Another bible study coming up. This time on Hebrews 11 and 12. The verses chosen are but a guideline. The entire chapter gives the proper line of thought. It´s all about faith as the watchword for this coming 6th Sunday in Lent (Palm Sunday) reminds us:
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”John 3,14f
This faith is no new thing, but comes about as soon as the living God speaks to His people. There and then He creates faith in His words and promises, because He is faithful and does, what He says. When He speaks, it happens. His words are most active and creative in the most dramatic way. Just look at the cloud of witnesses – starting off with Abel. All fixing their eyes on Jesus – the author and perfector of our faith +
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. For by it the people of oldreceived God’s commendation… By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, and he went out without understanding where he was going. By faith he lived as a foreigner in the promised land as though it were a foreign country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirsof the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was too old, he received the ability to procreate, because he regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy. So in fact children were fathered by one man—and this one as good as dead—like the number of stars in the sky and like the innumerable grains of sandon the seashore. .. And these all were commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. For God had provided something better for us, so that they would be made perfect together with us… Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up.Hebrews 11,1-2.(8-12.39-40); 12,1-3
This hymn puts the ideas into just 6 stanzas:
1 Saints, see the cloud of witnesses surround us;
Their lives of faith encourage and astound us.
Hear how the Master praised their faith so fervent:
“Well done, My servant!”
2 These saints of old received God’s commendation;
They lived as pilgrim-heirs of His salvation.
Through faith they conquered flame and sword and gallows,
God’s name to hallow.
3 They call to us, “Your timid footsteps lengthen;
Throw off sin’s weight, your halting weakness strengthen.
We kept the faith, we shed our blood, were martyred;
Our lives we bartered.”
4 Come, let us fix our sight on Christ who suffered,
He faced the cross, His sinless life He offered;
He scorned the shame, He died, our death enduring,
Our hope securing.
5 Lord, give us faith to walk where You are sending,
On paths unmarked, eyes blind as to their ending;
Not knowing where we go, but that You lead us—
With grace precede us.
6 You, Jesus, You alone deserve all glory!Stephen Starke 1955: LSB 667
Our lives unfold, embraced within Your story;
Past, present, future—You, the same forever—
You fail us never!