Sunday School Material 9-9-12: Faith Gives Assurance

(Hebrews 11:1-6; Psalms 94:1-11; 9/9/12)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God’s people are urged to live by faith. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live by faith.

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Read Hebrews 11:1-6

I. Faith that Pleases God. In our Sunday School material the author talks about the essence of faith. He (i.e., assuming a male author) then talks about examples of people with faith. Abel and Enoch are mentioned. And then the necessity of faith is highlighted.

Applications –

- Faith development. Notice in vs. 1 of our Sunday School material that faith is a certainty about what is not seen. Here then is why reason and faith can be at odds with one another.

Reason wants to act because of what it sees. Faith acts in spite of what is not seen. As believers, we are called to walk by faith, not by sight. There are some things that call for us simply trusting God’s promises, in spite of not seeing how it is going to work out.

Some tither who is reading these notes know that there are times that we write our check and trust God to take care of the rest. Let’s work on developing our faith. Prayerful study and obedience with the fellowship of other disciples will help in this area.

- God the creator. Notice in vs. 2 of our Sunday School material that the idea of God creating the world is a faith situation. Where as science looks to the “big bang” theory and evolution, Christians look to God being the creator, by faith.

However, when we really think it through, it takes more faith to believe in the big bang and evolution theories than to believe that God created the world. The big bang theory is a bang without a “banger.”

Evolution cannot explain why we have elephants and gnats. If the strong survive and the weak perish, the gnat should have been gone.

However, when God is viewed as the creator, we have our “banger” and we have the reason for the gnats and elephants, God sustains them both.

Let’s trust that God is the creator. An additional benefit of God being the creator is that He can creator today whatever His children stand in need of.

- Faith based giving. Notice in vs. 4 that Abel was commended for the faith he showed in his giving. There are too many church goers who claim to have faith and claim to be so faithful, but their giving is short.

Real faith includes giving. Matthew 6:21 clearly teaches that where one’s treasures are is where one’s heart is. Let’s work on exercising our faith in our giving.

Every believer should give at least 10% of their income to the Lord by giving to the church where in they are being fed. This 10% is not because of the Law but because of our love for God and His work.

- Faith based living. Notice in vs. 6 our of Sunday School material that faith is needed to please God. Faith supposes that God does exist. Faith supposes that there are rewards for obeying God.

Our faith is demonstrated much more by how we live than by what we say. To believe that God exists and that He rewards those who obey Him should translate into obeying Him with the expectation of blessings.

To say that we believe and then live in continued and willful sin is not consistent. Let’s work on living like we believe God exists and rewards those who obey Him.

Read Psalms 46:1-11

II. Faith that Recognizes God. In our Sunday School material the writer talks about his confidence in God. God is pictured as a mighty protector and provider for His people. Faith in Him destroys or at least overrides fear of circumstances.

Applications -

- Faith for the rough spots. Notice in vss. 1-3 that because of who God is those who belong to Him can choose not to fear the circumstances that they find themselves in. Because God is our refuge, strength, and help, we have a choice.

We can choose to stay fearful of what we see or we can choose to be confident in what we believe. Believers are urged to keep the faith and be confident in what we believe about God’s love for us. Let’s work on developing the faith needed to help us get through the rough spots of life.

- Trusting the Commander and Chief. Notice in vss. 4-11 that God, the commander and chief of His army, has taken up residence among His people. There are great blessings, as figured by water, in a land that is often short on clean water.

God’s military presence means that we don’t have to panic or be afraid of military or terrorist threat. However, it is important for us to be still and know that God is the commander and chief. It is important for us to be soldiers of the Lord. There are too many how fight the war and military imagery of the Bible.

But here is a clear text on God being the commander and chief. Thus, we are to be good soldiers. Let’s learn to be soldiers of God who trust Him to take care of His own.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living by faith. God has much for those who obey His will.

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