Posts Tagged ‘Jewish’

It was nearly Passover. The city was stirred up. Roman security was at high alert. A Nazarene jew had been judged, beaten, and condemned to die a terrible death. The morning had been filled with throngs following the Nazarene carpenter teacher from one judgment to the next.

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If all we do is study the Bible to study the Bible we only have another religion. And, too many do. If we study the Bible to better know who God is, to learn His voice, to learn what it is He has done, to learn what it is He will do and will do again, so we can have a relationship with Him, then we study the Bible to better support a relationship – not a religion.


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I. We know this

Hebrews 11.1 KJV:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

If you have been in church for more than one year you may have heard this verse. It is a popular reference for discussing ‘faith’, what it is, and what it is not. You may have heard the dissertations and the break down exegetically, word by word. You may have even studied this verse on your own. So we know this verse. Faith equals substance equals stuff hoped for equals evidence even though not seen. We know this.

Be teachable. Allow God to show us something new every time we read the scriptures.

When exegeting the scripture – breaking it down word by word, it is best to remember what went before that led to the point you are now. Chapter 11 is preceded by Chapter 10. What happened in Chapter 10?

II. Entering In

Hebrews 10.1-6 KJV
“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.”

Before ‘faith’ there was the ‘law’. The law was all about stricture; what you could and could not do. It was regulation and requirement. It proved Mankind’s best efforts at personal righteousness failed repeatedly. Acts and substitutions by the hand of Man would not cover it.

Hebrews 10.9-10 KJV
“Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Jesus, Yshua Ha Massiach, The Anointed Salvation of God’s People (that is what Jesus’ name means), traded places. Rather than continuing in animal sacrifices, Jesus became our sacrifice and took upon himself our just punishment so that we could have no separation from GOD the Father.

Hebrews 10.15-18 KJV
“Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

The required sacrifices under the law have been replaced by a more permanent sacrifice, once for all. Those receiving that sacrifice enter into a new covenant and relationship with GOD. Rather than laws written on stone and paper, the laws were written into hearts and minds; meaning it is their heart and mind to do the will of GOD the Father. And God’s further part in this covenant is He chooses to not remember your sin and iniquities [acts making one not equal]. There is now no need for additional sacrifices for sin. You can enter boldly into the throne of GOD Almighty and call Him Abba Father.

III. Walking out the promise

  Hebrews 10.36-38a KJV
“36For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38Now the just shall live by faith:

It is a cross-country, long distance race. The terrain is not smooth. It is not a sprint. It is not a straight line, run all out, flat, even, short-sighted goal. There are many times that you will not, cannot see around the bend or guess at what is coming next. You must persist. Distance running requires patience and focus on the goal and talking to yourself. Many times, you will need to encourage, cajole, or just plainly make yourself continue. Because, you have an end goal in mind, even if you do not see it, you know it is there. You press on toward your promise. The long distance runner makes their ‘faith’ happen by active action in each and every moment. The will to continue is sometimes a huge struggle. The desire to quit is sometimes the only thought. Every pressure and pain can be screaming at you to stop what you are doing. You must exercise your control, your faith, your confidence, your will to continue on to the end.

Know this: this race has been run by many others before you and they ended it well. If you cannot run, walk. If you are tired of both, learn to fly.

Isaiah 40.31 KJV
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

IV. Now Faith

When running, or some other physical exertion, ‘right now’ can become a really long moment. Time can seem to stretch forever because of the pressures or the energy expended to maintain the level of performance. That is a perfect reminder that our ‘faith’ must be a ‘right now’ faith.

The faith and Bible teacher Kenneth Copeland observed that every time you say “now” it is “now”. At that point in time, it is “now,” immediate, occurring at this instant. In the same way so should be your faith.  Right now.

  Hebrews 11.1
  “Now faith …”

After having discussed the difference between law and the new covenant, we come to faith. Under the law there was sacrifice and regulated obedience. Under the new covenant the law is written in the heart and mind. It becomes the will of those in the new covenant to do GOD’s commandments. What has to be accepted is that Jesus completed that covenant, fulfilled that righteous requirement of the old law to make available the covenant and the new law, and performed the final sacrifice to stay the judgment of GOD. All must now exercise ‘faith’ [hope, confidence, trust] that what Jesus did was enough, because we do not follow after the Law given to Moses or any other prophet.  Now we must daily – sometimes moment by moment – consider that ‘faith’ in the works of Jesus Christ is enough to stay the judgment of GOD for Adam’s sin and ours!

So, we come to the question “now faith…” and must exercise our decision to either live by faith or to not. Some have cast away all restraint and said there is no GOD, that they are their own god. Their faith is misplaced in whatever it is they believe. In surety, there is a GOD [YHWH Elohim] who chose Israel to be His people and out of them all the nations of the Earth would be blessed. The only real question is where we apply our ‘faith’.

V. Applied faith

Hebrews 11.1 KJV:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Any serious student of literature, any serious or casual student of the Bible, must realize that the book titled “Hebrews” was written to the descendants of Israel, who was born Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, who was born Abram. From Abram to now, all of the descendants realize, recognize, the GOD of Israel is real. He is a part of the Israeli culture, not just the ‘Jewish faith’. The Book of Hebrews tries to explain the theology between faith in the law and faith in Christ. In both instances, it is accepted that ‘faith’ is part of the equation. You either have faith, hope, confidence, trust that the obedience and sacrifice required of the law will save you or you have faith, hope, confidence, trust that the law was fulfilled in the prophesied Messiah who was/is Jesus Christ / Yshua ha Massiach and He will save you. What was accepted universally is GOD is who He said He is; therefore there is a judgment for sin and GOD’s righteous requirement due for sin.

Where do you apply your faith?
– No GOD of Israel
– Know GOD through the law
– Know GOD through His Messiah

VI. Substance, Evidence, Invisible

Hebrews 11.1 KJV:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Now, let us remove the question of ‘faith’. If ‘faith’ is a given, our suppositional truth – our basis upon which we build further, then we come to ‘in what’ or ‘in whom’ do we place our ‘faith’? If in the law, then practice the law wholeheartedly and seek the GOD of Israel in regulation and sacrifice. But if in the new covenant and the sacrifice once for all by Jesus, then practice those things He taught wholeheartedly and seek the GOD of Israel through the obedience and sacrifice of Jesus at the Cross.

So apply your faith / hope / confidence / trust. It is the substance of that thing for which you hope. And according to the writer of Hebrews, that hope is that Jesus Christ was enough to assuage the GOD of Israel from not judging you along with all other sinners, to freeing you from the law of sin and death, to giving you peace with your Everlasting Father, YHWH Elohim, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and you.

This kind of faith is considered ‘invisible’, because it is a decision. The substance of your decision may be your countenance, your appearance of assurance. The evidence of your decision may be your unwillingness to do other than what is pleasing to GOD.

A further activity of faith in things hoped for and not seen is living out the benefits of being back in right relationship with the GOD of Israel. To those in the world and outside of GOD’s covenant through Jesus Christ, your life becomes factual as if substance, evidence, and the signs that the GOD of Israel is who He says He is – even though they cannot yet see Him. In you, they can see Him.
Part Two – Now Faith … Applied Benefits

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