God wants us to be encouraged because there is no variableness or wavering of His purpose and He wants you to understand that that is so.

"…to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast…" (vs 18-19). It doesn't matter what the circumstances are around, that is secure and steadfast. That's the kind of faith:

"…and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil… [remember how that ties in with Heb. 10] …where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec" (vs 19-20).

I want you to see how similar that it is to what we covered the last part of Heb. 4 & 6. We finished up through the unpardonable sin, down through:

Hebrews 10:30: "For we know Him Who has said, '"Vengeance belongs to Me. I will recompense!" says the Lord.' And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (vs 30-31).

That is for judgment and execution against you of the unpardonable sin. What we have to understand and what Paul was writing about here is that God has His plan and when He has called us, we are responsible to Him and He means business and there is no recourse or turning back! Remember what Jesus said, 'He who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.'

Now then, after this terrible warning that he gave here in Heb. 10, about the unpardonable sin, then he does exactly what God inspires all the writers of the Bible to do, that is bring encouragement!

Verse 32: "But remember the earlier days when, after you were enlightened, you endured much conflict in your sufferings." You go back and read in the book of Acts what happened to all the brethren there, and how Saul was hunting them down and how the leaders of Judaism were coming after them, and how that the miracles that all the apostles did to where even the passing of Peter's shadow healed people who were laying alongside the street! They were persecuted for it!

Verse 33: "On the one part, you were made a public spectacle by both insults and severe trials…" Stop and think! What he is saying is this: Stop and think about what you have already gone through! Did you go through it in vain? Are you going to throw away God's promise and gift and inheritance?

"…and on the other part, you became companions of those who were enduring the same things" (v 33). So, by forced circumstances, you were brought together.

Verse 34: "For you not only showed compassion to me in my bonds…" That was obviously in the time that he was in prison down there in Caesarea before he went to Rome.

"…but also gladly endured the plunder of your possessions…." (v 34). In other words, what were they doing to these Christians? Taking their possessions, running them out of their homes, taking everything that they had!

Now, don't anybody tell me that you're having a difficult time today. No one has beaten in your door. No one has come in and hauled you off. No one has taken your possessions. No one has done those things to you, but guaranteed, the day is going to come. That's why when the day comes, you don't all of a sudden have faith to endure it; you better have enduring faith up to that point so when it comes, then you're not going to have your heart set on the physical goods. When the difficulties and tough times come down, then you will have peace of mind and security because you belong to Christ.

You "…endured the plunder of your possessions, knowing within yourselves that you have a greater and more enduring possession in the heavens" (v 34)—which then Christ is going to bring when He returns. He is going to:

  • resurrect you
  • give you eternal life
  • give you an inheritance
  • you're going to live in New Jerusalem

and it can't get any better than that!

Verse 35: "For this very reason… [here comes a warning—notice, warning/encouragement]: …do not cast away your confidence, which is bringing a great reward. For you need to have endurance…" (vs 35-36).

Notice how that ties in with Heb. 6; and, boy, is it not true that we need endurance today! People give up at the drop of a hat, too many times. What you can do is tie in the parable of the sower (Matt. 13); parable of the 10 virgins and the pounds in (Matt. 25); the parable of the talents (Luke 19).

Verse 36: "For you need to have endurance, so that, after you have done the will of God…" Please understand this: No one is going to receive anything from God unless they are doing the will of God. Jesus said that 'not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who is doing the will of My Father Who is in heaven.' You have to do the will of God always.

  • Is it the will of God that you keep His commandments? Yes!
  • Is it the will of God that you overcome your human nature? Yes!
  • Is it the will of God that you love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and being? Yes!
  • Is it the will of God that you learn of His Word? Yes!
  • Is it the will of God that you endure and die in the faith to be resurrected? Yes!

Then you will receive the promise!

As I pointed out in the commentary in the New Testament, that they were expecting Christ to return in their lifetime and here is a Scripture that shows that, which then actually turns out to be a prophecy for our day today.

Verse 37: "For it is but a short time until He Who is coming will come, and will not delay." He is going to come! But I see where God is going to let this world have its way under Satan the devil that is going to be so awesome and so breathtaking that only those who really know the Truth and have the Spirit of God and are converted are going to be able to know right from wrong and Truth from error. It is going to be something!

Here is the theme of Heb. 11; he introduces it this way, v 38: "Now it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'…" That's how we are to live. This is also quoted in Rom. 1 and Hab. 2.

"…but if anyone draws back, My soul does not delight in him" (v 38). We're going to find out and understand the faith that he is talking about is the faith that comes from God, not just the carnal faith and belief that certain people have and then something happens immediately. No, this is talking about you believing in spite of all the circumstances around you, to the contrary. You still believe in God; you still trust in God; that's what it's talking about here and that's how you live by faith.

Again a little warning and encouragement, v 39: "But we are not of those who draw back unto destruction; rather, we are of faith unto the saving of the soul."

Hebrews 11:

All of Heb. 11 goes into what faith is. Let's understand, it gives us many, many examples and when we go through them, I am not going to take the time and go back to the Old Testament and read all the Scriptures of it. I will leave that up to you. Let's read the conclusion of the matter first, then we'll go back through it because this is the goal where it is coming.

Hebrews 12:1: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance." Just go through and study endurance here in the book of Hebrews, and that's quite profound, and ask yourself: Do you have endurance?

Here's how to have endurance, v 2: "Having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin" (vs 2-4). That shows how far the endurance has to go.

Hebrews 11 builds up to that conclusion. We'll do some study on what it means to live by faith; the just shall live by faith.

Hebrews 11:1: "Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for…" The Greek word here is 'hypostasis'—which means substance. The faith that we have is the spiritual substance from God. In other words, it's something that cannot come of yourself; it must come from God.

This "…faith is the substance of things hoped for… [because we're going to see faith and hope are all tied together] …and the conviction of things not seen" (v 1). That's what is really lacking in the world today. You would have to say a Laodicean is lacking in conviction, and conviction is a pretty powerful thing. We'll talk about that a little later.

Verse 2: "For by this kind of faith the elders obtained a good report. By faith we understand that the worlds were created by the Word of God, so that the things that are seen were made from things that are invisible" (vs 2-3)—which is an absolutely true scientific statement that endures through all time.

Verse 6: "Now, without faith… [or apart from faith] …it is impossible to please God. For it is mandatory for the one who comes to God to believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

That's the whole basis of our belief. Unless you know, understand and prove and believe that God exists, then you have no basis for anything at all, and God expects you to diligently seek Him, because as human beings, we're the ones who are the question mark. If you tie this, all of it, in together and take what we have covered: today, day-by-day, diligently seeking God.

Remember this: God promises! Every Word of God is a promise of God! We can claim those promises and we need to claim those promises. Jesus said, 'Seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you; ask and it shall be given to you.' You have to understand that that will happen in God's way, and in God's time, and the ultimate of that is the resurrection.

Let's look at what it means to live by faith. You've heard me say so you can write these down and we will look at each one of them: Walk by faith or walk in faith, believe in hope and live in love!

Walk By Faith

Walk by faith or walk in faith is right here, it's Scriptural; we'll see some other Scriptures that go with it. 2-Corinthians 5:7: "For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Here Paul explains a little bit more about what kind of example of faith that we are to walk in. It's talking about Abraham:

Romans 4:12: "And that he might become the father of the circumcision—not to those who are of the circumcision only, but also to those who walk in the footsteps of the faith of our father Abraham, which he had during his uncircumcision."

We know what that means because 'Abraham obeyed My voice, kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws' (Gen. 26:5). Walk by faith! Let's understand this concerning faith, it takes no faith whatsoever to break the commandments of God. It takes faith to keep the commandments of God because you believe God. We also need to understand concerning faith that it's a pretty powerful thing. Let's see that, as we explained, it is the gift of God as well as salvation. He is talking about how we are rescued from the prince of the power of the air:

Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith…" God is not going to forgive your sins if you say, 'O God, forgive me' and you don't change your way. 'O God, I love your grace. Any thought that comes to me is good because I'm under your grace.' No!

"…by grace you have been saved through faith…" (v 8). That means:

  • you believe that God exists
  • you know that He exists
  • you know that His Word is true

and you're going to live by every Word of God.

"…and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God" (v 8). When it talks about that faith is the substance, that is a gift from God that is imparted to you in the spirit of your mind by God's Spirit; it is a Spirit substance that God gives you, which then comes from the begettal of God.

Let's draw an analogy here: Psa. 139 talks about how great and fantastic David brought out about the creation of human beings. He talks about the very beginning of his life when in his mother's womb He [God] knew David's substance, meaning the very pinprick of life of what he would be, yet, unformed and that's quite a miracle. You think about that! If you want to humble yourself do this: you take a pen or pencil and you just put the point down on a piece of paper and you look at that little speck that is there and that's you, that's you! Isn't it stupid that people get all carried away with vanity and how great and important they are? That's what Christ had to become in order to save us. That's amazing!

We are saved through faith, not of ourselves; it's the gift of God. I cannot help but always think of the Scripture which says, 'You have nothing you didn't receive.' That's really something, too. Nothing! If you didn't use everything that God gave you:

  • if you don't breathe the air that God created, you're going to die
  • if you don't eat the food God created, you're going to die
  • if you don't drink the water that God has created, you're going to die

—and on and on. If you don't live by God's way, the ultimate thing is going to be death because the wages of sin is death.

I am struck by the great and profound plan that God has. Remember what it says, 'Dust you are and unto dust you will return.' All of you women have dusted your house. That reminds me; a little girl was checking under her bed and she saw all these little rolls of dust under there and she came running to her mommy and said, 'Come and look, come and look!' They got down there and looked at the dust and the mother said, 'Oh, I've got to clean it up!' And the little girl said, 'I wonder if that is a person coming or going' There we are, a little speck of dust!

Verse 9: "Not of works, so that no one may boast." That is of our own works because we have the works of God.

Verse 10: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…" That's why faith is so profound, so that God will work and do what He is going to do.

"…unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10). If we walk by faith or in faith and live by faith, we are walking in the way of God and those good works are what God requires us to do!
Let's see just a little summary of that; 1-John 3:21: "Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God. And whatever we may ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight" (vs 21-22).

Let's compare that with James 2, and let's see what James says about faith. Isn't it amazing how all of them speak about faith and works; and faith and love; and faith and hope—all together. He is also making a point concerning faith and works, so if the 'just shall live by faith,' this tells us how we are going to live—believing God, keeping His commandments, and practicing those things that are pleasing in His sight.

James 2:8: "If you are truly keeping the Royal Law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well. But if you have respect of persons, you are practicing sin, being convicted by the Law as transgressors" (vs 8-9).

Isn't that interesting—respect of persons? What does it say of Jesus? He respected no man. Human beings always respect people. This is how con-artists work, they appear handsome or beautiful, are well-spoken, are well dressed and you believe them!

If a rag-tag prophet of God, like John the Baptist who hadn't cut his hair and hadn't cut his beard, appeared on the scene at 30-years-old, and he had this rough clothing on, made out of camel hair and he probably looked like a wild man, if you had that much hair and never cut it. I view him as a bright, burning redhead; that's how I view John the Baptist. 'Well, who is this guy?' Or as he is talking about here, some low, poor man comes in not dressed very well and you discriminate against him. So respect of persons is quite profound. Notice that's not one of the Ten Commandments. But it's derived from the Ten Commandments of the basis of the last six of the Ten Commandments: love your neighbor as yourself.

Verse 9: "…you are practicing sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors; for if anyone keeps the whole Law, but sins in one aspect, he becomes guilty of all" (vs 9-10). Hello! Sunday-keepers, wake up! holiday-keepers, wake up! Don't believe for one single instant that God will give His approval to anything pagan just because you like it and enjoy it! Yes, pork eaters, unclean meat eaters, etc.

Verse 11: "For He Who said, 'You shall not commit adultery'…" All adulterers, pay attention! Why do half the women today look like whores? Because they are! A lot of them don't think they are because they are very choosy who they sleep with, but you're still a whore.

Verse 11: "…also said, ''You shall not commit adultery,' also said, 'You shall not commit murder.' Now, if you do not commit adultery, but you commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the Law. In this manner speak and in this manner behave: as those who are about to be judged by the law of freedom" (vs 11-12).

The law of freedom is this: If you keep the laws of God, you are free from sin! That's what it's talking about. What does it also tell us? God is going to judge us! How? By His Law! By our works! Everyone is going to come before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ and give an account of himself.

Verse 13: "For the one who has dealt without mercy will be judged without mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment. My brethren…" (vs 13-14).

Then he brings out a point and ties this all together with faith. People do what they do because they believe in what they do, or justify what they do, as it says in the Prov., 'Every way of a man is just in his own eyes.'

You can talk to any criminal and he can give you every good reason why he committed the crime that he did. You can talk to anyone who commits adultery and fornication and they can tell you why they do. It may take a while to draw it out but sooner or later… You talk to anyone who smokes marijuana and they will justify why they do it, 'Well, that's not as bad as being an alcoholic.' No, it's worse! You shrink your brain faster. Everyone who does whatever they do has justified it.

He wants to make it clear; this is all tied in with faith, v 14: "My brethren, what good does it do, if anyone says that he has faith, and does not have works? Is faith able to save him?" No! And Martin Luther called the Epistle of James an 'epistle of straw' because it absolutely destroyed his Protestant theology that 'you are saved by faith, and faith alone.' That is not what the Scriptures teach!

  • if you believe God, then you believe what He says
  • if you believe what He says, you will act upon what He commands and that is faith

He gives this example:

Verse 15: "Now then, if there be a brother or a sister who is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; be warmed and be filled,' and does not give to them the things necessary for the body, what good is it?…. [You haven't accomplished anything.] …In the same way also, faith, if it does not have works, is dead, by itself" (vs 15-17).

Didn't the one man who received the one talent believe in God? What was his work? He just wrapped it up in a napkin and hid it; he didn't do anything with it. We're going to see a similar example here in just a second.

How do you prove your faith? This is the correct translation here. King James gives an alternate reading, but here is the correct translation:

Verse 18: "But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' My answer is: You prove your faith to me through your works… [show me how you have acted upon your faith] …and I will prove my faith to you through my works."

In other words, you compare what you have accomplished with your faith, by the works that you have done. So, if you say, 'I have faith' but you don't believe or obey God, you don't have faith. You prove your faith by your works!

  • What does it produce?
  • What have you done?
  • What are you doing with it?

That is active faith and that kind of faith comes as a gift of God which is a substance from God begotten into your very mind and being. That kind of faith leads to hope and conviction!

Verse 19: "Do you believe that God is one? You do well to believe this. Even the demons believe—and tremble in fear." Why do they tremble in fear? Because they have rebelled against God, and they know their final judgment and torment, which will be torment forever and ever.

Verse 20: "But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" Now we're talking about living faith, to walk in faith, to walk by faith and if you don't have the works, it is dead!

Verse 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar?" If you don't have the series in Romans where I go through and explain the difference between this and Rom. 4, be sure and write in for it and we'll send it to you.

There are some things that you are to believe and your belief becomes the work in itself. When God told Abraham to count the stars, which is an impossible task, he believed God that his seed would be as the 'sand of the seashore' and the 'stars of heaven'—he believed God! Then when it came time to perform a work which God said, 'Take your son, your only beloved Son and go to one of the mountains of Moriah that I will show you, and offer him there for a sacrifice,' Abraham did, he went, his works justified him. That's what he is talking about here.

Verse 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar? Do you not see that faith was working together with his works and by works his faith was perfected?" (vs 21-22). Isn't that interesting? That's why you:

  • grow in grace and knowledge
  • you grow in faith
  • you grow in love
  • you grow in hope

because all of those things are being perfected. What is God's goal? That we are perfected in faith and hope and love and character, because those things will be carried through in the resurrection in the Kingdom of God.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 1:1-6, 8-9
  • Hebrews 2:1-3, 9
  • Hebrews 3:1-4, 6-7, 12-13
  • Hebrews 4:3-6, 8-16
  • Hebrews 6:11-20
  • Hebrews 10:30-39
  • Hebrews 12:1-4
  • Hebrews 11:1-3, 6
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7
  • Romans 4:12
  • Ephesians 2:8-10
  • 1 John 3:21-22
  • James 2:8-22

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 3:17; 5
  • Matthew 13; 25
  • Luke 19
  • Romans 1
  • Habakkuk 2
  • Genesis 26:5
  • Psalm 139

Also Referenced:

  • Book: The Day Jesus the Christ Died by Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermon: The Simplicity of Christ—Obey My Voice (FOT sermon, 2004, Day 3)
  • Sermon Series: Epistle of Paul to the Romans

FRC/jea
Transcribed: 03/02/09
Formatted/Corrected: bo—January/2017

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