Vol 2 - No 11, August 16, 2005
Faith - a recap overview of Hebrews 11 to date and look forward:
In Hebrews 10:3434 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
the author of the epistle acknowledges the compassion that those to whom he wrote had on him in prison and the pillage of their own belongings, with the knowledge they had better and everlasting wealth in heaven. He encouraged them to have patience, with the confidence that after they had done God's will they would receive the heavenly promise, Hebrews 10:35 & 3635 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
, assuring them of the Lord Jesus Christ's imminent return. - Hebrews 10:3737 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
. They are reminded that the just shall live by faith and those who believe do not draw back from this faith in order to trust in themselves, or anything else, because those who do so are lost - Hebrews 10:38 & 3938 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
. (Incidentally, the Greek word translated "believe" in the 39th verse is actually "pistis," the noun, which is the same word translated "faith" in verse 38.)
After being reminded that the just shall live by faith, the faith by which the Old Testament Saints were born witness is defined - Hebrews 11:1 & 21 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
. Next we are informed it was through faith and from no existing matter, that this universe and all therein was spoken into existence by the Word of God. The Word of God caused and carried out everything described that follows in the eleventh chapter - Hebrews 11:33 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
. From the 4th through the 39th verse God's plan for the redemption and salvation of His people, the defeat of the enemy and an explanation for the suffering of the saints is outlined in the lives of 16 named and a number of unnamed individuals who were born witnesses to by their faith. Finally, it is pointed out that none of these received the promise of blessing, which will yet be accomplished when it includes all past, present and future believers - Hebrews 11:39 & 4039 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
. The Greek word translated perfect at the end of verse 40 means to finish, fulfill, make perfect.
In our faith studies to date we have examined the witness of those fulfilling God's plan and provision for the sacrifice for sin (Abel,) for fellowship with Him (Enoch) and for salvation from judgment (Noah.) We have seen in Abraham that the only way mankind can stand just and righteous before God is by faith in His Word, whether Jew or Gentile and with no works of their own. And, that this blessing was to come through the seed promised to Abraham, which is Jesus Christ - Romans 4:7 - 167 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
; 9:8; Galatians 3:14 - 1614 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
. By the witness of Abraham and Isaac was taught Christ's sacrifice and resurrection from the dead - Hebrews 11:17 - 1917 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
Most recently we have observed in the witness of Moses the fact the Son of God would leave His heavenly home to live a simple and lowly life on earth - Volume 2, No's 2 & 3.* Through Moses' faith the fact of God's total control of the universe was demonstrated - Vol. 2, No 7.* By the faith of Moses and the Children of Israel in keeping the Passover God pointed the way to redemption and deliverance from the slavery and death of sin - Vol. 2, No's 8 & 9.* And by Moses God gave the law to show mankind his utter helplessness to save himself and so the need for Jesus Christ as savior by His finished work - Vol. 2, No 10.* (The law given to Moses for Israel is not mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews because this chapter has to do with the witness of faith in God's work of salvation and redemption, and the battle and suffering of His saints.)
The account in the eleventh chapter goes directly from Moses and the Children of Israel passing safely through the Red Sea, Hebrews 11:2929 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
a, to the subject of the defeat of Israel's enemies, Hebrews 11:29b - 34, followed by a description of the suffering endured by saints, all of whom were born witness to by their faith - Hebrews 11:35 - 3835 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
. All this points to the life of the believer today. It teaches that even though we are saved and our redemption is accomplished by the work of Jesus Christ we never the less face both conflict and suffering, to be endured by faith in God's Word. Even after our salvation is accomplished Satan and his forces must be defeated. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" - Ephesians 6:10 - 1710 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
So it is in Hebrews 12:1 & 21 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
that we are exhorted to consider the witness of faith of all those described in the eleventh chapter and then to strive or run the race of faith, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of faith. It is to this race and fight of faith the Apostle Paul referred at the end of his life: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" 2 Timothy 4:6 & 76 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
. Then Paul looks to the prize to which is referred in Hebrews 11:39 & 40; "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing - 2 Timothy 4:88 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
. The race and struggle to which Paul refers is ours today and the crown of righteousness described is ours for which to strive.
* The studies referred to can be viewed at the website.