Living Faith

Key Verse: “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
—Hebrews 11:6

Selected Scripture:
Hebrews 11:1-13

OUR LESSON ON A LIVING FAITH begins by defining faith. The Apostle says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” He also adds, “Indeed by faith our ancestors received approval.” (Heb. 11:1,2, New Revised Standard Version) God has made many wonderful promises of blessings for mankind. He is pleased when we can reason on the evidences we have received of his power, wisdom, justice, and love to know that he exists, and that he will make these promises a reality. This is why faith is a very important element in our Christian lives. As the apostle reminds us in the Key Verse, ‘without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’

This faith was possessed by many faithful people of old times, and chapter eleven of Hebrews calls attention to many examples of these and the manifestation of their faith. The apostle begins with Abel and Enoch, both who did not live the fullness of lifetimes of the people of their day, but both sought God and his righteousness. The outstanding example of faith is Abraham, and much of the lesson on faith is devoted to him. Likewise, the promise given to Abraham is outstanding for it was to Abraham that God said, “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3) Later, that promise was further defined by God when he told Abraham, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18) It is through Christ, Abraham’s seed, that the blessings are to come. (Gal. 3:16) Those who manifest the proper faith, and accept Christ to the extent of becoming faithful followers, will be able to fulfill the words of the Apostle Paul when he said, “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—vs. 29

The way this group of living faithful ones becomes associated with Jesus is beautifully foretold in Psalm 45. This psalm begins by telling of Jesus being selected and exalted by God, his Father. It then tells about the King’s daughter being selected for our Lord as his bride. The psalm ends by telling how the fathers, or ancestors, of the king’s daughter will become her children, who will be appointed to be “princes in all the earth.”—vs. 16

The men and women of faith in ancient times, listed in these passages of chapter eleven of Hebrews, are the “fathers” of Psalm 45 who are to be ‘princes in all the earth.’ In God’s kingdom they will constitute the earthly ruling phase of that kingdom, whereas Jesus and the Church will be the spiritual rulers. A term often applied to these people of faith is Ancient Worthies. This is a good title.

The apostle says of these, “They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: … they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”—Heb. 11:37-40

Dawn Bible Students Association
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