The Champions of Faith

Vernon Grounds tells of an incident that happened while he was in seminary. Since the school had no gymnasium, he and his friends played basketball in a nearby public school. Nearby, an elderly janitor waited patiently until the seminarians finished playing. Invariably he sat the … More

Victory

Everyone is saved by simple faith but the victory of faith may only come through sacrifice. This was true of many of these Old Testament saints who the writer gives us as examples of faith. Abraham’s victory of faith cost him the sacrifice of Isaac, whom God demanded but graciously spared (verses 17-19). Instead of taking his son, God gave Abraham a whole nation of descendants through Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Isaac’s victory of faith involved his surrendering of will and desire for his favorite son Esau and he gave Jacob the blessing he intended for Esau (v. 20).

Jacob’s sons became the father’ of Israel’s 12 tribes. Jacob’s victory came when he wrestled at Penial and came out a victor, but a cripple for life (v. 21). Joseph’s victory was gained by being despised by his brethren  (v.22). Moses’s victory came by renouncing his claim to the wealth of Egypt (vv 23-29). True faith helps us see beyond the grave.

When we trust God, we get what God can do; but when we trust ourselves we get only what man can do. The experiences of these Old Testament saints is proof that true Biblical faith means obeying God in spite of circumstances or consequences. God has spared us from the sacrifices these Old Testament saints were asked to make. However, He does ask us to surrender our bodies to His service, separate ourselves from the world and refuse to compromise with evil. He asks us to witness for Him, to study His Word and to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. It is such a shame that we are often unwilling to make even such small sacrifices.

Application

Material things should be the least satisfying of my rewards. My best and greatest rewards for the victories in this life await for me in eternity.

Hebrews 11:17-29 (English Standard Version)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.

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