A Study of Faith (Hebrews 11) : Introduction

A Study of Faith (Hebrews 11)

Introduction

In this series we are going to be looking at
Hebrews chapter 11 and the subject of faith. This chapter has been called the
honor roll of faith along with many other titles. While we may not study every person
listed in this chapter we will try and study those for whom we can build a
lesson that can relate directly to our faith. It is important to remember that
these characters lived in the Old Testament and were not saved as we are today
in the church age. But we can still use their faith as an example for us and
even sometimes as a type of our Salvation.

Why is faith so important?

In the first three verses we see three things
that make faith such an important subject. We will look at these individually
and then give an example from the Old Testament showing these things.

1)  The
definition of faith (verse 1)

  • In the first verse we see the definition of faith as the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.
  • There are many things in our lives as saved people that we will hope for, and as a result of faith and God’s word we can hope in faith.
  • There is also many things in our lives that we will not be able to see but we have the evidence of faith that they are really there.

2)  It
is how we are graded (verse 2)

  • Note the verse says that by faith the elders obtained a good report.
  • Faith is going to be one of the key things when it comes to serving the Lord. There will be times when you may not think that you are accomplishing anything or that you are going to make it. This is where faith comes in.
  • The characters in this list are remembered for their great deeds but they did these things by faith and that is what has put them in this list.

3)  It will
be our understanding (verse 3)

  • There are many times during your life as a saved person that you will simply not understand why something has happened or why God is allowing you to go through something.
  • This is where faith becomes our understanding. You simply trust God by faith. It is hard but God gives us his peace which passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).

In Numbers 13:26-31 we have an example
of these things. The children of Israel are listening to the bad report of the
ten spies instead of the good report of the two spies, Joshua and Caleb. And in
verse 30 we see Caleb addressing the children of Israel trying to persuade
them out of faith to go into the promise land despite the report of the other
ten. In his words we see 4 important things about faith.

1) 
Faith should bring peace (“Caleb stilled the people”)

  • Through salvation we have peace with God (Romans 5:1) but after salvation we can have the peace of God which passes all understanding.

2) 
Faith stirs Passion (“Let us go up at once”)

  • As we see in the list from Hebrews faith should spur us to action.

3) 
Faith gives power (“For we are well able to overcome it”

  • It is amazing what God can do in the life of an individual when they act on faith.

4) 
Faith brings reward (“And possess it”)

  • As we see from Hebrews the elders obtained a good report through faith. One day we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for what we did after we were saved. The question is will it be a good report or not?

 A Study of
Faith (Hebrews 11)

Introduction : Handout

1)  What are three things that we
can see in the first three verses for why faith is so important?

2)  What is a good example to
show us these things in the Old Testament?

3)  What are four things that
faith does for us from verse 30.