Sermon Based Curriculum
Sermon Date: Nov. 8, 2009
Sermon Title: How Faith Works
Sermon Text: Habakkuk 3
Small Group Text: Hebrews 10:32-12:3
The prophet, Habakkuk, was standing on the wall of Jerusalem watching for the impending approach of a ruthless enemy that would destroy his nation. The day was dark and the times were fearful. Habakkuk had his doubts about whether God cared for His people or was even aware of their situation. God responded that the “righteous will live by faith” and that living by faith would be rewarded. But Habakkuk, was wondering whether or not his faith could “hang in there.” When, in your life, has your faith “hung in there” in the face of an extremely difficult situation? The Bible calls this “living by faith.” How do we “live by faith” in our dark and fearful times? The writer of Hebrews (in the New Testament) gives us insight into living a life of faith. In Hebrews 10:38 he quotes from Habakkuk 2:3-4. This encourages us to understand faith as the confidence we have in God’s nature and character, based on the past experiences of God’s people!
1. Read Hebrews 10:32-39. What do verses 32-34 tell us about the “times” in which these followers of Christ were living? (It was a time of suffering; of trials and tribulation for God’s people.)
2. Look at the names in Hebrews 11. Just as Habakkuk’s faith was inspired by a review of God’s mighty works among his people (Habakkuk 3), even so, the writer of Hebrews reviews God’s mighty works among Biblical heros of faith. How would remembering God’s faithfulness help us cope through dark and fearful times? (Reviewing the historical perspective gives us a sense of God’s over-arching plan for the salvation of His people. This does not diminish the brokeness of the world but encourages our hearts that God prevails.)
3. Read Hebrews 12:1-3. What warning is given (v.1) to those who are living by faith in Christ? (To be careful of things that can undermine our faith. i.e., sins that we carry with us or becoming entangled with wordly matters.)
4. What is the difference between “everything that hinders” and “the sin that so easily entangles” (v.1)? (Hinderances are not necessarily sins. They can be emotional baggage or possesions and things of this world. On the other hand, sin is like loose clothing on a runner that can cause us to stumble and fall.)
5. What does it mean to “fix our eyes on Jesus?” (v.2) (Making Jesus the central focus of our lives; acknowledging Him in all our ways.)
6. What is the benefit of remembering what Christ has done? (v.3) (Jesus ran the race of faith. He ran with joy. He endured opposition and did not lose heart. He is our example.)
Describe a time in your life when things seemed dark and fearful and you saw God break through. 2. What are some of God’s promises that might help us persevere through tough times? (Read the following and discover a few of the promises: Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 26:11, 28:20; John 14:2-4, 14:16, 16:33; Romans 8:38-39; Hebrews 13:5.)
3. What specific hindrances or sins might be holding you back as you run the race of faith? 4. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” What step do you need to take in your faith journey this week? • Remember how the Lord has come through in the past • Reflect on His promises as you read His Word • Repent of the sins that entangle you • Release your hold on the things that “hinder” you • Rejoice in the Lord always!