We Live By Faith
Copyright 2017 John Dunn
Published by F I Group, Inc. at Shakespir
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Bible Quotations Are From:
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. “The NIV text may be quoted in any form, up to and inclusive of five hundred verses without express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.”
It is easy to look up Bible passages online at: BibleGateway.com
Susan C. Snow
We Live By Faith
Hebrews Chapter 11 shows what happens when God’s cure is applied to a person’s life. It focuses on people in the Old Testament that listened to God’s word and acted accordingly. These people lived long before Jesus came to live on earth.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command” (11:3a). Read verses 4 and 5.
Hebrews 11:6, 7, 8, and 10: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. By faith Abraham, when called to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going . . . For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” This city is the New Jerusalem in the eighth book in this series titled The New Jerusalem.
Read Hebrews 11:11-38. Then in verses 39 and 40: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
When going through the Advanced Study portion of this eBook, a person finds many of the people mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11 were far from perfect! They are given credit, because they did believe God’s Word and acted accordingly, even though they did not follow God’s Word all of their life. It is still true today. God accepts us as we are, where we are, but he does not want to leave us there. He has a much better life in store for us. But even though we are forgiven by God, we still may have to pay the consequences of our disobedient actions. Similar to what happened to some of the people mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11. Many of their obedient actions and some of their disobedient actions still influence our actions today; thousands of years later!
The life that God intended for humankind is the basic focus throughout the Bible. This life begins right here and right now by a transforming of the mind (Romans 12:2). Think positive thoughts, such as “love one another” (John 13:34) and the “fruit of the spirit” . The positive thoughts do not necessarily change things around us or what happens to us, but it changes how we react. How we react can change physical health as well as mental health, and can change how others react to us. How we react can also change opportunities that come our way, and may deflect pain or disaster.
This life is not godliness, but the process of becoming godly. We are not what we shall be, but we are on the way.
Some of the people mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11:
1. Able: Brought a better offering, Genesis Chapter 4.
2. Enoch: Did not experience death because he was taken by God, Genesis Chapter 5.
3. Noah: God considered him righteous, blameless among the people of his time, Genesis Chapters 5 through 9. God gave Noah plans for a big boat through which his family was saved. Noah is mention several times throughout the Bible.
4. Abraham: He messed up several times, but he believed God and acted on God’s promises. Many Arabs and Jews still consider Abraham to be their forefather, in faith, through different sons. Read Genesis Chapters 12 through 22.
5. Moses: He killed a person and ran away to another country. Yet Moses was used mightily by God in spite of his inadequacies. He encountered many rejections and outright defiance, yet with God’s help he persevered. Read Exodus Chapters 2 through 19. Moses is a key person throughout the whole book of Exodus as he led his people to the Promised Land.
Several other people are mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11. Place each name in the search box at BibleGateway.com to find more information in the Bible about each person.
Following are a few other people throughout the Bible that are commended for their faith:
1. Elijah: The main story of Elijah starts at 1 Kings Chapter 17 and ends at 2 Kings Chapter 2.
In 1 Kings Chapter 19 God does not speak to Elijah in a powerful wind, earthquake or fire on a mountain top, but in a gentle whisper at the mouth of a cave. The Lord’s instructions to Elijah are recorded in 1 Kings 19:15-18. God gives instructions to people when they are quiet and ready to listen to God. This appears to be the primary way that God gives instructions to people; such as those commended for their faith in Hebrews Chapter 11.
2. John the Baptist: Jesus compares him to Elijah (see Matthew 11:14, Mark 9:13, Luke 1:17 and Malachi 4:5-6).
3. Job: He refuses to curse God even when his family, possessions and health were taken away (see the book of Job in the Old Testament). Even his so-called “friends” blamed him for his misfortune!
4. Jonah: God asks Jonah to go to Nineveh; Jonah gets on a ship going the opposite direction! But God keeps after him and drags him back to Nineveh in a most unusual way. In Nineveh Jonah proclaimed God’s message of judgment. The people repented of their sin so God did not immediately send his judgment. This greatly angered Jonah, but God said, “Should I not have concern for the people of Nineveh (Jonah 4:11)?”
Sometimes God has to get our attention with: powerful winds, earthquakes, fire, famine, different types of war, etc. before we are ready to listen to God’s instructions. This is quite evident in the book of Revelation where the “Trumpet Call” is a series of calamities in Chapters 8 and 9, and the last half of Chapter 11 (also note the seals in Chapter 6).
Study / Discussion Topics
A. The people in Hebrews Chapter 11 had faith that God created all that exists. They had faith, confidence, hope and assurance in things they could not see. They were looking forward to a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (verse 10)[*:*]
1. How can a person have faith in someone (such as God) or something (such as the city of God) when such faith is difficult, if not impossible, to verify scientifically?
2. Can a person see, or visualize, something that is invisible? Can you? How can this be done?
3. Can leaders (such as Moses in verse 27), preachers, dreamers, designers, architects, authors, producers, etc. see things that are invisible? How do they help others see what they see?
B. In whom or what is your faith?
1. Yourself? Family? Friends? Mentor?
2. Training? Education? Wisdom? Understanding?
3. Job? Occupation? Money? Possessions?
4. What if everything was taken away (such as in the book of Job in the Bible); where would your faith be then?
5. In whom or what should be your strongest faith? Why? Where does it come from?
6. Do you believe the universe was created at God’s command?
C. People God commended for their faith
1. Read Genesis Chapters 5 through 10. Did God build the ark (see chapter 6)? Is this an example for us? Does God work through people?
2. God may not call you to move to a different place like Abraham, but he is calling you. What is he calling you to do?
3. Like Sarah are you asked to be involved in the impossible (Genesis 18:12; read all of Genesis Chapters 17 and 18)? Prayer and belief go together .
4. How did Moses respond in the book of Exodus in the Bible? (Note: Moses faced road blocks and what seemed like impossible situations many times during his life.)
5. Consider the example of Elijah: In 1 Kings Chapter 18 mighty feats were performed by Elijah in the name of God, yet in 1 Kings Chapter 19 Elijah feared for his life. If God can commend Elijah even though he did not have faith in all matters, will he help you if / when your faith is weak at times?
D. How does God get your attention?
1. Loss of job? Loss of a loved one? Loss of property or possessions? Health issues?
2. Through environmental events, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earth quakes, heat, fire, cold, snow storms, rain, hail, volcanoes, etc?
3. Through what someone said or did (such as a pastor, spouse, parent, child, co-worker, etc.)?
4. Through the Bible? Other books? News media? People in need or despair?
5. Through prayer or meditation? In a dream? Do you feel compelled to do or say something?
6. How does God speak to you?
Thank you for reading this eBook. If it helped you, please take a moment to leave a comment at your favorite eBook retailer and tell others about this eBook. Thanks! John Dunn.
Books in the “Seven Chapter Bible Overview” Series
Book 1: Seven Chapter Bible Overview
Book 2: Created By: The Word of God
Book 3: Harmonious Life and Responsibilities
Book 4: It Is Not My Fault!
Book 5: Role Model
Book 6: We Live By Faith (This eBook)
Book 7: Eden Restored
Book 8: The New Jerusalem
About the Author
John Dunn is very interested in long term forecasting, prophesy, and Biblical studies. Relatively early in life he completed a teacher’s training course in the Bethel Bible Series. Later John wrote an extremely limited circulation newsletter for a few years titled The Association of Christians in Secular Careers.
John spent most of 2004 going through the Bible and writing a brief overview of what he considered to be the main concepts presented in each book. Currently he is updating and expanding his 13-year-old writings.
The author may be contacted at: [email protected] Please place “7 Chapter” in the subject line (or the email may go in the junk folder!). Thank you.
John Dunn’s website: john-dunn.figroupbooks.com
John Dunn has two series of eBooks:
Seven Chapter Bible Overview
Revelation: Transition to New Era
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command! Anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah built, Abraham went, Moses lead, etc. None of them received what was promised but they looked forward to the city whose architect is God. We are not what we shall be, but we are on the way. We suggest you use the eBooks in this series in group study / discussion sessions. Select a time and place for a group discussion. Then give invitations showing time and place of meeting along with the web address where each person can obtain their own eBook copy. Most of the eBooks in this series are very short, so it will take only a few minutes to read the eBook. The eBooks in this series will lend themselves to one or two half-hour or one one-hour discussion sessions. The chapters in the Bible covered in the "Seven Chapter Bible Overview" series are: Genesis Chapters 1, 2 and 3 John Chapter 1 Hebrews Chapter 11 Revelation Chapters 21 and 22. Books in the "Seven Chapter Bible Overview" Series include: Book 1: Seven Chapter Bible Overview Book 2: Created By: The Word of God Book 3: Harmonious Life and Responsibilities Book 4: It Is Not My Fault! Book 5: Role Model Book 6: We Live By Faith Book 7: Eden Restored Book 8: The New Jerusalem