Faithlife Sermons

What is Faith?

Discipline is the Foundation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  58:07
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Hebrews 11:1–3 ESV
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Sermon Thesis:
Faith stands in the hope of God's promises with a conviction based on evidence that the seen is made by the unseen.
Faith is not really a simple word to define or describe. That is why it is so easily ridiculed and made fun of by intellectuals of the physical world. Humans blinded by their own existence and transient/ temporary thinking. Faith not only reaches into our world and it’s physical nature, but it also reaches into the world to come. Faith must use both the physical things available to mankind but also the spiritual which is unseen. Our physical world is the by-product of the spiritual world which man cannot see.
So when you accurately attempt to define Faith, it is necessary to use the best evidence which are those things of an eternal existence and those things are things of the spirit.
Let’s begin by examining Hebrews 11 and verse number 1...

The assurance of things hoped for

KJV = substance (ground, confidence)
NIV = confidence
ASV & NASV = assurance
hy - post - a - sis
assurance = ‘hy - post - a - sis’ (greek) meaning = project; undertaking; foundation; support, substance
used only 5x’s: 2 Cor. 2x’s; Heb. 3x’s
hy - post - a - sis, is 1 of 50 other Greek Root multiples that appear in the N.T. 580x’s; the base root lemma (word or phrase) means “stand; stand there”
Ὑπόστασις (hy - post - a - sis) referred to “that which stands under,” the “basis,” from which developed a range of meanings in secular Greek: “basis, foundation, support, guarantee, possession, existence, deposit.”
The last-mentioned meaning in turn led to the philosophical usages “realization, presence, reality.”
With reference to human behavior ὑπόστασις (hy - post - a - sis) refers to “undertaking, plan, venture” as well as “venturing, holding out.”
Balz, H. R., & Schneider, G. (1990–). In Exegetical dictionary of the New Testament (Vol. 3, p. 407). Eerdmans.The conviction of things not seen
2 Corinthians 9:4 (ESV)
4 Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident.
Now faith is being so confident
Hebrews 1:3 (ESV)
3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Here, hy-post-a-sis is translated nature
The Hebrew writer in trying to explain Jesus uses hy-post-a-sis
By using the english word nature in the ESV and NASV the translators are trying to capture the meaning of what Jesus is like
His nature is the exact imprint of God!
KJV = person
NIV = being
ASV = substance
Hebrews 3:14 (ESV)
14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
Here we see confidence translated hy=post-a-sis
letting us know that our sharing in Christ suffering if we stand till the end
or we could say if we suffer with Christ we are holding on to the reality/ foundation of being in Him
[[[Faith is what we stand in, it is the basis of our reality.
Some use science as the basis of their reality.
This is short-sighted immediately, because science will not consider the unseen to determine reality.]]]

Conviction of things not seen

KJV = evidence
NIV = assurance
ASV; NASV = conviction
Conviction is necessary due to the type of evidence we are dealing in
Worldly evidence is seen, it is physical and temporary
Spiritual evidence is unseen, yet it is eternal, it is of greater quality and a better judge or indication of truth
If we are to believe in God it is a prerequisite that we have Spiritual Evidence!
The world does not accept it because it is not of the type of evidence in which they are willing to deal in
John 14:16–17 ESV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Let’s consider the great hall of faith inductees and what they used as a matter of faith...
Hebrews 11:7 ESV
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Note that Noah operated on a conviction of events as yet unseen (circle on screen)
Hebrews 11:27 ESV
27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
Note that Moses endured as seeing Him who is invisible (circle on screen)
Romans 8:24–25 ESV
24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
A conviction based on evidence which points to the unseen is what Faith is.
This is not blind faith, because it is the result of evidence.
Why would the unseen be more important than that which is seen?
Let’s go to 2nd Corinthians for a clue on that...
2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV
18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
things that are seen are transient/ temporary
you’ve heard me discuss it this way, Spiritual things are more real than physical things
Spiritual things are unseen; Physical things are seen
You see me today in my physical form
that form you see is transient/ temporary
a time is coming where I will be known as I really am; by my spirit
let’s look at 1 Jn 3:2 for a clue on what I’m referring to...
1 John 3:2 ESV
2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Note: and what we will be has not yet appeared
because it is unseen
because it is unseen does not make it false or unreal
and your faith makes it real, a reality brought to being by Him who calls things that aren’t as if they are!
[[[So Faith is understanding the relationship between the seen and the unseen. We understand that:
the big bang has a big banger
the creation has a creator
those who have an expectations have an expected
the beginning has a beginner
the design has a designer

Understanding what is seen, was made by the unseen

Therefore Faith becomes this wonderful crossroad between: assurance; conviction; and understanding
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Our baptism is a response, to the evidence which is of the best quality available that Jesus is the Son of God
and His Word which is Spirit,
Jn. 6:63 the word is spirit and life
Eph. 6:17 the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Heb. 4:12 the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to division of soul and of spirit…joints and marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentins of the heart
All this is possible, even required that we must believe God!
even love Him
even rejoice in His existence
1 Peter 1:8 ESV
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
Let’s conclude...
What is Faith?
Assurance of things hoped for
it is the foundation and reality of our trust in God and His Word
Conviction of things not seen
spiritual things are of better quality and necessary for belief/ faith in God
not blind faith/ believing but a conviction of real evidence that far exceeds what the world can offer
Understanding what is seen, was made by the unseen
all this brings us to a conclusion
that God is
and that we are being driven to faith in Him
that we might be where he is also...
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