The Ultimate Fulfillment

  • Text: Hebrews 11:1-40
  • Series: Christ in the New Covenant, Pt. 11
  • Date: Sunday, July 22, 2018 – AM
  • Venue: Trinity Baptist Church – Seminole, Oklahoma
  • Speaker: Jared Byrns
  • Audio: mp3

Several years back I lent a book to a preacher friend of mine, and he promised he’d get it back to me. You already know where this is going. He promised he’d get it back to me and years went by, and he didn’t. I figured he’d get it back to me sooner or later; I wasn’t too worried about it. As I said several years went by; I even moved out of state and totally forgot about it. And then one day while I was back in Oklahoma visiting my parents he came and brought me two books. One of them was beaten up and looked like it had seen better days, and the other one was brand new. And this had been several years. And it turns out what had happened was he intended to return my book but just like all of us had gotten busy. But he had in the back of his mind, ‘I’ve got to return that book.’ Well, he lost mine, so he went and bought another one. And he was going to give me that one but he just never thought about it never got around to it, until one day, when my original book turned up somewhere in his possession. I don’t know where it looked like he left it out in the barn or something let the cattle run over it. But he found mine and said, ‘You know what, I’m just going to return both of them.’ And it took several years, but he kept his promise my book was returned to me, and then some. Now I have two of them, and the one was really not that bad it’s just you could tell it was a little worse for the wear. But now I have two of them.

And that story reminds me of two things. That reminds me first of all that I have several books on my shelf that I’ve promised to return. I need to do that. But it also reminds me that sometimes it takes a while to fulfill a promise. Sometimes it takes a while for a promised to be fulfilled but if you’re willing to wait for it sometimes the fulfillment of the promise can be better than you expected and it can be more thorough than you expected. And it may take years, and you may get to the point where you think, ‘Is this promise ever going to be fulfilled? You know, it’s taken all this time.’ You may even forget about it. You may even just put the promise aside because you’ve forgotten about it. But a promise could be fulfilled even years later.

And Hebrews chapter 11 talks about God fulfilling His promises. And God has a track record, ladies and gentlemen, of fulfilling His promises. It talks about how He fulfilled His promises, and it talks about how people believed those promises even though the fulfillment took a while. See, when God made promises throughout His Word, it didn’t always happen that He fulfilled it the next day. And yet we see over time that God has a track record of doing what He says He’s going to do. Now because of the length of chapter 11—chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews is one that you kind of have to take all together. I was looking at ways to try to split it up and make it into more manageable bites where we could do it over a couple of weeks, but you kind of lose something if you stop halfway through or you start again halfway through. So it’s one of those that’s ideally you want to take in one sitting. But it’s so long that we’re not going to have time to look at every single verse in the chapter. There are 40 verses so I’ll give you the quick overview and hit the most important points or we could stay here until dinnertime if you want an in-depth look in all 40 verses.

So what I’m telling you is we’re going to hit the highlights, and I encourage you to go back and dig into the middle part for yourself. We’re going to focus in on about three verses at the beginning, two verses of the end, and hit a couple along the way in the middle. But the rest of it I encourage you to go read it for yourself and look at it more in depth.

So let’s start with looking at verses 1-3. It says:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

And now as I read through this chapter, several questions came to me and those are the questions that are on your shortened outline in your bulletin this morning—if you want to follow along with those questions and answer them as you see the answers in God’s Word.

But some questions occurred to me that I think we need to start out with. First of all, we ask what faith is? I found myself asking what is faith because faith is one of those words that we use and we think we know the meaning but you read about it in the Bible, and it seems like it’s a little deeper than just ‘I believe that might happen.’ I have faith that my truck is still going to be in the parking lot when I get done at church today. I have no reason to think it won’t be that it won’t be, but nobody has assured me that it’s going to be there. My faith is based on nothing other than the fact that that’s, generally, what happens.

But I wanted to go a little deeper. As I’m reading what the Bible says about faith, I realize that a lot of times our ideas of these biblical concepts like faith and hope, the way we use those words in our typical everyday language is a lot more shallow than the way the Bible uses those things. So as I started reading this chapter, I got to thinking about what is faith at least from God’s definition: what is faith according to the Bible? Because it gives us an explanation in verse 1: that it’s “the substance of things hoped for” and “the evidence of things not seen.” But I had to go a little deeper and try to put that in more everyday terms just for my own understanding. And when you dig into the meaning of those words faith is not just assuming this is what’s going to happen. You know I assume my truck’s going to be there; well one of these days I could walk out and find the truck’s gone. But I assume it’s going to be there. It’s more than that; faith means being convinced of things that we haven’t seen yet or haven’t received yet. There’s a conviction. Faith is a conviction that I know this is true. Do I have proof beyond a shadow of a doubt? No, but I’m convinced that these things are true.

I’m convinced my wife loves me—some days more than others. But I’m convinced she loves me I see evidence of it. Now could she back in the far recesses of her mind be saying, ‘Oh, I really can’t stand him, but he’s got more money than anybody else I ever dated?’ Could she be thinking those things? It’s possible. I don’t see any evidence of that, so I assume, based on the evidence, that my wife loves me. I’m convinced of it because there’s evidence there to show it. Again you see the difference between evidence and proof. I don’t have absolute proof of what’s going on in the back of her mind but based on the evidence this is what I’m convinced of.

And let me tell you that biblical faith is not blind faith either. It’s not blind faith; it’s based on evidence. Yes, we’re called to make a leap of faith, but it’s not just a blind leap. It’s not just blind belief. It’s based on evidence, and in our case faith in God and faith and God’s promises are based on God’s track record of being faithful. He has a long track record of being faithful and chapter 11 sort of covers the highlights of that. If there weren’t any need for evidence, then chapter 11 is completely unnecessary. I’m very into apologetics; I’m very into the arguments for our faith in the evidence for our faith. I have never seen anybody argued into salvation. But one of the things apologetics does is it breaks down some of the objections some of the walls that people put up. These objections that say, ‘Well I don’t believe in God because of this’—if you can begin to dismantle that, and you can begin to plant that seed in somebody’s mind that maybe this is not crazy after all, that Christians aren’t just foolish but that we have reasons for what we believe—I think the Holy Spirit uses that. You make a little crack in that wall I think the Holy Spirit blows it wide open. It’s sort of like the Berlin Wall where they started with little hammers, and then people were driving bulldozers through it. You know the Holy Spirit is that bulldozer.

If it’s not based on evidence, if we don’t have the evidence from God’s track record, or if our faith has no relationship to evidence, then there’s no reason for chapter 11; or for the writer of Hebrews to go through this list of all the ways that God has been faithful, all the ways that people have believed God’s promises, and how it’s turned out for them. And not only chapter 11—the writer of Hebrews has spent the last ten chapters, many of which we’ve looked at, he spent the last ten chapters building a case systematically on God’s track record and on Jesus’ track record. You go back to the very beginning, and he’s worried about these Jewish background believers or some who were just on the verge of believing—they might have had an intellectual belief without being supernaturally converted—and he’s worried about them drawing back into unbelief. Does he tell them, ‘Shame on you—you just need to have blind faith?’ No, he goes back to the scriptures and builds the evidence, and he says, ‘Look at this that Jesus did. Look at this scripture in the Old Testament and how it corresponds to what Jesus did in the New Testament.’ He builds a case based on evidence.

So our faith is not blind faith, it’s not blind belief. It’s conviction based on evidence—not necessarily with proof but based on evidence with reason. We have reason to trust God. That’s the point here. We have reason to trust God. It’s important to know where we place our faith. I’ve said for years, the true value of our faith is not in its sincerity or in its fervency but in its object. We know a lot of people in the world who believe things very sincerely. I mean they’re absolutely sincere in their in their faith, and they’re very fervent. I mean they would die for what they believe. But what they believe in, where they’re putting their faith, is absolutely wrong. I can believe sincerely and fervently that I can fly. I can have faith in my ability to fly, but if I go to Oklahoma City and I jump off the top of Devon Tower, I’m going to learn really quickly that my faith was misplaced. If the object of my faith is my ability to fly my faith is misplaced. It doesn’t matter how fervently or how sincerely I believe it if the object is wrong. The object of our faith is a God who has a track record of keeping His promises. So there’s a reason here for what we believe.

But if there’s evidence then why is faith so important? Now we’re going to look at verse 6 real quick. One of the reasons why faith is so important, it says in verse 6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him.” Don’t miss that. “But without faith it is impossible to please [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” So what we need to understand this morning about why faith is so important: it’s important that we have reason and evidence, but it’s also important that we’re willing to take that and say, ‘You know what, God? Because of those things, I trust you. I don’t have proof, but I have enough evidence that I’m willing to take that leap of faith and believe You.’ Because without that faith it is impossible to please God. If you’re waiting on God to prove himself before you’re willing to obey anything He says; ‘God, before I’ll do that I need you to prove to me that it’s going to work out alright. God before I make that change in my life, before I take that step I need you to prove to me that it’s going to work out all right.’ If that’s what you’re asking from God, then you’re never going to be able to please Him.

Faith is being willing to step out based on the evidence without absolute proof, but being convinced that even though I don’t have proof that this is going to work out the way I want it to, I have the evidence that God is faithful. It’s not that we’re trusting in a certain outcome; it’s that we’re trusting in God. And if we can’t do that, we can’t please God. God isn’t looking for people who are going to do great things. God isn’t looking for the most capable. God isn’t looking for the smartest. God isn’t looking for the wealthiest. God isn’t looking for the most handsome. God is looking for people who are willing to trust Him. God works through people who are willing to trust Him. The bottom line is if we don’t believe Him and if we don’t believe in His promises, then we will never be able to obey Him and follow His leadership. We’re never going to be able to step out and do anything that He calls us to do if we’re not willing to trust Him first and believe that His promises are true.

And then we look back at verse 3. I realize I’m taking some of these out of order there’s a reason for that. It says, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Here’s the thing: it’s saying that by faith we understand that the world was created when God spoke it into existence, and what we see was created by things we don’t see. Again do we have proof of that? No. I think there’s evidence that God created the world. Is it proof beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. A friend of mine has said for years that there’s just enough evidence to convince those who are inclined to believe, and the evidence is just lacking enough for those who don’t want to believe. That’s where faith comes in. We’re looking at the same evidence, but which way do you think it points?

So we’re talking about the fact that God built the world and the writer of Hebrews was writing to people who understood that and believed that and took that by faith. And he’s making the point that faith enables us to focus on God’s power; that our faith enables us to see God as this being who created everything that there is. And if He created everything that there is, even though we don’t see Him, there’s nothing that escapes His power. There’s nothing that is beyond His capability to handle. And so if we look at Him by faith instead of looking at our problems we see His ability to handle them. We see His ability to handle any circumstance. And it’s easier to trust Him when we’re focused on who He is rather than the circumstances that would accompany our obedience to Him. You see if we’re focused on God who, was capable of creating the whole world, it enables us to obey Him more than if we just focused on how well the circumstances were going to work out. I feel like I’m talking to myself this morning, not because you all aren’t paying attention, but because I feel like this is a lesson I need to take to heart.

And verse 2 says, “For by it the elders obtained a good report.” That’s another reason why faith is so important. Those who have gone before us, our forebears in the faith, have incredible testimonies of the way God worked in their lives and the way God worked through their lives for one reason: because they were willing to trust Him. They were willing to trust Him with everything and so they got to see the power of God at work in them and through them. And this chapter as we go through chapter 11 gives us some of these examples. These are by no means all of the examples of people who have seen the power of God because of their faith, but it gives us several examples of people whose faith enabled them to do things that they could not otherwise have done. And this is where we’re going to just hit the highlights. Let me give you the list.

Verse 4 says Abel brought God an acceptable sacrifice. Cain brought God an unacceptable sacrifice. Why was that? Because Abel believed God when He said it has to be a blood sacrifice and Cain thought, ‘I can just give God whatever I have left over.’ See Abel believed God and so his sacrifice was acceptable.

Verse 5 says Enoch walked with God. Enoch was one of the very few people evidently who did walk with God during that time. From the time that Cain murdered Abel until the time God looked at man in Noah’s day and said, ‘I’m about done with you people,’ in the midst of that time humanity just was on a huge downward trajectory. It was just more and more evil all the time. We think things are awful today; go back to that time. It was worse then, as the Bible says every thought of every man’s heart was only evil all the time constantly.[1] And I don’t think we’re quite there. It was a bad time, and yet Enoch saw all these other people living in rebellion, doing whatever they want, living however they want, having a good time, and he said, ‘No, I’m going to stay over here and walk with God.’ Why would you do that? Because you believe God when He speaks. And because of that God took Enoch to heaven alive without having to go through death. Don was saying earlier—and you’re absolutely right—that none of us get out of this world alive. You’re absolutely right, except for Enoch. And I’m not sure how hard you have to walk with God to do it, but there was somebody who escaped what most of us are destined to because he believed God.

Then in verse 7, Noah built the ark. Think about that. For 120 years he’s out there building a giant boat, and it’s not raining. But he’s trying to tell people that God’s going to send a flood—that God’s going to destroy the world. They laughed at him. They ignored him. He kept on building a gigantic boat in the desert that’s going to fit all these animals. He did it. It sounds like an absolutely insane thing to do, but he did it because he believed God.

Verses 8-10 talk about how Abraham left home to follow God. God said, ‘Get up and go.’ He didn’t tell Abraham where they were going, but because Abraham believed God he said, ‘Okay, let’s go.’ And God led him to the Promised Land.

Verses 11-12 talk about how Sarah gave birth at 90 years old. Now initially she laughed at the idea that she would give birth because she was that old but eventually she realized God could do anything. And so God provided the son that He promised to her and to Abraham when she was 90, and he was 100. They had that son that they had always wanted because she believed God.

Then in verses 17-19, it talks about how Abraham was willing to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to the lord. That son that God had promised, he was willing to offer him. Now at some point, I’d like to talk to you about how people criticize this story and how awful God was, how awful Abraham was. It wasn’t that way at all. I’d like to tell you why, but we don’t have time this morning. But suffice it to say, Abraham, he believed that God was just going to raise him from the dead. I don’t think he wanted to sacrifice his son, but he had absolute faith that God was able to keep this son alive. He was willing to trust God. Why was he willing to offer his son? Because he believed God

Verses 20-21 talk about Isaac and Jacob and how they blessed their sons and their grandsons. The only reason they were able to offer those blessings is because they believed that God was going to continue to work in their family. They believed God.

Verse 22 talks about how Joseph, when he was in Egypt, before he died, he arranged with his with his family to return his bones to Israel and bury them there. And a few hundred years later when they walked out of Egypt, they took his bones with them. Now, why did Joseph make that arrangement? Because God had said they were going back to the Promised Land. And guess what: Joseph believed God.

Then in verse 23, we see Amram and Jochebed, even though they’re not mentioned by name, how they hid Moses. They didn’t want to see the government slaughter their child like they had so many others, so they hid him even though it put them potentially in danger of their own lives with the pharaoh’s government. Yet they hid Moses because they believed God had a plan for him and they believed God.

Then we see in verses 24-28 how Moses left his position as one of the princes of Egypt. He gave all that up to defend God’s people. And then when he had to leave Egypt altogether, and he had a new life going on, he was willing to go back to Egypt. Even at risk of his own life, because he believed God.

We see how Israel crosses the red sea. Now that story really has more to do with God’s abilities than Israel, but we see them listed as being faithful in verse 29 because they crossed. Imagine how frightening it would be to have Pharaoh behind you but have these walls of water on either side. You can’t see what’s holding them up and they could come crashing down on you at any moment. And yet Israel walked across because they believed God. Israel wasn’t always faithful, but there were times that they believed God.

Verse 30, we see how they took the city of Jericho. Again it’s a story about God’s abilities more than theirs, but God told them to walk around the city. That is the craziest way to try to capture a city I’ve ever heard of, and yet God said it, so they did it. God brought the walls down, and they took the city because they believed God.

Rahab, who was in the city of Jericho, we see her in verse 31. She hid the Israelite spies who had come into Jericho. Now she could have been killed for hiding them, but she had heard that God had given them the city of Jericho and she believed that God was going to do it. And so she said, ‘The only way out is if I side with God and His people. So if I hide you, please promise that you’ll spare me when you take the city.’ I think she had more faith in God’s ability to give the city to the Israelites than the Israelites themselves did. She and her family survived because she believed God.

Verse 32, we can tell that the writer of Hebrews was a preacher because he said time runs short. It’s like he got to the end of his time to speak and still had pages of notes left so he says in verse 32, “And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of,” and he just lists several guys. In verse 32, he talks about how Gideon defeated the Midianite army with three hundred men. He described how Barack launched an ambush against the Canaanites and dispersed them. He talks about how Samson defeated the Philistines. He talks about how Jephthah defeated the Ammonites. David survived Saul’s attacks and won these battles against all of Israel’s enemies. He talks about how Samuel obeyed God even though it displeased the king. All of these men were willing to do these things because they believed God. And then he talks about the prophets at the end of verse 32. And we go through verses 33-335, and we see all these victories they won, all these wonderful circumstances that they went through because they believed God. But in verses 35-38 we also see the suffering that they went through and some of the things that they endured—which were horrible. And yet they trusted God. They believed God through these circumstances. So we see from this list especially the description of these prophets at the end that faith isn’t just about serving God when things are good; faith means believing God and continuing to obey God even when things are difficult. So we look at their example and how they demonstrated faith and why it was so important in their lives. And so then the question that I come to is, how do we demonstrate faith? How can we be like them? Because I think we’re given these examples in an effort by the writer of Hebrews to say, ‘This is this is who you need to emulate. This is what you need to be like.”

Look at verse 13. It said, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Faith in the context of our relationship with God means that we believe His promises even before they’re fulfilled. I mean it’s one thing to look back on what God has already done and say, ‘Wasn’t God faithful there?’ That doesn’t take any faith at all. That just takes hindsight. It’s another thing entirely to say, ‘You know what, God promised this, and I haven’t seen it happen yet, but I believe He’s going to do it. I know He’s going to do it.’ And many of these people acted on the basis of God’s promises: on the promises that God had made to their family or that God had made to the nation: promises that were eventually fulfilled, just not in their lifetimes.

But because even though they hadn’t seen them fulfilled, and some of them wouldn’t see them fulfilled in their lifetimes, they knew that God had made promises to their family, they knew that God had made promises to Israel, and so they said we’re going to live like these things are true. We know God is going to keep His promises. We believe these things are going to happen, so we’re just going to live like we believe it. They put action behind their faith. And I’ve given you given you the story that I heard years ago. It’s probably not a true story, just an illustration. I can’t remember where I heard it, but there were people at a little church in a little farming community that was suffering from a drought. And they didn’t know what they were going to do. The crops were all dying, and the animals were dying. They said, ‘We’ve got to get together to pray for rain.’ So they met at the church one weeknight, and they prayed for rain. Only one man brought an umbrella. Anybody can pray for rain. Anybody can ask God to do something. Faith brings the umbrella. That’s what these people did they brought an umbrella. That’s what I mean when I say they lived their lives like these things were true. They didn’t know where it was going to come from. They didn’t know what was going on, when it was going to happen, but they knew God was going to keep His promises. And so they made decisions based on that. They brought an umbrella. They knew that God’s promises were true even if they didn’t see them with their own eyes. They lived like God’s promises were true, and they made decisions assuming God’s promises were true. It wasn’t, ‘Well if God keeps His promise, then I’ll do this.’ It was, ‘God’s going to keep His promise, so I’m going to obey Him here because I know He’s going to work this out.”

And we see the same thing at the end of the chapter. In verses 39-40, it says, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” And this brings us to Jesus, because this whole series has been about the roles that Jesus plays in the new covenant. This brings us to the idea that Jesus validates our faith. If we want to know whether we can trust God or not, if we want to know whether or not we can believe God’s promises, we just have to look at Jesus and realize how much God has kept His promises. Realize what lengths God has gone to keep His promises. It says in verse 39, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” They have an honorable testimony that he talks about in verse 2 because they believed God’s promises even though they didn’t necessarily see them fulfilled.

You go back to what I said about faith at the beginning. It’s being convinced that something is true even though we haven’t seen it or received it yet, and that’s exactly what they did. They didn’t always live to see the promises fulfilled, but they knew they were true. They believed Him. And God promised a lot of things. When you get right down to it, God promised a lot of things to Israel that were only fulfilled in the new covenant. From Moses to Jesus was about 1,400 years, 1,450, somewhere in there. And through all that time God made these promises and it took until that point, not because God’s lazy, not because God forgot, but because God was preparing. God was moving all the pieces around on the chessboard until just the right time for those promises to be fulfilled. He promised a lot of things to Israel that weren’t even fulfilled until the new covenant.

God’s promises ladies and gentlemen are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. All the biggest promises that God made are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. So one of His roles—we’ve been talking about His roles in the new covenant—one of His roles is to be the fulfillment of God’s promises. The biggest promises that God made—God promised a messiah, somebody who was going to come and redeem Israel; God promised a savior, way back to the days of Abraham, He was giving pictures and prophecies about someone who was going to come and deal with the sins of the people; He promised a Savior. Those promises were fulfilled, but they weren’t fulfilled until the new covenant came along. They weren’t fulfilled for 1,400-1,500 years, and that’s why it says in verse 40, “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”

And we’ve seen all throughout the book of Hebrews how Jesus is the better thing. All throughout Hebrews it has contrasted the old covenant with the new covenant and pointed to how we have this in the old covenant and how Jesus is a better version of that. It doesn’t matter whether it’s talking about priests—Jesus is a better priest. He’s a better sacrifice; He brings a better law; He’s a better tabernacle; He provides us with a better Sabbath rest in Him—He provides a spiritual rest. All the things that we’ve explored throughout the book of Hebrews, Jesus is the better version of that. And so while they were looking, they knew that God was going to fulfill His promises they probably had some idea in mind of how He might do it. Jesus was a better fulfillment than they could have ever imagined. God was preparing them all through this time so that He could send Jesus to fulfill His promises and redeem us all at once. Where it wasn’t just the Jews who were redeemed but it was the Jews and Gentiles, but God would offer salvation to all mankind. That’s what it means when it says, “That they without us should not be made perfect.”[2] That we were all completed in Jesus Christ together, and in Jesus, we see how God kept all of these promises.

So what that tells us is that God has a long track record of keeping His promises, and those people who have acted on His promises, those people who believed His promises and acted on them, didn’t do so in vain. Because even if they didn’t see it in their lifetimes those promises were fulfilled. What they are to us are examples of faith. Because we don’t need to look for proof; what we need to look for is evidence. If you want to get right down to it, in philosophy there’s not there’s not a way to prove very much. Philosophers can argue whether you’re really here today. It’s some of the craziest stuff I’ve ever heard. If you’re talking about proof beyond any doubt, there’s not much that can be proved in the universe. But where does the evidence lie? It lies with the fact that God has kept His promises. And so we see through all their lives how God kept His promises and we see through their lives examples of the kind of faith that we’re supposed to have based on God’s track record. Guess what, folks: His track record is even longer now. His track record of faithfulness is even longer now than it was when they believed His promises.

So the question for us is, do we believe His promises today or not? Especially looking back at the way they were fulfilled in Jesus: do we trust God to keep His promises or not? Because I have to tell you, God has made some promises to you this morning. God made some promises in His Word that apply to you.

He promises you forgiveness. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He promised to forgive you through Jesus Christ.

He promised you peace—peace with God, not necessarily that everything in your life is wonderful and calm. Lord knows that’s not always the case in my life as much as I’d like it. But He promises us peace with God through Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He promised you peace.

He promised a relationship with Him. Galatians 3:26 says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” He’ll be your father, and you’ll be His child.

He promises you eternal life. John 6:40, Jesus said this, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” God has made a promise to you of eternal life through Jesus.

He’s made a promise that you can receive all of this freely—not on the basis of what you’ve done, not on the basis of going to church, not on the basis of being good or giving money, but on the basis of what Jesus Christ did. And if you’ll simply believe that He died as the fulfillment of all these promises, that He died as the one to pay for your sins, to bring you peace with God, to bring you a relationship with Him, to bring you forgiveness and eternal life, you can receive it freely. He says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

There are promises that God has made to you this morning. These things they don’t just apply to Israel in the past they apply to you this morning. These are God’s promises to you, and so we have to decide whether or not we trust God to provide those things that He promised. We have to decide, just like these people listed all through chapter 11, each of us has to decide whether or not we believe God. Some people may be hesitant to trust in Christ for salvation because they lack empirical proof. There’s no mathematical formula, and there’s no scientific data that proves that Christ can save us. What we have, instead, is evidence. We have a list of all these faithful people, and you flip through the pages of the Bible, and there are more than this. But we have these faithful people in the old covenant that believed God’s promises, and we have His record of keeping them.

So my question you, this morning, is will you trust Christ as your Savior? Will you believe God and trust His promises?

[1]Genesis 6:5.

[2]Hebrews 11:40.

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© 2018, Jared Byrns. All rights reserved.