“Setting our eyes on the object of our faith is the only way we will endure.” — Trillia Newbell
At TGCW22, Trillia Newbell emphasizes the importance of abiding faith in the life of a Christian. Faith is the foundation of the Christian life, and it’s through faith that we can walk with Christ and obey him. Newbell distinguishes between saving faith (saved by grace through faith) and enduring faith (remaining in Christ), and she encourages us to abide in Jesus by trusting, praying, obeying, and resting in him.
Newbell also discusses the definition of faith and the importance of studying the lives of those in the “Hall of Fame of Faith,” as detailed in Hebrews 11. Ultimately, faith is required to believe in the truth and reliability of the Bible, to trust in God’s salvation through faith, and to maintain a relationship with Jesus.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Good morning. Wow, it’s echoing Courtney opened up her introduction by saying something like if you came by a plane, a train a boat. So if you came by a boat, you already have faith, because you’re in the middle of Indianapolis, I don’t know how that would work. But I am so excited to open this up and talk about faith that abides. And so what I want you to do is open your Bibles to Hebrews 11. That’s where we’re going to start. While you’re opening, I just want you to know, though I have lots of things to share. And I pray that they are encouraging to you the most important thing that I’m going to say all day, I’m about to read. It comes from the word of God. So let’s start Hebrews 11, we’re just going to read the first two verses. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen. For by it, the people of God received their commendation. Our entire faith, our entire Christian walk, is a walk by faith, and not by sight, understanding faith growing in it, living by it, all of it, are key elements to finishing our race. And we all want to finish well. Understanding the basis of our faith is of utmost importance, and setting our eyes on the object of our faith is the only way to endure. It’s the only way we will every day we are operating by faith, whether we realize it or not. Every single day, our faith is tested. Our faith is stretched, our faith can falter. Life is a fight for faith to believe and trust God, we walk by faith in Jesus. If I surveyed this room, I imagine many of you would say, Yeah, I have faith. I have strong faith, I believe. I imagine. You would also say, Yeah, I’m gonna make it to the end. I’ve got this. That all sounds good. And I imagine you many of you would agree. But I could list probably about 20 things this week alone, that has rattled our faith. You might have asked, Where are you, Lord, when innocent, helpless children get gunned down in a school they likely considered their safe place? What is going on Lord, when men and women are murdered because of the color of their skin while shopping for groceries? Why Lord? Must we endure the raging of wars month by month with no end in sight? God isn’t afraid of those questions. And all of my answers will sound trite and cold to a weary heart. Unless the Lord gives us faith, to believe what he says is true. So we ask him for faith. We need him. We need him to believe. But we don’t only need him for the big, hard, tragic events in the world or the big, hard, tragic events in our lives. As a matter of fact, it’s probably easier to see that we need them for those. We need him to get out of bed. We need him for the everyday mundane stuff of life. I’m going to tell you something that it’s a secret. It’s not really a secret. It takes faith for every single speaker that you’re going to listen to, to walk up on stage and to share. We need him for everything. We need faith to walk like Jesus with Jesus. As the song goes, we need the every hour I need the every hour most gracious Lord notes hinder voice like the nine, can peace afford, I need the oh, I need the every hour. I need the can you declare that with me? Do you agree? Do you need him? Yes, raise your hand if you need him, we need him. So I’m not talking about saving faith. So today, what I am not, I’m talking about faith that endures not saving faith. So saving faith is the thing that we hear in Ephesians, two, four, by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing. It’s a gift of God so that no one can boast. If you have not placed your faith and trust in the finished work of God, I pray right now that the Lord would give you that kind of faith that you would know Jesus. And you can, he invites you to know him. I pray that, but rather today I am talking about the faith that keeps us going. The fruit of faith that abides. Courtney already alluded to this, but to abide means to stay close in relationship, to pursue, to obey, to lean in our Lord and Savior, to remain in Him to cling to Him. We need faith to believe he hears our cries, we need faith to go to him. So before I talk about the definition of faith in the context of Hebrews 11, I want to talk about abiding, because it’s important for us to set that foundation, and then we’ll add an application so you can see how faith can abide or how you can abide in faith. So if you want you can turn to John 15 Or just listen to me. I’m not going to read every verse, but I am going to read the first four verses. Jesus says I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser every branch in Me that does not bear fruit he takes away and every branch that does bear fruit, he proves that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because the word that I have spoken to you abide in Me and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him. He it is that bears much fruit for apart from me, you can do nothing. These verses aren’t in isolation. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure. Here Jesus tells us that He is the true vine and the Father is the vinedresser God has the power to prune and to pluck. They determine what bears fruit and what does not. First Prince Harry, first century here’s would recognize the allegory and imagery as it is used often in the Old Testament. So I encourage you later on you can write this down to go to Isaiah five and see about this vinedresser specifically, I am the vine dresser it is significant as it refers to Isaias vineyard song, Isaiah diagnose the health of the Israel and it had produced bad fruit or as it was written wild grapes, who wants to be described as a wild grape? I don’t. God provided for them, gave them fertile ground choice vines and watched over it but they were fruit less Old Testament Israel produced bad fruit. But here’s good news for you and me. Because of Jesus, the true vine, we can produce good fruit if we remain in Him if we abide in him. So here in our text in John 15, we see that if we abide or remain and stay in Him, we will produce good fruit. We will be fruitful as the vinedresser tins to his garden, plucking and pulling. Jesus is the truth sure lasting vine. He will not fail. But why is this important for enduring in the faith. If to back to abide means that we walk daily with Him, trust Him, pray to Him obey Him. rest in Him because that’s what will mean if we’re remaining.
There’s a reason why we need this urging to stay and remain in relationship with the Lord. What do you think it is? We’re tempted not to. We struggle with remaining because of the cares of the world, maybe even our circumstances. But our temptation, I believe, to neglect this amazing relationship, stems ultimately from unbelief. We don’t believe him. So we run towards other things. So we need faith, and we need faith to abide. So what is faith? Back in Hebrews 11. Hebrews 11 One says, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen. This assurance, faith is the assurance. It also means confidence in things that are hoped for. Interestingly, it doesn’t say things that are already president, there’s things that are hoped for, which will make sense in just a second. In the context of Hebrews 11. assurance in the Greek means essence or substance, faith, then lays hold of what is promised, okay, and therefore hoped for it is something real with substance, although it is unseen. Faith is confidence in our hope. And in the context of Hebrews 11. Our hope is in the promises of God. And of course, those promises ultimately point us to Jesus. It is a sure and firm foundation. Where do we find these promises in His Word? The context of Hebrews 11, right after these verses, that I read, the first part of this text, the writer of Hebrews begins to list all the saints who walked by faith and not by sight. Hebrews 11 Two says, For buy it. The people of old received their commendation, as one commentary said, it was in respect of their faith, which inspired their deeds, okay. Kind of reminds me of James faith without work is dead. It is, it was in respect of their faith, which inspired their deeds, that they were praised. It is really important for us to understand this faith in the promises of God, because none of the Old Testament saints that we study in Hebrews 11, none of them would have seen even what we have seen, these men and women, they had conviction in the things not yet seen, like not seen at all. And think about it, none of them had even experienced the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. These all of these things we know about come to pass, but for them, it was all promises. Faith then isn’t something that is abstract or fluffy. It isn’t. It is grounded in assurance, and conviction in the Lord and His Word. And faith rests in all His promises for today, tomorrow, and forevermore. And when I listed those lists of tragedies, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people say Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus. We are all waiting for the second coming of Jesus, a thing not yet seen. We All Long For things to be made new. We need faith to keep going. So we ask God for continued faith to believe. Something really interesting about these verses is that almost every theologian that you read if you go and study the Hebrews 11 Almost all of them have different definitions of faith. It’s really broad as Matter of fact, some would even say that you can’t nail it down, which I find fascinating. But one theologian in particular has a definition that I want to share with you because I love it. And I believe it’s succinct, and applicable. And true. So FF, Bruce uses this definition, their faith, the faith of the Old Testament saints, consisted simply in taking God at His Word and directing their lives accordingly. Things yet future as far as their experience went, were thus presents to faith. I’m gonna say that again, because it’s hard. I mean, it’s you really want to listen to this. Things yet future, as far as their experience went, were thus present to faith and things outwardly unseen. were visible to the inward eye. Faith is there for simply taking God at His Word, Word and directing our lives accordingly. I was driving my son when he was about four years old, I don’t remember where I was going, or what I said. But I said something I tried to tell my kids about Jesus. And, and so I was telling saying something to him. And he was four, he’s now 16, almost, which is terrible, but anyone with not terrible because he’s a teen terrible, because I don’t want to let him go. So. So he’s, he’s four. So and I’m driving, and I say something about the Lord. And he looked, I looked back at him, and he said, I don’t believe you. And I said, you don’t believe me? And he said, I don’t believe you. As in I don’t believe you that God is real. And I was like, Well, Lord, can you show up? Right now I don’t have much to say, I don’t know what to say to that. And so then he went on and said, Well, there’s Spider Man, and there’s Superman. And there’s, so he’s naming all these superheroes. And he goes, Well, Where’s, where’s God? And I looked at him, and I said, Well, buddy, I can’t manifest the Lord right here. I probably didn’t use the word manifest. I can’t make him appear. But I can pray that one day you will believe. And he said, Okay, and I said, Okay. I didn’t have anything else. But one of the things that God did at that moment for me that was absolutely a blessing was that I realized, I can’t save my son. Only God can do that. Only God has the power to do that. I can be faithful to preach the truth. And I do and I will for the rest of my life, that the Lord allows me to walk with him. But I can’t make him believe. Because faith is a gift. My confidence isn’t in my ability. And my confidence surely isn’t in my power, I have none. Remember our textin John, apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. My faith, my confidence is in the Lord, His promises, his power, his work, but before you think I’m standing up here, like really proud that I can say that with confidence. Last night, I was talking with a friend and I was expressing some nervousness about raising kids and children and, and she basically preached to my to my heart, what I’m sharing to you right now. I needed to be reminded to have faith that God will finish the good work, he began, in my little people, that God has the power to say that God has the power to help us endure and abide. I had already forgotten that it took me one minute to forget. When I think of these verses, and an FF Bruce’s to take God at His Word, and to live accordingly, I can’t help but wonder what am I putting my confidence in? I mean, what do I truly trust in day after day, minute after minute? I think we can all pause and ask that hard question. We can pet pray and repent and ask the Lord for faith to believe, to trust in him to trust that what he says is true. And to rest. As we close,
I have two application points for you. So we’ve defined faith. We’ve defined what a biding looks like, or it’s means. So the first application, I’d like to encourage you to go and read the rest of the chapter. I didn’t have time I wish I did. But it would take probably about two weeks. Do y’all want to be here for two weeks? For me to go through everything that’s in Hebrews 11. So study the lives of those who have gone before us. The hall of fame of faith, were in many ways, just like you and me. Their lives were flawed, I mean, flawed, flawed. Yet, they were faithful servants who endured great suffering, obeyed the Lord, and in some instances, were even killed for their faith. Scripture tells us that we have a great cloud of witnesses. And we should remember their stories as motivation to continue to run the race set before us. So read their stories. I know you’ve probably read Hebrews 11. But have you gone back to the Old Testament and really dug in there, I really I encourage you to do it, it will build your faith. That’s why it’s in this chapter. stories are powerful tools the Lord uses to inspire, challenge and encourage us in the faith. We look at those who have gone before us, but we fix our eyes on Jesus, there’s a difference. We look at those we study we learn, we want to emulate. But we fix our eyes on Jesus if we’re going to abide and finish this race. They had to fight for faith, trusting in the promise, their faith was tested and they believed. Part of studying those who have gone before us is to look at their characteristics that maybe we would like to emulate. We want to become like Jesus. But like Paul said, we can imitate those who went before us as they imitated our Lord. Our circumstances may be different, they will be different, but our God is the same. Our God is the same. Forever. Know why he feared the Lord, what if we feared the Lord like Noah? Let let let us all be a herald of righteousness, sharing the good news with those around us. What about Abraham? I’m listing I’m telling you some people some names that are in this text. Let’s trust God in the unknown. He had to trust the Lord in the unknown and trusting his very life to the Lord. Do you need that kind of faith? to entrust your life to the Lord in the unknown? Yes, you do. What about Sarah? Let’s trust the Lord to do the impossible. Maybe there’s a prayer you don’t want to pray, because you fear being disappointed. Pray bold prayers today and entrust the results to the Lord. His ways aren’t our ways, but we can trust him. How about Moses? Do we want to trust the Lord in the face of rejection? I don’t know about you, but I’ve experienced rejection. And it is hard. I’ve experienced rejection because of my faith. Because of ProCal proclaiming Jesus, we we want to trust Him. Ask Him for boldness. So if you want to grow in faith, let’s read those who have gone before us. So that’s number one. Read your Bible. Read your Bible Abidan him grow. Read your Bible read Hebrews 11 Learn about the hall of fame of faith. emulate their lives where appropriate in their faith. Ya know, where appropriate is a good thing to say A wait to read, you’ll see what it’s a study God’s word, it will build your faith. And that’s why they’re in their application to is a little more specific, I am going to focus in on one of the characters or people in Hebrews Levin, who I believe he encompasses this idea of faith that some abiding faith. And it’s Enoch. I never know if I’m saying his name, right? I know when I see him, he’s gonna be like, Nope, that’s not how you say it. And I’m gonna say try to say my name. I’m just kidding. Okay. Hebrews 11, five through six, by faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death. And he was found, he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken, he was commended as having please 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. So Enoch, story begins in Genesis five, we’re not going to read it. But in Genesis, Enoch is noted to have walked with God, but God doesn’t spell out what he did, or how he did it. All we know is that his faith, please God, it please the Lord, we know that to walk with God would mean a deep and abiding relationship. It that’s what it would mean a deep and abiding relationship if we think of the whole context of the scriptures. So to walk with God is interpreted to having pleased him to walk with God could simply be summed up as to enjoy a relationship with Him. Doesn’t that sound good? Doesn’t it sound less like effort to enjoy him, enjoy the Lord, to enjoy this relationship we have with him, we have access to God. Think about that. Tim Keller said once, who dare wake a king at 3am, but a child. That’s the kind of access you have. That’s the kind of access you have. It is in this relationship with God that we see the outward doing. It’s an outward response to the ongoing relationship with the Lord, that we all longed to have. So what what, what does it say about Enoch space, there’s two things that it says in Hebrews 11. It says he believed God existed. As a result, he drew nearer to God. So if we’re thinking about emulating his faith, right, we want to we want to have faith. What can we what are we doing what what should? How should we apply his faith, believe that God exists, which is a gift. So you asked God, for that gift of faith, Lord helped me believe. And as a result, you’re going to draw nearer to the Lord. draw nearer to the Lord. Ask God to give you faith to believe. Ask him to renew your faith. I imagine there’s people in here who are weary and tired, and maybe even questioning you’re looking at the landscape of evangelicalism and you’re like, No thanks. asked the Lord. To help you fix your eyes on Jesus, in front, near to Him. Ask Him to renew your faith. Do not be afraid to say, I believe, help my unbelief. draw nearer to God, how do you do that? Draw near in prayer. Talk to the Lord. He invites us to draw nearer through reading His word, abiding in relationship learning about who he is in his word. Draw near in your rest. Resting in the Lord. All of this takes faith It takes faith when you pray. It takes Faith, to believe that God hears you.
When you read your Bible, it takes faith to believe that his words are true, and trustworthy and right, it takes faith to believe it. And when you rest, it really takes faith to believe that you are saved by faith, and not by works. To trust Him, to rest in Him, to abide in relationship.
My hope and prayer for you is that you will take God at His Word, and direct your life accordingly. And then, like a hall of fame of faith, your faith will proclaim on the mountaintops, that Jesus is Lord, that people will be drawn and ask you what what is it and you can only say it’s not me. It’s my Lord. Let’s pray. Lord, You are a good and awesome and just and holy, and righteous and loving. Father, you invite us to draw nearer to you, nearer to your throne of grace to receive mercy, and help in our time of need. And right now, Lord, there is no doubt that in this room, there’s a great need. There’s a need of faith, to believe you, Lord, there’s a need of faith to endure. There’s hardships that only you knew about. There’s unrepentant sin, that you invite us to confess their circumstances that are very hard. Sorrow upon sorrow, Lord, help us. made this not feel trite. God, may they feel your real love the real Jesus, Lord drawn near to the brokenhearted and give us faith to believe. God, you say, you will finish the good work you began, Lord, I believe in that promise. And I pray right now for the woman who is wondering, I don’t know if I can do it that she will clean to You. Lord, I pray for the person in this room who came to the gospel coalition women’s conference by faith, that Lord you will meet her. God that you will speak to her through Your Word. And through our stumbling efforts up here, Lord, imperfect people, proclaiming your goodness and grace, Lord, do what you only you can do in our hearts. So God, we worship you. We delight in you, Lord, help us to have a relationship with you so that we might have faith that abides in endures to the end. It’s in your name we pray. Amen. Thank you guys.