Welcome to the weekly newsletter for Grace Life Church. Every week, we want to give you a midweek reminder on upcoming events, the sermon text for the coming Sunday, and additional content that will encourage you to continue pursuing Jesus everyday. I’m praying the additional content provided on the Grace Life Blog will strengthen your faith in Jesus.
This is also my prayer for our upcoming summer sermon series on Hebrews 11.
The book of Hebrews was written by an unknown author to Jewish believers who were likely slipping back into their Jewish traditions so they could avoid persecution. The author wants to instill in them that Jesus is better. He’s better than angels. He’s better than Moses. He’s better than the Jewish sacrificial system. He’s better than the Old Covenant. Jesus is better because He is the fulfillment of every promise God spoke in the Old Testament. He is our perfect sacrifice, our great High Priest, and the Author and Finisher of our faith.
And faith is what God desires for His people to live by. Right before we read through the list of names in “The Hall of Faith”, we see in Hebrews 10:37-39,
 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;  but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”  But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. (ESV)
Christian people are people who live their lives by faith. We’re not people who “shrink back and are destroyed”, but we are people who have a sincere faith that preserves our souls. That faith is in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. It’s Jesus who preserves our souls. And because of who Jesus is, we live by faith in the Son of God who gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. The Chrisitan life is marked by faith. By faith, we believe in the Triune God of the Bible. By faith, we believe that God keeps His word. By faith, we believe Jesus came, lived a perfect life, died and rose again, ascended into heaven, and will return. By faith, we believe the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Faith is assurance of our hope in Christ and it is the conviction that all things of God are true. And by faith, we live.
But how are we to do this? How are we to live by faith and not shrink in cowardice? This is why Hebrews 11 was written. Faith is a somewhat difficult concept to define and oftentimes is best understood through illustrations and examples. Hebrews 11 describes people who lived out their faith when God commanded them to do something. The chapter is filled with examples of men and women from the Old Testament who have laid hold of their future reward with God. Chapter 11 is intended to deepen our confidence in Jesus, not throw it away. (Hebrews 10:35)
We see the examples of men like Abel and Moses and women like Sarah and Rahab who lived by faith knowing that without faith, it would be impossible to please God. By faith, we also draw near to God, knowing He exists and is a rewarder of those who seek him.
God has called us to live by faith in Him and though we have not seen Him, we believe in Him, and by faith, we live our lives to please Him. As one pastor stated, “Hebrews 11 is full of men and women whose moral and spiritual failings, depravity, and sin give us great hope that only through Christ, in Christ, and because of Christ are we accepted into the kingdom of God!”
As we study Hebrews 11, may our faith be strengthened in the glory of our Savior and our hearts encouraged to walk by faith in Christ alone and not by sight.
Here’s how you can prepare for our weekly sermons through Hebrews 11.
Each week, we’ll share the verses that will be covered in Sunday’s sermon. You can find those verses on your Sunday Sermon notes or in the weekly newsletter. The sermon text will be just a verse or two, so do the work and study out the names of the men and women from Hebrews 11. For instance, when we study the faith of Noah, find out what the Bible says about Noah. You can read about Noah’s life in Genesis 6-9. We won’t tell you where to look; we want you to study on your own!
Pray for the Lord to strengthen your faith in him as we study together Hebrews 11. Pray for the preacher, that he will honor God’s Word and encourage us to seek the Lord. Pray, knowing God’s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11) and His Word is sharper than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).
God speaks to us from His Word and when He speaks to us, we must respond. To not respond is disobedience. Throughout this sermon series, respond to the Lord’s leading in your life. Maybe it’s trusting Him more fully or maybe it’s taking a step to serve Him or others in some capacity. Like Peter stepping out of the boat and onto the water, the Lord calls us out and by faith we obey.
I’m looking forward to studying Hebrews 11 with you and I pray that our faith will be strengthened in Jesus Christ, the One who is at the very center of our Faith.
By His Grace,