What Is Biblical Faith?

Learning How to Walk by faith

Hebrews 11:1

January 5, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Hebrews 11:1)


A.    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

B.     I have Three Goals this year


1.      For everyone to understand what Biblical Faith is (Hebrews 11:1)


a.       Whatever it is, you can’t see it, but it has substance, and it has evidence that it works!

b.      Just because you can’t see faith doesn’t mean it isn’t real!


2.      To get Everyone to start to just believe God – not just believe IN God, but to BELIEVE God (Acts 27:25)


a.       Mark 11:22  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. It is a command!

b.      Act 27:25  Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

c.       Oh how powerful is a strong faith in the God of the Bible!


3.      For all of us to LIVE and WALK by Faith, instead of by our SIGHT (2Cor 5:7)


a.       To trust God more than we trust our own understanding


C.     The Result of a life lived by faith will be:


1.      Pleasing to God

2.      Having Power with God

3.      Getting Answers to Prayer

4.      Having Peace and Rest no matter the storm or the trouble

5.      And laying up treasures in a far better world! Living by faith will provide very little success, or prosperity, or greatness in this world’s view… but that is okay!

6.      A totally different life – a great life!


D.    The results of living a life by only sight will be:


1.      In trouble with God

2.      No power with God

3.      No answers to prayer – you will be on your own so to speak

4.      No real peace or rest in even the smallest of storms or troubles

5.      And nothing of eternal value connected with your life

6.      The same old dead-end life – miserable life!


E.     This morning, and all year long, I want to explore what Biblical Faith is, and how to walk in it


1.      Everyone has some faith already, and everyone uses their faith constantly…


a.       You have faith in your Doctor – that he is not a quack

b.      You have faith in the food you buy and eat – that it is not poison

c.       You have faith in the car you drive that it will start, and get you from A to B without exploding or dying on the road

d.      You have faith in the seat you are sitting in – that it won’t collapse

e.       You have faith in the air you are breathing – that it is Oxygen and Nitrogen like you need!

f.       You have faith in your parents – that they are not aliens waiting to transport you back to their home-world!

g.      You have faith, belief in loads of things!


2.      But, we have been so de-sensitized, so apathetic, so that we don’t know what faith “feels” like, and we don’t even think faith is even necessary anymore! Not in this advanced age!

3.      Oh, we think we are so smart, and don’t need faith at all! This generation believes we don’t need to pray; don’t need to learn Biblical doctrines, or even what’s right and wrong.

4.      And our culture especially rejects a child-like faith in an invisible God! The media has pretty well almost convinced just about everyone that God isn’t even there!


F.      The purpose of my efforts this year is to fully persuade every hearer…


1.      That there really is a God in heaven – He is the ONLY God, by the way!

2.      That He is RIGHT in all that He does – He is perfectly right and just

3.      That He has revealed Himself to this world through His Son, Jesus Christ, and through His perfect words, the Bible!

4.      That He is holy and unapproachable by anyone who sins – that means everyone is separated from God, including Mary, Mother Theresa and Pope Francis! And that includes YOU too!

5.      But, I want to fully persuade everyone that God has made a way to Him, not through a church or a religion, but through the perfect sacrifice of His own Son on the cross 2,000 years ago!

6.      And finally, that He loves and cares about us, and cares for us in every way unimaginable!

7.      Oh if I could only convince everyone of those things, those truths!

8.      Then we might just start walking by faith instead of by sight!


II.    Message


A.    Faith…


1.      Being fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is able to do (Romans 4:21)


B.     Let’s Expand the Definition? Having ‘Biblical Faith’ means:


1.      To Believe God even though you haven’t seen Him, even though you don’t see Him, or hear Him at work

2.      Being fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is able to do (Romans 4:21)

3.      To Fully Depend upon God and upon His Character (Num 23:19; Heb 10:23)


a.       You can be sure, that HE is good, and will do good!

b.      Because He is NOT like us! He keeps His word, His promises!


4.      To Trust Him… as hard as it may be, ENOUGH to do what He says do

5.      To Rely Upon ONLY Him, and not have a plan ‘B’ or Plan ‘C’ in case He fails – as if He ever will!

6.      Resting in God’s great care (Psalm 37:6)


a.       Have Positive Hope In His Plan – able to rest like Christ did in the ship caught in the storm!

b.      To be Confident in God’s Wisdom – He “usually” is much smarter than you are me!

c.       To be Sure of some things, even though you do not have all the facts!


C.    Illustrate it. Let me show you faith in action in the life of Job – a life lived by faith, and NOT by sight. A life that in spite of everything, stayed upon God!


1.      Job 1:1,2,13-22    He LOST everything and everyone precious to him!

2.      Job 2:7-10            Lost his health, his friends, and even the support of his wife

3.      Job 13:15             Resolved that even if God took his life, he still would TRUST Him

4.      Job 19:25-27        Even though Job didn’t understand what was going on, he still KNEW that his redeemer, Saviour was alive and well and was taking good care of him

5.      Job 23:8-10          And Job believed with all his heart that God was with him even though he was invisible!


D.    Many today think Faith is anti-intellectual, or UN-reasonable


1.      People actually believe that faith means shutting down the brain, and not asking questions; Just blindly follow along with a religion or cult

2.      Today’s culture seems to view Biblical Christianity as being only about blind-faith and not reason. People think you either have faith or you have reason, but not both. You either have a Bible, or you have Science.

3.      But that is not how it has always been.


a.       Historically, most of the centres of education, universities, colleges, etc. are a direct result of Christian influence which brought knowledge and education to all the masses.

b.      Without the Christian’s view of Creation and the universe, and the Bible believer’s love of SCIENCE, it would be unlikely that we would be anywhere near where we are today technologically or scientifically.


4.      So, for true Biblical faith to exist at all, the mind must be used right along with the heart!

5.      In reality, I have found that MOST people don’t have real faith at all


a.       Believe that faith is only a set of opinions, and emotions, popular beliefs, and experiences that they think is their “faith”

b.      But those are all Wrong Substitutes for Real Faith


E.     Real, active, life-changing Faith is Four Things, all working together. You have to have all four in motion for it to be real!


1.      Hearing the words of this Book – paying attention to every word

2.      Believing the God who wrote this Book!

3.      Obeying what God says to do in this Book

4.      Leaving the results up to God

5.      Without all four in motion, there is no faith, only talk, only powerlessness, only frustration, only religion, and only disappointment!


F.      The Example of Abraham (Romans 4:17-22)


1.      God made a promise to Abraham – what a thought!


a.       Here is this pagan man named Abram, living in a pagan culture that worshipped the Moon Goddess. Not looking for God, yet God went looking for HIM!

b.      God spoke to him – that is amazing!

c.       And Abraham HEARD Him!

d.      God Promised that He would give to Abraham and his wife Sarah many children, if they would just BELIEVE Him! Not just believe IN Him, but fully trust Him, enough to follow Him, and obey Him.

e.       What if Abraham had been too busy to hear Him?

f.       Or too sceptical to believe that God would be any different than the religion he had been brought up in

g.      How does God speak to this world today? Visions, dreams, voices from the ceiling?

h.      The ONLY Valid Source of a person’s Faith is what God said in this Book, the Bible

i.        Did you know that God has made some promises to YOU? You had better find out what He said!


2.      Abraham Believed God – how simple it is!


a.       Faith starts with hearing what God says! Not with what you feel, or what you want, or even what you NEED. It starts with “thus saith the Lord!

b.      Now that God had spoken to Abraham, the only thing for him to do was to believe God

c.       And so Abraham believed God!


1)      He believed that God would not lie to him

2)      Believed that God would keep His promises to him

3)      Abraham just believed God!

4)      Not just believed IN God, but Abraham BELIEVED God

5)      Completely trusted God like a patient trusts a surgeon on an operating table!


3.      Abraham Believed IN SPITE of the impossible-ness of it all


a.       Faith has never been easy! If it was easy, everybody would be living by faith! But it is HARD to trust when there are so many impossibilities involved in our lives!

b.      Impossibility of having children


1)      God didn’t just promise 1 or 2 children to Abraham - That was impossible enough to believe.

2)      No. It was children numbering as the stars of the sky and the sand of the sea that Abraham had to believe!


c.       Abraham and Sarah were barren.


1)      They had tried and tried, and just could NOT have any children!

2)      Abraham was almost 100 years of age – “practically dead”

3)      And besides that, Sarah’s womb was dead – she had stopped being able to produce children for years now – stopped at menopause


d.      Impossibility of figuring out HOW all this could ever happen


1)      There was no way Abraham or Sarah could have begun to have figured a way for all this to actually take place

2)      They actually TRIED to figure a way to “help out” God, by using Hagar, but that ended in a big mess!


e.       All they could do was believe!

f.       And that was ALL that God needed! Faith has always been the victory folks!


4.      Abraham was “full of faith”


a.       He HAD struggled with doubts before – all of us do!


1)      12 years of nothing happening led him and Sarah to try to have a baby through Hagar – which was a huge mistake!

2)      He had run from the promised land as soon as a famine hit the area

3)      He had asked his wife Sarah to lie and tell everyone in Egypt that she was NOT his wife when they were surrounded by a culture he didn’t understand


b.      But in the end, Abraham grew to the place of fullness of faith – he was FULL of faith!


1)      Oh that is where “I” want to be!

2)      Poem – When faith becomes Captain


When faith is in motion, there’s room for no doubt;

No time for hesitation, or for worries, but only a shout!

No further debates, and no panicking should happen,

When unbelief has been routed, and faith becomes Captain.

It just believes God, no matter how hard;

It rests in full hope, as Praise firmly stands guard.

So don’t think you have faith, when it’s just empty and blind;

Become fully persuaded in both heart and your mind;

Persuaded that God is always faithful and true

And that He can only do all that He has ever promised to you!


3)      Abraham staggered not at the impossible-ness of God’s call. He stayed the course!

4)      He had no more unbelief (Rom 4:20)

5)      He learned to just believe God

6)      He only had hope now! No delay could discourage him anymore!

7)      He lived to praise God by faith!

8)      All because he was fully persuaded – firmly convinced God would do everything He ever said


5.      Abraham ACTED on that faith


a.       Faith without obedience is dead!


1)      That’s just another way of saying faith without works is dead!

2)      Obedience to God is the outworking of our faith

3)      When God shows us what to do, and we disobey, we are simply living out our unbelief!

4)      If we believe God, then we will have no problem doing what He asks of us – even when it is hard, or even impossible!


b.      Abraham took the steps God asked him to take


1)      Left his home

2)      Left his own family behind


c.       He learned to stay in the Promised Land

d.      Learned to wait on God’s timing

e.       Learned to pray

f.       Learned to Praise God even before he received any of the promises!


6.      All of THAT is real faith… when it affects our mouth, our hands, our feet, and our LIVES!

7.      THAT is WALKING by faith, and not by sight!


G.    And LOOK at what that kind of faith can do (Romans 4:22-25)


1.      It saved Abraham – made him right with God!


a.       Good works couldn’t do that! Never can! Only FAITH can save a person!

b.      Abraham’s faith was imputed (credited) to him for righteousness

c.       It allowed God to forgive him and make him righteous in God’s eyes!


2.      It allowed God to bless Abraham, and guide him, and help him all the rest of his life

3.      It brought the Messiah into the world through he and Sarah!

4.      And it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;  But for us also,


a.       “IF we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead”

b.      Wow! What real, Biblical faith will do!

c.       Just child-like faith in Jesus Christ, who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for OUR justification.


III. Application and Conclusion


A.    To HAVE Such Faith… Everyone in this room this morning needs to…


1.      Hear this Bible yourself – from cover to cover


a.       Quit listening to your heart, to your friends, to your church, to your school

b.      Listen to the Lord God almighty who made this entire universe, and gave you a Bible so that you could know Him and trust Him!

c.       You see, there is no real faith without knowing “the words of faith”
1Timothy 4:6  If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.”

d.      All other faith is only emotional, and feelings-based, and will lead all the way to hell!

e.       But of you listen to the words of this Book, you will end up following Jesus, and He will get you all the way to heaven!

f.       So, Listen to the words of this Bible, learn them, don’t miss a single word (Rom 10:17; Matthew 4:4)

g.      Pretend like it was written just for you – because it was!


2.      Believe it all (Acts 24:14)


a.       Believe the GOD of this Book

b.      Even though His promises are impossible

c.       Even though your heart aches and struggles to rest

d.      Even though you can’t understand the HOW, at least understand the WHO – that it is GOD who promises and will keep His promises

e.       Jesus said, believe me, follow me, trust me

f.       And then He spent 3 ½ years as a servant, earning our trust

g.      Watch HIS life, and see if He is not worthy of trusting


3.      Act on it – obey what God says do (Heb 5:9)


a.       There is no faith in just a list of beliefs, when you won’t act on them

b.      People are comfortable with a creed in a church or in a catechism

c.       But it is another thing completely to actually live by what you believe!

d.      In other words, if you do not DO what you read in this Bible, then you prove that you do not believe what you read in this Bible!

e.       So, step out in faith and obey what God says do – concerning everything


4.      Leave the results up to God (Psalm 37:5)


a.       Trust that God can make everything turn out just fine!

b.      According to this Book, God will only do right

c.       He will make all things work together for good

d.      He will make everything beautiful in His time

e.       And he will never leave or forsake a believer, ever!