Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 11

Faith in the Old Testament

Hebrews 11:2

Faith is the evidence of the things that we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). That is, evidence of things that God has promised to do.

And if faith is the evidence, God himself is the witness. He alone sees our faith. And like a witness in a court, God declares that the evidence (faith) is good, and right, and proper. Faith means active belief and trust in Godís promises. Our faith pleases God. In fact, it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). We must trust him.

That is what Godís loyal servants in the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible) did. They had faith, and God approved of them. That is what the author of Hebrews says.

This verse (Hebrews 11:2) is a brief account of the lives of the holy men and women in the Old Testament. But the way that the author emphasises faith may surprise us. That is because the Old Testament hardly even mentions the word Ďfaithí. It describes what these holy men and women did. But it does not say whether they acted in faith, or not.

The author of Hebrews has made his statement Ė and clearly, he must now prove it. He must show us that faith really was important in the Old Testament. So, he must show how these men and women were acting in faith. We want to see that these men and women believed God. But it is not enough merely to believe (James 2:19). So we need to see also that they were trusting God. And we want to see that their belief and trust in God were the reasons for their actions. If these things were so, then these people had faith.

The authorís answer is in the rest of Hebrews chapter 11.

Next part: Faith in Godís word (Hebrews 11:3)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.