- Faith deals with things unseen and things future, and, in particular, with the living God and his faithful doing (verses 1, 6). It is sure of the present reality of the one, and of the coming fulfilment of the other. Notice in detail how these characteristics of faith were exhibited in the lives of the individuals mentioned here. What does this tech me I need to desire if my life is to please God?
- Verses 7-16. To what should faith in God pay attention, and what does its full expression involve? Where is the crowning fulfilment of its hopes to be enjoyed? How should such awareness affect my present outlook, action and attitude to life?
- Verses 17-19. What apparent contradiction was involved (as Abraham at first saw it) between God’s promise and God’s command concerning Isaac? How di Abraham’s faiths in God triumph over this test, and what new hope did Abraham have in God?
- Verses 23-28. Note how Moses’ faith gave him the twofold awareness and assurance emphasized in verse 1. What choices did such faith lead him to make: (a) concerning the world in which he had grown up, and (b) concerning the cost of siding with the Israelites? How ought similar faith to affect my attitude towards the interests to which I choose to devote my life?
- Verses 28-31. What different steps of faith and its expression are illustrated by these four instances? What kind of faith did the capture of Jericho demand? Cf. 3:14; 6:11, 12; 10:35, 36. Is my faith at all weak in this last quality?
- Verses 32-40. These verses give a summary of the achievements and the sufferings of the men and women of faith. Note that the victories are of all kinds; and that the most outstanding witness is given by the ‘martyrs’ who suffered and died rather than deny their faith. In what ways am I more privileged than they? Would I be ready to follow their example, or does their faith put mine to shame?
- Verse 1-4. What quality does the Christian race particularly demand? What conditions must be fulfilled if it is to be run successfully? How can I gain the help I need to finish the course?
- Verse 5-11. For what purpose does God in his providence order some of the earthly experiences to his children? What goal has he in view for us? On what kind of response from us does our full enjoyment of benefit depend?
- Verses 12-17. What dangers beset those who are spiritually slack and careless? How may a whole group be affected by one renegade? What practical step to avoid these danger are (either explicated or implicitly) given here?
- Verses 18-24. List the ways in which our Christian privileges under the new covenant excel the experiences of the Israelites at Sinai. Of what ought we by faith deliberately to be conscious when we drew near to God through Christ and his shed blood?
- Verses 25-29. What is here said to be impending and inescapable? How do we know this? Cf. Mark 13:31; 2 Pet. 3:9-14 How, in consequence, ought we to live our present earthly lives?
- List in detail the various aspects of Christian duty which are enjoined or implied here. Examine your own life and circumstances in order to discover ways in which your practical obedience is demanded.
- Verses 5, 6, 8. What makes the Christian adequate to face every possible circumstance? Why is there for them nothing to fear, and no-one who can really harm them? What use can they make of the Old Testament Scriptures for their encouragement?
- Verse 7. In what ways should Christian leaders, whose life on earth has ended, be remembered?