“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
---End of Scripture verses---
Faith is assurance. Faith is conviction. Even though we cannot see the end result of what we hope for, by faith we know that God will do what He has promised, therefore we must do what He has commanded. Faith is not blind; in fact it is forward “looking”. We can firmly believe in God and His promises because He has made His existence, power, goodness and faithfulness “visible” by the things He has made and the good that He has done.
By faith we “understand” that God spoke the “worlds” into existence (verse 3). People of faith are keenly aware that there is much more within the vast realm of existence than meets the human eye. Biblical faith produces a clear and calm comprehension within our minds that an eternal, all-powerful Spirit is the best answer for the creation and existence of the physical universe. Some of the ancient patriarchs (“the men of old”) are set forth as models of faith which we are to emulate today if we want to gain God’s approval.
The author does not give us a comprehensive definition of what faith is but he does give us brief glimpses into what people of faith do (not just what they believe). People of faith, like Abel, offer the very best sacrifices they have to give to God (verse 4) and take His authorized forms of worship very seriously. People of faith, like Enoch, love the Lord with all their heart, mind and strength, therefore they put their very heart and soul into “pleasing God” (verse 5). People of faith, Like Noah, have “reverence” for the Lord and do His will no matter how difficult the task may seem (verse 7).
When people of faith serve God according to the dictates of inspired revelation they “condemn the world” and receive His reward. They condemn the world by their actions and not with harsh words of contempt and derision (verse 7), and they please their “Rewarder” (verse 6) by diligently seeking and giving priority to His kingdom and righteousness above all earthly endeavors. We can be faithful like righteous Abel, godly Enoch and steadfast Noah if we choose to be. Turning away from the Lord who owned them was not a consideration to these loyal servants. God’s people of faith do not quit.
Please read Hebrews 11:8-12 for tomorrow.
Have a great day!
- Louie Taylor