Faith. What does it mean? How does it work? Where does it come from? In this series of articles, I’d like to look at Hebrews chapter 11 as it is a chapter all about faith; what faith is and how it works.
Paul said we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Hebrew writer said that without faith we cannot be pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6). Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by listening to God’s Word. And as James said, faith without works is dead (James 2:17). We have to know what faith is. Obtain it. And use it.
In Hebrews 11:1-3, faith is explained for us: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” [ESV].
God has given us His Word. He has revealed to us everything we need to know about who we are, why we’re here, and where we’re going. But do we believe Him? If we do believe Him then that’s where faith comes in. It is the confidence, the assurance that there is hope. That God has provided for us an eternal home with Him in Heaven. It means that even though we haven’t seen God or seen Heaven we are completely convinced and convicted by the evidence that it’s all true. We have weighed the evidence as seen in God’s creation. We understand that the whole universe was made by God from nothing. God caused it to exist. He made it all. We have examined the evidence of God’s Word. And we confidently live our lives by that faith in obedience to God.
The Old Testament is not a book of bedtime stories. It is not just a book about God’s Law. It is a book about those who lived the same earthly life that we are now. Their lives are recorded as examples for us. Both good and bad. We learn from them what it is to believe and have faith. What it is to live by that faith. There are many men and women in history that were pleasing to God. God commended them. He accepted them. Because they lived by faith. That’s what we should want.
For the next couple of weeks we are going to look at many examples of faith to show us what real faith looks like and how it works. So that we can have the same kind of faith and make it work in our lives to the glory of God. Seeing isn’t believing; believing is seeing. Let’s look to God and walk by faith.