The Why of Faith Study Guide

The Why of Faith Study Guide

“It is better to have God’s approval, than the world’s applause: there is a time shortly coming when a smile from God’s face will be infinitely better than all the applause of men: how sweet will that word be, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  – Thomas Brooks

John 5:39-47
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. 41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

  • According to Jesus in this passage, where is the only place true life is found?
  • What do you think Jesus is saying in verse 44?
    • In what ways do we often care about honor from each other over honor from God?
  • How do you think we can be honored by God?

Hebrews 11:30-40
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

  • This chapter is often called the “hall of faith,” describing those believers who did great things for God by faith. According to verse 39, what did all of these people acquire through their faith?
    • What would you say is a “good testimony”? How valuable is a “good testimony”?
  • Do you think you can obtain a good testimony apart from faith? Why or why not?
    • Ask God to speak to you about the testimony of your own life that is being written.

John 12:42-50
42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. 44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

  • Based on this passage, there were those who believed in Jesus, but they did not confess Him. What was the reason?
    • What do you think it meant to be “put out of the synagogue”?
      • Can you think of any modern day comparisons in our lives today for being “put out of the synagogue”?
  • Are there any areas in your own life where the approval of man is affecting the way that you live?
    • Take a few minutes and ask the Lord to forgive you for seeking honor from man over honor from Him. Pray that you would love and seek the praise of God over all others. Ask Him to show you areas where you might need to step out and overcome the fear of man.

Psalm 91:14-15
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

  • In this passage God tells us that He will protect and honor us when we do what?
    • What do you think it means to set your love on Him?
      • Many times we have a shallow definition of love today. Is setting our love on God a feelings based decision or a faith based decision?
  • How can you choose to set your love on God today?

Daniel 11:32
32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

  • What do you think it means to “know your God”?
    • Why are those who know their God strong?
  • Do you feel like you are working towards accomplishing great exploits for God’s glory? Why or why not?
    • Ask the Holy Spirit to begin to speak to you about the plans and the purposes that He has for you to carry out. Ask Him to show you if there is anything hindering you from working towards this purpose, and ask Him to give you faith to accomplish even more for Him than you thought you could.


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