“FAITH 101” HEBREWS 10:36-11:7 JANUARY 13, 2019
• In English, the words “faith” and “believe” don’t look similar. But in the Greek of the NT, the noun (pistis) and the verb (pisteuō) are obviously similar. When you see the verb “believe” in verse 6, it develops the same theme created by the repetition of “faith” throughout chapter 11.
• One commentator suggests that verse 1 of chapter 11 could be translated, “Now faith is the reality of things hoped for, the evidence that proves things not seen.” In other words, this isn’t the language of wistful thinking. Faith is a response of the heart that receives what God reveals as actual truth, and then acts upon it.
• The quote in 10:38 is from Habakkuk 2:4. This same Scripture is cited by Paul in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11. The New Testament writers realized that one short phrase (“the righteous shall live by faith”) encapsulated a crucial reality about the Christian life.
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The writer describes Adam’s son, Abel, as still speaking to us: “And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” Abel is then mentioned again in the next chapter: “But you have come...to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (12:22-24). Even though we honor Abel as one who was righteous because he trusted God’s instruction, the writer wants his readers to see the central theme: Jesus’ blood is superior even to righteous Abel’s blood.
• Everyone lives by faith, not just religious people. About which future realities does our culture have “assurance”? About what invisible things does our culture have strong “conviction”? Another way to think about it: about what is our culture dogmatic?
• What are truths—future ones, or unseen ones—that are made clear in Scripture but you most struggle to believe are real? Can you identify what fuels unbelief about these?
• Our passage says that “without faith, it is impossible to please him [i.e., God].” It also speaks about God’s “commendation.” How is this hopeful for sinners like us?