These small group Bible studies of Hebrews contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Hebrews 11:1-7 Inductive Bible Study Lesson With Discussion Questions

Title: We must have faith to please God

Discussion Questions

  • How does this chapter relate to chapter ten?
  • How does it relate to chapter 12, specifically 12:1?
  • What, exactly, is faith? How would you define it?
  • What does “assurance” mean? What are the things which you hope for?
  • Where does faith come from? What are the possible sources by which you would believe something? When talking about believing people, when might you believe someone and might you disbelieve them? What gives someone credibility?
  • What does conviction mean? What are the things which we don’t see that as Christians we believe in?
  • What does verse 2 show pleased God a long time ago? Do you think we please God the same way today?
  • What is one essential aspect of our faith in God (verse 3)?
  • Why was Able’s sacrifice better than Cain’s?
  • What “gifts” are referred to?
  • How does he still speak to us?How about the other OT characters in this chapter? How do they speak to us? What does this tell us about the purpose of the Bible in recording the life stories of these people? Can we learn anything from this about the importance of our own actions?
  • What was the world like when Enoch lived? At that time what might the excuses have been for not having faith in God?
  • What does it mean that he was taken up? What does this show us about God? Are there any lessons we can learn from this?
  • What do we learn from verse 6? How can our faith grow stronger? What do you think you need to do to follow the principles in this passage on faith?

Cross-References

Verses on faith:

Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Matthew 6:30-33 – Of little faith, seek first, and all these will be added.

Matthew 17:20 – He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Romans 1:17 – For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Romans 10:10 – For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Longer passages on faith:

James 2:14-26 – Classic teaching on the relationship between faith and works.

Luke 6:46-49 – If call Him Lord need to do what He says, build on the solid foundation.

Luke 7:1-8 – The centurion shows amazing faith.

Hebrews 11 – The faith in action of the patriarchs

Original passages for reference –

Genesis 4:1-15 – Cain and Able

Genesis 5:18-24 – Enoch

Quote: An eccentric philosopher of New England in the last century, Henry David Thoreau said, “If I seem to walk out of step with others, it is because I am listening to another drum beat.” And that is what faith is like. It is like we are walking to the beat of a different drum.

Teaching Points

1.What is faith? – Faith is not irrational. Neither is it a blind faith. Some believers have the idea that God wants them to close their eyes and suspend their reason and take a wild leap of faith. Some think that this is very spiritual. No. God gave us our minds for a reason. I am sure your mother probably said something like this, “God gave you a mind, now use it!” God gives us evidence of His existence in many forms including creation (Psalm 19). Jesus often told people about various evidences why they should believe in Him (the most notable being the Sign of Jonah.) Gideon asked for a sign and God gave it to him, even more than one. God never asks us to believe in spite of all reason and evidence.

Our faith is reasonable and logical. It is not, however, 100% provable. There are many reasons to believe in God’s existence. It cannot however be 100% proven. That is where faith comes in. Faith is being convinced of something that is not seen. While there are evidences or reasons to believe in the thing that is unseen, some amount of faith is still necessary.

In verse 2 we see this when we read that “by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

2.Abel – Abel’s sacrifice was clearly better than Cain’s since God accepted it but not Cain’s. The Bible is not very clear on what God had spoken to them about the sacrifices they should give or what guidance they had. However, it is reasonable to assume that God had probably communicated with them somehow the types of sacrifices He expected.

And Cain offered something different. He was much like Aaron’s sons who offered “strange fire” before the Lord (Leviticus 10:1) and thus his was the first man-made religion.

3. Enoch – See Genesis 5:18-24. The text gives us little information beyond the important statement that Enoch “walked with God.” This was the time right before the flood when the thoughts of people’s hearts were evil continually. The generation at that time was probably even much more wicked than today. It had been a long time since the Garden of Eden. The stories Adam must have passed down to his descendants were getting old. Likely nobody had interacted with God for a long time. Neither did He regularly come down like He did when Adam and Eve were in the Garden. While most people surely mocked the idea of God and scorned Him whom they couldn’t see, Enoch was the exception. He followed the light when most people sought to extinguish it. Thus God took him straight up to heaven.

4. What do people place faith in? – Everyone has faith. The question is where is that faith placed? So called scientists who teach evolution as fact make many wild and unsubstantiated assumptions. By faith they accept that something (the big bang) came out of nothing. By faith they accept that life began randomly (when and where and how they know not). By faith they accept that energy came from non-energy by itself.

Every time you step on a plane, you exercise faith in the pilot whom you have never seen. You choose to place your faith in that company’s training and hopefully strict standards.

Every time you get on a busy, you exercise faith in the driver whom you have never met.

When you sit down on a chair, you exercise faith that it will hold you up.

By faith you probably don’t even always check your bank account on salary day knowing that the money will turn up.

Faith is part of our everyday life. Those who deny the need for faith are kidding themselves. What will you place your faith in? The heroes in this chapter chose to place their faith in God. And their examples are still recorded for us here to inspire us in our own walks with the Lord.

4.Faith in action. – Here in this chapter we see many examples of godly men and women who exercised amazing faith in difficult situations. But there are such people around us in the world today as well.

Class Discussion: Can you give extra-biblical examples of believers who have demonstrated great faith in God through their actions? Spend a few minutes and go around the group and ask each person to share an example of a believer they know who showed great faith in God in the modern world.

5.Actions that show lack of faith. – Unfortunately there are also actions which some believers do which show a lack of faith in God. What examples can you think of? When a believer does something wrong to keep his job instead of trusting God it is a lack of faith. Worry about the future is a lack of faith. Leaning on our own understanding instead of praying is a lack of faith.

7. If a believer came up to you and said, “I want to grow in my faith in God, how can I?” what would you say?

Application: What can you do in the coming week to increase your faith? Do you need to take any leaps of faith?

Study Hebrews 11:7-19

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