Monday, June 08, 2015

Heb 11:1 Substance and Assurance

There are few chapters in the Bible where words are defined. Off-hand, I can think of two. The Love chapter and the Faith chapter. Why must God define faith for us?  Why did he decide to define faith or love after the death of Christ?  Both faith and love are important.
The faith chapter makes sure that we will not misunderstand what faith is and does, and how true faith appears. It is a strange definition, filled with examples rather than the definitions and synoyms. It begins with definitions, to be sure. And there are definitely words that give us a clue to what true faith is. But he defines faith by showing examples.  A picture and a story are worth a thousand definitions.
So, faith is confidence. A primarily spiritual expectation of good. It is assurance. It is not mental confidence but an emotional rest and trust in God's word, love, and character. Faith is also substance. It exists and has a reality. In the spiritual realm, words and thoughts have an existence and a reality that we cannot understand from our earthly human mind.  Faith is spiritual matter and it has action and power that we can only understand as we do faith. Faith is not merely belief. Belief is rational. Faith is from the heart.
Because we cannot fully comprehend what faith is, the Holly Spirit uses the Apostle Paul to give examples of what faith is and how faith works.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Heb 11:1 NLT
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see.
Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.
And faith is of things hoped for a confidence, of matters not seen a conviction,

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