Hebrews 11 is a familiar chapter to most of us, also known as the “Hall of Faith”. It provides a lengthy list of men and women all walking in different circumstances, but all of them had a determination to follow God and keep their faith.
I recently went to a baseball game and they had a hall of famer, Juan Gonzales, throw out the first pitch. González is still the Rangers' career leader with 372 home runs, 1,180 RBIs and 713 extra-base hits. According to ESPN, only 1.2% of baseball pros make it to the hall of fame, so I was pretty excited to get to see this in person.
Through hebrews 11, we get a glimpse of some of the hall of famers of Faith. The “one percent” Through their stories we learn some very important lessons about faith.
First, Faith is needed for the unseen and unknown.
Vs 1 says the definition of faith “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
We see this in the life of Noah.
Hall of faith example: Noah
“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”
Second of all, Faith is a choice
“By faith” is mentioned 19 times in this chapter. I just find this so interesting because it’s a constant reminder that in each of these examples the first thing they had to do was have faith. And not only have faith but ACT in that faith. Faith isn’t just believing in something, it’s doing something. It’s making a choice to be obedient to God.
Hall of faith example: Abraham
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,”
Hebrews 11:8, 17
Finally, Faith does not identify with this world
Hall of faith example: Moses
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”
As you read through these amazing examples of faith in this chapter, be reminded of God’s persistence and faithfulness. They did not all get to see their promise fulfilled on this earth and they died still living” by faith.” But in the end, vs 40 reminds us that we will all one day be made perfect together in Christ and that is what we should set our minds to.