This chapter firstly defines faith,
"Now faith is the substantiation of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (v. 1)
In other words, to have faith is to act according to something you can't see and to hope for something in the future. Then the chapter goes through a brief history of some of the first people to follow God by faith including Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and so on. All of these ones in the Old Testament followed God by faith and were looking to the future or forward to the goal, Christ. The New Testament believers, including us, are now looking backward, towards Christ, while at the same time looking forward to the goal, which is also Christ!
Some things that were brought up tonight that really impressed me included verse 3 which says, "By faith we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God..." This verse is so awesome because it shows that the frame of our beliefs and faith is the word of God.
|How amazing is it that the universe is framed by the word of God?|
Another point mentioned was in relation to verse 39 which says,
"And these all, having obtained a good testimony through their faith, did not obtain the promise..."
This verse addresses the fact that the ones in the Old Testament who were following God by faith did not see the final goal, Christ. However, they played a part in bringing forth Christ which furthered the progress towards the goal. This was illustrated with the example of a relay race in which the baton is faith. Faith is the way we run the race. It has been passed down through the generations by the "hearing or faith" (Rom. 10:17) through the word of Christ and through the ones who came before us. This was such an encouraging picture because it showed that firstly, we aren't running this race alone and secondly, the way to run this race isn't from our own effort but through faith from God Himself.
|Running the race by faith :)|
Tonight was so enjoyable! I am always amazed by the freshness of the Word and of the Lord. I have previously blogged about the definition of faith, (previous blog post), and I feel like tonight's fellowship has really enriched and strengthened my understanding and experience of what it means to have and live by faith.
As a parting note and prayer, I also really enjoyed this verse from Hebrews 11,
"But without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to Him, for he who comes forward to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (v. 6)
Lord, may we be those walking by faith as the unique pathway of our Christian lives! Lord, we come forward to You and declare that we believe that You are! May we continue to be those diligently seeking You that we may be well pleasing to You!