“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
(Hebrews 11:1; King James Version)
This is the only place in the Bible where Faith is defined. And yet, time and time again we are told about believers having faith and its importance in the life of the believer. The Bible instructs us that we must have faith to be saved.
The eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews captures example after example of men and women who had faith and the results of their faith. This eleventh chapter of Hebrews has been labeled “the Hall of Faith” in the Bible.
As the title of the Book defines, the letter was written to Jews who had accepted Jesus as their Messiah. And having believed, they were enduring great trials of persecution, which could cause some to relapse.
Peter expresses the importance of maintaining faith when faced with times of trials – 1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Others Have Walked In Your Shoes
The writer’s goal is to show that throughout history, others have demonstrated faith! And for those reading this epistle, in the midst of trials there is POWER through FAITH.
It is crucial that the believer knows what faith is. A man without faith cannot please God. Hebrews 1:6:
Hebrews 1:66 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
There may not be a more important verse in the New Testament than Hebrews 11:1. You might say, what about John 3:16 and you would have a good argument. But without faith, there would be no belief. You see salvation is based on faith, repentance, and trust.
John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
Everlasting Life is formed when we “Hear God’s Word, Repent of our Sin and Believe that God Sent His Son as our payment for sin. This requires Faith.
English Standard Version
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Let’s define the words of this verse…
Faith – is a Spiritual reality
Assurance – the quality of confidence which leads one to stand under, endure, or undertake anything.
Hope – expect, in a religious sense, to wait for salvation and joy and full confidence.
Conviction – approve, that by which a thing is approved or tested. “True faith is not based on empirical evidence but on divine assurance, and is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8)”1
Not Seen – metaphorically, to see what the mind’s eye, to discern mentally, observe perceive discover understand.
Christian Standard Bible
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
This video is the sermon of this text. Lakeview Baptist Church, Belton, TX on July 2, 2017.