Introduction: Hebrews 11, the “faith chapter,” is probably the most
famous chapter in the book of Hebrews. What is the relationship
between faith and assurance? What examples of faith should we
consider? What is the explanation when faith seems to let us down?
How can we still be assured when things have gone terribly wrong?
What has Jesus done for us that gives us ultimate assurance? Let’s
jump into our study and find out.
- The Argument for Assurance.
- Read Hebrews 10:32-34. What does v.32 suggest that we are
involved in? (“A great contest.”)
- Who are the contestants in this contest?
- Obviously, the contest was not going well for the
“good guys” at one time. Did that matter?
- If not, why not? (The good guys knew they had
- What are the “better and lasting possessions”
that comforted the good people?
- Read Hebrews 10:35-36. What reward, what promise will be
given to us who persevere?
- What is the danger warned against in verse 35?
(Giving up on your faith.)
- Is this a real issue in your life?
- What, in this context, do you think we must do
- Read Hebrews 10:37-39. How is verse 37 the answer to the
questions about our “better possessions” and our “reward?”
(The Second Coming of Jesus brings the better and lasting
possessions. It not only brings our reward, it is our
- What is the goal of our life? (To live by faith. To
continue to trust in Jesus and His Second Coming even
if things are not going well in our life.)
- What is the object of our faith? (This is all linked
together. Jesus’ return is the object of our faith.
Our goal in life is to hold on to this faith. Holding
on to this faith in Jesus makes the contest of life
worthwhile and gives us ultimate victory.)
- Examples of Assurance.
- Read Hebrews 11:1-2. Is faith blind hope? Doesn’t the
text say that faith is what we hope for, but do not see?
Isn’t that blind hope?
- The text says we are “sure” of what we “hope” for. If
we “hope” for something, do we have it? (No.)
- The text also says we are “certain” of “what we do
not see.” If we have not seen something, how can we
know it exists? (These are parallel concepts. We are
“sure” and “certain” of what we do not have and what
we have not seen.)
- How is it possible to be so certain of that which
cannot be seen or possessed?
- Read Hebrews 11:3. How does the Creation meet our
definition of faith? Is our belief in Creation “blind
hope?” (We were not there, we did not see it. Even if we
had been there, the Creation was not made out of “what was
- Are all other accounts of the origin of man “blind
hope?” (Yes. No human was present at Creation. (Adam
and Eve showed up at the end.) Evolution teaches
that something came from something else. But no one
has actually seen this. This text says that God
created everything from nothing.)
- The writer of Hebrews is building an argument for
assurance, an argument for faith. Why does he start
with Creation? (Three reasons. First, the Creation is
a prime example of something that we did not see, but
hope is true. Second, the Creation is God’s first
claim to our allegiance. He made us. Third, this is
the logical beginning for faith. When I am tempted to
think, “Do I really believe in all this?,” I go back
to the question of how I think we got here. I was
listening to a TV discussion about the general
stupidity of the U.S. population. The public was
asked, “What accounts for Mt. Rushmore.” The most
popular answer was “Erosion.” The TV group was
howling with laughter to think that the carvings of
the presidential faces could result from erosion. It
seemed much more likely to me that these rock images
were the result of chance than the original living,
breathing presidents were the result of chance. Yet,
I imagine everyone in the TV group believed in the
- Read Hebrews 11:4. What about Abel’s offering showed more
faith than Cain’s offering? (It not only reflected
obedience ( Genesis 4:2-7), Abel’s offering of an animal
reflected belief in the coming Messiah who would die on
- Read Hebrews 11:6. Why is it impossible to please God
- It makes sense to me that you would not please God if
you did not believe that He existed. Why is it
necessary to also believe that God rewards those who
seek Him? (God is not merely interested in our belief
that He exists. He wants us to believe that He will
win the contest against evil and be in a position to
- Do you believe in your reward? How important is
your reward when you experience suffering on
- What is required for your reward, other than
faith that God will win? (We must earnestly seek
- The Reward
- We are skipping over several examples of faith recited in
Hebrews 11:7-12. I suggest you read those although we will
not discuss them. Read Hebrews 11:13. We just discussed
that we must believe in our reward. What makes that more
difficult? (The heroes of the Old Testament did not, on
this earth, receive what was promised to them.)
- Read Hebrews 11:32-35a. We have been talking about people
who did not receive the results of their faith on earth.
What about these examples? (These are great victories of
faith – right here on earth. These are the stories we
love to tell.)
- Read Hebrews 11:35b-38. What happened to these people
despite their faith? (They are the stories we do not want
to hear. Horrible things happened to them on earth despite
- How do you explain that some that showed faith had great
faith victories on earth and others who showed faith had
no victories at all? For example, some “administered
justice” (v.33) while others suffered injustice (v.37).
Some were judges. Others were judged unfairly. What is
your explanation for this unequal treatment?
- Read Hebrews 11:39-40. How can the writer of Hebrews say
that “none of them” received what had been promised?
Didn’t the “good story” people get what was promised to
them? (The only logical conclusion is that we have not
been promised that our faith will be rewarded here on
earth. Sometimes life goes very well. Sometimes it goes
very badly. The reward is not here. Our reward is only
through Christ, who gives us the assurance of eternal
- What do you understand verse 40 to say? What does
this “only together” statement mean? (It means that
only when we are all in heaven with Jesus will we
enter that perfect state of life.)
- Friend, how is your life right now? If things are not
going well, Jesus asks you to “persevere.” Determine to
hold on to your faith. You are not alone in history. Not
only did Jesus suffer here, but the great heroes of faith
did not realize on earth the promises God made to them.
Because of what Jesus has done for you, through faith in
Him you can have assurance of your reward.
- Next Week: Jesus and the Christian Walk.