A Systematic Expository Study on the book of Hebrews
STUDY 38: RECEIVING BETTER THINGS THROUGH FAITH
Hebrews 11: 35 - 40.
Our journey of faith now brings us to the concluding verses of Hebrews chapter eleven. We have seen the faith of patriarchs, prophets, kings, judges and people over a period of thousands of years. We have studied their lives in various circumstances. People of divers spiritual experiences have been presented before us and their faith has challenged, encouraged and exercised positive, active faith in our God.
The people under the Old Covenant were what they were on the basis of their faith in God. They did what they did by faith. We can only be what we ought to be today by manifesting faith in God through Christ. We can only receive and do what God provides and appoints for us by faith in Christ. Believers under the New Covenant have greater possibilities through faith than all those who lived and died under the Old Covenant.
FAITHFULNESS DURING PERSECUTION
Hebrews 11: 35-38; 2 Chronicles 24: 19-21; 36: 16; Jeremiah 38: 6-13; Lamentations 3: 52-55; Psalm 105: 17-19; 1 Samuel 22: 17-19; 1 Peter 1: 7; 4: 12; Romans 8: 35-39.
There were many sides to the faith of the Old Testament men and women. By faith they received great blessings, by faith they also endured great trials and persecutions, the list of what they had to endure is very long, but they endured without denying the Lord. The same faith that saves us also strengthens us to endure persecution. Faith helps the Christian to face persecution and suffer patiently, continuing stedfastly in the Lord. Faith imparts a noble courage as well as peace of mind in the face of difficulties. Faith makes the righteous as bold as a lion, refusing to deny the Lord though threatened by the enemy (Acts 4: 18-20).
There were those who even rejected deliverance, not accepting deliverance, because the freedom was offered on condition that they would forsake the Lord. They were stedfastly refused. They took this noble decision by faith. True faith enables us to remain faithful till death.
FAILURE TO RECEIVE FULL PROVISION
Hebrews 11: 39, 2, 13; Genesis 15: 13-16; Numbers 24: 17; Deuteronomy 34: 1-5; Job 19: 25-27; Matthew 13: 16, 17; 11: 11; 1 Peter 1: 8-12.
The Old Testament believers received great blessings, miracles and mighty things from God but the best was yet to come in the era of the New Testament. The Old Testament is full of signs and wonders, great exploits and spiritual experiences, yet their blessings were limited when compared to the promises made to us in the New Testament. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise (Hebrews 11: 39).
They received what was provided during their dispensation. They could not receive the things that were specially reserved for our dispensation - the Church age - the period after the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Their faith was strong - strong enough to receive what was offered at that time. Now in our time, the better thing is available, and faith can receive all things.
FULNESS OF PROMISE AND PROVISION
Hebrews 11: 40; 2 Peter 1: 3, 4; Romans 8: 32; 1 Corinthians 3: 21; Mark 9: 23; Matthew 21: 22; 6: 33; 1 Timothy 4: 8; John 14: 13, 14; 15: 7, 16.
When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son (Galatians 4: 4). With the coming of the Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, all things, ALL THINGS are now ready for us to ask and receive by faith. Definitely in Christ, God has provided some better thing for us that they (Of the Old Testament) without us (of the New Testament) should not be made perfect (Hebrews 11: 40)
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