Hall of Faith
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Abraham believed God so he left his home in Ur and went to where God commanded (Hebrews 11:8-10). Abraham believed God so he sacrificed his son, Isaac (Heb 11:17-19). Noah believed God so he built an ark to the saving of his house (Heb 11:7). Moses believed God and therefore gave up being king of Egypt in order to lead the people of God (Hebrews 11:24-29). Rahab believed God and she hid the spies so that they would not be killed and in doing so she was spared (Heb 11:31).
Hebrews 11 is a chapter discussing faith. Hebrews 11 defines faith and talks about the necessity of faith. Then the writer spends the majority of the chapter discussing the great things that people were able to accomplish through faith. There are several things in common with each of these examples that define faith and help us better understand faith. Each of these people mentioned in this chapter had great faith and are included in this discussion of faith because they are such a good example of faith. Please note some things that they all had in common.
Every one of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11 trusted God above all else. They trusted that the things God was telling them were true even when those things seemed almost unbelievable. Who would have thought that sacrificing Isaac was the way to the promises? Who would have thought that leaving the position as king was the way to be a leader? Who would have thought that marching around a city was the way to destroy it? Who would have thought that waiting until one was 90 was the way to bear a son? Each of these people completely trusted God. They believed that the things that God commanded them to do were absolutely necessary. They believed that what God said was the best regardless of whether they understood it or not.
Every one of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11 submitted to God. Faith has a lot to do with trust, but it also has to do with submission. These people submitted to God’s will above their own. These people were willing to go when God said go. They were willing to do when God said do. They were willing to drop everything in order to accomplish the tasks that God placed before them. Faith and submission go hand in hand. Without submission to God, faith is not what it should be.
Every one of the people mentioned in this chapter obeyed God. Faith, trust, and submission naturally lead to obedience. These concepts cannot be completely separated because they cannot completely exist separately. Example: Abraham sacrificing Isaac. Abraham believed God, trusted that what God commanded was best, submitted to God’s will and obeyed. Noah believed God, trusted that building an ark was the right thing to do, submitted to God’s will and obeyed.
We often talk about faith as if it can exist without trust, submission, and obedience. However true faith contains all three of these. If we are unwilling to submit and obey, we really don’t have faith as the Bible describes faith. True faith means we trust God completely. We trust that His will is the best for us. We trust that his commands are good, right, and will always work for good. True faith means we submit to God. It means we submit to His will, His commands, and His direction for my life. True faith means we obey Him. It means that through our trust and submission we put into action that which He has commanded.
When we struggle with obedience to God, we are struggling with faith. When we struggle with submitting to God, we are struggling with faith. When we struggle with trusting God, we are struggling with faith. When our faith is what it should be, we will trust Him, submit to Him, and obey Him...and then through that faith He blesses us beyond that which we could ever imagine.