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.

  1. The Argument for Assurance.

    1. Read Hebrews 10:32-34. What does v.32 suggest that we are
      involved in? (“A great contest.”)

      1. Who are the contestants in this contest?

      2. Obviously, the contest was not going well for the
        “good guys” at one time. Did that matter?

        1. If not, why not? (The good guys knew they had
          better possessions.)

        2. What are the “better and lasting possessions”
          that comforted the good people?

    2. Read Hebrews 10:35-36. What reward, what promise will be
      given to us who persevere?

      1. What is the danger warned against in verse 35?
        (Giving up on your faith.)

        1. Is this a real issue in your life?

        2. What, in this context, do you think we must do
          to “persevere?”

    3. 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

      1. 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.)

      2. 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.)

  2. Examples of Assurance.

    1. 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?

      1. The text says we are “sure” of what we “hope” for. If
        we “hope” for something, do we have it? (No.)

      2. 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.)

      3. How is it possible to be so certain of that which
        cannot be seen or possessed?

    2. 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

      1. 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.)

      2. 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
        evolution theory.)

    3. 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
      his behalf.)

    4. Read Hebrews 11:6. Why is it impossible to please God
      without faith?

      1. 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
        reward us.)

        1. Do you believe in your reward? How important is
          your reward when you experience suffering on

        2. What is required for your reward, other than
          faith that God will win? (We must earnestly seek

  1. The Reward

    1. 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.)

    2. 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.)

    3. 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
      their faith.)

    4. 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?

    5. 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

      1. 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.)

    6. 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.

  2. Next Week: Jesus and the Christian Walk.