“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:1-8
The kingdom of God is ours. We have it through our faith in Jesus Christ, our lord and savior. Our faith is a firm persuasion and expectation that God will perform His promises.
As people of faith, we believe that the world was created by God. Therefore, we do not only look forward to the end of the world, but we also look back to the beginning of the world.
In our articles of faith, the creeds – Apostle, Nicene, and the Athanasian – we confess our faith in God as Father and Creator and in Jesus Christ, His son and redeemer, and in the Holy Spirit who calls and gathers. The Bible gives us the truest and most exact account of the origin of all things. We believe that by faith.
In the text, the apostle tells us, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Faith and hope go together. That is what motivated the holy men of scripture and the pioneers of Christianity. They could not see the end result, but they trusted God.
Enoch was a man of faith. Through his faith, Enoch pleased God. Enoch walked by faith. Because he pleased God, he did not see death. He was spared the suffering of death.
Faith does and has done some unusual things to the human spirit. It led one to build an ark. Another left his heritage to become a wanderer in the desert.
Noah’s faith meant patience. God had visited him and instructed him to build a huge boat.
He was also instructed to preach to the people of the world, giving them an opportunity to turn to God. It was a strange assignment, but Noah believed and obeyed. He trusted God to do what He said He would do.
Abraham was a man of faith who trusted in God’s promise to him. God appeared to Abraham and gave him a promise, which to our human understanding, is impossible. He promised Abraham, a fatherless old man, that he would have a son and that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars. Even though Abraham was quite advanced in age and his wife was barren and beyond the age of childbearing, he believed. God credited his faith to him as righteousness.
God is the one who, through his Spirit, brings us to faith. The Spirit calls us and sustains us in the faith. Without the Holy Spirit, we are lost and have nothing.
When we trust in God, He is faithful. Through faith, we also please God. That faith is our belief in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, who came into the world to be a sacrifice once and for all times for the sins of humanity. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor of the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr., P. O. Box N4794, Phone 242-426-9084, webpage: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.