Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.…
I. FAITH IS THE CONFIDENT PERSUASION OF UNSEEN THINGS. The word translated " substance" occurs in Hebrews 3:14; 2 Corinthians 9:4; 2 Corinthians 11:17, and is translated "confidence." The word translated "evidence" is from a verb which signifies "to convince." "Faith is the confidence of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
1. Faith is not belief on the evidence of the senses.
2. Faith is not credulity. God is essential truth, then it is reasonable to repose in what He has said.
3. Faith is not a mere assent of the understanding.
II. FAITH IS THE SOURCE OF ALL SPIRITUAL ACHIEVEMENT. "By it the elders" achieved all that this chapter records. Faith was the secret of what they were and did.
1. The New Testament ascribes all Christian life to faith. "Whosoever believeth shall not perish," &c.; "sanctified by faith"; "this is the victory that,"&c.; "wherein believing ye rejoice," &c.; "kept by the power," &c.
2. This is due to the fact that all Christian life is the result of heavenly influences, and faith lifts it into these. It raises the soul into the heavenly world; brings future things near, and makes Christ live before us. The effect of this on our spiritual nature is its development, like that of a tropical plant brought from a cold land into its native clime and proper conditions.
III. FAITH IS THE MEANS OF SECURING THE DIVINE COMMENDATION. "Obtained a good report."
1. This shows our personal responsibility with regard to faith.
2. This is a strong consolation to infirm and secluded believers.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.