Presentation on theme: "Near to the Heart of God A Study of the Book of Hebrews Lesson 26 Hebrews 11:7 – 12 Faith and Failure or What Happened to the Skeletons in the Patriarchial."— Presentation transcript:
Near to the Heart of God A Study of the Book of Hebrews Lesson 26 Hebrews 11:7 – 12 Faith and Failure or What Happened to the Skeletons in the Patriarchial Closet?
I. Introduction A.Apocryphal stories about a brilliant professor B.The Bible and the failures of great men C.The “hall of faith ” features some flawed folks 1. Rahab (11:31) 2. Gideon and Samson (11:32) D.This lesson helps us to understand why flawed folks can be in the “hall of faith.” E.This also encourages us greatly – as I’ll seek to demonstrate in this lesson. F.My approach 1. Consider Noah and Abraham 2. Look at what is said of each 3. Consider what is not said (but we know) 4. Draw some conclusions and application
II. Noah (Hebrews 11:7) A.Background 1. He has his family at 500 (Genesis 5:32) 2. He is 600 when rains begin (Genesis 7:6) 3. He lives to 950 (Genesis 9:28-29) 4. 950 years are summed up in 1 verse (11:7) B.What the author says about Noah’s faith: 1. God warned Noah of things unseen (11:7). a.Rains, flood b.Judgment 2. God commanded Noah to build the ark to rescue his family 3. By faith he built the ark, condemning the world, and thus he was declared righteous.
C.What else do we know about Noah? 1. Noah’s construction took around 100 years 2. Not one person repented and believed in that 100 years. 3. The emphasis is on Noah’s faith. There is some doubt about the faith of his family. a.“You” is singular in 6:14, 19 b.“You alone” in 7:1 c.Noah, Daniel, and Job in Ezekiel 14:13-20 4. Noah gets drunk and then curses Canaan in 9:20-27. (Is this a skeleton in Noah’s closet?)
III. Abraham (Hebrews 118-12) A.What the author tells us about Abraham: 1. He obeyed God by faith, going to an unnamed (“unseen”?) place (11:8). 2. He lived in the land God promised him as a sojourner, w/o possessing it (11:9). 3. Abraham’s hope: He was looking for a city with firm foundations (11:10) 4. Abraham (and Sarah) had a child by faith, even though they were both as good as dead in this regard. And so it was that God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled (11:11-12).
B.What the author does not tell us about Abraham (but we learn elsewhere in the Bible): 1. Abraham was called while in Ur, and was told to leave this place and his relatives (Neh. 9:7-8; Acts 7:1-4). 2. Abraham’s obedience to this was less than ideal, as seen in Genesis 11:27-32. 1.His father seems to have led them. 2.Abraham didn’t leave all of his relatives. 3.God’s call and covenant had to be repeated in Genesis 12:1-3, since this takes place in Haran, not Ur.
IV. What are we to learn from our author’s account in chapter 11? A.There are skeletons in the patriarchal closet. B.These men (and women) in chapter 11 were commended for their faith while their flaws were not mentioned. C.Tension: How do we reconcile the author’s very positive words about these examples of faith with the other statements of Scripture, which emphasize their flaws?
D.The solution 1. Look at the author’s purpose for chapter 11 in verse 2: Faith (not works) is what gains God’s approval. 2. It is the perfection of our Great High Priest that is the basis for our righteousness, not our performance. 3. Why would the author highlight a man’s failures when it is his faith that matters? 4. To abandon faith and return to law is to return to a works system in which we will always fail. Then our failures will matter!
5. Faith in Christ does not require our perfection, only perseverance in faith. 6. What the author commends is not perfection, but perseverance in faith. 7. While Christians have their flaws, they should grow in their faith over time. 8. The exhortation of chapter 11 is to persevere in faith, not to perfection.
V. Application A.What a glorious Savior and gospel! B.Hebrews 11 or Revelation 20? C.Why would anyone want to go back to the Old Covenant, which depends on our perfection, when God has given us a New Covenant that depends on Christ’s perfection? D.Encouragement comes from being reminded that God commends flawed people for their faith, in spite of their failures. Here is the basis of perseverance!