HEROES OF FAITH
Hebrews 11:2-5,7-40
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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, that he pleased God. …


Enoch, only one of two people in the Bible not to see death (Elijah is the
other), is an example of faith. Nothing is known of Enoch (other than the
speculations of the apocryphal book bearing his name) other than he was
translated. Thus, we know he pleased God, therefore he had faith – because
it is impossible to please God without faith.


(Jude 1:14-15) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied
of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his
saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are
ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have
ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly
sinners have spoken against him.  (KJV)


By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved
with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he
condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is
by faith.


(1 Peter 3:18-22) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just
for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the
flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and
preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were
disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of
Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls
were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth
also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the
answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of
Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of
God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto
him.  (KJV)


(2 Peter 2:4-6) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast
them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be
reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved
Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the
flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom
and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow,
making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;  
(KJV)


(2 Peter 3:1-9) This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in
both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye
may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy
prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and
Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days
scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the
promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things
continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this
they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens
were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water,
perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same
word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment
and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this
one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his
promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-
ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance.  (KJV)


By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he
should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not
knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of
promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac
and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for
a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abraham, the great “father of faith,” is the premier example of faith.
He answered the call, he obeyed, by faith. Faith caused Abraham to
obey. Faith caused him to act. His faith in the promises of God, that
which he would be, that which he could not see, prompted Abraham
to both leave his homeland, and to continue his journeys through a
strange land. He believed the promises of God that he would diligently
reward his servants. Faith is what made Abraham the man that he
was.


(Genesis 12:1-25:8)


(Acts 7:2-6) And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The
God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in
Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get
thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land
which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the
Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father
was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And
he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot
on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and
to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. And God spake on
this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that
they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four
hundred years.  (KJV)


Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed,
and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she
judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of
one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in
multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
Sarah, too, had faith. It was faith that allowed her to conceive and
deliver Isaac. She laughed, at first; but she believed the promise of
God. What man thought was impossible, she by faith considered
possible, and not only possible but probable – because God promised.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having
seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them,
and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For
they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And
truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came
out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they
desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not
ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Whether it was Enoch, Abraham or Sarah, they were strangers and
pilgrims on the earth. This world was not their home, they were just
passing through. Abraham could have returned to Ur if he wished; but
he realized that an heavenly home awaited him. He had faith in God.
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that
had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom
it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  Accounting that
God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also
he received him in a figure.


One of the greatest examples of faith, if not the greatest, is Abraham’s
willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, upon Mt. Moriah. Isaac was not the
only son of Abraham, but he was the only son of his mother, Sarah. Isaac
was the son of promise. Even though Abraham knew that Isaac was the son
of promise, he had faith that God would even be able to raise him from the
dead to fulfill His promise. He knew God would keep His promise one way
or another, even if Abraham could not see how.


(Genesis 22:1-19)


(James 2:14-26) What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he
hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or
sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto
them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye
give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it
profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a
man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith
without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  Thou
believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also
believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith
without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by
works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou
how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made
perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham
believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he
was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is
justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the
harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and
had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is
dead, so faith without works is dead also.  (KJV)