Through the Bible with Les Feldick
Hebrews 10:23 – 11:8 - Part 2
All the examples of people of faith; and remember from Adam until the end of the human experience, faith is always the number one criteria for a right relationship with God, as we’re going to see in this lesson.
Hebrews 11:4a
"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,…"
Genesis 4:3a
Now remember, God is never unfair. God would not expect these young men, Cain and Abel, to do something that He had never told them to do. If that was the case then it wouldn’t be faith. All right, so both young men have the same Word from God on how to approach Him. If you’ll notice in Scriptures, we have the natural man first. Hebrews 9:22b
So by faith, as Hebrews chapter 11 reminds us:
Genesis 4:4a
Cain may have been a nicer guy than Abel. What counted was that Abel did what God said to do and he was accepted. All right, so read verse 4 again.
Genesis 4:4a
Because it wasn’t what God had instructed. No faith. He didn’t believe a word God said. All right so now as we go back to Hebrews chapter 11, we have to realize that it’s by faith and faith alone that everyone has been brought into a relationship with God. And then, based on their faith, yes, Abel brought the animal sacrifice. Faith. No knowledge of the One True God. And yet when God spoke to Abram out of that background of idolatry, what did Abram do? He believed God. Now that’s faith.
Romans 4:1
2. For if Abram were justified by works, (by doing something) he hath whereof to glory; (or brag) but not before God."
A works religion tells God, "I’ve earned it, and you owe me." Well you see that’s what a works religion does to God. It says, "God you owe me. Now verse 3.
Romans 4:3a
Well, does the Book say, "Abraham believed God" and brought a sacrifice? "Abraham believed" and was baptized? "Abraham believed" and spoke in tongues? "Abraham believed" and joined the church? Abraham believed God, and put his faith in what God said. Now like I said in the last program, and what does God do the moment He sees our faith? It’s just simply a matter of faith that when we become a believer, God declares us righteous. Not because of what we’ve worked for but because of our faith. Faith! By faith and faith alone! Verse 4.
Romans 4:4
(God’s mercy,) but (rather it is reckoned) of (what?) debt."
You’ve worked for it so God owes you. God will never be in debt to any human being! Not even Abraham, and so this is the whole admonition of Scripture then that it’s by faith alone. Romans 4:5
God can’t justify someone who says they’re good enough. God can only justify the person that says, "I’m a sinner." Pride!
You’re good enough, and God will accept you." So if you are without God, you’re ungodly. Ungodly. And that’s the kind of a person that God wants to save.
Now back to Hebrews chapter 11.
Hebrews 11:5a
"By faith (by taking God at His Word) Enoch was translated that he should not see death;…"
Enoch didn’t die. Hebrews 11:5b
"…and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
Enoch pleased God.
Hebrews 11:6a
"But without faith it is impossible to please him:…" (God)
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Enoch was a man of faith. All it says, he was a man who believed God. Now we don’t know how much God told Enoch. All right, so "without faith it is impossible to please him." Hebrews 11:6b
By faith. Hebrews 11:7a
"By faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,…"
What did God tell Noah? It had never rained a drop. By faith. God said it, and when God said, "Noah, I’m going to destroy the earth with water. Build an ark." God said it! Hebrews 11:7b
Pretty small. So Noah had the faith:
Hebrews 11:7c
"…and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."
All right, but Noah by faith built the ark and then he became the "heir (again which faith always prompts) of (what?) righteousness." Righteousness. God didn’t look at Noah like a vile old sinner because of his faith, God now looked at Noah as a righteous man. Now if you want to use the term righteous as right standing with God, I’ve got no problem with that. We are now in a right standing with God. Hebrews 11:8
God just simply told this pagan man Abraham down there in the Euphrates Valley, "Leave your city, and your family. That takes faith! Hebrews 11:9a
"By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country,…"
Which of course, God promised to him back there in Genesis chapter 15 and on. Right! Oh, God deeded him the land in Genesis 15 but who was still occupying it? God was with him, and God blessed him.