NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR AUGUST 8, 2021 : TOPIC – THE EXAMPLE OF HEROES OF FAITH.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLIN
Date: Sunday, 8th August, 2021.
TOPIC: THE EXAMPLE OF HEROES OF FAITH.
Devotional Reading : Hebrews 11:32-40.
Background Scripture Reading:
Hebrews 11; 13:1-19.
Lesson Scripture Reading:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
– Hebrews 11:1.
OBJECTIVES: By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
• Define faith as it relates to the passage;
• Mention some biblical examples of heroes of faith;
• Make a commitment to live by faith.
Chris and Alexa Knierim have been friends since 2012. They both attended the same secondary school and university and graduated the same year. Having prayed and received conviction, they got married in 2016. However, after the wedding, Alexa was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal condition. Their dream since the time of their courtship was to compete for Team United States of America (USA) Olympic Games. After three surgeries without improvement, Alexa became afraid that her career was on the verge of ending, but she never lost hope. Even though there were no signs of improvement, Alexa believed strongly that she will surely participate in the 2018 competition. She registered and began to make necessary preparations for the games. Against all odds, Alexa recovered and, with her husband, competed for 2018 games in Pyeon Chang. When she was interviewed about the source of her inspiration, she smiled and said, “When my body was at my weakest point without any hope of healing, according to doctor’s report, my faith was at its strongest. Then I was convinced of my healing. We are just so happy to be alive together to have our dream of making the Olympics come true.”
The author of the book of Hebrews defines faith as being sure of things we hope for and being certain of the things we cannot see (v. 1). Simply put, faith is to believe what God can do without seeing the evidence, just like the case of Alexa. Someone said, it is a life-long attitude of confident reliance on God’s Word. Having warned his recipient of the dangers of losing their faith in Christ, the author of Hebrews gave some examples of Old Testament heroes who kept their faith to the end. This is the focus of our lesson.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. FAITH DEFINED:
The writer of the book addressed many subjects including the need for his readers to keep the faith. The encouragement was necessary because there would be no hope for them if they had lost their faith after becoming Christians. The writer gave a simple definition of faith as having assurance of what we hope for and confident of what we do not see (v. 1). He gave an illustration that it was by faith people of ancient times won God’s approval or were commended. In verse 3, he added that by faith we gain understanding that the entire universe was created by God’s command so that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.
According to the passage, some people in the Old Testament time (men and women) abounded in faith, lived and died accordingly. And so, faith is not mere belief or intellectual understanding, neither is it having premonition about the outcome of something. It is the willingness to trust God and cling to what we hope for, even if the evidence of it is not there. Bruce asserts that just as our physical eyesight is the sense that gives us evidence of the material world, faith is the sense that gives us evidence of the invisible spiritual world. The encouragement to keep faith is for all believers in Christ. When we have faith and do not faint, everything we hope for and dream of, in accordance with the will of God will be accomplished.
1. Discuss the importance of faith in our expectation of God’s promise.
2. How else would you define faith?
B. EXAMPLES OF MEN WHO KEPT FAITH:
The passage gives detailed
example of what faith made possible in the Old Testament, through some individuals. They had different experiences in their relationship with God but had one thing in common faith. Therefore, they have become heroes of faith and are serving as encouragement to contemporary Christians. For example:
▪︎ Abel: It was faith that made him offer a better sacrifice to God than his brother, Cain. He was commended for his righteousness because God Himself approved of his gifts (v.4).
▪︎ Enoch: He was kept from dying because of his faith. lnstead he was taken up to God and no one could see him. lnvariably, Enoch had faith in God because the Scripture says, “No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him” (vv. 5-6).
• Noah: He was able to hear God’s warnings about the impending doom because he had faith. He obeyed God and constructed an ark by which he and his family were saved (v. 7). Eventually, he received from God the righteousness that can only come through faith.
• Abraham: It was faith that made Abraham obey God when he was called to go to a country, which God had promised to give him (v. 8). He left without knowing where he was going. The testimony is that these people lived by hope that was not fulfilled in their time but is now fulfilled in Christ. Consequently, their faith and endurance have become a source of encouragement to all Christians.
It became necessary for the author to give examples of those who demonstrated faith probably because the Jewish Christians were discouraged and thought of giving up their faith in Christ Jesus. They needed testimonies to stir up their faith so as not to be discouraged. When we do this, directly or indirectly, our lifestyle will serve as model or encouragement to others who may be struggling with some challenges.
1. Discuss your understanding of the term ‘Faith as of old.’
2. What is the necessity of faith in your walk with God?
C. AN ENDURING FAITH:
In his description of some Old Testament heroes who had faith, the writer stated categorically in verse 13 that they all died in faith. By implication, they had enduring faith, even though they did not receive God’s promises. They saw the promises from a distance, welcomed them and publicly acknowledged that they were strangers and refugees on earth. Although it appeared they were looking for a home of their own, they did not continue to think about it; otherwise, they would have had a choice to return. Instead, their focus was for a better country (heaven), which God had prepared for them.
These men of faith believed God’s promises concerning the future but these promises were not fulfilled in their lifetime. Despite that, they were not disappointed; rather, the promises became very real to them and they embraced them as something better than what they had already seen. They realised that life is not an end in itself but a pilgrimage towards a better place (a permanent home in heaven), yet to come. They had enduring faith till death, trusting the promises would be fulfilled in future. It is such people with whom God is pleased that are referred
to as heroes of faith. If these heroes of faith endured through difficulty and discouragement without having received the promises, then we have reason to endure. We should always remember that there is a heavenly home, and then keep faith till the end.
1. Explain the concept that we are foreigners and Pilgrims on earth.
2. Why did the men of faith not receive God’s promises and what are some lessons this teaches us?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
• Let each class member mention some heroes and heroines of faith they know.
• Write some lessons they have learned from them.
• We can become examples of faith by our lifestyle.
• Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
• Life is like a fleeting shadow; live it well for others to emulate.
• We do not have faith to escape death, but to enjoy eternity.
• Christians should continue to endure until Jesus’ second coming.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!