BEING CERTAIN OF THE UNSEEN

Heb. 11: 1-40
FAITH – BEING CERTAIN OF THE UNSEEN

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  [1] The “ancients” were all faithful to God for a salvation they could not see and did not understand, they were confident of what is unseen, and sure of what they hoped for. “By faith we understand…” [2] that God spoke, and everything that is now visible in the universe came into being, that what is now seen was not formed from what may have been visible, but from nothing!
“By faith Abel…” offered a better sacrifice than Cain. The contrast is between a careless, thoughtless choice and a generous offering; and here the attitude of giving to God is implied. God declares that Abel gave “in faith” as opposed to Cain, and God sees and knows the heart of the giver. Abel’s faith still “speaks” even though he is dead [3]
“Enoch… was commended as one who pleased God” Faith is the basis of any belief in God, and to accept the fact that God exists must be on the basis of faith. Faith must have an object, and the object of faith is God, He rewards the faith of those who earnestly seek Him. Without faith it is impossible to please God. [4]
“By faith Noah……” Warned of things not yet seen, he acted in faith and built an ark to save his family and when the flood came his faith was justified. By his faith he condemned the world and became an heir of righteousness. [5]
“By faith Abraham” When called by God obeyed and went even though he did not know where he was going and became a stranger in a foreign country. By faith he became a father (although impossible by human standards) because he considered God to be faithful to His promise. He offered Isaac in faith as a sacrifice (although God did not allow him to complete the act) because in faith he believed that God could raise Isaac back from the dead. [6]
“By faith Isaac…Jacob…Joseph….” “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” [7]
“By faith Moses…..” In faith he was hidden by his parents from Pharaoh’s decree, and when he grew older he refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter choosing “disgrace for the sake of Christ” as a greater value than what Egypt could offer him (he chose to be associated with God’s people). In fleeing from Pharaoh, his faith in God sustained him in the fact that God, in His own time, would liberate the children of Israel from Egypt’s slavery; and so he celebrated the first Passover in faith. [8]
“By faith….” The Israelites passed through the Red Sea; the walls of Jericho fell; the prostitute Rahab was not killed with the other unbelievers. Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets lived their lives in faith and service to God. [9] There are many more heroes of faith recorded in the Holy Scriptures, but the writer gives only a small sample representing all types of men and women whose character displayed one thing in common “who through faith ….conquered
“The world was not worthy of them” Because the world rejected the faith in God that they exhibited. “These were all commended for their faith” Not all the heroes of faith received an immediate reward but they received the commendation and blessing of God, and will be fully rewarded on a future day. “God had planned ….that only together with us would they be made perfect” Christ is the fulfilment of faith to them and us, and we, together with them will be “made perfect”. All those of faith who have gone before us focused their faith on Christ, who to them would come. [10] Today we focus our faith on Christ who has come, and together with them we now have our faith completed in Christ. [11]
Hebrews chapter 11 can be referred to as the “Hall of Fame of the Faithful”, exemplifying faithful believers who have preceded us, and is a record that should encourage all believers in Christ to live faithful lives in light of God’s faithful promises that will never fail.

Scripture References: [1] Heb. 11:1; 3:6; 2 Cor.4:18; [2] Heb. 11:3; Jn.1:3; Heb. 1:2; 2 Pet. 3:5; [3] Heb. 11:4; Gen. 4:3-4; Psa. 139:1-4, 23-24; Heb. 12:24; [4] Heb. 11:5-6; Jer. 29:13; [5] Heb. 11:7; 10:38; [6] Heb. 11:8-12, 17-19; [7] Heb. 11:20-22, 13; [8] Heb. 11:23-28; [9] Heb.11:29-37; [10] Heb. 11:38-40; [11]  Heb. 11:13-16; Jn.11:25-26; Rev. 6:11; Heb. 2:10.  –  NIV       
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