Sermon ##626                                        Miscellaneous Sermons


          Title:           The History of A Man Who Lived By Faith

          Text:           Hebrews 11:24-26


          Subject:     Moses: An Example of True Faith

          Date:          Sunday Morning – February 3, 1985

          Tape #      




          Will you join me in a solemn and painful task? We naturally shy away from that which is solemn and avoid that which is painful. But wisdom will face the solemn and endure the painful if gain is to be made by it. So I ask you to join me, as you care for your soul, in a solemn and painful work, for the next little while. I want us to honestly examine our faith. Here are some questions, which I hope the Holy Spirit will answer for us this hour from the Word of God. Write them down and keep them in mind while I try to preach – Is my faith in Christ genuine, or is it false? Do I have the faith of God’s elect? or am I being deceived with a mere profession of faith? Do I have a living, heart faith in Christ; or is my faith a mere opinion of my mind? Am I truly a believer, a child of God; or am I an unbeliever, a child of wrath? If we will honestly face these questions, I believe God will answer them for us.


          Of these four things I am absolutely certain. Here are four characteristics of true, saving faith. Wherever you find true faith, you will find these four things.


1. True faith believes God (Rom. 4:3). Illustration: “At Thy Word.”


          Faith believes God as he has revealed himself in his Word. Faith takes God at his Word. Faith receives God’s testimony regarding his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and trusts the merits of Christ alone for salvation and acceptance with God – His Righteousness – His Blood – His Intercession.


My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.


2. True faith submits to Christ as Lord (Matt. 10:39).


Illustration: Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.


          Faith in Christ causes a man to willingly, voluntarily surrender himself to the claims of Christ. Faith is a resignation of myself to Christ.


3. True faith follows Christ (Matt. 9:9; 10:38).


·        Faith follows the Word of Christ.

·        Faith follows the Spirit of Christ.

·        Faith follows the example of Christ.

·        Faith follows the will of Christ.


All of God’s people are followers of the Lamb. Sometimes they follow afar off. Sometimes they follow with fear and trembling. But all true believers follow Christ, regardless of cost or consequence. None follow perfectly, but all follow persistently.


4. True faith perseveres to the end (Matt. 10:22).


          God’s people in this world are not perfect. We do not even come close to perfection. We all fall. We all sin. Sin is mixed with everything we do. Sometimes our hearts are hard, cold, and indifferent. We are all, so long as we are in this flesh, likely to commit any evil deed. There is nothing of which we are not capable.


Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love:

Here’s my heart, Oh take and seal it,

Seal it for thy courts above.


Faith recognizes the weakness, infirmity, and sin of the flesh. But faith never quits. It keeps on believing Christ, submitting to Christ, and following Christ (Rom. 6:16-18).


Illustration: I don’t belong to you anymore.


          Now, today, I am going to take one man who was an eminent example of faith, and use him as the standard by which all true faith must be judged. The title of my message is – The history of a man who lived by faith. I call your attention to the man Moses and to the description the Holy Spirit has given us of his faith (Heb. 11:24-26).


          Perhaps, above all others, Moses is the example of faith best suited to us. Those men of God who are mentioned in the first part of this chapter are all examples to be followed. But we cannot literally do what most of them did. We follow them in spirit, but not in deed. God has not called us to offer up a literal sacrifice, like Abel. God has not called us to build a literal ark, like Noah. God has not called us to literally leave our homeland and families, to dwell in tents, or to offer up our Isaac, like Abraham. But the faith of Moses exactly tallies with the experience of all God’s saints. Moses’ faith made him walk in the same path, make the same sacrifices, and endure the same trials as true faith requires of us.




          As it was with Moses, so it is with all believers. True faith in the heart manifests itself by certain characteristics of life.




          I want us to look at these three verses, and examine our faith by them. I am going to be both brief and simple. I want us to see the greatness of the things that Moses did and the principle which compelled him to do them.


1.    Moses gave up some things he would have preferred not to give us.

2.    Moses chose some things he would have preferred not to do.

3.    What is the principle which compelled Moses to act as he did?

4.    What lessons are we to learn from this inspired biography of Moses?


I. Moses gave up some things he would have preferred not to give up.


          Our text tells us that Moses gave up three things for the sake of his soul. He could not have followed Christ, he could not have been saved, had he kept them. So he gave them up. He sat down, counted the cost of following Christ, and willingly paid the price of doing so. Moses made three of the greatest sacrifices a man could ever make.


A.     Moses gave up rank, position, and greatness – “When he was come to years, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”


Tradition tells us that Pharaoh had but one daughter, his only child; and that Moses was her only child. She had adopted him as her son. He was next in line for the throne of Egypt, the greatest nation in the world. He could have been a great man, the most powerful, influential man in the world. But Moses refused it. This was a very great sacrifice.


1. He refused the throne of Egypt.

2. He forsook his family, a mother whom he loved.

3. He made this decision when he was a man of forty years of age.


          B. Moses gave up earthly ease and pleasure.


          The pleasures he gave up would have been for other men matters of indifference, involving no sin in themselves. They were simply the pleasures of wealth, security, comfort, luxury, and ease of life. But for Moses, they would have been “the pleasures of sin,” because they were contrary to the will of God.


          This too was a great sacrifice. Moses gave up that which all men and women of all ages and social conditions most naturally seek – Pleasure!


          C. And Moses gave us great riches.


          “The treasures of Egyptwould have been his. This, I dare say, was his greatest sacrifice. Most men are far more willing to give up both position and pleasure than give up prosperity. Yet, Moses did not give away only a portion of his wealth. He gave up all his wealth.


          D. Let me show you something of how great Moses’ sacrifices were.


          He gave up all of these things, position, pleasure, and prosperity, all at one time.


1.       He gave them up deliberately, as a wise, well-educated, mature man (Acts 7:22).


His was not a hasty, rash decision, made in an emotional moment, but a deliberate, willful, calculated choice.


2.       Moses was in no way obliged to give these things up.

a.     Pharaoh did not disown him.

b.    The children of Israel did not beg him to become their leader.

c.     He was not a dying man, who was about to leave the world, and therefore willing to give it up.

d.    He was not a beggar, who had no rightful claim to or hope for these things.

e.    He was not an old man, who could no longer enjoy these things.

3.       Moses willingly made these sacrifices, for the honor of God and the good of his people, hoping for and expecting nothing in return.


II. Moses chose some things he would have preferred not to do.


          His choices were as great as h is sacrifices. He chose to walk in a path which was completely contrary to the flesh, contrary to worldly wisdom, and contrary to personal desire. The Holy Spirit tells us that Moses chose three things. They were hard, costly choices. But they were necessary to the salvation of his soul.


          Note: The things which Moses did in no way merited, earned, or caused his salvation. But had he not done these things he could not have been saved (James 2:17; Matt. 6:14-15). (Obedience is necessary – Naaman.)


          A. Moses chose a path of affliction and suffering.


          Conflict instead of comfort – Adversity instead of prosperity – Sorrow instead of satisfaction – Pain instead of peace – Suffering instead of solace.


          B. Moses chose the company of God’s despised people.


          He left his family and friends and became one with the people of God. Their troubles became his troubles. Their sorrows became his sorrows. Moses not only preferred God’s despised people to the people of this world, he preferred God’s people to himself.


          C. Moses chose a path of reproach and scorn.


          He was mocked, belittled, ridiculed, and laughed at. Moses was the joke of Egypt. He saw reproach and scorn before him, and deliberately chose them.


          Note: For most men it is easier to face a cannon than to face scorn and ridicule.


          Never was there a man, but the God-man, who made such sacrifices and choices as Moses. He gave up a king’s throne and chose a slave’s rags. He gave up the king’s palace for a place among God’s people. He gave up riches for poverty. He gave up respectability and chose reproach. Why would any sane, reasonable man make such choices?


III. What is the principle that compelled Moses to act as he did?


          The Holy Spirit tells us – “By faith Moses.” Moses had faith. Moses believed God. Faith motivated him. Faith directed him. Faith controlled him. Moses did what he did because he believed God.


          A. Moses believed on Christ.


          He believed God’s promise that he would send a deliverer, a Redeemer, a Savior, a King of the seed of Abraham in whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed.


          B. Moses believed God would keep his promise.


          He would fulfill his covenant. He would deliver his people. He would never forsake his own.


          C. Moses believed that with God nothing is impossible.


          The deliverance of Israel and the overthrow of Pharaoh seemed impossible. But Moses believed God!


          D. Moses believed in the wisdom and goodness of God’s providence.


          Like Joseph before him, he was in the place of God.


          E. Moses believed God is faithful.


·        To his purpose.

·        To his promise.

·        To his people.


1. Faith caused Moses to see things that had not yet come to pass.

2. Faith caused Moses to see temporal things as temporal and eternal things as eternal.

3. Faith interpreted divine providence for Moses.

4. Faith showed Moses what God would have him to do and gave him strength to do it.

5. Marvelous as Moses’ sacrifices and choices seem to be, they are really not very marvelous at all. He believed God and acted accordingly (Heb. 11:27-29).


IV. What lessons are we to learn from this inspired biography of Moses?


          We have seen what Moses did. He denied himself, took up his cross, and followed Christ. And we have seen why he did it. He believed God. But what does all of this have to do with us? What does the Spirit of God intend for us to learn from Moses’ example?


          This is what I see in our text –


          A. If I would be an heir of eternal life, I must deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Christ (Lk. 14:25-3).


          Where there is no cross, there is no crown. Where there is no sowing, there is no reaping. Where there is no battle, there is no victory. Where there is no struggle, there is no triumph.


1.    Faith in Christ requires a denial of self.

2.    Faith in Christ willingly, deliberately takes up the cross, the way of offense and difficulty for the glory of Christ.

3.    Faith in Christ follows Christ.


          Nothing will cause a man in his heart to truly deny himself and forsake this world, except faith in Christ. If I believe Christ, I can and will follow him, regardless of cost or consequence.


          B. If I live for myself and refuse to forsake this world, I cannot have faith, I cannot have Christ, I cannot have eternal life (Mk. 8:34-38).


If I prefer my will to God’s will, if I seek my way rather than my Lord’s way, if I prefer the world to Christ, if I place the things of time before the things of eternity, if I live for the comfort of my body, rather than for the welfare of my soul, if in my heart I prefer myself to Christ, I do not know Christ and I have no faith. No man can serve two masters. You will either serve self, or serve Christ. You will either deny self, or deny Christ. You will either live for the world, or live for Christ. Choose you this day whom you will serve.


          C. If I believe Christ, follow Christ, and seek the will of and glory of Christ, my God will take care of all my earthly and eternal interests (Matt. 10:28-33).




1. Is your faith true; or is it false?


·        Do you believe God?

·        Is your heart in submission to Christ?

·        Do you follow Christ?

·        Is your faith a persevering faith?


Do not be presumptuous, my friends. Make your calling and election sure.



2. There are many ways by which men obtain a false faith; but true faith is a supernatural gift of the grace of God. Only the Spirit of God can create true faith in a sinner’s heart (Eph. 2:89-10).

3. Has God given you faith? Has the Lord given me faith? Surely, then, it is a most reasonable thing for us to give ourselves to him.


Jesus, spotless Lamb of God,

Thou hast bought me with Thy blood,

I would value none beside,

Jesus –Jesus crucified.


I am Thine, and Thine alone,

This I gladly, fully own;

And in all my works and ways,

Only now would seek Thy praise.


Help me to confess Thy name,

Bear with joy Thy cross and shame,

Only seek to follow Thee,

Though reproach my portion be.


When Thou shalt in glory come,

And I reach my heavenly home,

Loudly still my lips shall own –

I am Thine, and Thine alone.



Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken.