Faith is Always the Way

A sermon idea based on Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16.

Hebrews 11:1-3,8-16 NRSV

[1] Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. [2] Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. [3] By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

[8] By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. [9] By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. [10] For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. [11] By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. [12] Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

[13] All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, [14] for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. [15] If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. [16] But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.


The relevant topic I would be addressing, based on this text…

The pathway to God’s best blessings is always by faith, demonstrated by an obedient response to his revealed will.


Information about the text that matters to the message…

What is faith? It is the substance, the assurance of things that can’t be seen ahead of time. Faith is the expectation that God is real and that what he promises will come to pass, even when our hope seems to be fading.

One of the most fascinating details to notice in Hebrews 11, the “hall of faith,” is the repeated pattern of faith demonstrated by some particular action.

  • By faith, Abel offered…
  • By faith, Abraham obeyed…
  • By faith, Isaac invoked…
  • By faith, Jacob blessed…

Faith and trust enable our action, and our action gives evidence of our faith.


The big call-to-action in the message…

What step is God calling you to take? Ask him and then listen, in prayer, to what God summons you to do in obedience to him. Then, by faith, take the step.

Cross, Henri Edmond, 1856-1910. Landscape with Stars, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

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