Antiquity of Faith
Hebrews 11:1-2
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.…

The "for," like so many "fors" in Scripture, rests upon a word or two unwritten. As if it were said, "A mighty grace" — "An ancient grace" — "A worldwide and an age-long grace" — "for by it" — or rather, "in it," on the subject of it, on the strength of it — "the elders," they of the old time, the saints and servants of God from the very beginning, "obtained a good report"; "were attested," were borne witness of, received an approving testimony, from Him who alone is the faithful and true witness, God Himself in His holy Word. In many things they and we are widely separated. But this verse teaches us the unity of all ages and all countries in one single comprehensive principle. In this "faith," the apostle says, to which I exhort you — his "faith" of which you will have so special a need in these coming days of trial and temptation — in this "faith" they lived and died to whom God in Scripture bore His emphatic testimony: in this, and no other — this same assurance of things not possessed but hoped for — this same discrimination of things not seen nor touched nor handled, yet existing in all the changeless reality of a world indestructible because immaterial, eternal because Divine. If we would ever know unity, we must seek it in the life of faith. Unbelief, like sin — unbelief, which is sin — is division, is disunion, at once. No two unbelievers, no two sinners, can be at one. Unity is to be found only in faith. Two men who are distinctly conscious of one God, one Lord, one Spirit — two men who are resolutely bent upon giving up everything contrary to the Divine Will as they read it — two men who are living holy lives in the pursuit of a life beyond death, everlasting and eternal — are at one with each other, whether they know it or not — for they are both living that life of faith in which the elders, like the men that are now, obtained a good report.

(Dean Vaughan.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

WEB: Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.

An Appeal to the Great Names of the Past
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