Introduction: Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Reason being that it explains some of our most successful and difficult times in life. It gives us critical insight into faith and understanding how God interacts with humans. When we accuse God, like Mary and Martha did in John 11 (verses 21 and 32), that He failed us at critical times, Hebrews 11 has an answer to bolster our faith.  Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1.         Faith

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:1. Is the writer of Hebrews just repeating the same idea? Or, does faith have two parts? (I think these are distinct ideas.)

  1.         If it has two parts, what are they? (Assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.)

  1.         How are these two parts different? (Assurance comes from outside of us. Conviction comes from within.)

  1.         From where does the assurance that makes the first part of faith come? (Ultimately it comes from God.)

  1.         From where does our conviction of things not seen come? (Read John 16:7-8. The Holy Spirit convicts us. By this we see that both assurance and conviction come from God.)

  1.         Let’s skip back to the prior chapter. Read Hebrews 10:38-39. How important is faith to our relationship with God? (We must live by fath, otherwise God is disappointed in us.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:2. Do you like to be celebrated, commended, complimented? (We all do.)

  1.         What was the basis for the commendation of the heroes of the Old Testament? (Their faith.)

  1.         Let’s consider what we just discussed. Is faith something that we must muster up? (No. That is the beauty of this. Faith is essential to our relationship with God. It is key to commendation. But, the essential elements of faith come from God. We have to accept this gift from God.)

  1.         Faith Profiles

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:3. This refers to our belief in the Genesis Creation account. Recall the two parts of faith: assurance and conviction? What are our God-given assurance and conviction for Creation?

  1.         Read Romans 1:17. What is being discussed in this part of Romans 1? (Faith.)

  1.         Note that Romans 1:17 and Hebrews 10:38 are quoting some common source. What is it? (Read Habakkuk 2:4.)

  1.         Read Romans 1:19-20. Is this the assurance we are looking for when it comes to the first part of faith? (Yes!)

  1.         How does conviction fit in here? (We can “clearly perceive” the power of God when we look at the creation.  Having this conviction should not be hard, because we are told that those who refuse to accept the obvious are “without excuse.”)

  1.         Do you think conviction for other aspects of faith is as obvious?  Are we without excuse?

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:4. How does faith fit into Abel’s sacrifice? (The nature of the sacrifice (see Genesis 4:3-5) brought by Abel reflected an understanding of the plan of salvation. Cain’s sacrifice did not.)

  1.         How did giving a proper sacrifice work out for Abel? (He died. Hebrews 11 has now introduced the idea that the faithful can die as a result of being faithful.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:5. What does it mean that Enoch was “taken up?” Note that it also says that he did not “see death.” (Enoch was taken directly to heaven based on his faithfulness.)

  1.         Why was Enoch taken to heaven for his faithfulness and Abel died in connection with his faithfulness?

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:7. What impact did the faithfulness of Noah have on him and his family? (They lived.)

  1.         What was the result of the unfaithfulness of the rest of the world? (They all died.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:8-10. How did the faithfulness of Abraham affect his living conditions? (The suggestion is that it would have been more comfortable to live in a city.  Abraham looked forward to city living.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:11-12. How did the promise to Abraham and Sarah work out?

  1.         Would you like to have a similar promise? One that mostly works out after you die?

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:13. What is the common element for all of those we have discussed so far? (They received their promised benefit by faith. It did not all happen or happen at all while they were on earth.)

  1.         Why is Enoch included in this group? (Read Hebrews 11:14-16. His outcome is much different on earth, but he illustrates where they all wanted to go. They all desired that “better country.”)

  1.         Faith Challenges

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:17-19. If you are not familiar with this story, read Genesis 22:1-18. How would you rate this test of Abraham’s faith? Be sure to factor in the promise that God had given to Abraham regarding Isaac and becoming a great nation. (It was an incredible test.)

  1.         What is this story doing in our chapter about faith? (The faithful face tests.)

  1.         Did this test of faith result from some mistake that Abraham made? (No. There is no evidence in the Bible that Abraham brought this on himself.)

  1.         Did this test of faith result from some plot of Satan? (Nothing in the Bible reveals Satan as the source of this.)

  1.         Why would God put such a terrible test in Abraham’s path? (The primary reason is to create a teaching moment. We see the terrible price God paid when He allowed Jesus to be tortured and die to save us.  To create the opportunity for salvation by faith alone for humans.)

  1.         What does this teach us about tests and challenges that seem to be undeserved? (They may be a teaching moment for those who know us.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:30. What kind of faith challenge is this? (This story, found in Joshua 6) shows that faith in God can accomplish the impossible. Noisy faith prevails against a fortified city.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:31. Why would the Bible highlight a prostitute in the faith chapter? What is the logical basis for including her?(She was immoral in a very obvious way. But, she helped God’s people despite a very great danger to herself.)

  1.           What is God’s point?

  1.         The Benefit of Faith

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:32-34 and read the first line of Hebrews 11:35. What is the result of a faithful life? (Everything works out right for you! You are a hero! A champion! Your tragedies are fixed.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:35-38. What is the result of a faithful life here? (Horrible things happen to you.)

  1.         What is God’s point in reciting these two very different outcomes? (Being faithful does not guarantee a great life on earth.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 11:39-40. What is sure for those who are faithful? (God will keep His promise. He will give us “something better.”

  1.         Read Hebrews 12:1-2. What does the writer of Hebrews say that we should conclude from reading Hebrews chapter 11? (History (the lives of those people of God going before us), teaches us that we should have faith.  We should run the race of life looking to what Jesus did and is doing!)

  1.         Friend, will you accept the gift of faith? Will you accept the assurance of things hoped for and have the conviction of things not seen? Why not ask the Holy Spirit for that right now?

  1.         Next week: Receiving an Unshakeable Kingdom.