Faith is a way of life.

The early chapters of Hebrews described the generation of people who had been freed from slavery by the mighty hand of God. Yet, they responded to God’s grace with unbelief.

Readers of Hebrews should be warned against such behavior.

Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3.12-13).

An unbelieving heart is far more damaging than someone who has doubts. An unbelieving heart is characterized by a departure from a relationship with God and a hardened sinful inside condition.

Unbelief can be very deceptive. On one hand, we can profess faith in God but continue to trust other options than reliance upon God.

James described this as being “double-minded.”

“For the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1.7-8).

A double-minded way of life is pictured by the prophet Habakkuk.

Then the Lord answered me and said:
Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so that a runner may read it.

For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the end and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.

Look at the proud!
Their spirit is not right in them,
but the righteous live by their faithfulness.

Moreover, wealth is treacherous;
the arrogant do not endure.
(Habakkuk 2.2-5)

The prophet’s words are pertinent to what Hebrews counsels us to do.

(1) God’s plans and purposes will be fulfilled. People who are right with God will wait in faith for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

The righteous are single-minded. They fully rely on God and none other.

(2) The proud trust their wealth and power, rather than God.

At best, they are double-minded. They possibly believe in God, but their true dependency is on their human ability to survive.

Faith Endures

Faith is a way of life that endures while it waits for God’s promises to become evident.

Do not, therefore, abandon that boldness of yours; it brings a great reward.

For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what was promised.

For yet

“In a very little while,
the one who is coming will come and will not delay,

But my righteous one will live by faith.
My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.” (Hebrews 10.35-38).

The person who endures remains under a load of difficulty without losing their trust in God.

Endurance is demonstrated by doing “the will of God” and relying on God’s promises.

The Meaning of Faith

Just as the early chapters of Hebrews described the lack of faith of a generation of God’s people, the next chapters highlight the heroes of the faith.

What is faith? It is a mental conviction of the truths of God and much more.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval.

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible (Hebrews 11.1-3).

The author of Hebrews knew that “faith without works is dead” (James 2.26), so he gave examples that illustrate the fact that faith is a way of life.

Verse 4 – By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s.

Verse 5 – By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death, and “he was not found, because God had taken him.”

Verse 6 – All of God’s faithful knew this truth: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would approach God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Verse 7 – By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.

The list of examples continues into chapter 12. We have the opportunity to be part of the roll call of the faithful.

Let’s remember that faith is a way of life, not just mental assent to propositions about God. Let’s trust God’s promises and fully rely on him.

YouTube Video

Normally Rudy Ross and I talk about Hebrews on YouTube. I am making videos for a couple of days because I am sick and don’t want to infect Rudy. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.

I am indebted to Gareth Lee Cockerill’s commentary on Hebrews for the information contained in this blog.

Please email your prayer request to The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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