The Great Need for a Living Faith!


Good Evening! Turn if you would to Hebrews Ch. 11. I would like to speak tonight on faith. My sermon is entitled “the great need for a living faith!” Would you please read with me Hebrews 11:1-3 and then v. 6.

Now why speak on faith tonight? Well I believe this subject is greatly needed in our brotherhood. You know that last month I was just in Switzerland and I was amazed to see once again how many youth or young people had left the church. I was looking around me in Geneva and all who had grown up with me in the Lord were all gone but two. I wondered why? Why after all the youth rallies we attended together, after all the sermons and songs and prayers we heard with each other, after all these years of efforts on the parts of ministers and teachers was it all gone? What had happened to all of my friends? I am convinced there is a complex answer and also an easy one. I’ll spare you the long one and give you the short one. Because their faith was not what it should have been. That’s the bottom line. You know we live in a time when everything that’s not anchored or nailed is coming lose. And the devil is running around like crazy shaking foundations and pulling nails. He does that as fast as he can. So what you, I and our children need more than anything in this world is an anchoring faith. A rock solid faith, a devil defying faith, a mountain moving faith.

I believe that a living faith is necessary to overcome the devil and assure ourselves of all of God’s promises. You see as someone has said “little faith will bring you to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” A living faith is a cornerstone for all men who want to live the abundant life that Jesus Christ promised! You see, every blessing God has given us in the Bible is secured by the hand of faith. Faith is the hand that reaches out in the unseen world to bring back realities in our lives. Doesn’t the Bible say “But when you ask you must believe and not doubt! By faith you must ask!” “By faith you have been saved.” “By faith you overcome the world!” You see the Christian who doesn’t have a good faith is more than miserable. He can’t find God’s blessings and he encounters countless problems.

The problems we encounter due to a lack of faith are manifold! Do you ever worry? Do you know why we worry? Worry is a lack of faith! Take worry and turn it around and you have faith. Are you ever lonely? When you are lonely, it’s a manifestation of a lack of faith, for God has said “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee!” He’s with us all the time. But it is faith that makes his presence real to us! Do you ever break God’s commandments? Why do we break God’s commandments? We do because we often don’t have enough faith! You see if we would really trust that God’s word says what is best for us, then we would obey! So I am saying the blessings of God come through faith and the problems we have in this life comes to us because we do not have faith as we should have faith!

Now there are three points I would like to make in this sermon.

I. The appointed place of faith in our lives!

Now there is an appointed place in our lives for faith. You see God has created all of us with certain wants and certain needs. Not everything we want is a need we have. And faith is not a want. It’s a primary need like water, air or food! You see without it we can’t be complete!

Do you know the one undisputed difference between man an animal? In all of the animal world you never find a shrine, a temple, an idol, a thought for a divine being but you do in all human individuals since the beginning of time. (already in Abel). Man needs religion. He can’t be satisfied without it. An animal doesn’t. A dog can be satisfied with a warm place to sleep, something to eat, a little treat every now and then and a some affection. That’s all it takes to get a happy dog. That’s all it takes to make any animal happy! That’s what some people also think they only need. All they want is a nice place to sleep, something to eat, a sense of achievement and some affection. But that’s only good for a dog’s life! We were made for more than that. If it’s all you go after you’ll be unsatisfied. You’ll describe life in 3 phases like this, “You are born crying, you live complaining, you die disappointed” So many live like that. They are living what is called “a quiet desperation.” It’s a grim thing trying to get through life if you don’t recognize the need for faith. God has said we were made for more than animals. We have a divine destiny and a divine need!

II. The Nature of Faith

Now I want to talk about the nature of faith. God says faith is three things. Look back at Hebrews 1:18,

  1. 1st faith gives us substance. Substance is literally the word you have in the Greek. The K.J.V. translated it better: But what is substance? What does it mean? The etymology gives a good explanation. “Sub” means under and “stance” means to stand. So substance means something beneath us to stand on. So faith is something solid for hope to stand on! Think about what that means. How often do you hear people say to you, “What you hope for is not certain!” It’s just your opinion. Instead of heaven, there could be reincarnation. How about out of body experiences? But I can tell you that you can’t find anything more certain or more solid than our faith. Nothing is more solid than the faith we believe on. You can’t stand on more firm ground than the word of God! Our faith is spiritual steel. You are not walking on egg shells. When you believe in our faith, it’s substance! If you want reality you have it in our God and His word.
  2. 2nd faith is evidence. That’s literally the second word in the Greek. It’s literally “Elegxos” in the original language. Elgxos was the thing you produced in court to convict a man. It was the type of evidence that couldn’t be contradicted, that erased any doubt in the mind of the jury. Now I want to make a distinction in your mind. A lot of people don’t understand what faith really is. Faith is not “If you believe strong enough, it will be so” or “if you wish hard enough, it will come true” No! That’s not faith. You know sometimes you say “Well, I don’t think this is going to work.” And they say “just have faith!” See that shows they don’t understand what faith is. They confuse faith with positive thinking, with optimism. Faith is not hoping it all works out sometimes. Things don’t come in being because I have faith. I have faith because things are already in being. Faith is evidence of truth. You see I don’t believe to make it so I believe because it is so and my faith is evidence it is so. You see you can’t have faith for anything that’s not so. Faith is rooted in truth, in the word of God! Faith reveals fact. Let me illustrate. A little boy was flying a kite. The kite went up, up, up, up so high that the kite disappeared in the clouds. He could no longer see it but he was still holding the string. Someone came by and asked the boy what was happening? “Why are you looking up?” He said, “I’ve got a kite!” The person pointed out that it couldn’t be seen! “How do you know it’s still there?” The little boy said, “I feel the tug”. Let me tell you something, faith is that finger that is moved by the tug of the kite! Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Faith is substance and evidence.
  3. 3rd Finally, faith is understanding. Now many people claim to be smart people in this world. They claim to understand things. They claim to be scientists, holders and protectors of truth But do you know what the Bible says? True understanding comes from faith. There is no atheist who understands as he should! Ask them to tell you how everything got here. They’ll say it all started with a big bang. Ok what bang? And where was all the stuff that exploded? How did they get there? How do you explain clock wise movements and counter clock wise movements? There is only one way you can understand how all came, by faith. All the philosophers, scientists and psychologists need to buy true knowledge from the Lord. By faith we understand that all was formed of God’s command and made out of what was unseen. You know it amazes me when people look at a verse like this and say “I am not going to believe anything I can’t understand.” We don’t even understand how a black cow can eat green grass and give white milk and then how it turns into butter. It is by faith we understand. God is the only one who can give us insight in the unseen. And faith is the way you go to him to have these visions. So that’s the nature of faith; substance, evidence, understanding.

The Greatest Rewards of Faith

Let’s now move to our last point. To the greatest rewards of faith. Look at v. 2 and 6 again. Faith is absolutely necessary if you are going to succeed in the Christian life and if you are going to please God. Because of it the ancients were praised. Do you remember when you had to bring home your report card from school? When your dad or mom would say “At least you ought to get an A for courage!” Well you see on your heavenly report card you are graded according to your faith! By faith the ancients got a good report. You see we are not rewarded because of our fame, friends or feelings. We are not graded according to our fate, to our fortune but according to our faith.

Finally, faith releases God’s power. Do you want God’s power in your life? To reward you? You need faith. The Bible says be unto you according to your faith. Faith releases the power of God. There is a story that illustrates this. Some angels came to the Lord one day and said “God almighty father, there is a mortal down there on earth asking things of thee.” And God said to the angles, “And what does the mortal man send his faith to heaven in?” The angles answered, “Holy father, he sends his faith to heaven in a thimble.” And God responded “Well fill the thimble with blessings and send it back to him.” Then again another angel said, “Holy Father there is a man there on earth and he is praying” And the Father said, “And what did he send his faith to heaven in?” and the angel answered, “He sent his faith in a hoggs head.” (that means a huge barrel). And the father said “Fill it with blessings and send it back to him.” Now it’s only a story but it illustrates a great truth. According to your faith may it be unto you. Little faith = little blessings Great faith = great blessings


Do you need faith? Do you want faith? Open your heart to God and put away your stubborn will. Realize if you need to believe in God, God will inable you to believe in Him. If you want to please God, believe in him. Remember faith has its appointed place, it’s nature and its great rewards.