Hebrews: Greater Than…Part 7

Faith: The Key to Living
Hebrews 11: 1-40
June 16, 2019

I. Once again, REMEMBER the CONTEXT. (Hebrews 1-10)
A. Jewish BELIEVERS in DIFFICULT times. (10:32-34)
B. Tempted by the TANGIBLE and the KNOWN. (2:1ff; 3:12ff; 4:11ff; 5:11ff)
C. The REMINDERS that Jesus is GREATER. (1:4; 7:19,22; 8:6; 9:23)

We often read Hebrews 11 as the “Hall of Fame of Faith” and forget that this chapter has a context all around it. Why did the writer insert this history lesson/motivational talk at this point in the book? If you think of the overall message of the book it makes perfect sense.

1. What is the greatest challenge for you when it comes to your faith in God?
2. When you struggle with faith what do you typically turn to? (Getting busy, distractions, etc)

II. DEFINING and ILLUSTRATING faith. (11:1-40)
A. SURE and CERTAIN of our unseen HOPE. (v.1)
B. Faith is CENTRAL to EVERYTHING. (v.2-7)
C. FAITH is a very JEWISH thing. (v.8-12, 17-40)

Faith is a very tricky word. One child in Sunday school was asked to define faith and responded by saying, “Faith is believing in something that you know isn’t true.” We chuckle at that, but living out faith can be tricky. The writer of the book of Hebrews helps us by defining faith and giving a long list of illustrations.

3. If you had to define what faith means to you what would you say and why?
4. Kid’s Question: Ask your parents what they appreciated about their parents and grandparents. What did they say?
5. Who has been a great example of faith in your own life?

III. What FAITH looks LIKE. (v.13-16)
A. Faith DOESN’T fit the NORM. (v.13)
B. Faith is FILLED with LONGING. (v.14-16)
C. Faith DOESN’T SETTLE. (v.15-16)

In the middle of the “faith as seen in history” lesson the writer seems to insert this section in v.13-16 to help guide us in understanding the general description of what faith looks like in all of these situations being discussed. It helps us to see if we are living by faith in our own lives.

6. Which of the three “what faith looks like” characteristics do you identify with the most, and which is the most challenging for you? Why?

IV. What FAITH will actually DO. (v.32-40)
A. Faith INSPIRES COURAGE. (v.23, 27, 32-38; Dt.31:6)
B. Faith ALWAYS leads to ACTION. (v.8, 32-38; Jas. 2:17-18; Rom. 1:5)
C. ULTIMATELY faith will TRANSFORM us. (v.39-40; I Jn 3:2-3; Phil. 1:6)

Faith is not just something we “have’, it is something that “has” us. Its very presence in our lives begins to shape and form us in ways that would not be possible without faith. That’s the beauty of this whole idea. Faith makes us different than we are.

7. How has your faith impacted your life in the past? What impact does it have day to day?
8. Jeff uses Paul’s phrase, “The obedience that comes from faith” a lot. What does that mean and have you seen it evidenced in your own life?