Teaching Outline Week 32

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)

Commentary

Faith’s Journey

Hebrews 11:23-28 

Outline 

Moses takes center stage as our text spotlights a large portion of his life. It begins with his birth and moves forward through his life until it comes to rest at the Passover during the exodus. Surveying the first 23 verses of chapter 11, one can easily see that Moses and Abraham hold the most prominent places in the roll of faith; and the central event of both their lives, as Hebrews presents them, is a journey. The author of Hebrews doesn’t attempt to show these heroes of the faith in a single snapshot. The reason our author unfolds this view of the faithful by looking at life’s journey should now be obvious. Our faith has many aspects. Studying the life of faith cannot be done with sweeping generalizations.

The role of faith in life’s journey… justification by faith alone, working out our salvation, bearing fruit in the Spirit, resting in the promises, and looking forward to the reward for our works, is the beautiful panoramic picture painted by chapter 11. Even though the aspects of faith in chapter 11 are many and diverse, they fit together like hand in glove and are by no means contradictory. If you take any one of them and treat it as the whole picture, you will be lead astray. Tonight we continue our journey as students of this full, grand, and glorious truth.

How HOPE and FAITH work:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

The Picture: Faith in Crisis

Kill the baby boys

Disobey and you die

Life Risking Faith (vs 23)

Faith delivers from fear

The future provides all our satisfaction (Assurance of things hoped for)

Value placing Faith (vs 27)

Enduring the chosen path of life

Looking for reward

LIFE APPLICATION

Faith is a desire for God that burns bridges to sin, fear, and comfort

Faith is reflected in loving what God loves in the power of the Spirit

Teaching Outline Week 31

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)

Commentary

Faith’s Foundation

Hebrews 11:13-22 

Outline 

The author of Hebrews breaks with examples of the faithful to once again drive home the idea of the nature of our faith. In verses 13- 16 we see the inner life of faith. It is clear that faith has no foundation in doing, but is founded only in our being.

Two key words used in these first four verses are seeking and desiring. The life of genuine faith is not deterred by looking to the future for the fulfillment of the promises. As a matter of fact, the life of genuine faith considers this time of life to be that of sojourn. Primarily, this week we explore what it is to live a life of faith that accords so with God that he states that “he is not ashamed to be called our God”.

The Inner Life of Faith (vs 13-16)

What is it to die well?

To die according to faith.

Abraham as an example:

Seeking another country (vs 14)

Ur is no longer an option (vs 15)

His desire is for a better country (vs 16)

God is not ashamed of those who:

Desire the better country

The one He prepared for you

 

Great Act of Faith (vs 17-19)

Abraham offered his only son by faith (vs 17)

Sometimes obedience seems like the end of a dream (vs 18)

It was settled in Abraham’s inner being, not outward act. (vs 19)

By Faith, Isaac, Jacob,  and Joseph (vs 20-22)

They all lived as sojourners

They all trusted in the promises

LIFE APPLICATION:

Faith is fundamentally a fight for DESIRE

DESIRE for God is the only way to declare His greatness

A Balanced Life

About 400 years ago Galileo conducted an experiment with remarkable results. According to the NASA website, the remarkable observation that all free falling objects fall with the same acceleration was first proposed by Galileo Galilei after he conducted experiments using a ball on an inclined plane to determine the relationship between the time and distance traveled. He found that the distance depended on the square of the time and that the velocity increased as the ball moved down the incline. The relationship was the same regardless of the mass of the ball used in the experiment. Simply stated, all free falling objects accelerate at the same rate. An object that falls in a vacuum is subject to only one force, gravity.

If a Christian makes a ball out of the major life categories, they end up with at least four balls to juggle. Mine would be family, work, community, and personal. As I juggle these four balls it is easy to see that some are larger and weigh more than others. The work ball is much larger and heavier than the community ball. I sometimes feel guilty having to spend much more effort and time keeping the work ball in the air than the rest. My guilt attempts to balance this juggling act. I attempt resizing the balls. It doesn’t work. The work ball is always the largest despite my best efforts. This frustrates me to the point of walking away from this juggling act until I realize that all the balls, despite their size and mass, are subject to one force; the Gospel.

If I believe the Bible, I must believe that all of life is all for the Gospel. If family, work, community, and personal time is accelerated by one force, namely the Gospel, then they are all in balance despite their size and weight. My life can never be balanced by resizing the balls. It can only be balanced by applying one single force toward all the balls…The Gospel.

One last thought…notice I don’t have a God ball in my juggling act. I don’t have one because there is no such thing if ALL of life is the Gospel. Besides, if there was a God ball it would be too large and too heavy to juggle.

Teaching Outline Week 30

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)

Commentary

Faith that is Alive and at Work

Hebrews 11:7-12 

Outline

Last week through the examples of faith in the lives of Abel and Enoch we looked at what it meant to please God. Abel and Enoch reflected God in their faith. It is said that Enoch “walked with God” and we said that meant that he lived life that was “all in” for God; nether men where hypocrites. In every aspect of life, their actions reflected the same principles and standards. All of life was the Gospel…no walls, no borders.

This week we look at the examples of Noah, Abraham, and Sarah. This week’s text holds examples of how a life of saving faith trusts God and perseveres to the end. This week we reference verse 39 in chapter 10 to understand our authors intended meaning of this week’s examples. “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” Let’s see what it means to know, trust, and love God by faith.

Main actions of our faithful examples:

Noah trusts God and builds an ark for the salvation of his household.

Abraham trusts God and leaves his homeland and family for an unknown land of promise.

Abraham trusts God and lives in tents without building a city with foundations.

Sarah trusts God and conceives when she is barren and past the age of childbearing.

Pattern of the life of faith: 

Noah, Abraham, and Sarah all:

  • Heard the Word of God (More than a philosophy, a CALLING)
  • Humbled in the presence of God (Inner reckoning)
  • Move toward the promise (Outward action as a result of inner reckoning)
  • Rejoice in a foretaste of the promise (Always looking forward to the next great blessing of God)

LIFE APPLICATION:

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the very Word of God (Objective Understanding)

Strong inner faith causes radical outward action

Saving faith always changes the way you live 

Faith tastes the blessings of God’s promises today and knows there is much more to come!

 

Studying the Life of Faith (Hebrews 11)

The goal of the book of Hebrews is that believers would draw near to God. (4:16; 7:19, 25; 10:22; 11:6) Drawing near to God has everything to do with faith. As the author of Hebrews points out, faith can never be viewed as only a point in the past. Yes, faith has a starting point. You must be born again! There must be regeneration. However, saving faith never drifts through life resting on the starting point. (2:1-4)

It’s no wonder after ten chapters of Christ exalting worship, encouragements, and warnings we come to rest on chapter 11. Chapter 11, the hall of faith chapter, cataloguing rock solid saving faith in the lives of Old Testament saints. They are presented as examples. But our author never intended for us to simply say, “wow, look at them!”

Their faith reflected God exactly the way our faith must reflect God if it is genuine. This Wednesday night we examine the lives of Noah, Abraham, and Sarah. There is a pattern to the faith relationship with their God that must be present in us today as well. I hope you’ll join us as we examine the fascinating study of the life of faith.

Faithful in Business and All of Life

Bad guys are almost OK in my book as long as they live like bad guys. I never had a problem watching my favorite super heroes battle it out with their arch enemies. I knew just what to expect from the villain. The Joker would calmly explain to Batman and Robin just how his evil plan would unfold. The plan almost always called for the death of the dynamic duo, and the overthrow of law abiding, moral, social structure. In short, those bad guys wanted to rule the world and they let everyone know it. I don’t consider them hypocrites, they are simply evil.

Dealing with the Pharisees and Scribes, Jesus used the term hypocrites over a dozen times as recorded in the Gospels. A modern day definition of a hypocrite is as follows:

a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. 

In order to be accused of hypocrisy one must live a double life. Jesus gave a devastating example in Mark 12:38-40. The Scribe in Jesus’ example is the perfect saint in all his religious circles, but when it comes to business he crushes the helpless.  Somehow the Scribe in the story found a way to create a wall or border that, when crossed, allowed him to be governed by very different principles.

A life of faith receiving a commendation from God appears never to have such walls or borders. Genesis 5:24 states that Enoch “walked with God”. The author of Hebrews records how Enoch pleased God by his life of faith and received a wonderful reward. The main idea here is Enoch didn’t have walls or borders that allowed him to live a double life. Enoch walked continually with God.

God was tickled pink with Enoch; Jesus was as displeased with the Pharisees and Scribes as he could be. Enoch’s life was all for God; the Scribe’s life was segmented partly for God and partly for the real world. If the American business owner finds they climb over a religious wall to attend church on Sunday and back across the wall to go to work on Monday, they can never live like Enoch and create the potential of living like the Scribe.