Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – May 22, 2016
Theme: Living with Eternity in View
Topic: Living in Faith
Main Texts: Hebrews 11:1-11
Key Verse: Hebrews 11:6 – “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.”(NIV)
Last Sunday, we saw that Living in Purity is more than just avoiding the “big sins”, and that we need to be conscious of all that defile, as people Living with Eternity in View. Our key learning from that study include:
- Jesus Christ affirms that the things that defile us (that is, that make us impure) come from within us. They have nothing to do with what we eat or our appearance – they come from within – Mark 7:18-23. All these things hinder us from running the race effectively – Hebrews 12:1
- While we tend to consider some sins to be more grave than others – typically sexual sin, murder and stealing, all sins defile and we should be assessing our purity against all these sins and not only the “big sins”.
- God always provides a way of escape from temptations to every sin. However, for that to be of benefit us, we must first be willing to escape. We must be willing to cry out “Lord, help me! How do I escape?” The way of escape does not benefit one who enjoys the sin and wants to remain in it!
- God considers not discerning the Lord’s body – the oneness of the body of Christ – a serious sin; it led to the sickness and death of some Corinthian Christians. See 1 Corinthians 11:18-30. Those that cause divisions in the Church should be aware!
This Sunday we will be considering what Living by Faith means in the context of Living with Eternity in View. Our key learning from the study should include the following:
- While miraculous deliverance from dire situations – either on the individual or some loved one – has led many to Christ in a rather easy way, those who come to know Christ simply by listening to and believing the Gospel often have real challenges before coming to faith in him. These include their rational thinking and the potential consequences of submitting to Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can lead the sinner to repentance and saving faith in Christ.
- We need faith, not only to be saved, but to sustain us on the journey to eternity because the journey is never smooth-sailing! Apostle Paul affirmed this when he said “the life I now live .. I live by faith in the Son of God ..” (Galatians 2:20).
- To claim by faith and benefit from God’s promises, we need to (a) be sure the promise is for us, (b) we are obedient to Him, and (c) we do not make the granting of our request a condition for our continued walk with Him. He is sovereign and may choose not to grant a request even when we have played our part.
In preparing us for our journey to eternity, the Scriptures tell us that the idea that “seeing is believing” would not get us far. In fact, to embark on the journey at all, we have to take Him at His word – believe what we cannot see. Hear Him: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. … 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.” (Hebrews 11:1,6). Some come to know Christ as a result of experiencing His power in a dramatic way – such as healing or deliverance from some tragedy. Such people can be considered privileged as such experience is like God letting them see, to help them believe. However, for many, they simply had to believe before experiencing!
1. For those that do not come to know Christ through his specific dramatic intervention in their lives, what are the key obstacles to the saving faith in Christ, and how are they overcome in the process of being born again? Having come to know Christ, as we said, our journey to eternity is sustained by faith. Hear Apostle Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal
2:20 NIV). Sadly, we are sometimes given the impression, when giving our lives to Christ, that once we take that key decision, it would thereafter be all smooth-sailing – all our problems would be over. This leads to the frustration of many, and some young converts to the faith give up altogether. In reality, things could in fact get rougher for one coming to Christ.
2. Give examples of specific challenges that one coming to know Christ may face which those who have never known him do not face. Why does God allow the Christian to face these challenges?
We are encouraged to lean on promises in the Scriptures for sustenance on this journey of faith: Promises that God would never leave us (Heb13:5); “… whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24); “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isa 40:31). Honesty demands that we admit that often, our experience does not seem to confirm these Scriptures. But we acknowledge that the Scriptures are true.
3. Give some reasons why some promises in the Scriptures do not seem to be confirmed by our personal experiences. Comment on the consequences on our faith and lives of such apparent contradictions.
It is important we pay attention to the parts we play in realising God’s promises for our lives. First, we must be sure we are claiming what God has indeed promised us. Then, we should note that faith and obedience go hand-in-hand. Finally, as we obey in faith, we must continuously listen to His instructions for each step. Over and above all these, God is sovereign and may not always grant what we ask, even when we have been obedient and have asked for what seems obviously in His will. Read and take ownership of Daniel 3:17.
Father, I am committed to walking in faith on this journey to eternity. Teach me to know my part and to obey You in absolute faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.