Faith is Assurance
Key Verse: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
WE CAN PERHAPS PARAPHRASE this verse from Hebrews 11:1 in this way: “Faith is the basis for, and evidence of, our convictions concerning things hoped for as well as for things unseen, based on the sure promises of God’s Word.” Faith is a real substance, a mental substance, so to speak, that stimulates and clarifies the mind of the child of God. The essence of faith lies in receiving what God has revealed to us through his Word. It can further be defined as complete trust in the God of the Scriptures, and in Jesus Christ whom he has sent. Such faith should compel us to loving obedience, as well as good works. (Eph. 2:10; Matt. 5:16; James 2:14-26) Indeed, our personal faith is the very basis of our standing before God, from the beginning of our walk until death. The personal trust we have in God, day by day, is one of the primary means by which we will obtain salvation. This faith is centered in our Lord Jesus Christ, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”—Rom. 4:24,25
Our walk by faith began when, with the first elements of trust and belief in God, we saw his character, and that of his beloved Son, though only in a limited measure. Gradually, as we were drawn closer to God, we were privileged to know more of him, to grow in appreciation of his wonderful plan, having our feet set upon the solid ground of truth. (Eph. 3:17-19) These elements of faith are so important that we are told in Hebrews 11:6, “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.”
As defined earlier, faith gives “substance” to the things of God’s Word for the footstep followers of the Lord—things which are hidden from the natural man. Faith makes it possible for God’s people to act upon their convictions, knowing that they are based on the reality and verity of the Scriptures. Faith is also an integral element in prayer. “This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” (I John 5:14) In short, faith is the primary working principle in the lives of the Lord’s consecrated people.
To help guard our faith, the Lord has given us “exceeding great and precious promises” in his Word. (II Pet. 1:4) One of the most precious of these is: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10) Another wonderful promise of our salvation is shown in the words, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) We are encouraged with the words, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, … To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”—Col. 1:23,27
The members of the church, a “little flock,” are presently being selected, chiseled, and polished without the sound of a hammer—unknown to the world. (I Kings 6:7) Peter says, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (I Pet. 2:5) Therefore, with the substance and evidence of God’s Word, let us walk in “full assurance of faith.”—Heb. 10:22