May 28

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Having written several articles on “From faith to faith,” it seemed only right that I write an article or two on our personal faith. Let us realize that no two people will have the same, identical faith; meaning that no two people have the same amount of the word of God living in them; thus, no two people believe the same thing in the largest context of faith. Even if we all sit under the same teacher, we would not all learn the same amount of what was being taught. However, that being said, there are things we all must believe and here, we all believe the same things, the more knowledge, the more faith!
With the above in mind, let us turn our attention to a most beautiful text, which reads: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report” (11:1-2). The number of articles written and the volume of sermons that have been preached on this text could fill a library. For me to think that I can cover it in one article is most presumptuous of me, to think that I can do so in one article; therefore, expect more than one article.
Chapter eleven starts with the word “now,” as in continuing in faith and reveals what “faith” is as used in the inspired scripture is now seen; therefore, it is the “substance.” Faith is built upon what we have not seen but is nevertheless, the substance, the Greek “hupostasis” and “a setting under (support)” (Strong) of our faith. Thus, “faith” in one sense is the foundation upon which other things are built that relate to our salvation. It is remarkable how some people look at faith, but these are far from the faith as revealed in the Bible.
Now, to the text we shall go! First question: “Have you ever wondered just what the “now” means in this text? More than likely your answer is, “no!” But this is the stuff that articles and sermons are made of. The Greek word is “de” or “deh,” which is “A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.: – also, and, but, moreover, now [often unexpressed in English].” (Strong). Here it is not looked over but is in the text, and identities a continuation of the thought at the end of chapter ten, which reads: “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Chapter ten ends with believing and not drawing back unto perdition. Therefore, chapter eleven reveals what faith is and what it does in us. Of course, the most well-known is verse six: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Thus, our salvation stands upon our faith, as in what we believe! There is no room for what is called “a leap in the dark” kind of faith which is no faith at all. Our writer clearly states that “faith is the substance of things hoped for” but “hope” describes something we do not now have; nevertheless, we firmly stand upon it! This reveals the importance of “faith,” as defined in scripture! It stands upon what we have not seen! Nevertheless, we believe in it! “Faith” is also “the evidence of things not seen.” The Greek word used here is “elegchos” and means “proof, conviction.” Does your life reveal enough that someone would convince another to take a look at why you believe as you do? It should! As “faith is the substance of things, hoped for!” Hope is something you do not have but you are patiently waiting for! If there is no “substance” there is no real faith, as it is only make believe! There are folks who even gladly boast that their faith is “a leap in the dark!” The inspired writers of the New Testament knew nothing of such! Just how do you justify your faith? Is it, “Better felt than told?” The writer of the Hebrew letter knew nothing, no not one thing, of such! Paul did write that some had removed themselves from the gospel of Christ unto something else, but it was never the gospel of Christ in the first or even in the second place!
Yes, we will write at least one more article under the above title. Of course, you knew this at the beginning, “Yes!” Faith is truly a great subject and yet is so greatly miss-understood! Remember, without faith, there is no pleasing, no acceptability, with God! Do you believe, have faith, that God is? What is your evidence? Is your faith so evidenced that you can convince another that God exists?

Frank R. Williams

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