Untitled Sermon (2)
H begins, “ Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the convictions of things not seen. For by it 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” (vv. 1-3).
aith is the assurance of things hoped for, the convictions of things not seen. For by it 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” (vv. 1-3).
begins, “ Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the convictions of things not seen. For by it 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” (vv. 1-3).
the entire chapter deals with the supremacy and superiority of faith. It confronts the Pharisaism of first -century Judaism, which taught that righteousness, forgiveness from sins, and ultimate salvation could be achieved only through a rigorous system of meritorious works. Jewish tradition had so twisted God’s law that most Jews saw it as the way to earn favor with God. Even after being shown the basic truths of Christ, some of the Hebrews were unwilling to abandon their religion based on works of -righteousness.
Works-based salvation is and always has been despised by God (cf. ; ; ; tim. 1:9; ). God has never redeemed man by works, but always by faith (cf. ). “The righteous will live by faith” ( ), is not a truth about the New Covenant alone. As makes clear, from Adam on, the instrument of God’s salvation has been faith, not works. Works are a by product faith, never a means of salvation.
is quoted three times in the New testament: , , and . Romans explains what is meant by “righteous.” Galatians is something of a commentary on the words “will live plumbs the depths of the phrase “by faith.”
forms a bridge from and its great theme of justification by faith. The saints named in chapter 11 are examples of people who were justified by faith and lived by faith. Faith is both the way to life and the way to live. Faith is the only ; without it no one can please God (v. 6).\
What is faith? “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). that verse is a couplet of Hebrew-style poetry. It defines faith in two parallel and almost identical phrases. It is not meant to be full theological definition. Nevertheless, all the crucial elements that summarize the biblical doctrine of faith are suggested by this verse and examples of faith that follow.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Faith transports God’s promises into present tense. In other words, real faith implicitly takes God’s at His word. Faith is a supernatural confidence in—and therefore reliance on—the one who made the promise. It is not an uncertain hope for something that may come to pass in a vague, indefinite hereafter. It is a trust that brings absolute here-and -now certainty to “things hoped for.”
The word translated “assurance.” (Gk., hupostasis ) appears two other times in Hebrews. In 1:3 it is rendered “nature” in the phrase “exact representation of His nature,” speaking of Christ’s likeness to the Father. In 3:14 the word is “assurance,” as in 11:1. It refers to essence, substance, real content —reality as opposed to mere appearance . hupostasis is made up of stasis “to stand” and hupo “under.” it refers to a foundation, the ground on which something is built. A Greek dictionary notes that hupostasis was used in ancient Greek literature as a legal term referring to “documents bearing on the ownership of a person’s property, deposited in archives, and forming the evidence of “ ownership.” That is the sense conveyed in . The Greek dictionary offers this translation: “Faith is the title -deed of things hoped for.”
In a similar vein, the King James Version’s rendering of is a good one: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith, far from being ambiguous or unsure, is concrete conviction. It is the present confidence of a future reality, “the assurance of things hoped for.”
The assurance this verse describes is not personal assurance of salvation but rather absolute certainty with regard to the gospel message. It is saying that faith is a God -wrought conviction about the truth of the Bible’s promises and the trustworthiness of Christ. The verse is not saying that faith automatically guarantees full assurance of one’s personal salvation.
faith is not like the everyday faith that we speak of. We drink water out of a faucet, believing it is safe. We drive our automobiles in freeway traffic , trusting that the brakes will work. We submit to the surgeon’s knife and the dentist’s drill by faith. We believe in the basic integrity of our government leaders. the capacity for that kind of faith is intrinsic to human nature. But it is not the faith describes.
to begin with, natural faith rests on an object that is not necessarily reliable. The water might actually tainted. The brakes could fail. Surgeons do make mistakes. The President probably will default on some of his campaign promises.