Living In The Tension

Yesterday at Saar Fellowship our text was Hebrews 11.32-40, and we saw those who had victory over circumstance, and those who had victory in circumstance. This can leave us living in tension in between the already and the not yet, between feeling like things ought to be taken care of and done, always, in the here and now. We know we are saved by faith in Jesus, so why are things so tough?

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Despite some of their earthly circumstances being defeated, none of these people here experienced the constant and unbroken fellowship and communion with the Father, they did not receive what was promised.

None of these people here experienced the spiritual awakening and enriching and blessings that come from the finished work of Jesus. None of them. They did not receive what was promised.

But do you know what? You can. 

God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.


For us, seeing and enjoying the completed work of Jesus on the cross gives us much more reason to hold on to faith despite what may be going on in our lives.


Maybe that is what God is saying to you today – look, it doesn’t matter what is going on around you, whether things look like they ought to be fixed and changed, because you have something so much better to look to, to hold on to, to turn to, the finished work of Jesus on the cross, look what I have provided for you.

If you feel like you are caught in between the already saved and not yet sanctified, the already called but not yet delivered, that is ok, you are! But just look at what God has provided for you, look at how you can live in the here and now and in the tension between now and eternity.

So how do we live in this tension? How do we live between the already and not yet?

It is in the finished work of Jesus on the cross that you can live in the tension.

He has already triumphed over sin and death, but not yet come again.

He is already resurrected but not yet come again.

He is the great living example of the already and the not yet.

He is how we live in the tension between, because He is both already and not yet.

Miraculous Faith

Do you have miraculous faith? Yesterday at Saar Fellowship we talked through Hebrews 11.23-31 and saw miraculous faith in action.

I would say that yes, you do, and that you don’t need to get lost in the search for signs and wonders because you are one, you are a sign of the miraculous, you are a miraculous wonder. 

Do you know the biggest and most miraculous example we can possibly see?

The most miraculous and wonderful and exceedingly surprising?

The Word of God taking on flesh and living, dieing, rising, and ascending, and promising to come again.

The person of Jesus, casting aside for a time His heavenly glory and location to take up temporary residence among us to demonstrate to us the way, and the truth, and the life, to show us how to be reconciled to God, to offer us the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit through being in Him in faith to become a new creation, to cast aside our old person and become a new creation in Him…that is exceedingly surprising and wonderful therefore it is miraculous!

If you believe that, if you believe Him, then your faith is absolutely miraculous.

The fact that you are not who you used to be is miraculous, it’s surprising and it’s wonderful.

The fact that you can think, reason, consider, conclude, and confess that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead is an example of your miraculous faith. 

The fact that you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and that you love others as yourself is miraculous, that is exceedingly surprising and wonderful. It is so different to the culture at large, you are so different to the culture at large because you have miraculous faith.

So, take this knowledge, take this understanding, and let your miraculous faith be the engine that drives your life. 

Let your miraculous faith change everything about what you say, what you do, how you feel about yourself and the world. Let your miraculous faith be the central point that your entire life revolves around.

Hebrews 11.17-22 – Future Faith // Advent

Corrie Ten Boom said

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. 

So how do we know what He is going to do in the future then?

Where does our future faith come from?

The ultimate guarantee for our future faith, the ultimate proof for us to have the kind of faith seen in Hebrews 11.17-22 is what we will gather in about 12 days to celebrate.

Even though there are so many all throughout His Word to us, the ULTIMATE proof of God’s ability and willingness to provide for you today and all of your tomorrows was sending His Son to take on flesh and live among us.

27.006

The word advent itself means “arrival” or “an appearing or coming into place.”. 

We often speak of Christ’s “first advent” and “second advent”; that is, His first and second comings to earth.

His first advent would be the incarnation, literally, when He took on flesh — Christmastime.

As the Old Testament faithful longed for their Messiah to come, so we now long for their Saviour to come again.

He did it, He came, He lived, He died, He rose, He ascended, He said He is coming again, and He will come again. The ultimate touch point of our future faith is actually in the past, Christmas, and Easter, the life, the work, the person of Jesus.

Abraham and family all showed faith in the future, all showed faith in the future faithfulness of God. Let us live our lives now as if God will be there for you and yours tomorrow. Let us use this advent season to push us forward to future faith.

Hebrews 11.12 – One Man

Our faith compels us to trust and move towards the things of God as revealed in His Word, and through the person of Jesus.

Our faith compels us to trust in the faithfulness of God, as Sarah did in Hebrews 11.11. Both Abraham and Sarah moved in faith.

Where do we go with our faith?

Ultimately, to the city we read of in Revelation 21, the city whose designer and builder is God.

How do we get there?

Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants bas many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

Hebrews 11.12

How then? Through faith in One man.

Just as through one man were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore, by faith in One man your sins are forgiven.

This One man is far greater than the old one man, your access to God is assured, your permanent residence in this city guaranteed, and your faith that you are moving forward in is justified. 

Because of the faith of one man, Abraham, God’s people had a human heritage and lineage, and now, for us, because of the faithfulness of One Man, Jesus, we can be God’s people, each and every one of us. 

We can move towards that heavenly city.

We can move forward in faith.

Faith in One Man.

Hebrews 11.6 – Why Faith?

…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.

Hebrews 11.6

The writer/speaker to the Hebrews didn’t say that it is difficult to please God without faith. 

He didn’t say something like ‘You will need to work really hard…‘ to please God.

He said that it is impossible.

…without faith it is impossible to please him…

Is your aim to please God?


Is the master passion of your life to live the best life you can according to what God says life should be, or is the master passion of your life living your best life now according to what you think life should be?

We also read

…he rewards those who seek him.

It doesn’t say that God rewards those who are sincere in all they do.

It doesn’t say that God rewards those who try to be moral…principled…’good’…simply come to church and agree…

…he rewards those who seek him.

Are you seeking Him in all you do?

But How do we seek Him?

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

John 14.1-7

How do we please God? In faith.

How do we seek God? In faith.

It is faith that pleases Him.

It is those who seek Him through faith in Jesus He rewards.

Relationship with God is only possible when the barrier of our sin has been removed by trusting in Jesus, putting our faith into action.

Jesus died on that cross to take our punishment, to pay our debt, to give His sinless life as a worthy sacrifice, and for the one who believes, to allow us to live in His presence for eternity.

That is why faith.

Faith – Hebrews 11.1

Yesterday at Saar Fellowship we had an all-age family service talking about faith

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, 

the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11.1

We talked about what faith is not, and then said that faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing.

Everyone put trust into action when they sat on the chairs provided; their physical senses told them that the chair was worth trusting, and our faith is what allows us to trust things of a Spiritual nature.

So far in Hebrews then, we have been encouraged to put our faith into the Word of God, and the work that Jesus did and does for us.

As Hebrews 11 progresses, we will see a great list of people who put their faith into action. The point for the Hebrews, and for us, is that because these regular people were able to put their faith into action, so can you.

Faith is so important, without it we cannot ever please God (11.6), and it is so important that everything rests on it.

Dr. John Lennox said this,

Faith is not a leap into the dark, but a step into the light.

Where do we step then, by faith?

Into the light, into the light of the world.

Where do we put our faith, our hope, our trust?

In God and in His Word, which all points to One person…

We have faith in the faithfulness of Jesus.

We have faith in how good Jesus is.

We have faith in how much faith Jesus has, how faithful He is, how full of faith He is, don’t we?

Hebrews 10.26-39 – Remove, Remember, Remain

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,

“Yet a little while,
    and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.


What kind of people should we be?

Why should keep going to church (vv.19-25)?

What does being part of a body help us become?

We should be the kind of people for whom there will never come a time when we might give in to the temptation to declare that the whole thing was worthless (vv.26-31).

We should be the kind of people who refuse to remove ourselves from right relationship with God through a steadfast faith in the faithfulness of Jesus.

We should be the kind of people who remember what happened to us when we first gave our lives to Him (vv.32-38).

We should be the kind of people who remember the former days when after we were enlightened how we put up with and triumphed over everything that the world, the flesh, and the devil could throw at us.

We should be the kind of people who live by faith and do not shrink back (v.39).

Faith is what matters–God’s faithfulness to us, and our answering that with faith in Him.

We should be the kind of people who have faith in Jesus and preserve our souls, remain in Him.

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Is that you?