Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews 11’


Faith-Frogs-Pleasing-GodThree frogs sat on a lily pad. One decided to jump off. How many were left? Three. He only decided to jump off, but never took the leap. It is not enough to make a decision. You have to make a leap of faith and follow through with it. So here we are at Hebrews 11. We just declared that we are not of those who “shrink back” to our destruction, but press forward to God in faith to the preservation of our souls…

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Heb 10:39

We have seen the foundational truths of our “Better Savior”, the one with the indestructible life, the one who ever ministers, mediates and interceded so that we can experience the Majesty in all of His holiness and glory! But NOW it is time to go and DEMONSTRATE the reality of the MAJESTY by leaping off the ‘churchy’ lily pad and living in the power of our faith!

Hebrews 11:1 starts with the declarative NOW! Now we are ready to see and experience what FAITH can do!

Life-of-FaithEverything else up to this point has been foundational. The Holy Spirit has shown us that the Christian Life is to be defined by the Supernatural, and that Supernatural centers upon and within Jesus Christ. If, (big if) Jesus Christ is central to your life you will enjoy some amazing supernatural benefits. If Jesus is not central to your life, then it will be obvious that something is missing from your life.


Hebrews: Evidence of Faith!…Power of Faith!…Progress of Faith!

  • Hebrews 1-10 is all about the result of centering your Life in Christ, and His Life in your life is EVIDENCE of your Faith.
  • Hebrews 11 is all about going forth in the POWER of Faith.
  • Hebrews 12-13 is all about PROGRESSING in Faith to that Holy City that awaits us!

Evidence of Lack of Faith

Evidence of Faith

No Benefit from the Word of God in your everyday life (take it or leave it) (Heb 4:2) We enter into Rest (Heb 4:3)
Spiritual Immaturity (Heb 6:1) Grow in Maturity and produce fruit
Promises of God are not at work in your life (Heb 6:12) Lay hold of the throne of grace and receive of the promises
Troubled by Guilt (Heb 10:22) Guilt-free through your mediator
Failure to Hold Fast (Heb 10:23) Boldly Lay Hold of the Throne of God
No real life in God (Heb 10:38-Just shall live by faith) Enjoying the presence of the Majesty through your minister
Shrink back from God. Avoid intimacy with Him. (because of sin and lack of confidence) (Heb 10:39) Go on with God in full confidence of His Word

You may claim ignorance or inability, but you have no excuse, for Faith is an issue of your heart, and always results in a commitment of action. The truth is that the way we live our lives proves…

We all have Faith in Something

You demonstrate with your living your faith in yourself, your connections, your abilitie

s, your friends and your family. Only when tragedy or harsh conditions strike do you wonder if your faith is well-founded. Only then do you wonder about an invisible God.

Are You ready to Discover the Power of Faith? The right kind of faith, faith that will intertwine your life with your Jehovah God. Faith that will give you a personal and family connection with the Creator of the Universe! When you have it, your life will bear evidence of it!

To develop and understand this Faith, you need to wrap your life around Jesus Christ! Have you come to Jesus as the Son of God, your Minister, your Mediator, your Intercessor, your Savior and Lord? You have not made a decision to center your life upon and around Him! If so, it is pointless to explore the power of Hebrews 11 Faith. Your faith is in yourself, and this will not make sense to you.

What is Faith? Faith is Proof of the Reality of Jehovah God 

Here are some translations of the Greek in Hebrews 11:1

  • ESV – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
  • Phillips – Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see.
  • KJV – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
  • AMP – NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
  • Holman – Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. Hebrews 11:1walk by faith not sight

Faith is “pistis”


Here is my translation of the Greek, and it is based on the meaning of the original combined with the context, particularly Hebrews 11:6. I see Hebrews 11:1 and 6 intrinsically connected. The two verses are intertwined and explain and complement each other. Faith is not a passive word, but involves two components that complement each other. Remove one or the other and you have no faith. Faith involves “substantiating” and “demonstrating.” And as verse 6 so clearly states, Faith requires a core belief in God and His power and nature, and then a life that demonstrates that belief through diligently seeking after Him!

Faith is the Substantiating of things we hope for, the Demonstrating of things that are unseen

Hebrews-11_1-Faith-Jims-Definition

 

Pistis is “firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality”.[1] I dare say that such a conviction would leave your life unaffected as these verses indicate:

For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God’s power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5

FAITH SUBSTANTIATES the UNSEEN AS REALITY!

Faith visualizes God in all His Majesty, Power and Glory just as if you were kneeling before Him in real-time! This is seen in Hebrews 11:27, for Moses  is described as “seeing Him who is invisible.” Faith apprehends as a real fact what is not revealed to the senses. It rests on that fact, acts upon it, and is upheld by it in the face of all that seems to contradict it. Faith is a real seeing[2].

substantiate_from_dictionary_com

Substantiating is “hupóstasis”

hupóstasis means “to place or set under. In general, that which underlies the apparent, hence, reality, essence, substance; that which is the basis of something, hence, assurance guarantee, confidence”[3].

How do you substantiate something?

You do it everyday. A substance is an object, even a sound or perhaps a color. Substantiating means you exercise one of your senses to make an intangible substance real to you.

For example, the color yellow is very real; but if you shut your eyes, the color yellow loses its re

  • ality. It is nothing to you. With your faculty of sight you substantiate yellow. Not only is the color there before you, it is now reality to your consciousness.

Many people believe in UFO’s, but until they can get one and hold it and touch it, there can be no substantiating the reality of UFO’s. I assure you that UFO’s are not going to be found.

However, when it comes to Jesus Christ, we have a very real Savior. The hoped for things of Christ are eternal and therefore real. You have been given only one precious faculty to substantiate them-FAITH. Faith in the Word of God and His Son is the only faculty you can use to substantiate them. Faith makes divine things to become real in your experience. When you rest on God’s faithfulness, faith substantiates to you the unseen things you have as yet barely hoped for!

hebrews11_1Are You a Faith Warrior or Desperate Wimp?

Faith not only substantiates the things hoped for, but it involves demonstrating the unseen as real! You live as though the unseen things are real and visible! This is why multiple times God calls us to walk by faith and not sight. He wants us to live as though we are in His presence and enjoying His 

  • power and deity. When we walk by sight we tend to focus on our abilities and power, and we neglect seeing Him. Only when we can’t handle things do we look up and cry to Him for help. That is not faith, that is desperation, and God does not enjoy being a God of the desperate! He wants to be the God of the Faith walkers! Men and women who walk by faith and are working with Him to overcome the evil of this world! He wants Faith Warriors, not Desperate Wimps!

The Demonstrating of Faith

What in your life reveals that you are walking by sight and therefore failing to demonstrate Faith in our Almighty God?

  1. When you worry about clothes (Matt 6:30-The lily of the valley)
  2. When you fear in a storm (Matt 8:26-on the sea of Galilee)
  3. When we doubt His Word and Power (Matt 14:31-Peter fails to walk to Jesus)
  4. When we fail to see the Power of Jesus to meet our daily needs (Mt 16:8-feeding of 5000)
  5. When we fail to overcome Satan (Matt 17:20-21 – they could not cast out demons)
  6. When we fail to pray (Matt 21:22-Receive what you ask for if ask in faith)
  7. When you give yourself over to bitterness because of loss or hardship. (2 Cor 4:16-18) “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
  8. When we no longer hope in anything from God. (Romans 8:24) For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
  9. When you no longer have great joy in your life. (1 Peter 1:8) Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory

God wants our Faith to move us to be fully vested in Him and what He promises!!

Abraham was fully convinced!

abrahamIn hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead ( since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” Romans 4:18-22

Faith Empowers us to Endure

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

Faith Rests in the Power of God!

“…that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:5

Foundational Qualities of Power Faith

1. “F” is the only Passing Grade with God

(F)aith – For by it the elders obtained a good report. Hebrews 11:2

Faith in God and His Provision for you is the only way for a Good Report Card!

Good report is “martyreō”. Faith in God and His provision for you has always been the basis for your salvation, your “commendation.” It has never been about your works bringing a smile to God. It has always been about your heart belief and faith commitment to follow Him! There is nothing you can do for God or for anyone that would ever make God “owe you” salvation or any other consideration. The whole point of Hebrews 11 is that Faith in God is the only way to experience the Power of God and in turn the Salvation of God. Faith is all about God and trusting in His abilities and provisions. This is why He gave us His Son as the visible representation of His power and salvation. Even then, people refuse to place their faith in Jesus Christ.

2. Faith begins with Believing Biblical Creation

in-the-beginning-GodThrough 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. Hebrews 11:3

  1. Why depend on a God whose power you question?
  2. Why depend on someone whose word you doubt?

Appear (are visible in KJV)  is “phaínō”, which means “to appear, to be seen, with the idea of shine forth. It also carries the idea of something suddenly appearing in the sky, like a phenomenon[4]” Matthew uses this word to describe the Star over Bethlehem as well as the appearing of Christ when He returns. Matt. 2:7; 24:27, 30;

Hebrews 11:3 puts the “Big Bang Theory” directly in its cross hairs! This world (things that are seen) was not made out of something that suddenly appeared (are visible). It was created out of nothing by the Word of God!

Look at the Power of David’s Prayer before beginning construction of the Temple…founded upon His firm believe in His Creator God.

Therefore David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:10-13

David realized that everything in the heavens and earth was Gods, for He is the Creator! If God is not the Creator, then you really do not need Him. Riches and honor are up to man, power and might is up to man, and there is no need to praise and worship the glorious Name of Jehovah.

If God is not your all-powerful Creator, He will never be your all-powerful King, Lord of all of your life. There will always be a back-door whereby you can go to your own Kingdom where you are lord. Believing in the 7 day Genesis account of the Creation of the world is fundamental to substantiating and demonstrating your faith in this unseen God. I love the Institute in Creation Research and I encourage you to check their site and take their magazine. There is so much proof of the Creation account! ICR.ORG

How to Please God

3. Faith is the only basis of Acceptance by God 
Abel offers blood sacrificeAbel

Only as you walk by faith can you please God. It wasn’t the quality or quantity of his sacrifice whereby God was pleased. No! It was because Abel’s offering was done in faith! Notice carefully what the Bible says:

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness (martyr) that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. Hebrews 11:4

Look how God responded to Cain’s offering. He told him it would be accepted ‘if he did well.’ The phrase refers more to the intrinsic nature of the person offering rather than the offering itself. Combine this with what Hebrews 11:4 states, and we find that God looks at our heart of faith when we do anything for Him. If we ever want to please God, we must have a heart that fully trusts in Him, even through He is invisible!

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it. Genesis 4:7

You do well not because you have to, but because you want to, you have a Covenant Connection with God by faith, just as David referred to:

[DO WELL-yatab] When David prays in Psalm 51:18 “Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion,” he acknowledges that the covenant Lord is the source “of all that is good and pleasing to mankind. This “doing good” is not capricious, but based on the covenant relationship revealed to the patriarchs)[5]

Imagine that Abel’s offering came after a virulent disease wiped out his flock, leaving him with a handful of sheep and goats. With a sorrowful heart he boldly offers his best remaining goat to God, not because he has plenty, but because He is fully trusting God to provide! Our faith is often revealed in the tough times, when our sight is obscured by tears.

Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and his days [seemingly] are prolonged [in his wickedness], yet surely I know that it will be well with those who [reverently] fear God, who revere and worship Him, realizing His continual presence. Ecclesiastes 8:12

Faith is the basis of acceptance by God, the means of pleasing God. You can never hope to please God by what you do, but only by whose your are and in whose Name  you live. Jesus Christ is the only one who ever pleased God. When you place your life unreservedly in Jesus Christ, you exchange your life for His, then you are no longer viewed by God in your sin. You are pleasing to God from that moment for you have “put on” Jesus Christ, and now you are “accepted in the beloved” as Ephesians 1:6 declares.

Enoch_was_fully_vested_in_GodEnoch

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony(martyr), that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

How did Enoch please God? To understand this and see why Enoch was taken to heaven without dying, we must see the valuable connection between faith and becoming “fully vested” in God! (Point 5). Understand that Enoch demonstrated a life whose testimony, purpose and reputation was totally intertwined with God by his faith….

4. The Result of Faith is an Eternal Testimony of being “Fully Vested” with God

And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:4

Abel still testifies that all those who want to please God must do so with faith in their heart that He is who He says He is.

before his translation he had this testimony (martyr), that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

are-you-fully-vested-in-GodEnoch walked and talked as a martyr (testimony) for God. He took God and His Nature personally! His life and interests were one with his God! His life was fully vested in God’s reputation and power on earth! He stood up for God for he was totally with God. You can see his heart revealed in Jude:

It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. Jude 1:14-16

As the Psalmist wrote, His godly ones gladly praise Him and follow Him, even work to bring God’s Justice to the world. When you are fully vested in God, you are the representation of His love as well as His justice and righteousness in the world.

Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the LORD! Psalm 149:6-9

5. Faith is the only Means of Gratifying God by being Fully Vested in Him!

faith5_hebrews_11-6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6

“Fully Vested”

„  held completely, permanently, and inalienably: vested rights.

 “protected or established by law, commitment, tradition, ownership, etc.: vested contributions to a fund.”

Faith is the only way to please (gratify) God! „ Faith demonstrates the reality of your being in God and depending upon God! Faith makes you fully vest your life in God and His reputation and power. Walking in and by faith means you are walking and living in and by God, not by your own strength!

” Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8

Hebrews 11:6 complements the substantiating and demonstrating of Hebrews 11:1. Here we see how verse one changes our life by vesting everything in Him! The two points of verse one become the two things you must do in order to please God by your faith in verse 6.

Believe that God is1.)   You Must believe God IS

The idea is not merely that God exists as a rewarder, but that He will prove Himself to be a rewarder of that person who diligently seeks Him. As Vincent puts it: “He who approaches God has, through faith, the assurance that his seeking God will result in good to himself.”

This is not an academic belief, but one that grows from being fully vested in Him! This is reflected in your heart, your mind and your actions. Do you believe in an unseen Deity that watches you and who is eternal and powerful. Do you have faith to believe that He is powerful enough to work in your life?

„ The-What---the-way-into-the-love-of-GodHow does your Heart reflect your belief that God is?
  • Do you have dirty thoughts, hatred of others, wicked plotting, desire for revenge, bitterness over events?
  • Then you do not believe God is, for you would give those thoughts to Him, and trust in His providence and justice.
  • If God is, then you surrender your rights and will to Him
„The-So-What---learn-with-your-head How does your Mind reflect your belief that God is?
  • Do you rely on yourself?
  • Are you always thinking about yourself?
  • Are you normally selfish and motivated by what is good for you?
  • Always excusing the way you live being contrary to what God’s Word says?
  • Neglect to meditate on God’s Word?
„ The-Now-what_learning_by_doingHow do your hands reflect your belief that God is?
  • Are they selfish?
  • Do they steal?
  • Do they give to others?
  • Do they react in anger, fear, even striking others?
2.)    You Must believe God is a Rewarder who is worth seeking with all you have.

The words “diligently seek” are literally “seek Him out,” the prefixed preposition being local in its force in this translation. But those who seek Him out are diligently seeking Him, and here we have the perfective use of the preposition. Vincent says in this connection: “God’s beneficient will and attitude toward the seeker are not always apparent at the first approach. In such cases there is occasion for faith, in the face of delay, that diligent seeking will find its reward. One is reminded of Jesus’ lessons on importunity in seeking God (Luke 11:5-10, 18:1-8)”[6]

The only way to have Faith and be fully Vested in God is through Jesus Christ!

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

  • Jesus is the archēgos – leader, captain, founder of our faith.

Christ is the leader or captain of faith, in that he is the perfecter of faith.Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, (New York: Scribners, 1887), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews 12:2”.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

  • Jesus is the “teleiōtēn” “to carry through completely, to finish, to make perfect or complete.”[7]

If you want to please God, you do so in faith, from faith and by faith. Faith empowers you to be fully vested in this invisible Creator God. Faith demonstrates a heart, mind and life that is fully vested in God and all that He is, regardless of how your life plays out, for your know that He is fully capable of rewarding your faith and commitment.

Don’t be like those frogs

Three-frogs-ridingNow, are you going to be like those frogs and sit there on that lily pad, professing your decision to jump? Or you actually going to leap off and into this mighty God, and demonstrate with your life the power of this unseen God.

Heart, Head and Hand considerations…
  • „ Heart=God is a rewarder of all those who seek after Him
  • „ Head=Good report is obtained not by what you do, but your substantiating in your life the truth and power of God by demonstrating through your life your trust in Him
  • „ Hands=Put on Jesus each and every day by faith, and serve others in the power of His name.
    • You offer your life in faith. You profess your testimony without reservation before your friends and acquaintances.
    • You continue to use your hands to diligently seek after God, knowing that He will reward the work of your hands, as long as they are working in the Faith of Jesus Christ!

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 1162.

[2] Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, (New York: Scribners, 1887), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Hebrews Chapter 11”.

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “hupóstasis”.

[4] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 1434.

[5] R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Bruce K. Waltke, ed., “863: ‏יָטַב‎,” in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: ” ‏מֵיטָב‎, 863a”.

[6] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 198.

[7] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 214.

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gods-profit-principle-2Faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the proving of things unseen. By Faith we are able to see God creating the World by simply speaking it into existence. Able saw an invisible God and offered to him a more excellent sacrifice. Enoch saw an invisible God that was so real that he lived his entire life just to please this invisible God. As a result Enoch never tasted death.faith-is-the-substantiating

Now if you want to please God you must have faith such that you can see Him who is invisible. And if you are going to know God in a close and intimate way like Able and Enoch, you must believe first, that God, our Creator God, REALLY IS and second, that God rewards those who diligently seek to know Him!

Do YOU See God? Do you see Him every day? Is it your HOPE to know God in an intimate way, a daily substantiating, with daily evidence of His presence and power in your life? Of course you do! Then you need FAITH! Faith is the FOUNDATIONAL Component of HOPE! If we can’t see the possibility of the thing we are hoping for, we lose all hope. How do we increase our faith?

I believe our faith is increased when we learn to honor our social authorities. Here is the Biblical Key:

Let as many bondservants (doulos) as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. 1 Timothy 6:1-5 (NKJV)

includes-bosses-coachesYou are thinking, this verse applies to slaves! Not Me! No, this verse applies to every employee, every student, every soldier, every athlete with a coach, every person that has someone telling them what to do. Masters includes our employers, bosses, teachers, coaches and so forth.

  • Let as many as are employees under hire count their employers or bosses or managers worthy of all honor.
  • Let as many as are students under education count their teachers worthy of all honor.

Ephesians sheds further light on this:

Bondservants (Doulos), be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8 (NKJV)

Paul wants us to understand and realize that we are actually slaves of Christ. When we honor our boss, our teacher, our coach, we are really honoring Jesus Christ! When we do, we will grow in FAITH! The phrase from the above verse, “doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men” says the following that we need to pay attention to:

  • Obedience is required to see the will of God.
  • This obedience requires a heart change and heart dependence upon God
  • This is enthusiastic obedience, because you are doing it unto our Lord.
  • This Obedience is rewarded by God.

AX045648Put another way by the New Living Translation: “As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Ephesians 6:7 (NLT)

Give extraordinary affection to the Lord by giving extraordinary service to your boss, your coach, your teacher. Paul paints this picture clearer in the relationship between husband and wife. “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:3. The word affection is the same word used of how we are to serve our masters and therby serve our Lord. We are to serve withthe passion of “goodwill” toward our Lord. We are to render affection with enthusiasm, from our heart. This is really needed in marriages. No one enjoys a heartless, dull passionless marriage. To have this passion and enthusiasm for service we must realize:

We Are Servants of Jesus Christ.

nnoah_and_his_sons_building_the_arkwe-are-servants-of-christWhat does being a SLAVE of Jesus have to do with honoring my SOCIAL AUTHORITIES? More importantly, how will this allow me to SEE GOD in a real and personal and everyday way? Let’s continue our personalization of Hebrew 11 for more insights into the role of faith, honoring social authorities and seeing and knowing Him who is invisible.

  • If an invisible voice from heaven tells you to quit your job and start building this huge boat because a big rain is coming, it takes faith to see Him and believe he is real. The reward of doing your job with enthusiasm is enjoying life when all those around you are drowning.
  • If an invisible voice from heaven tells you to leave your home and family and move to a desolate, foreign country, it takes faith to see Him and believe He is real. The reward is a heritage of Salvation and blessing for a people more numerous than the stars.
  • If that same invisible voice tells you to take your only boy whom you waited almost 100 years before having, and lay him on an altar and stab him with a knife, it takes a great deal of faith to actually lift that knife over your boy and plunge it into his heart. The reward is eternal life because your faith has been counted as righteousness.
  • It takes a great deal of faith to spend your life looking for an invisible city with eternal foundations, designed and built by this same invisible God. (Hebrews 11:10)
  • If a bush becomes engulfed in flames and this invisible God starts talking to you, and He tells you to back to a country you fled from because you were wanted for murder, it takes faith to go back and face the mightiest ruler on earth and tell him to let your people go!
  • When this same invisible God tells you to walk straight into the sea to escape this mighty ruler, it takes faith to believe He can part the waters and dry up the ground.

Hebrews continues to list people who all saw this invisible God, saw him in a real, intimate, personal way. They heard Him speak, they heard Him direct their lives, and they responded with heartfelt obedience. To them this invisible God was real, personal, powerful and worth following, even if it meant leaving home, moving to a strange country, sacrificing your children, sacrificing your own life. NOW, is this invisible God real enough to you that you would honor your boss as if he was this invisible God?

  • If your boss told you to go out and build a huge ark, would you do it?
  • Is this invisible God real enough to you that you would honor your teacher as if she was this invisible God?
  • If your teacher told you to go tell the principal to dismiss school and let the student’s go home, would you do it?

jim-has-had-many-jobsI have had many jobs in my life, as I’m sure you can also attest to. I have been a door to door salesman selling goods made by the blind, a casual laborer loading trucks for a trucking company, a parts counter, an o-ring installer, a dishwasher, a waiter, a bouncer in a college cafeteria, a janitor at Sears, a salesman, a General Manager working for my Dad, then a company President, General Manager for others, then started my own company, but even as Company President I went out striping parking lots with my family, finally am doing the greatest job in the world, ministering the Word of God.

I have gained some valuable insights from dealing with social authorities. Insights that have increased my spiritual understanding of the ways of God. Insights that are so important in understanding how honoring your boss or any social authority can increase your faith in God!

As I see it, in learning to Honor Social Authorities, in learning to Honor Jesus Christ, you have three choices:

you-can-be-a-slave1. You Can Be A Slave. (Doulos)

You can do only as you are told. You do only so much because your primary motivation is your self. What you can get or not get by doing just enough to stay under the radar. You don’t want to get beat, you don’t want to get in trouble. So you have to look busy, just not too busy. There are different levels of slaves. God indicates this when he cursed the son of Noah: “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” Genesis 9:25 (NIV)

I have to admit I did not enjoy being a janitor. I saw it as a temporary job, and did only enough to get a passing grade. I was only doing it for myself. I was like Onesimus.

I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. Philemon 1:10-13 (NKJV)

onesimusOnesimus had run away from his master because he had stolen some things. Paul says he was unprofitable. But something happened to make him profitable. He discovered Jesus Christ. Was he still a slave, yes. Did he have to answer for what he did, yes. But in the mean time he discovered the value of seeing that as a Slave, he could serve Jesus Christ. Paul said he was now ministering to him in his chains. You can function as a slave at work or school, you can just get by and have an ok life. Some people work only to play. They just want money to be able to do what they want. They just want an education just so their parents will get off their back. This “slave” mentality is evident everywhere you look in society. It can either be because you have been beaten down before, or a boss has stabbed you in the back before, or a teacher has ignored this or that. So you lowered your expectations, you retreated and now do only what you have to.

If we are to advance beyond simply being a “slave” in our Christian walk, and grow in our faith to see Him who is invisible, we must understand “God’s Profit Principal”gods-profit-principle

God’s Profit Principle

Realize this, you are at best an unprofitable servant if you only do what you have to for your social authorities, in fact anyone over you.

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” Luke 17:5-10 (NKJV)

If you are going to increase your faith, you must move beyond being a slave and doing only what you have to toward your authorities, and especially God! But remember, as Christians we should never lose sight of the value of those “menial tasks”.

MENIAL TASKS

Jesus performed menial tasks as a true slaveWe must realize that Jesus set the example for all Christians to do menial taks. Jesus came into this world as a slave, surrendering all his rights so that he might become as one of us. However, as a slave, he gave us an example, that we should always do our best. That we are never too good to do even menial tasks.

So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. John 13:12-15 (NKJV)

If you only do as you think you are required, at best you are only an unprofitable servant. You are only overhead, an expense item. We need to be like Jesus, willing to do anything and everything to honor our authorities. We need to be like Onesimus, and move to the next stage and become an enthusiastic servant unto Jesus Christ himself.

A Profitable Servant2. You Can Be A Profitable Servant. (diakonos)

Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45 (NKJV)

JOSEPH went from slave to profitable servant

Joseph had more than one opportunity to really mess up his life by not growing in faith. To become profitable requires faith. As Joseph certainly demonstrated. At every phase of Joseph’s life he demonstrated that two undeniable beliefs:

  1. Joseph the Profitable ServantOverwhelming belief that God Is
  2. Overwhelming belief that God rewards those who diligently seek him.

Joseph, no matter what pit he was in, what dungeon he was forced to live in, what gruel he was forced to live on, believed with all his heart that God was there with him, and that it was worth his while to please God with all his heart.

Joseph could have got made at his brothers, mad at God, started being rebellious to his captors, they would have killed or maimed him and that would have been the end of the story. Or he could have stolen from Potiphar, taken his wife, served only his interests, and that would have been the rest of the story. At many points in his life he could have made a decision that would have put himself first and ruined the entire Bible. But he didn’t. As a result of having a heart that sought the success of his Jailer, his master Potiphar, his King Pharaoh, he became the most powerful man in the most powerful kingdom on earth. God rewarded Joseph because Joseph was a profitable servant toward his authorities. He always did more than was required of him.

Jesus had the same attitude:“… The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

If anyone serves (diakonos) Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant (diakonos) will be also. If anyone serves (diakonos) Me, him My Father will honor. John 12:26 (NKJV)

Apply your heart to becoming a profitable servant

are-you-a-profitable-servantYou want God to Honor you? Honor your boss. Honor your teacher. Honor your coach. Don’t just do enough to get by. Do more! Your hearts desire is that in serving your authority, you are serving Jesus Christ. If you want to be a profitable servant to your boss, work not for yourself, but work to make him successful. If you want to be a profitable athlete or student, let your coach know you want to do whatever he needs to make him successful as a coach. Same with your teacher. Your servant’s heart will be contagious. There may be a student you can influence, another team member you can push to greatness. By honoring your social authorities, you will learn to see Him who is Invisible. Your faith in God and His power in your everyday life will grow. Once your faith starts to grow, and you discover the value of becoming a profitable servant, you will go to the next step.

3. You Can Be A Friend Of God

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Isaiah 41:8 (KJV)

be-a-friend-of-godJacob, son of Isaac was called a servant of God. Jacob had suffered most of his life because he was selfish, focused on what he could get out of life. He had been an unprofitable servant because of his selfish ways.

Finally at Bethel, he discovered the secret of becoming a profitable servant. Dying to what you want and desiring only what God wants. After wrestling with the angel all night, the Angel crippled Jacob, giving him a constant reminder that his strength was not sufficient. If he was to become Israel, he would do so in and through Jehovah’s strength.

In Isaiah we also see that while Jacob was called servant, Abraham was called “my friend” by God. Why? I believe Abraham was called My Friend because only Abraham had learned to really trust God no matter what. Abraham had a deep-seated fear that began in his early days in Ur of the Chaldees. While he was willing to leave home and follow God, while he went beyond what was expected and gave Lot the better land, went after the Kings to get his brother back, bargained with God to try to save Sodom, even made sacrifice to Melchisedek and refused spoil from the King of Sodom; Abraham had a deep down fear. He was afraid that his beautiful wife Sarah would be taken from him, and he would be killed. He really doubted God’s ability to protect him. So before they even left Ur, he had Sarah swear that if anyone asked if they were married, she was to lie and say she was his sister.

“And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”‘ Genesis 20:13 (NIV)

This happened once in Egypt, and then again in Philistia with Abimelech. The last time, God confronted Abraham through Abimelech, and Abraham repented of his deep-seated distrust of God. Genesis 20 says that “Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.” Genesis 20:17-18 (NIV) He didn’t need to pray for himself. God had already seen the change in his heart. Within weeks, Sarah conceived. This total trust that Abraham had for God was revealed a few years later when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac.

abraham-trusted-god1Abraham did not hesitate, he knew that God was his friend, and would never do anything to harm him. He knew that God would raise Isaac from the dead.

If you want to become a friend of God, you must go from simply doing more than is required. You must do all that is required.

You must trust God with everything in your life. You must be willing to sacrifice everything you own, hope to own, hope to accomplish, everything upon God’s altar. This means your job, your salary, your advancement at work, your standing in school, at sports, whatever you want. You are willing to place it on the altar. If you are going to increase in faith, if you are going to become a profitable servant, if you are going to learn to honor your social authorities, you must give your all to Jesus Christ.

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants (doulos), for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:14-15 (NKJV)

Each one of us can become an intimate friend of Jesus Christ. We simply must be willing to do whatever He tells us. He has given us His heart. He has revealed his word to us. A friend will listen, will learn and obey.

  • Not because you have to
  • Not because you want some reward.

But because you love him with your all your heart, your soul, your mind and with all your strength.

SO, why should I honor my social authorities?

  • so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.

In other words, when we fail to honor our social authorities, it results in disrespect for the name and character of Jehovah God. It even results in people ignoring and then despising God. Christians should be the hardest working employees, students, athletes. Regardless of your abilities, whatever we do, do it heartily, as if Jesus Christ was right there, watching. Sure, there are a thousand excuses for doing less than that. Your boss is a so and so, the teacher is so and so, the coach is so and so. Do you want to grow in faith? Do you want to see Him who is invisible? Learn to see Him in the face of those bosses and those teachers that you don’t like. Don’t give unbeliever’s another chance to say you Christians are all alike. You’re all lazy, dishonest, so and sos. When we fail to honor our social authorities, even when they are harsh, we give them a reason to blaspheme God!

We Discredit the Very Thing We Preach

  • Our Actions Speak louder than our words.
  • With our children, our grandchildren.
  • Christians should work harder than any other employee
  • They should be honest and trustworthy
  • They should never argue, complain or talk back.

The Greatest Test You will ever face as a Christian is how you respond when you are treated like a lowly servant.

DAVID GREEN

A 20-year-old man was given a chance to be an assistant manager of a TG&Y store in Oklahoma. The manager took one look at him and reacted with the thought, “Why would they send a young kid like this out here?” Trying to break him, the manager sent him down to the storage room, which was in utter chaos. Undaunted, the young man organized the fixtures and supplies in bins. Within a couple of weeks the storage room was transformed. Instead of giving any recognition or approval, the manager’s only response was, “Ya know, we’re not slave drivers around here. It’s okay for you to take a break.”

Young David Green spent 13 years advancing in the TG&Y organization. Then “In 1970 … there was a little craze about taking some small canvases and paintings, a group of small frames, to put on a wall,” he says. “We saw the opportunity to start manufacturing these frames. We borrowed $600 from the bank and started making them in our garage.” This young man’s servant’s heart and diligent work paved the way for his present work as the founder and CEO of one of the nation’s largest privately owned retail chains. David Green’s story is an amazing account of God’s blessing on a spirit of serving. In 2008 he was listed by Forbes as one of the 400 richest men in America.

God wants each one of us to become mighty in our faith. He wants each one of us to see Him and how much He is at work in our everyday lives. He wants us to know the power of His grace. He wants us to see His power behind our bosses our teachers our coaches.

Complain Complain

look-to-the-crossThe Hebrew Children were complaining about life in the desert. They wanted this they wanted that. People were turning away from God, they were blaspheming God. That is when God told Moses to place a brazen serpent on a cross. All who looked upon the cross in faith would be healed. Have you been complaining about work, about school about this and that. Have you been slacking in your love for God. Have you been causing others to stumble by you poor attitude. You need to look at the Cross this morning. You need to have your heart and eyes opened to the reality of God and His power. You need your eyes of Faith restored.

WE WERE ALL SLAVES OF SIN

Everyone of us started life as a slave, a slave to sin and to Satan. The price on our heads was greater than any of us could ever hope to pay. Jesus Christ, our creator God became clothed in this flesh and through His obedience to the horrible cross, paid the price on our heads in full. He wnet down to the devil’s slave market and through the price of our freedom through the gates of Hell. All that is required is for you to open your eyes and by faith believe that what the Bible says Jesus did is true. Jesus redeemed your from the deadly chain of sin dragging you down to Hell. He broke that chain and by faith you are free. You are free to become a slave of Jesus.will-heavens-door-be-open-to-you

But praise God, Jesus doesn’t want to hold you down. He doesn’t want you to plod along in life with no Joy no passion No LIFE! He shows you that it is possible to have an abundant life in Him.If you see Him in your life and in every authority you face, if you serve as unto Him, He will reward you with blessing after blessing. You will discover the joy and power of becoming a profitable servant. But even more than that. Our great Savior calls you to become His friend. By learning to give your entire life to Him, and obey Him in all you do, you will be the abiding branch, the dearest friend fo the greatest friend you can ever have. Jesus Christ himself.

Are You Living By God’s Profit Principle? Will Heaven’s Door be open to You when You Die? Is Heaven’s Door of Honor and Blessing open to you while you Live?