In the Book of Hebrews
Theme: Stay Focused
Lesson 10: Exercise Your Faith or Be Chastened
& Final Instructions In Righteousness
Hebrews was written to encourage the Jews to not turn back to the Old Testament religion or Judaism. List the Lessons studied thus far.Lesson 1: Focus on Him for He should be the Center of Your Life Lesson 2: Focus on Him because He is worthy – All Hail the King of Kings Lesson 3: Focus on Him because He died for you Lesson 4: Focus on Him & Don’t turn from God by hardening your heart Lesson 5: Focus on Him for He gives 2 supernatural resources – the bible & prayer Lesson 6: Focus on Him for He is the Source of our Supernatural Resources Lesson 7: Focus on Him for There is danger in backsliding Lesson 8: Focus on Him for Melchisedec, the King & Priest, is Revealed Lesson 9: Focus on Him & Compare the Law and the New Covenant
Lesson 10 shows us how to stay focused by exercising our faith in day to day life or be chastened by your heavenly father as you would by your earthly father, and some final words of instructions in righteousness.
First of all, what is faith?
Our Text: Heb 11:1 – 3 Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Heb 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.
Faith is substance of things hoped for: such as promises, blessings, eternal life through Jesus Christ, etc; the evidence of things not seen: you can not see God but you know and believe he is there through his Spirit and his Word revealing himself to you; you know he is there through the blessings received and prayers he has answered; and you know he is there by the things he has done in your life that no one can explain but God. The Bible tells us, “to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” How do we do that? We read his word, trust and believe it, and then we put it to practice so our faith can grow. Therefore, if faith grows, then it is a process that must be exercised or practiced to grow. In other words experience and grow the faith that God has placed inside of you. The Jews here were handicapped Christians because they were paralyzed by fear for where there is fear grace and peace are absent.
That was why it was important for the Jews to understand the elders obtained faith. The Jews were lacking faith and were trying to escape persecution by returning to the old way. So the writer of Hebrews reminded them that their elders of the old way died that obtained faith and righteousness looking for, believing in, and proclaiming the promises to come as stated in verses 13 – 15. Then in verse 16 the writer reminds them that now since Jesus has come and prepared the way through his death and resurrection there is a place with him that they can come.
Our Text: Heb 11:13 -15 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Second, how do you exercise your faith?
- You exercise your faith by believing and doing, or obeying, his will for it is by faith that we please God as Enoch did and offering the sacrifices according to God’s will as Abel did.
Our Text: Heb 11:4 – 5 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
2. Abraham and Sara believed the promise of God and Sara judged him faithful to him who had promised through the power of faith.
Our Text: Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Heb 11:8 – 12 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
3. It is by exercising their faith in trials of day to day life that their faith grew.
Heb 11:17 – 19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
Through Blessing of things to come:
Heb 11:20 – 21 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
Through Prophecy of things to come:
Heb 11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Through Leadership of God:
Heb 11:23 -29 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
Heb 11:30 – 31 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
And Many More also through battles, mocking, scourging, bonds, etc.
Heb 11:32 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:
Heb 11:33 – 35Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
Heb 11:36 – 38 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
4. Think about it, willingly, they sacrificed their very lives for one who had not come yet.
Heb 11:39 – 40 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
But they were not willing to exercise their faith and believe the one who had come was able of whom they witnessed the very things the elders of the old way believed were to come and died for. Therefore, the writer in Hebrews 12 begins with a plea for them to repent, get back in the race and a rebuke for their lack of faith, or trust in God and Jesus’ finished work for he said to consider him who endured the conflict with sinners against himself for you and me.
Our Text is Hebrews 12 and we will discuss a few verses at a time.
Heb 12:1 – 3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Thirdly, what happens if you don’t exercise your faith?
- The Warning of Fatherly Chastisement:
It’s not too late.
Heb 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Don’t despise the Lord’s chastening for he loves you.
Heb 12:5 -7 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
He chastens us like an earthly father would his son.
Heb 12:9 – 10 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
No chastening is grievous, although it seems like it would be joyous because chastening hurts and no one likes it. But after you receive chastening it produces a right action and peace in your heart.
Heb 12: 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Therefore, rejoice that you are son, do right, and be healed of your paralyzed knees unless you that are lame be turned away.
Heb 12:12 – 13 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble ( paralyzed) knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
2. The Warning against following the wrong things and finding no place for repentance.
Heb 12:14 – 17 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
3. Warning: You have not come unto the mount that Moses spoke about.
You have come unto the Mount Sion the city of the living God. This is not a type or a vessel used as a temporary dwelling; this is the true and living God. You have come: to the company of angels, to the church of the firstborn (Christians whose names are written down), to God The Judge of All, to the spirits of just men made perfect (OT saints who have died), and to Jesus.
Heb 12:18 -21 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
Heb 12:22 – 24 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
4. Warning: Don’t refuse the words that he speaks so that when shaken your faith may remain.
Heb 12:25 -29 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.
5. Final Instructions in righteousness:
Heb 13:1-4 Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
How to talk:
Heb 13:5 – 6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Remember to obey those who preach the word of God.
Heb 13:7 – 9 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Our altar requires no beasts for Jesus sanctified the people with his blood outside the gate.
Heb 13:10 -14 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
Act 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Do others who are without the camp know that you are Christian? Are you ashamed to be a Christian and suffer for Christ as he has suffered for you?
Sacrifice praises to God:
Heb 13:15 – 16 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Inclosing: Pray for us; May the God of peace make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight; and Heed the exhortation
Heb 13:18 – 25 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words. Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Dear Christian friend stay focused and exercise your Christian faith. He has done so much for us.