Hebrews 11:13-16 The Life of Faith


INTRO: There are only two ways to live!  One way, most common is to live by sight- base everything on what we can see!

A.)    The other way, far less common, is to live by faith, to base your life ultimately and primarily on what cannot see!


B.)    The way for the Christian is the way of faith!

6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

                      "We Walk by faith and not by sight"


C) What is interesting is we exercise faith all the time


  For example, you go to a doctor whose name you cannot pronounce and whose degrees you have never verified.  He gives you a prescription you cannot read.  

You take it to a pharmacist you have never seen before.  He gives you a chemical compound you do not understand.  Then you go home and take the pill according to the instructions on the bottle.  All in trusting, sincere faith!


D) Car/ Postman / even right now : Architect, contractor ,builders even the PEW sitting in right now – exercising faith


When It comes to Christ Our Faith is not some whimsical feeling /

But Our faith has facts /knowledge

A) Rom 10:17 Faith comes through hearing the Word ; studying the Word

          more study more our faith is  increased & Built up ( Commend you)


B) Two men are on a cruise ship looking over the edge / one looks out only sees miles, miles of water/ but the other sees fishing boats

     1)  Difference?  ( One has a telescope)


C) Well The Bible is the telescope through which faith looks!

1)   Increases vision perspective

 Faith is the eye of the soul, the organ by which we see God's Promises Through which our vision & perspective increased


D)Weirsbe "  Faith is to a Christian what a foundation is to a  House/

It gives confidence & assurance that he will stand!"

    1)  Faith provides a firm ground on which to stand while waiting

     for the fulfillment of God's promise.



Heb. chapter. 11 is all about Faith : In V. 1 we are given a definition of Faith and the rest of the Chapter – Illustrations of Faith

A)Heb. 11 Hall of faith .....men & women who exercised faith in the Lord / tough circumstances, trials & situations


B) Last sun, am study – we did an overview of these different people & their faith / Then Wed looked at the first 7 verses

1)   Faith of Abel / Enoch / Noah – insights into the role that faith plays in our Worship / Walks / Our work & witness for the Lord


C) This morning we are going to focus on v.13-16 we see some Characteristics mentioned here that will be a part of the person life who is living by Faith : Rd vs - Note 4 things


Before we look at the Characteristics - Notice the phrase in v13 These all died in faith

A)This phrase is telling us that None of the patriarchs entered into the full possession of the promises that God had made to Abraham


C) They died having not fully possessed what was the object of their faith.    

1)   They had been looking for something future, which they did not obtain

    during their lifetime, and they died believing that it would yet be theirs.


D) They were able to carry on in Faith – even though the promises were not becoming a reality –

Now The writer tells us 4 things about their faith that enabled them to keep walking by faith


First is the Vision of Faith -  V13 Faith sees the promises afar off!

A)It speaks of  the vision to see what is up ahead! / It is the ability to see what God might want to do !

     1) Jonathan & Armour Barrier


B)Faith is the Perception that  factors God into the equation  " Moody sons "  If God be you partner make your plans large!"


C) I might get stressed out when I look at all the circumstances & Challenges before me  but when I factor God into the equation /

   1) I see things differently!   Example Jairus " Don't be afraid just believe

          ( factor Lord in)


D) Now I will admit times feel like that other father / believe / Help unbelief

1)   " The eye of faith sees what the human eye can't "   


E) Mueller / orphans – Thank you Lord for the food hat we are about to receive / Bread truck & a Cheese truck collide outside his door

1)    So first Characteristic of those living by faith – Visionary faith – sees the promises afar off



2ndly Theirs was a GROWING FAITH:  seen in 3 Aspects

A)1st aspect is they didn’t just see the promises afar off but they were assured of them


B)Assurance = Confident

     1)  Example Abe was 100yrs old Sarah was 90 …. Rom.4:21 " He was fully    persuaded that what promised he was able to perform!"


C) You Abe was not looking at his own limitations but he  was looking at the Lord & kept high his Expectation / trusting in the Lord / His promise

Now think for a moment of the History of the Lord’s dealings that they had to look back on !

A) Knowledge of God & his workings  was so limited  ( fall/ flood)


B) There wasn't much they had seen Him do! Yet they grasped the

    promises & persevered being confident... promised........... perform


C) Now Contrast that w/ all the History we have to look back on in the Word  

Story after story – that gives us insight into God’s Power Provision

1)   And Best of all we have Calvary to look back on - Which stand as our Assurance that God loves us / wants what is best for us!


D) We have God's past dealings w/ others / (People like Peter goes from denial to Ambassador- insight God’s forgiveness & patience


E) We have Over 3 thousand promises in the Word to us as believers & over 300 prophecies that have already been fulfilled – concerning Christ

     1) We are told His thoughts… / out # the  sand / our hair


Guys We have great reason to be confident in the Lord!



So the first aspect of their Growing faith is they were assured of the Promises 2nd Aspect  of their growing faith They embraced them !

A) Embrace is not talking about a cold formal reception / but a

     warm hearty welcome - BEAR HUG /     Amanda Wed. morning


B) It speaks of taking something & pressing it to your heart !!! / They grabbed a hold of the promises made by someone they couldn't see by faith!    

   1) Pressed them to their HEARTS – speaks of AFFECTION


C)As we meditate upon the promises of God, our minds are stirred

     and our hearts are impacted.

     1) Faith embraced the promises!   ( Embraced the Lord)


The 3rd Aspect of their Growing Faith is that they made a confession of their faith

A) True faith results in confession ! Women at the well- "Come & see......... "


B) The thief on the Cross ! - At some pt the rebuking stopped & he

        believed & confessed " Remember me when you go into Kingdom


C) The bible exhorts us to confess the Lord / there is something

     about the spoken Word / It solidifies  becomes a reality


Now notice the Progression of these in pts. Concerning faith

A)Faith sees w/ the understanding, is persuaded in the heart.)   Embraced by the will & Confessed w/ the Mouth


B)The order teaches us important practical lesson : The promises of

     God are 1st viewed / 2nd rested on as reliable/ 3rd delighted in

  1) 4th confessed



Think about when you met your wife !

A)  Saw her afar off - across campus ; church; room at work

     WOW!     (  My mom w/ my dad / boyfriend - no one go out )


B) Began to talk & you were assured I think she  likes me

     1) After Date or 2 or 3; 10 or 20 Embraced!    goodnight hug


C) Then came Confession: Those 3 words Pass ....Ketchup  /  I love you!


D) As time went on Confession led to action: flowers, dinners ,picnics, poems, love songs, w/ each step love grows deepens

     1) Then came the Big Confession I want to  marry you will you marry me


E) Then came the big day! Pastor says will take this women to be

     your wife love serve honor cherish .....as long as you .....live?

1)   Confession again : "I will Yes definitely "

So we see here that their faith was a growing faith – seen in these 3 aspects concerning the promises – Assurred Embraced / Confessed


3rd Characteristic of their Life of Faith is that it was a Working faith -

A)Notice what they confessed V13,14 Strangers & Pilgrims seeking a homeland!


B) They didn’t just sit back and talk about the promised land, thinking that God would take them to it when it was time

 1)They actively sought after the promised land and declared the fact to all.

C)They got up and went looking for it, leaving the world and its possessions behind.

1)     They confessed by the way that they lived that they were strangers & Pilgrims on this earth – dwelling in tents


A Vagabond is someone who doesn’t have a home - A pilgrim is someone who has left his home - sojourner someone who is going home .


As believers we are Pilgrims & Strangers on this earth – In our Hearts we have forsaken this world as our home

A) We live in this life as one who knows that this world is not where it is at


B) Nothing we can acquire – that has any eternal lasting Value

  1) We live w/ a lose grip on the things of this life -  


C) Jesus said we are to be in the world but not of the world

     1)  comfortable in worldly situations / one of the guys ? No difference


D) Great Quote of the early Church " It was not that the Christians were foolishly other-worldly, detaching themselves from the life and work of this world; but they always remembered that they were people on the way.”


E) To me that is a great description of our lives – Realizing that we are on the way – means that we are not going to get to comfortable in any one local

You take a Trip in the Car – stop at a pretty spot – or a good restaurant – I don’t care how nice the spot is or how good the food –

A)You keep going because there is a DESTINATION IN VIEW


I read a story about a rich man who had made an Airplane his home / The man's seat was a beautiful leather chair, made of the finest leathers money can buy." mahogany tray table  VCR, a TV, a CD player, and a computer.


What a shame a place that was intended to be a journey he had made into his home !


B) How many believers get so consumed w/ that which is going to pass away – Our homes / Bodies


Listen the greatest blessings of our faith are not the tangible earthly blessing although they are many– not what we can see hold or measure

A)But it is in  the promise that we will one day be w/ the Lord!


B)These people were living in that reality ! v.10 they waited for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.


C)We are exhorted in the Word to recognize this world is not our home !

1)   " Unbeliever this world is as good as it gets; all down hill from here /

      believer this is the worst it gets.....


" A Christian whose faith does not extend toward heaven will have their eyes on the things of this world - they will wonder why not happier in the Lord


D) So their Faith was a Visionary Faith- Saw …afar off / Growing faith : Assured / Embraced / Confessed – Working Faith – Confessed Pilgrims..


4th Characterisitic is theirs was an Enduring Faith. V15 They didn't look back ! 

A) Evidence that confession was real / they didn't look back to where they had come from!

B) Think how easy it would have been in tough times  to look back

  1) Had a place well furnished; friends,;life was  easier; funds; they had

     everything but the Lord ---so really they had nothing!


C) There are times when we are tempted to look back/ old life – especially in the mist of Trials

1) The problem is we forget what it was really like !  Remember the kicks

     not he kick backs   


D) Israel in wilderness /remembering  Egypt We had it so good  they were slaves )


E) But it is easier to look back to that time when we thought things

     seemed easier / before venture of faith

     1)  Because those ventures of faith often lead to trials


F) But realize not going to be happy if not where the Lord wants you to be!


Note also it says they didn't even call the  old to mind!

A) Minding the things of the past can be a big DISTRACTION/ distracting you  from pursuing that place where God is leading you !


B) Learn this lesson that the Key is not in looking back / not even entertain  those thoughts

     1)  Look forward   Paul .. forgetting what lies behind


C) The Lord has so much for us & if we hang in there we will see His

     Plan unfold in our lives








On our trip to Maui – plane was over booked – AA airlines was trying to get people to give up their seats go the next day

A)Offering 1200 voucher -  hotel in LA – free meals for the night & morning


B) We didn’t even considerate it – we were so anxious to get to Maui – and although we had never been there – we didn’t want to miss one day

1)   We joked – we’d take the voucher if they offered it on the way home


C) That is how it is w/ us – This world offers us temporal pleasures –

      a night in LA – lose a day in Paradise

1)   I don’t think so !!!!!


D) You ask anyone who has ever backslid – gone back to the Old life

1)   They will tell you they regretted it immensely


E) 45 minutes into the flight – turn around – great Frustration !!!!!


These all died having not received the promise but it didn’t matter – they weren’t looking back – Encouragement to us

A)Press on – You never know this side of heaven the impact your life is going to have – Svea Flood


Lastly - Reward of faith!

A.)    Not ashamed to be called their God – God of Abe / Issac / Jacob

He is not ashamed to say that He is the God of ___/ ____/ ______


B.)    1 John 3:1 Behold what manner …..Children!  Kid's - mine!


C) He has prepared a City for them Rev.21

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and there was no sea anymore. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Now God’s presence is with people, and he will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them and will be their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain, because all the old ways are gone.”