Hall of Faith: Part 1 – Hebrews 11

August 1, 2023

Hall of Faith: Part 1 – Hebrews 11

Listen to last week’s sermon: Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11.


Welcome to the beginning of our sermon series, “Hall of Faith,” where we will dive into the inspiring accounts found in Hebrews chapter 11. In this series, we will explore the lives of men and women who exemplified extraordinary faith, which earned them a place in God’s hall of recognition—the hall of faith.

The Significance of Hall of Fame

To be included in any hall of fame, one must have achieved something remarkably exceptional. Such recognition is usually reserved for individuals who have left a significant impact or achieved remarkable success in a particular field. Just like the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Ohio honors outstanding football players, coaches, and contributors, or the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in New York acknowledges exceptional baseball players and managers, God has His own hall of fame—His hall of recognition, which is the hall of faith.

Faith – The Key to Commendation

In Hebrews 11, the author presents a series of accounts from the Old Testament that showcase men and women who demonstrated extraordinary faith in God. These individuals are commended and celebrated not for their external achievements, such as great voices, talents, or skills, but for their unwavering trust and reliance on God—faith.

The repetition of the phrase “by faith” throughout the chapter highlights the central theme and key characteristic of those in God’s hall of faith. Their faith is the defining attribute that earned them commendation and recognition from God. Let’s delve deeper into what this means and why faith is the key to commendation.

The Definition of Faith

Hebrews 11:1 provides us with the definition of faith:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith involves a deep conviction or certainty about things that are not immediately visible or apparent to the physical senses. It goes beyond what can be perceived with the eyes or touched with the hands.

The definition of faith, as outlined in Hebrews 11:1, reveals that it is a powerful and profound concept. It encompasses the assurance of things hoped for, meaning that faith gives us confidence in the promises and blessings we eagerly anticipate from God. Moreover, it is the conviction of things not seen, indicating that faith involves a profound belief in the unseen, spiritual realities that transcend the physical world. Faith allows us to trust in the existence and work of an invisible, yet real, God who orchestrates events and guides our lives. It empowers us to look beyond the limitations of our physical senses and embrace a deeper level of trust in the divine, transcendent Creator. In essence, faith is the bridge that connects us to the unseen realm and propels us to live with confidence, hope, and assurance in God’s faithfulness and love.

Faith Can Believe Before Seeing

Faith’s ability to believe before seeing is a powerful aspect of our spiritual journey. While we may not have physically witnessed the creation of the universe, faith allows us to embrace the profound truth that God, through His Word, brought everything into existence. It is an acknowledgment that the world’s complexity and order are not products of chance but deliberate acts of a wise and divine Creator. Choosing to believe in God’s intentional design requires a leap of faith, and yet, it is a more logical and reasonable perspective than attributing everything to random chance. Faith encourages us to transcend the limitations of our physical senses and embrace the unseen realities, confidently trusting in God’s sovereignty over all things. It fosters a deeper connection with the Creator, inspiring awe and reverence for His wisdom and power, and motivating us to live our lives with purpose and hope, knowing that our lives are intricately woven into His grand design.

See Hebrews 11:1, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Romans 4:17-18, John 20:29, Psalm 33:6-9, Hebrews 11:3.

Faith as the Key to the Unseen World

Faith acts as the key that opens the door to the unseen world. While our physical eyesight provides evidence of the material world, faith serves as the “sense” that gives us evidence of the invisible, spiritual realm. It allows us to believe in the existence of God, the Creator of the universe, even though we may not have physically witnessed the act of creation. Faith enables us to perceive God’s presence, power, and divine plan, guiding us to trust in His wisdom and guidance. As we cultivate and exercise our faith, we can experience a deeper connection with God and navigate the unseen world with confidence, knowing that He is the One who holds all things together and leads us into a meaningful and purposeful life.

Faith Requires Patience and Waiting

While faith can move mountains and conquer fears, it’s not always about instant results. God’s timing is flawless, and sometimes we may not see the answers to our prayers right away. However, we can trust that God is working behind the scenes, aligning everything according to His divine plan. Faith is bold, daring, and believes in the impossible with God.

The True Reward of Faith

In Hebrews 11, the emphasis is not so much on people obtaining what they hoped for but on the fact that they had faith. The true reward in God’s hall of faith is that these individuals received commendation from God. They pleased God by their unwavering faith, and their testimony was that they died in faith, having fought the good fight until the end.

Amaze Jesus with Your Faith

Faith can amaze Jesus. Just as Jesus was amazed by the Roman centurion’s faith in His ability to heal, He is also amazed when He finds faith in unexpected places and disappointed when He doesn’t find faith where He expected it. Jesus is pleased when His children believe in Him, trust His power and ability, and live by faith.

As we embark on this sermon series, let us be inspired by the men and women in God’s hall of faith. These were ordinary people like you and me, but they dared to place their faith in an extraordinary God. Their stories of faith, sacrifice, obedience, and perseverance serve as relatable role models for us in our journey of faith. Let us grow our faith by hearing the word of Christ, persisting in prayer, and meeting together for encouragement. May we, too, be commended for our faith and live our lives as a pleasing aroma to God.

Watch here

hall-of-faith-hebrews11Study questions to take this further in a group

1. Share a personal experience where your faith was tested, and you had to believe before seeing the outcome. How did this experience impact your understanding of faith?

2. Reflect on the lives of the individuals mentioned in Hebrews 11. What common traits do they possess in their faith journey? How can you emulate their examples in your own life?

3. How can you encourage one another in the group to persevere in faith, especially during challenging times or periods of waiting for God’s promises?

4. Discuss practical strategies to grow your faith through hearing and studying God’s Word, as well as by gathering together regularly for prayer and mutual support.

5. How can your small group foster a strong sense of community and support, inspiring one another to persevere in faith and trust in God’s promises?

6. Share instances in your life where you have experienced the tangible impact of faith and trust in God. How did these experiences strengthen your faith?

7. Discuss the concept of faith as the “assurance of things hoped for” and the “conviction of things not seen.” How can you apply this understanding to various aspects of your lives and relationships?

8. In what areas of your life do you struggle to exercise faith and trust in God’s timing and wisdom? How can your small group provide encouragement and accountability to surrender control and rely on God’s grace?

9. Reflect on the idea that faith is not just about obtaining what we hope for, but it is also about living a life that pleases God. How can your small group collectively align your desires, actions, and priorities with God’s will to honor Him through your faith journey?