First Baptist Church Laredo
8-21-19 - Wednesday Night Bible Study
  • is commonly referred to as the “Hall of Faith” because it speaks about characters from the past and the faith they possessed. The point is to call believers to have faith like these people from the past. The passage is divided up into 5 sections. An overture, some early examples of faith, the faith of wayfarers, more examples of faith, and a conclusion. The writer uses the phrase “by faith” repeatedly to drive into our mind the necessity of living a life of faith. Also, by calling to mind all of the biblical characters from the past, the author is making the argument that God’s people must be people of faith.

    1. The Overture ()

    Hebrews 11:1–3 CSB
    1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. 2 For by it our ancestors won God’s approval. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
    The writer begins by defining faith.

    A. ὑπόστασις (hypostasis) - reality, being sure, firmness (Hebrews 11:1)

    Faith is being sure. Faith is having resolute confidence. All of the examples given in this chapter possessed resolute confidence in the promises of God even though God hadn’t fulfilled them yet.
    ὑπόστασις (hypostasis)

    B. ἐλεγμός (elegmos) -proof, conviction, certainty (Hebrews 11:1)

    Faith is being certain. Even though you can’t see it, you know it is true. It is a firm assurance in what was not immediately observable

    C. Faith is what gain God’s approval. ()

    D. Thinking that God created the world requires faith. ()

    This is a foundational theological point. God created everything that is out of nothing. Faith looks at the created world and attributes the creation to God. Believers have a resolute confidence, an unmovable certainty that God created everything that exists.

    2. First Examples of Faith ()

    The writer starts with the book of Genesis and moves from Abel to Abraham to discuss the faith they had.

    A. By faith Abel ()

    Hebrews 11:4 CSB
    4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.
    We don’t know exactly why Abel’s sacrifice was pleasing to God and Cain’s was not, but Hebrews gives us a hint. Cain went through the motions, but Abel had faith that what he was doing is what God wanted him to do.

    Example 1: Abel’s external actions matched his internal attitudes.

    B. By faith Enoch ()

    Hebrews 11:5–6 CSB
    5 By faith Enoch was taken away, and so he did not experience death. He was not to be found because God took him away. For before he was taken away, he was approved as one who pleased God. 6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
    Enoch walked with God. His entire way of living was about drawing close to God. Enoch demonstrated a resolute commitment to living according to God’s ways. He never looked back. He never gave up. He never wavered in his commitment to God’s ways.
    Verse 6 is extremely important and is perhaps my favorite verse of Scripture. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

    A life of faith is defined by three components:

    i. Seeking God earnestly

    ii. Believing that God exists

    iii. Confidence that God rewards those who seek him

    Example 2: Enoch’s lived a life of faith which pleased God.

    C. By faith Noah ()

    Hebrews 11:7 CSB
    7 By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
    Noah acted in faith based on the message he recieved from God. He didn’t see anything, but he acted anyway.

    Example 3: Noah acted according to God’s instructions by faith.

    D. By faith Abraham ()

    Hebrews 11:8–10 CSB
    8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
    Abraham is perhaps the greatest example of faith in the Old Testament. The author focuses much attention on his example.

    Example 4: Abraham obeyed God’s call to move into the unknown by faith.

    He had no idea where he was going. He left what was secure to follow God. He didn’t go to receive something from God. He simply moved because God told him to do so.

    Example 5: Abraham had no place of permanent dwelling because he continued to be committed to God’s promises.

    E. By faith Sarah ()

    Hebrews 11:11–12 CSB
    11 By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the one who had promised was faithful. 12 Therefore, from one man—in fact, from one as good as dead—came offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and as innumerable as the grains of sand along the seashore.

    Example 6: Sarah focused on the faithfulness of God to keep his promises.

    Faith moves beyond the boundaries of the natural to trust in the supernatural. Faith accepts that God can do anything. He can work a miracle.

    3. The Interlude ()

    Hebrews 11:13–16 CSB
    13 These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. 14 Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. 16 But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
    The writer pauses his person-to-person accounting of faith to make a general statements.

    A. Genuine faith remains past our physical life and experience.

    Just because we haven’t received God’s promises yet, doesn’t mean they are not coming. The fulfillment of God’s promises may not be in this lifetime, but God will always accomplish what he promised.

    B. Perception is not always reality.

    All you may perceive is what is of this realm, but there is another realm. People of faith do not simply live by want they can perceive. People of faith live by the promises of God.

    4. More Example of Faith ()

    A. By faith Abraham ()

    Hebrews 11:17–19 CSB
    17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and yet he was offering his one and only son, 18 the one to whom it had been said, Your offspring will be traced through Isaac. 19 He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead; therefore, he received him back, figuratively speaking.

    Example 7: Abraham was forced into a radical decision which he made by faith.

    Genesis doesn’t tell us what Abraham was thinking; however, the author of Hebrews reasoned this was the way the promise of God and the command of God could be fulfilled.

    B. By faith Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph ()

    Hebrews 11:20–22 CSB
    20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions concerning his bones.

    Example 8: These men had resolute confidence by speaking about things which would happen after they died.

    C. By faith Moses ()

    Moses is another prime example of a person who lived by faith. He was not perfect and his failures are recorded for us, yet the trajectory of his life was one of faith.
    Hebrews 11:23–28 CSB
    23 By faith Moses, after he was born, was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter 25 and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin. 26 For he considered reproach for the sake of Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since he was looking ahead to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for Moses persevered as one who sees him who is invisible. 28 By faith he instituted the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch the Israelites.

    Example 9: Moses turned away from man’s ambition to follow God’s path for his life.

    D. By faith the people of Israel ()

    Hebrews 11:29–30 CSB
    29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though they were on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to do this, they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being marched around by the Israelites for seven days.

    Example 10: The people moved when God told them to move.

    Hebrews 11:29 CSB
    29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though they were on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to do this, they were drowned.

    E. By faith Rahab ()

    Hebrews 11:31 CSB
    31 By faith Rahab the prostitute welcomed the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.

    Example 11: Rahab obeyed God.

    5. The Conclusion ()

    The writer realized that time and space would prevent him from going through the entirety of the Old Testament, so he rapid fires examples.
    Hebrews 11:32-
    Hebrews 11:32–38 CSB
    32 And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received their dead, raised to life again. Other people were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. 38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

    Example 12: All of these people lived by faith in the midst of a hostile world.

    All of these people were commended by God for how they lived their lives.

    Main Point: Living by faith is the only way to please God and receive his promises.

    A life of faith is normal for the people of God.
      • Hebrews 11:1–3CSB

      • Hebrews 11:1CSB

      • Hebrews 11:1CSB

      • Hebrews 11:2CSB

      • Hebrews 11:3CSB

      • Hebrews 11:4CSB

      • Hebrews 11:4CSB

      • Hebrews 11:5–6CSB

      • Hebrews 11:5–6CSB

      • Hebrews 11:7CSB

      • Hebrews 11:7CSB

      • Hebrews 11:8–10CSB

      • Hebrews 11:8–10CSB

      • Hebrews 11:11–12CSB

      • Hebrews 11:11–12CSB

      • Hebrews 11:13–16CSB

      • Hebrews 11:13–16CSB

      • Hebrews 11:17–19CSB

      • Hebrews 11:17–19CSB

      • Hebrews 11:20–22CSB

      • Hebrews 11:20–22CSB

      • Hebrews 11:23–28CSB

      • Hebrews 11:23–28CSB

      • Hebrews 11:29–30CSB

      • Hebrews 11:29–30CSB

      • Hebrews 11:31CSB

      • Hebrews 11:31CSB

      • Hebrews 11:32–40CSB

      • Hebrews 11:32–38CSB

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