What is Faith?
[Rom.14:23] “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin”[Heb.11:6] “without Faith it is impossible to please God”
Without faith, we cannot please God, and anything in our lives that is not of faith, is sin. If someone asked you “what is faith?” what would you say? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
While Hebrews 11:1 is absolutely true, Paul defines “faith” by giving us a description of it, followed by many examples of old Testament saints that accomplished great things by “faith”. Example of defining something by description: [1Jn.4:16] states that “God is love”. While this is true, we can’t turn around and say that “Love is God”. Indeed, God is love, but “love” is not God. While we know that love is one attribute of God, it does not define who He is. It is an attempt to describe God. [Jn10:9] says “I am the door”, but the word “door” does not define who Jesus is; it only describes one aspect of Him through typology. So, Paul describes Faith for us in this passage.
What does Hebrews 11:1 tell us?
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, “hoped for” means it has to do with the future, to look forward to. “hoped for” does not mean “wished for”(although the world uses it that way) as if the things hoped for might become reality but might not. Your Bible defines “hope” for you, [Phil.1:20] it is defined as being “expectation”(Prov.10:28, 11:7) Hope is the expectation of the certain fulfillment of our desires based on the promises of God. [Titus 2:13] The Lord Jesus Christ is not our blessed “maybe”, he is the blessed “certainty”. Things “hoped for” in scripture are already accomplished in God’s view. Therefore, the faith He gives us is the tangible substance of those things, given so we may believe. By faith we have a right to expect God to answer prayer. [Heb.11:17-19] Abraham by faith offered up Isaac with the expectation that God would honor his promise, [Gen.15:5] His faith was the substance of things hoped for.
The evidence of things not seen, Faith is evidence that things not seen (eternal- 2Cor.4:18) actually do exist, even though they cannot be presently observed. God sees the future, and “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” [Heb.4:13]. [Rev.19:10] ‘…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” Prophecy, a reference to future things. [Rom.4:17] God “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” [Rom.4:18-25]. The basis of our faith is the testimony of Jesus Christ; God is telling us NOW about things in the future. You have not seen heaven, hell, Jesus, or a glorified body, yet God has given us his testimony, the word of God. [Prov.22:17-21] the certainty of the words of truth
Faith is substance and evidence
[Rom.12:3] God deal to every man a measure of faith. This gives every man the ability to get saved. [Eph.2:8] You were saved by grace through faith. [Rom.10:17] faith is imparted by the word of God. If you want to please God walk by faith and not by sight [2Cor.5:7] expecting God to deliver on every promise, that he has revealed through scripture.
*Majority of lesson taken from “Faith – It Works” by Linton M. Smith Jr.