The Faith Factor: Part One

Hebrews 11: 1- 3

Jesus is presented as: a superior person. (Vss. 1 – 6)

He offers a superior priesthood. (Vss. 2 – 10)  

Now faith is shown to be a superior lifestyle. (Vs. 11)

In Hebrews 10:38 an exhortation is given: “The just shall live by faith.”

In Hebrews 12:1, 2 a challenge is given:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 12:1, 2).

Our faith is based on the loving life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Confidence in Christ’s character is the only eternal basis of ALL faith.

“Belief” and “trust” are two words used frequently in Scripture to identify how we should respond to the Lord.

One Hebrew word for believe is amen. It literally means “to use God as a foundation; to lean on Him.”

Another word translated trust is “batak.” It was originally a wrestling term meaning a “body-slam” or in modern parlance “suplex.” Applied to our faith-life, it means to pick up your problems and body-slam them before the Lord.

At the time of this writing Judaism had deteriorated into a system of works: self-effort, self-salvation, and self-glorification.

It was no longer the faith system God intended.  It was a corruption of what God had designed.  He had no pleasure in it. A new covenant based on faith was instituted.

Faith is spoken of as “the substance of things hoped for.” Our word substance is made up of two words meaning: “to stand” and “under.”  Substance is that which stands under.  It is the superstructure of life.

The faith in God of those spoken of in Hebrews 11 was so strong that they had such “assurance” that they responded as though the things promised were already a reality.

Moses had such faith in Messianic prophecies that he forsook all material things of Egypt which he could see for the Messiah who wasn’t to come for 1400 years (11:26).

Old Testament believers are described in 11:13. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  (Hebrews 11:13)

Now, reflect on these principles and evaluate your faith. Can it be described as giving you assurance to live by?

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance of things to come.”