Feb 11, 2024. Hebrews 11:1-3

Please click here for the audio and click here for the video links to this message. Please click here to view the bulletin.

THE SUBSTANCE OF FAITH. Hebrews 11:1-3. 2/11/2024. #35.

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

1. The substance of faith

                a. This passage is not a definition, but a description

                                a1. If someone has faith, they will show it

                                a2. Christian faith is not in some unknowable object or entity

                b. Faith is the substance of things hoped for

                                a1. Substance (hypostasis) = “the which is stood on”, underpinned, foundational

                                a2. On what believers’ base faith is real, even if it is unseen (John 3:1-8)

                c. The substance (foundation) of faith is a real God who sent His real Son to die for our sins

                                a1. Belief and trust in the real Son grants the believer real eternal life

                                a2. Belief in the Son is not a hope-so trust without any real evidence

2. The evidence of things not seen

                a. Evidence = conviction or confidence (3:14), test, proof, assurance, certainty, or certitude

                                a1. God has not left us without solid confirmation that His Word and our salvation is sure

                                a2. Those who belittle our faith know nothing of the solid foundation on which we stand

                b. ch. 11 launches into a litany of heroic faithful men and their deeds and testimony

                c. God has left us a solid trail of prophetic proofs

                                a1. Micah 5:2 foretold where He would be born

                                a2. Isaiah 9:6-7 foretold His nature

                                a3. Isaiah 53 foretold His ministry

                                a4. Daniel 9:24-27 foretold the time of His death

                                a5. Isaiah 53 foretold the purpose of His death

                                a7. Psalm 22 foretold the method of His death, including precise events surrounding it

                                a8. Psalm 16:10 foretold His resurrection

                d. The ground on which faith stands is solid

                                a1. It gave the forefathers of faith a good testimony (witness) of that faith

                                a2. The example of the faithful who came before us, fortifies our faith and resolve

                e. The example of the faithful demonstrates that we also can be faithful

3. The invisible revealed

                a. Those things we now see at one time did not exist

                                a1. That which is real at one time was unreal

                                a2. The origin of the universe (lit., ages – aeons) was made out the invisible (things unseen)

                b. Genesis 1 God commanded everything into existence

                                a1. The Word of God framed the material cosmos (the seen world)

                                a2. Without an effective cause for existence, there could be no existence

                c. Since no one was present at the start of all things, we take the explanation of how all things began by faith (no other explanation makes sense)

                d. The components of faith:

                                a1. An effective explanation of existence

                                a2. Adequate evidence proving the tenets of our faith (proof is used of testing metals to see if they are real and pure – gold, silver,…)

                                a3. Acceptance of the Word of God that attests to the validity of our faith

                e. The author desires that the readers move from receiving Christ, to living for Christ

                                a1. To let go of all that hinders faith

                                a2. To lay aside divided loyalties

                                a3. To grow in both the knowledge and the testimony of faith in Christ

                                a4. To stand firm when faith is challenged

Key Passage: John 3:1-8

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”