Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 11

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1

Many people consider Hebrews chapter 11 to be one of the greatest chapters in the Bible. The chapter begins with an astonishing statement. Faith is reality, the author writes.

And that statement surprises us very much. Faith is about things that we do not yet have. Faith is about the things that we hope for. Or, it is about things that we cannot see. Such things hardly seem to be reality or proof of anything.

Faith means active belief and trust. But clearly, the author does not mean that we can believe anything. Very many things that people believe will disappoint them. They trust in things that cannot help them.

When the Bible speaks about faith, it always means faith in God. And the reason for that faith is the promises that God has given in the Bible.

God will do everything that he has promised to do. That fact is certain. It is as certain as if he has already done those things. So those future things are already reality. Christians can trust Godís promises completely. In other words they can have faith in God's promises.

By faith, they have evidence of the things that they cannot yet see. By faith, the things that they hope are reality. They are waiting for God to establish his rule on this earth. They are waiting for God to free them from all the evil things that happen in this world. And they do not hope in vain. God has promised to do these things. And the person who has faith in God is sure about these things. God cannot disappoint him.

Next part: Faith in the Old Testament (Hebrews 11:2)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.