Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“Once Faithless, Now Faith-filled”
May 27, 2018
Pastor’s Notes (Some additional thoughts for your Sunday school lesson):
Faith determines our level of faithfulness; the greater our faith, the more we will accomplish, the more we trust God to do what He says, and go where He leads.
While God plants the seed of faith in our hearts (a work of the Spirit), we develop our faith by trusting the promises of God. The development of our faith is a spiritual exercise; we start small and work our way up. Trusting God for the small stuff leads us to be able to trust God for the big stuff.
There has never been a man of God whose life wasn’t characterized by faith.
Defining Faith (Hebrews 11:1-2).
Trusting God’s promises and God’s power to accomplish what one cannot see…
“faith” – confidence, trust, assurance, commitment… faith is not believing a chair can support your weight; faith is sitting in the chair.
Faith is trusting God for a desired outcome.
Faith is not a leap into the darkness … but is based on the promises of God, and the past experiences of God at work… Moses was able to believe God because he had previously witnessed God’s power at work.
Faith in God brings God’s favor … believing and trusting God allows God to be at work in one’s life.
HOW IS FAITH INVOLVED IN THE SALVATION EXPERIENCE?
Exemplifying Faith (Hebrews 11:3-40).
While there may be scientific evidence for “Divine creation,” absolute confidence in “In the beginning God created …” requires a certain amount of faith… God took nothing and made something…
Sometimes, as it was in the case of Cain and Abel, obedience to God’s commands requires faith.
A man of faith leaves a legacy which stands as an encouragement to those who come after.
Faith trusts God in the darkness knowing what I cannot see, God does.
Absent faith, a believer cannot and will not live a life pleasing to God
By faith Noah trusted God’s instruction in the face of the absence of proof … he built a boat before he had ever experienced RAIN.
Abraham, absent a map, followed God to the “land of promise.” – Our lives should be characterized as a journey of faith, trusting God’s direction to go where He leads, and do what He wills. It doesn’t matter if we can see because God can.
Discuss - “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), as it relates to verse 10.
Faith is necessary to survive and succeed through the struggles of life, the persecution we face, and the suffering we endure as believers.
Faith doesn’t have to see the desired outcome (See verses 13-16, 39).
Sacrifice and service require faith.
Briefly discuss the faith-life of those recorded in verse 32.
Enduring Faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Sorry – the large crowd of witnesses are not those who have died before you, looking down from heaven, watching what you do … the witnesses mentioned here are the ones discussed in chapter 11.
Looking back at their lives, and the lives of those like them, should inspire us, encourage us to live as they lived, no matter the problems we face, or the persecution we endure.
“lay aside” – remove whatever serves to hinder us from being successful … keeping with the context, the “sin” may be the failure to trust God in our circumstances, with our circumstances.
“run” – life for the believer is a marathon to be run … to be a winner you must patiently endure whatever life throws at you; whatever obstacles stand in your way … remember the challenge is not to simply run the race, but to finish the race.
The only way to stay the course and finish what we start is by our focus on Christ’s own race; what He started, He finished.
The “joy” was the product of His obedience to the Father … He found joy in His obedience to God.
He was able to endure the shame and death of the cross because of His focus on the Father’s will, and His future with the Father in heaven.
Theological Theme: Jesus is the source and perfecter of our faith.
Christological/Christ Connection: Christ’s redemptive work is the source of hope for all who believe. The believer’s future is secure in Christ.
Missional Application: Those who have lived by faith serve as our examples to follow. If they did, we can, and should.