Episode #215. Today we’ll read Hebrews chapter 11 together. This chapter is known as the faith chapter. The author names more than fifteen examples of lives lived by faith – some simple; some extraordinary.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #215. Today we’ll read Hebrews chapter 11 together. This chapter is known as the faith chapter. The author names more than fifteen examples of lives lived by faith – some simple; some extraordinary.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Faith is a word that is often misunderstood, especially by non-Christians. If you ask a non-believer about faith, they may tell you that it means believing in something you can’t prove. Or they could tell you that faith is when you believe in something in your heart, and that makes it real to you.
Hebrews Chapter 11 is entirely about true Christian faith and provides us with a solid understanding about how a Christian can live by faith. I’ll give you a clue: it isn’t just believing in something you can’t see.
There is a passage in the Gospel of Mark that addresses a lack of faith. A father has come to Jesus for help cleansing his son of an impure spirit. He says to Jesus:
22 …But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’? Everything is possible for the one who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you: Come out of him and never enter him again.”
Simple but Effective Prayer
This is one of my husband’s favorite passages. He finds it comforting that there were people who could be face to face with Christ, be a witness to His miracles, and still struggle with their faith. It gives him encouragement, and when he is feeling discouraged, he will often ask the Lord to help him with his unbelief. It is a simple but effective prayer.
Hebrews Chapter 11
Living by Faith
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by this our ancestors were approved.
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.
By faith Enoch was taken away, and so he did not experience death. He was not to be found because God took him away. For before he was taken away, he was approved as one who pleased God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the one who had promised was faithful. Therefore, from one man — in fact, from one as good as dead — came offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and as innumerable as the grains of sand along the seashore.
These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. But they now desire a better place — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and yet he was offering his one and only son, the one to whom it had been said, Your offspring will be traced through Isaac. He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead; therefore, he received him back, figuratively speaking.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions concerning his bones.
By faith Moses, after he was born, was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin. For he considered reproach for the sake of Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since he was looking ahead to the reward.
By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for Moses persevered as one who sees him who is invisible. By faith he instituted the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch the Israelites. By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though they were on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to do this, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being marched around by the Israelites for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute welcomed the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.
So Many More
And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead, raised to life again. Other people were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.
This is the faith chapter!
And the author recounts the living-by-faith actions of more than 15 of our Biblical heroes:
Abel, by faith, gave God the best of his flock.
Enoch pleased God so much with his faith that he was swept away to heaven without tasting death.
God had never watered the earth by rain and yet Noah believed God when He instructed him to build an ark.
Abraham was in his 90s, had no kids, and God told him his descendants would number more than the sand on the seashore. He obeyed when God told him to go to a foreign land as did his son and grandson, Isaac and Jacob.
Sarah, Abraham’s wife, also had faith that her near-ninety body would be strengthened to bear a son.
Some died in faith without having seen the promises fulfilled. Jacob and Joseph both spoke of the things to come. And those things came to pass.
Moses’ life was lived by faith throughout. Otherwise, how could he have led over a million people out of Egyptian tyranny, through the desert for forty years, and into God’s promised land? By faith, he introduced the Passover to the people of Israel, foreshadowing the coming of Jesus Christ.
God told the Israelites to march around Jericho seven times and then give a shout. He told them the walls would fall down and they would have the victory. And they did. That’s faith.
You will read the stories of adventure and faith next year when we read the Old Testament together. You will love them. The stories are true and they will inspire you and increase your faith. Let’s pray.
Father God, You have not left us alone. Thank you. Like a photo album of those who have gone before us and accomplished great things by faith, You have given us this blueprint of how to live faith-filled lives. The pillars of faith You tell us about in Your word spur us on to daily put our trust in You. We know it is not misplaced. Thank You. Help us to stay strong so that we may endure in faith to the end. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Bible Study Resources
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