A Study of Hebrews 11 Part 1
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.” Hebrews 10:38-11:2
The just are those who have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ, having confessed with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in their hearts that God has raised Him from the dead. By that belief and faith confession we have been freely justified in the presence of God, that is, we have been made free from sin before God and had our hearts sealed with the person of the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father now dwelling in us.
We who are the Church, the Body of Christ, are the Just and therefore, we are called to a higher life here on earth and given eternal life with Jesus and the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit now and forever.
So we began this journey by faith believing something that we have not seen and confessing something we choose to believe based on the witness and testimony of those who did see. The disciples saw the life of Jesus in the flesh and witnessed His works in the power of the Holy Spirit. They saw the miracles, signs and wonders He performed. They heard, and in time received and believed, His Words. They likewise went out in His name and performed miracles, healing the sick and casting out demons. They saw Him crucified and buried and they were eyewitnesses to His resurrection on the third day as He had promised.
At His ascension into Heaven they received His great commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, to make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them all things that He had commanded them.
Before He was crucified He prayed for them, and also for those who would come to faith in Him because of their witness. In other words He prayed for them and for us who would by faith believe their testimony and confess that He alone is Lord and that in Him is salvation to everyone who believes.
Now we are among those who have believed their testimony as it has been revealed to us in His Word, the Holy Scriptures. We are blessed because we believe and therefore know what we have not seen. This is our faith.
Now by this same faith we are called to live. “Now the just shall live by faith…” The same faith by which we received salvation in Jesus Christ is the faith by which we are to live every day of our time here on earth.
Living by faith means we will not draw back, lose heart or fail to walk in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit now living in us and empowering us for the work of ministry. Living by faith means our aim is to always please God. And our faith is what pleases Him.
Those who draw back, lose heart, and renounce their faith in Him, set themselves on a collision course with death and hell. But, we are not of those who draw back. Our hearts are fixed trusting in the Lord, Who is worthy to be trusted, to be believe and to be praised and worshipped forevermore. So, we fix our hearts on the eternal prize of life and that more abundantly now and in the world to come.
What then is faith? Faith is the substance, the material, tangible evidence and proof of things hoped for and the evidence if things not seen. We hope for something based on something else, something that we can grasp with faith. As with our salvation we grasped the witness of the Apostles in their testimony of Jesus, then the Hoy Spirit confirmed their testimony in our hearts with a revelation of God’s presence which can not be touched, tasted or felt but can be absolutely known and believed. So it is with everything else in our lives. We hear and believe the Word of God and the Hoy Spirit confirms that word in our hearts. Then our faith becomes evident by things we cannot see, but on which we rest our hope, with actions based on what we believe.
The substance of our faith and the evidence of our faith are made manifest in the actions we take based on that faith. The elders down through the centuries beginning with the prophets, told of things to some as they were revealed to them through signs and wonders, supernatural visitations, dreams and visions. Believing what they heard and what they saw they set the course of their lives and through faith wrought miracles and did amazing things to demonstrate the Spirit and power of God.
Through their faith they obtained a good report. They pleased God.
Now through our faith we seek to obtain a good report by the works that we do by faith, and, as Jesus has declared, even greater works than He did because He has gone to the Father and sent us the Holy Spirit to abide with us forever.
Is anything to hard for God? No. We have the eyewitness accounts of the ancients on which we can rely as evidence of the things we now hope for and receive by faith.
Be encouraged today. There is more power resident in you to work miracles than you can imagine and God wants to release that power to heal, to save, to deliver and to set you free to do the work of declaring His name to all the world by the demonstration of His Spirit and power.
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:4
We can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens us.