Hebrews 11

15 Outlines

 

 

Hebrews 11:1-3

LET'S HAVE FAITH!

 

"In college I was asked to prepare a lesson to teach my speech class. We were to be graded on our creativity and ability to drive home a point in a memorable way. The title of my talk was "The Law of the Pendulum." I spent 20 minutes carefully teaching the physical principle that governs a swinging pendulum.

The law of the pendulum is: A pendulum can never return to a point higher than the point from which it was released. Because of friction and gravity, when the pendulum returns, it will fall short of its original release point. Each time it swings it makes less and less of an arc, until finally it is at rest. This point of rest is called the state of equilibrium, where all forces acting on the pendulum are equal.

 

"I attached a 3-foot string to a child's toy top and secured it to the top of the blackboard with a thumbtack. I pulled the top to one side and made a mark on the blackboard where I let it go. Each time it swung back I made a new mark. It took less than a minute for the top to complete its swinging and come to rest. When I finished the demonstration, the markings on the blackboard proved my thesis.

 

"I then asked how many people in the room BELIEVED the law of the pendulum was true. All of my classmates raised their hands, so did the teacher. He started to walk to the front of the room thinking the class was over. In reality it had just begun.

Hanging from the steel ceiling beams in the middle of the room was a large, crude but functional pendulum (250 pounds of metal weights tied to four strands of 500-pound test parachute cord.).

 

"I invited the instructor to climb up on a table and sit in a chair with the back of his head against a cement wall. Then I brought the 250 pounds of metal up to his nose.

 

Holding the huge pendulum just a fraction of an inch from his face, I once again explained the law of the pendulum he had applauded only moments before, "If the law of the pendulum is true, then when I release this mass of metal, it will swing across the room and return short of the release point. Your nose will be in no danger."

 

"After that final restatement of this law, I looked him in the eye and asked, "Sir, do you believe this law is true?"

 

"There was a long pause. Huge beads of sweat formed on his upper lip and then weakly he nodded and whispered, 'Yes.'

 

"I released the pendulum. It made a swishing sound as it arced across the room. At the far end of its swing, it paused momentarily and started back. I never saw a man move so fast in my life. He literally dived from the table.

 

"Deftly stepping around the still-swinging pendulum, I asked the class, 'Does he believe in the law of the pendulum?'

 

"The students unanimously answered, 'NO!' "

Ken Davis, How To Speak To Youth, pp. 104-106 (Got this from Biblical Studies Foundation. http://www.bible.org)

 

What is faith?

Does faith begin or end at salvation?

Is it it difficult to live by faith?  Why?

 

THE DESCRIPTION OF FAITH - Vs. 1

 

What is the basis of a Christian's faith?

It is the Word of God.

 

The best reflection of our faith is how much we trust God to obey Him!  If what He says is true, then we must trust in and act on what He says.

 

The word translated  "substance" literally means 'that which stands under'. In other words, faith holds up all that we hope for in Christ. Faith is the foundation.  Faith is the assurance that what we hope for is true!

 

It is also the evidence or proof of things we don't yet see.

Old Testament characters are known for their faith.

Noah never saw it rain but he was convinced it was going to rain.

Noah may never have seen a boat, let alone an ark, and yet he was convinced that an ark needed to be built, and he built it.

Noah never saw a flood, but that didn't stop him from preaching so that people would get on board. He was convinced!

 

THE DELIGHT OF FAITH - Vs. 2

 

The elders or men of old in this could be any person who had faith in Old Testament times.  But I think that the author of Hebrews is specifically referring to those he refers to in this chapter.

 

In the King James, when it says that the elders received a good report, it actually means the elders had a "witness borne to them".

In other words, they had the delight of knowing that God approved of their faith.

 

Discuss:

How did Noah know that God approved of his faith?

How did Enoch know that God approved of his faith?

How did Abraham know God approved of his faith?

How did Rahab know that God approved of her faith?

How did Shadrack Meshack and Abednego know that God approved of their faith?

 

How will you know that God approves of your faith?

 

THE DECISION OF FAITH - Vs. 3

Notice how the author gets us involved in faith.  Faith was not just for the great heroes of the Old Testament. Faith is for the Christian right now. We decide to believe in God's creative work by faith.

 

And notice what decision is made by faith.  The God who created the worlds, the ages, the universe expects us to believe in his creative work by faith.  It is by faith that things were created and not a work that comes from things that already appeared.

 

You see the evolutionist has a problem even if evolution were true.

His problem is, "Where did the first cell come from?"  There have been many theories about the origin of life.  None of them beat the truth of creation, and take more faith to believe!

 

 

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Hebrews 11:1-6

LEARNING BY FAITH

 

BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND CONFIDENCE – Vss. 1-2

BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND CREATION – Vs. 3

BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND COMMITMENT – Vs. 4

BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND COMMUNION – Vss. 5-6

 

 

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Hebrews 11:1-13

FAITH ON STAGE - PART 1 OF 2

 

Hebrews 11 has been called "The Faith Hall of Fame".

Indeed, many examples of people with faith are given.

It is as if the author of Hebrews brings examples of faith "on stage" before us to demonstrate this essential quality for every true Christian.  In verses 1-13, there are 6 examples of people of faith.

We will consider three of them in this message and three next week.

 

Introduction - Vss. 1-3

 

ABEL THE WORSHIPER - Vs. 4

He offered a better sacrifice in worship of God than his brother Cain. See Genesis 4:1-8

 

ENOCH THE WALKER - Vss. 5-6

He walked with God. See Genesis 5:21-24

 

NOAH THE WORKER - Vs. 7

Noah obeyed God's command and got busy.

By faith, Noah worked. See Genesis 6:22

 

 

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Hebrews 11:1-13

FAITH ON STAGE - PART 2 OF 2

 

Hebrews 11 has been called "The Faith Hall of Fame".

Indeed, many examples of people with faith are given.

It is as if the author of Hebrews brings examples of faith "on stage" before us to demonstrate this essential quality for every true Christian.  In verses 1-13, there are 6 examples of people of faith.

Last week we considered:

 

Abel The Worshiper - Vs. 4

Enoch The Walker - Vss. 5-6

Noah The Worker - Vs. 7

 

This week we see:

 

ABRAHAM THE WANDERER - Vss. 8-9

Abraham was called to wander through the land which would one day belong to his family. Vss.8-9, Genesis 12:1-9, 14-18

 

ABRAHAM THE WATCHER - Vs. 10

Abraham was also watching or looking for the city that God built. Vs. 12 

I feel that the city which Abraham was looking for by faith was "The New Jerusalem". Hebrews 13:14, Revelation 21:1-2, 22:1-7

 

SARAH THE WAITER - Vss. 11-12

Sarah had to wait for God to keep His promise of giving her a son.

Sarah had a rocky start with her faith. Genesis 16:1-3, 18:9-13

Evidently, under Abraham's influence, she became a woman of faith, as described in this text.

 

CONCLUSION - Vs. 13

 

 

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Hebrews 11:4, Genesis 4:1-8

A LIFE THAT SPEAKS

 

Have you noticed that people have something to say after they are dead? 

Richard Nixon's life speaks of sorrow and deception.

Princess Di's Life still speaks of eliminating land mines, one of her favorite causes.

Al Capone's life still speaks of organized crime.

Babe Ruth's life still speaks of baseball.

Billy Sunday's life still speaks of evangelism.

 

Whether we are dead or alive, our lives will speak of something.

Abel, son of Adam and Eve, still has a life that speaks.

In Hebrews 11:4 God shows us that our lives should be:

 

DIRECTED BY GOD

Abel came to God by faith, offering God the sacrifice which he required. Genesis 4:1-5

 

DEVOTED TO GOD

Just as Abel offered the right sacrifice, and thus declared righteous, there are certain sacrifices we should offer today.

1. The only sacrifice for sin - a blood sacrifice.

    Our only sacrifice for sin is the blood of Christ.

2. The sacrifice of self. Romans 12:1

3. The sacrifice of song. Hebrews 13:15

4. The sacrifice of  service. Hebrews 13:16

 

DETESTED BECAUSE OF GOD

Genesis 4:5-8, John 15:18-21, 1 Timothy 3:12

 

DECLARED WHEN WITH GOD - "...he, being dead, yet speaketh”.

After we are in Heaven, our lives on earth should still speak for God.

Abel still speaks of faith. David still speaks of song. Paul still teaches.

Peter still preaches. Luther still speaks of reformation. Moody still speaks of evangelism. Finney still speaks of revival.  Hudson Taylor still speaks of missions.

 

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Hebrews 11:4-7

MODELS OF FAITH

 

The Bible is very clear that faith is of extreme importance (See Hebrews 11:6 in the text.).

God realized that we would need models of examples of faith to follow.

In our text we have three such examples.

 

BY FAITH ABEL PAID THE RIGHT PRICE Vs. 4, Genesis 4:1-8

Abel brought the right sacrifice for sin to God. He brought a blood sacrifice.

Today there is only one sacrifice for sin. It is the blood of Christ.  A person is forgiven of sin and given eternal life based on faith in the right price paid for sin, the blood of Christ. Hebrews 9:22-28.

 

BY FAITH ENOCH TOOK THE RIGHT PATH Vss. 5-6

Enoch pleased God because he walked with God. Genesis 5:21-24

 

BY FAITH NOAH COMPLETED THE RIGHT PROJECT Vs. 7

The story of Noah and the ark is found in Genesis 6-9.

Particular attention should be paid to Genesis 6:22. "Thus did Noah; according to all God commanded him, so did he."

 

 

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Hebrews 11:5-6

FAITH WALKER

 

I began this message by quoting verses from 3 hymns - "Just A Closer Walk With Thee," "In the Garden", and "O Master Let Me Walk With Thee".

The words from these three hymns remind us of the importance of walking with God.  The original faith walker was a man named Enoch. He walked by faith!

 

HIS TRIP

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:"

 

Enoch jumps off the pages of Genesis 5 and grabs our attention.

If Hebrews 11 is the "Faith Chapter" of the Bible, Genesis 5 is the "Death Chapter".  The key phrase in this list of genealogies is, "And he died".

Enoch is the exception to the rule. Genesis 5:21-24

Enoch did not see death.  God brought Him directly home to Heaven.  This translation from earth to Heaven was a result of Enoch's faith.  That was some trip!

 

As a result of the faith of each Christian, we too will experience "translation".  We call it the rapture, and it is possible that some of us will experience the rapture before we experience death.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

 

While we await the coming of the Lord Jesus, faith is to be a key part of our waiting.

Titus 2:11-14 - The evidence that we believe that Jesus is coming back soon is found in our Godly living.

 

HIS TESTIMONY

"for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

 

This is a wonderful testimony to have.  Enoch pleased God.

This is a thought that I don't want you to take lightly.

There are a lot of things that people deem important.  And many things are important things after a fashion.

 

Family is important.

Friends are important.

Church is important.

The job is important.

Inter-personal relationships are important.

Paying our bills is important.

 

But there is nothing more important than pleasing God!

If we get to the end of our lives and God is not pleased, what do we have? Nothing!

 

How did Enoch please God? Enoch pleased God by walking with God! Genesis 5:24

To please God today, we must walk with God.

Our walk with God has certain ingredients in it.

 

1. COOPERATION

We can not walk with God unless we are in agreement with God. Amos 3:3

 

2. COMMUNICATION

To walk with someone does imply some sort of fellowship or communication.  If we are going to walk with God, we must be listening to what He has to say.  What's the use of walking with someone if you are not speaking with someone?

We talk much about prayer and the concept of talking to God.

Indeed the Bible tells us that this important.

But just as Elijah heard a still, small voice, we need to be listening for that same voice as we pray and as we listen to the Word of God.

 

3. CONDUCT

Walking with God requires certain kinds of behavior, if we are going to walk the way God wants us to walk.

We are to walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

We are to walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16

We are to walk in love. Ephesians 5:2 -

 

4. CONFIDENCE

Confidence is a very important part of our walk with God. In fact, I mention it now but the concept is developed in the next verse. 2 Corinthians 5:7

 

HIS TRUST

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

 

If we do not have faith, it is impossible to please God.

If we are going to come to God, we must believe that He exists.

If I asked each of you if you believed that God exists, you will all say "yes".

However, the real question is "Do you act like God exists?"

I confess that all too often, I haven't.

Very often our behavior betrays how much we really believe in the existence of God.  If we really believed in God's existence, we wouldn't be so quick to do some of the things we do.

 

We must also believe that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Do we truly believer that God rewards those who seek Him?

 

How does God reward those who seek Him?

Peace

Answered prayer

Holy Spirit Power

Godliness

 

Now, if we truly believe that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, what will be do? Isaiah 55:6, Psalm 27:4-8, John 15:1-7

If we truly are men and women of faith, we must be men and women who believe He exists and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. If we believe that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him, we will seek Him. This is what Trust is about!

 

 

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FAITH’S DIPSTICK

 

Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 

A dipstick is used to measure the amount of oil in an engine.

To measure our faith we may use the Word of God as our dipstick.

MINIMUM FAITH – John 3:36

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

MISSING FAITH - Luke 8:22-25

Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. [23] But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. [24] And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. [25] And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

MUSTARD SEED FAITH - Luke 17:3-6

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. [4] And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. [5] And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. [6] And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Please note in this passage that “mustard seed faith” is in the context of forgiveness.

 

MOUNTAIN-MOVING FAITH - Mark 11:22-24

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. [23] For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. [24] Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

MARVELOUS FAITH - Matthew 8:8-10

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. [9] For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. [10] When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

   

Only twice does Jesus marvel.  The other time is mentioned in Mark 6:6.

 

 

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Hebrews 11:7

A PUBLIC FAITH

 

Some people think that faith is a quiet, private matter. In some senses that is true, but faith should always be a public matter. People should be able to see your faith by your actions. This was true of Noah. His faith could be seen.

 

NOAH WARNED - "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet..."

Genesis 6:5-21

 

NOAH WORKED - "...moved with fear, prepared an ark..."

Genesis 6:22 - 7:16

 

NOAH WON! - "...to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."

Genesis 7:17-8:22

 

 

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Hebrew 11:8-19

FAITHFUL

 

THE JOURNEY OF FAITH – Vss. 8-10

THE CHILD OF FAITH – Vss. 11-12

THE GOAL OF FAITH – Vss. 13-16

THE OFFERING BY FAITH – Vss. 17-19

 

 

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Hebrews 11:17-19 etc.

THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM

 

By faith, Abraham

 

1. DID THE UNTHINKABLE Hebrews 11:17-18, Genesis 22:1-6, 9

2. BELIEVED THE IMPOSSIBLE Genesis 22:7-8, Hebrews 11:19

3. EXPERIENCED THE UNBELIEVABLE Genesis 22:10-14

 

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Hebrews 11:27-30

FAITH WALKS

 

Faith is an essential and valuable characteristic for the Christian.

We are saved by faith. Ephesians 2:8-9

We are to live by faith. Hebrews 11:6

In our text we see some of the things that faith does for us, as we exercise it.

 

Faith walks OUT of bondage. Vs. 27 - By faith Moses led the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt.

 

Faith walks IN obedience Vs. 28 - Moses was told to keep the Passover. He did as he was told.

 

Faith walks THROUGH trouble Vs. 29 - The waters of the Red Sea would be symbolic of trouble.  The waters had potential to hurt the Israelites, but did not.

 

Faith walks AROUND the enemy Vs. 30 - Israel marching around their enemies reminds me to march around mine in prayer. Jeremiah 33:3, Matthew 5:44

 

 

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Hebrews 11:32

LESSONS

 

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

 

There are many lessons to learn from the Heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11.  Here are some lessons from the summary of heroes mentioned in verse 32.

 

Gideon - Little is much when God is in it.

               Judges 6:10-16, Judges 7:1-7, 16-25

 

Barak - Don't add conditions to God's Call.

            Judges 4:1-9, 14-15, 17-24

 

Samson - There is no greater burden than a great potential.

                Samuel had great potential as a leader, but allowed personal sins to restrict his

                effectiveness.

                Judges 13:1-5, 14:-4, 16:1-31

 

Jephthae - Think before you speak.

                 Judges 11:30-40

 

David - A life worth living has a heart for God.

             1 Samuel 13:14, 16:7, Psalm 23

 

Samuel - Instill devotion to God in the heart of a child.

               1 Samuel 1:10, 20-28, 1 Samuel 3:1, 19-21

 

The Prophets - Expect God to do great things.

                         James 5:15-18, 2 Kings 4:1-7

 

 

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Hebrews 11:32-40

MEN OF FAITH

 

Hebrews 11 is the "Faith Chapter" in the Bible. Earlier in the chapter the stories of great men and women of faith are featured. In this passage the author mentions several names of well known men  and then mentions those who's names he does not share.  The important thing is that these were men of faith (Hebrews 11:6).

 

POPULAR MEN - Vs. 32

Here were men of renown, well know men.

 

POWERFUL MEN - Vss. 33-35a

God worked mighty miracles through them.

 

PERSECUTED MEN - Vss. 35b-38

Some of men of faith are severely tested through persecution.

 

PROMISED MEN - Vss. 39-40

These men were promised a Messiah who had not yet come. 1 Peter 1:10-11

They had to wait until the time of Christianity for God to fulfill the promise of redemption.

 

 

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Hebrews 11:33-40

FAITH FOR ALL SEASONS

 

No matter what the conditions or situations, good or bad, winning or losing, we should be men and women of faith.

 

Hebrews 11:32 mentions several heroes of faith. "And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:"

 

The stories of these people of faith are referred to in the next verses, as well as the stories of anonymous others, whose faith resulted in severe deprivation. 

 

THE POWER OF FAITH - Vss. 33-35A

 

THE PERSEVERANCE OF FAITH - Vss. 35B-38

 

THE PROMISE OF FAITH - Vss. 39-40

 

 

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