Lesson Number 18


"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). ("Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen," NASB). ("Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see," NIV).

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which appeared" (Hebrews 11:1, The Webster Bible).

"Now faith is {the} substantiating of things hoped for, {the} conviction of things not seen. For in {the power of} this the elders have obtained testimony. By faith we apprehend that the worlds were framed by {the} word of God, so that which is seen should not take its origin from things which appear" (Hebrews 11:1, The Darby Bible).

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the sign that the things not seen are true. For by it our fathers had God's approval. By faith it is clear to us that the order of events was fixed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made from things which only seem to be" (Hebrews 11:1, The Bible In Basic English).


The emphasis of the Old Covenant was DOING. The emphasis of the New Covenant is BELIEVING. Therefore it is written, "For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, 'The man who does those things shall live by them.' But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, 'Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom 10:5-9). Under the Law, life--spiritual life--was contingent upon the flawless execution of a moral code. One failure, even tough seemingly minuscule, made life with God inaccessible. The Law, or First Covenant, stood as a merciless sentinel, condemning any and every infraction of the words once etched in stone by the very finger of God. Wanting to do the words was not enough! They had to be obeyed, consistently and perfectly. That is how the Law speaks: "the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness" (NASB). Life was promised, then, upon the basis of personal accomplishment. No mediator, no forgiveness, no mercy!

But this is not the way the New Covenant speaks. It offers life on another basis--a blessing that is obtainable rather than a state that is attainable. It is received rather than achieved, and is based upon faith, not doing. That faith comes by hearing a message or proclamation, not a commandment. Righteousness now comes by faith, not by doing!

How does the righteousness that comes from faith speak? It tells us of a WORD that is sent to us--a word that is NEAR to us, and ACCESSIBLE to us by Divine initiative. "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart." It is a word that is "preached," or "announced." Whereas the Law declared an objective for men to achieve, the "word of faith" declares a righteousness to be received by sinners, whom the Law condemned (Rom 1:16-17; 3:21). It is a righteousness "apart from the Law," and is conferred upon believers.

"Now," the preceding chapter apprizes us, "the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (10:38). If the soul is to be saved, the individual must press forward in believing, for the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory, cannot be appropriated apart from faith. Thus it is written, "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (10:39). Within the churches with whom I have had contact since 1952, I have found very little emphasis upon faith, or believing God. Apart from the preaching of my good father, and that of brethren for whom I ministered for 32-1/2 years in Indiana, the messages I have heard on faith have been few and far between. This is the tragic condition of a movement that has been dislodged from its moorings, and is being propelled down the broad road that leads to destruction. Where faith is not dominant, commitment and obedience are lacking, God is not pleased, and personal growth in grace and truth are rendered impossible. There is no acceptable excuse for failing to highlight faith!

To accentuate this reality, the Spirit now launches into a lengthy discourse on faith. The nature and effectiveness of believing are both declared and attested to by God-approved men and women in times past. The Spirit will show us that even before the law, faith enabled sinners to come into Divine favor. When the whole world was encompassed in moral depravity of staggering greatness, faith proved superior.

In times of adversity, testing, and trial, faith has always been the means through which the people of God maintained Divine acceptance and overcame the devil. It is the appointed means of enduring unspeakable atrocities, as well as experiencing remarkable deliverances. Those of the household of God who have excelled, have done so because of their faith.

The Spirit now shines the light of Divine illumination upon faith, showing it to be indispensable to the experience of Divine approval. It is not possible to please God without faith. It makes no difference what is said or done, apart from faith it is "impossible to please God" (11:6a). Disciplined efforts to conform to a code are not enough. There must be an inward persuasion that "God is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Heb 11:6b). Here is the accent of spiritual life, and the bloodstream of fellowship with the Lord. This is the appointed means of participation in the life of God. Every valid achievement is accomplished by faith! It is absolutely preeminent.


"Now faith is . . . " "Now," in this case, does not relate to time: i.e., during the New Covenant age or dispensation. Rather, it is the continuation of the thought previously affirmed, "the just shall live by faith" (10:38). It is as though the Spirit were saying, "Now, continuing the thought of the indispensability of faith . . . " He will now show us the spiritual logic of the statement, "the just shall live by faith." First of all, He will show us what faith is, then He will show us what faith has done.

When the Scripture speaks of faith, it is not speaking of a mere moral virtue--i.e., the ability to trust in the word of another. Nor, indeed, is it referring to intellectual assent to a proposition--I believe that George Washington was the first president of our country. This is not the faith to do "remove mountains," or perform other miraculous wonders, as in 1 Corinthians 13:2. Certainly, it is not a mere profession of faith, which can endure for only a while, as in Luke 8:13. Equally true, it is not the teaching about faith, or a compendium of doctrine that is embraced by the believer. This is the believing by which the soul lives spiritually, or is sustained in vital union with God. This is the faith to which the "salvation of the soul" is connected.

A professed "faith" that does not move the soul toward salvation is no faith at all. It is spurious, and will not be honored by God. A "faith" that is not consistent, enabling the individual to live in a lively awareness of God, is no faith at all. Such is only a fabrication of human imagination, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the living God. This chapter will show this to be the case. The most excellent of our race prior to Jesus will be cited as examples of faith. There will be no mention of mediocre, uncommitted people--no individuals who were aligned with God by name only. In every case, the sole recommendation of these individuals will be their faith. Recognized works will be seen as springing from faith--faith never springs from works!

This is the basic criterion by which men and women are measured by God. Where there is no faith, there is no acceptance, regardless of human achievement. Where faith is found, there are always recognition and acceptance. Where faith is found, there will also be response to God, activity, and godly expectation. In my judgment, faith has been underrated by the churches with which I am familiar. It has not been held forth as superior, and generally is not declared as the means of maintaining spiritual life. Such a condition is an embarrassment, and constitutes a most serious deficiency.

The Spirit will now show us the relationship of faith to patience, or perseverance. There will be no faithfulness to the end without faith! The affirmation has been made that we will not reach the goal without "patience" (Heb 10:36). That continuance will not be accomplished by mere human effort. It can only be found where there is faith!

Viewed from the standpoint of a logical argument, the major premise is this: We will not be able to arrive at the appointed goal without patience, or endurance. The minor proposition will now be developed, which is: Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith directs our attention to things that, from the viewpoint of sense, are "afar off." It is imperative that we learn to focus on these things--heavenly things. Without that focus, the trials of life will be too difficult to handle, and will overwhelm us.


Not Strictly A Definition

While it may appear this verse is definition of faith, strictly speaking, it is not. It is more a summation than a definition. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for . . . " (NKJV). Some object to the word "substance," but their objections carry no real weight. The term is translated from the word upostasij (hupostasis), which, lexically, means the objective reality which gives a firm guarantee and basis for confidence or assurance. As used in our text, it means that which has actual existence; a substance, real being (Thayer).


It enables the individual possessing to move resolutely through the difficulties of life, fully persuaded that the things for which the heart longs are real, and will be obtained. Faith is like the hand of the soul, taking hold of God, Christ, and the "exceeding great and precious promises." Faith appropriates, takes hold of, and gains the blessing. Our appetite for the things of God is awakened by the melodious sound of the Gospel of Christ. The "better promises" upon which the New Covenant is based become our fervent quest. Faith persuades us of their reality AND their accessibility. We become so convinced of them, the world loses its attractiveness and trials become bearable.

Only One Faith

Mind you, there is but "one faith" (Eph 4:5), and this is it. It is the eye of the soul, by which things eternal are perceived and perused. The Word of God is like the magnifying glass through which these things are seen. Faith clarifies them to the soul, bringing understanding and confidence to us. In the world, seeing is believing. But this maxim does not hold true in the Kingdom of God. Here, in fellowship with God, believing is seeing! The person who does not believe, does not see or understand the things of God. What they call understanding is not understanding as God counts it. It is only scholastic, or on the surface, and will yield no benefit to the soul.

Remember, the Spirit is commenting on living by faith and possessing patience to the end. The point of this text is simply this: We will not be able to complete the race unless we are driven by hope. The driving compulsion to dwell in the house of the Lord forever, and to obtain the inheritance reserved for us, can be maintained ONLY in the persuasion of them. If we are not sure they are supplied for us, we will not run to obtain them! If the things of God are not confidently grasped by faith, eventually we will fall. If they are vague and unsure to us, we will neither confidently hope for them, nor be able to stand against the wiles of the devil when he seeks to turn us from them.

Only Faith Can Do It

The believer is not persuaded of the reality of "the things God has prepared for them that love Him" (1 Cor 2:9-10) because of a weighty apologetic argument, or because of a hermeneutical principle. Those who affirm such things are simply not telling the truth. Only faith can give substance to the promises--not logical or even tangible evidence, however scholarly it may be. Philosophical arguments may very well be used to sweep away erroneous views of Scripture, and convince the doubter that he ought to pursue a better understanding. They cannot, however, produce confidence--and that is a requisite to pleasing the Lord and successfully negotiating the straits of life in this world.

Things Hoped For

"Things hoped for" are things God has promised. In summary, these include the resurrection of the body (Phil 3:11,20), the new heavens and the new earth (2 Pet 3:13), the possession of the heavenly country (Heb 11:16), and the possession of eternal glory ((Rom 8:17; 2 Thess 1:10). These are things that lie beyond "this present evil world" (Gal 1:4). They extend beyond the perimeter of time and sense. Neither human eye nor logic can reach into the domain wherein they exist (1 Cor 2:9). But they are real, and we have been informed of them by the Word of the Almighty. Faith has convinced us of them. It has persuaded us of their accessibility, and has convinced us to pursue them with unrelenting vigor.

I must once again lament the near-total absence of such traits in the contemporary church. With few proportionate exceptions, the nominal Christian speaks little of these things. An appetite for them is not apparent, and longing expressions are not often heard. You do not hear people singing of the glory much these days. Preachers, for the most part, are not holding out the eternal prize as something worthy of the most fervent quest. Faith directs our attention to things "afar off." In the energy imparted by the persuasion of those things, the believer runs with patience the race set before him.

Patience, or perseverance, is needed because the goal has not yet been reached. The fulness of the things for which we long is yet (from one perspective) far from us, to be obtained at the conclusion of the race. The person who is spiritually blind, however, "is blind, and cannot see afar off" (2 Pet 1:9). That is why he "lacks" the spiritual virtues necessary for survival (2 Pet 1:5-8).

Saved By Hope

If "we are saved by hope" (Rom 8:24), faith is indispensable--for it is the "substance of things hoped for." It is what convinces us of their reality, and compels us to endure all things while running the race that has been set before us. Faith enables us to possess the blessings in our spirits before they are revealed without obstruction! Faith gave substance to the promised land to Abraham before he arrived there, and while he journeyed there as a stranger (Heb 11:8-9). Faith made the coming flood real to Noah he "built an ark to the saving of his house,"commencing the massive project 120 years before the flood came (Gen 6:3; Heb 11:7). Faith always makes the things of God real to the individual--so real they are energetically pursued!


"Now faith is . . . the evidence of things not see" (NKJV). The NASB and RSV translate this "conviction of things not seen." This speaks of an inner conviction and confident assurance. It includes the ideas of verification and certainty. It is what Abraham possessed when it was said of him, "being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform" (Rom 4:21). In all of the studies of EVIDENCES to which I have been subjected, I have never heard an emphasis placed upon faith, or believing God. Almost every presentation of evidences has to do with physical or logical validation. But here, in the Spirit, we have evidence that transcends both of those realms. Faith brings evidence to the soul so powerful that everything is seen in a different light.

Normally, evidence is addressed to our senses. In the case of faith, however, the Spirit shows us things hidden to our senses--the knowledge of things beyond the perimeter of sense. Thus it is written, "But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God" (1 Cor 2:9-10, NKJV). And how does the Spirit reveal them to us? It is through our faith! Whether we are speaking of the initial revelation of these things (as with the Apostles and Prophets), or of the opening of them to our understanding, faith is the appointed means of making them known.

Our Faith Is Evidence

Our faith is our evidence! Our senses contradict what our faith has enabled us to grasp. We have become "partakers of Christ" (Heb 3:14), and yet often appear to be dominated by Adam. We have "eternal life" (John 3:36; 6:47), and yet dwell in a corruptible body, daily experiencing deterioration and failing. We possess an inheritance that is "incorruptible, and undefiled, and fades not away" (1 Pet 1:4), yet are learning how to suffer need and be abased. We have been made "kings and priests to God" (Rev 1:5-6), yet often appear to be the tail rather than the head. Everything belongs to us (1 Cor 3:21-23), yet we often experience spiritual hunger and thirst as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is. We know that "God is a very present help in the time of trouble" (Psa 46:1), ands "is not far from every one of us" (Acts 17:27), yet our prayers must often extend over long periods of time, as though we were not being heard. What soul has not felt the conflict of life in the body with the life of the soul?

Where would we be without the "evidence of things not seen," the peculiar property of faith?? Faith makes us equal to these challenges, convincing us within of the reality of the things God has promised us.

Our faith is itself the evidence of their existence. We need no other argument, no high-sounding presentation that exalts the wisdom of men. Give us food for our faith! Tell us what the Lord has said! Declare to us the promises, and proclaim to us the Gospel! It is faith, and faith alone, that is our "substance" and "evidence." It is our "assurance" and "conviction," our "surety" and "certainty." Feed our faith, and we will soar with the wings of an eagle, mounting higher and higher. We will survive the flood and the furnace, the blast of the storm and the plague of the locust!

It is faith that is "the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen." Thanks be unto God that His grace was "exceeding abundant" with faith (1 Tim 1:14). Glory to God in the highest that He has "given us" to "believe" (Phil 1:29). All praise to Him Who has "given to every man the measure of faith" (Rom 12:3). It is both indispensable and satisfying!


To obtain Divine approval is everything! When God is displeased, nothing else really counts. Holy men and woman have always sought to avoid Divine displeasure and appropriate Divine approval. A day in the courts of a pleased God is worth a thousand anywhere else! The question now arises, How can this be done? How can the individual come into the favor of God. What will it take for God to receive, as it were, a "good report" of us? Every conscientious believer is mindful of this.

"For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good report" (KJV). Who are these "elders"? These are not ecclesiastical officials, or those who simply lived to a ripe old age. He is speaking of the "ancients" (NIV), or "men of old" (NASB), who were recognized and approved by God. He covers a period from the beginning of the world until the closing of the Old Testament era. The remainder of the chapter recounts these "ancients" by name, telling of their faith and its impact upon their thinking and conduct. The "good report" is evidenced by such terms as "friend of God" (James 2:23), "man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22), and "saint of the Lord" (Psa 106:16).

An Obtained Report

Notice, the "good report" is "OBTAINED." Other versions say, "obtained a good testimony" (NKJV), "were commended" (NIV), "gained approval" (NASB), and "received Divine approval" (RSV). This approval, or commendation, was not taken for granted. It a state gained by "the elders." Once they were NOT in it, yet they came into it.

Do not forget, the Spirit is showing us the superiority and necessity of faith. It is the means by which identity with God is realized. It is the channel through which all of the promises of God are realized. From the beginning, this was the exclusive means through which men obtained God's approval.

This letter is written to people who were retrogressing to an Old Covenant mentality--or at least the way people thought under that former covenant. Those who failed to see the significance of faith had been known to boast in their heritage rather than their God. Jesus confronted such people, inflated with a false sense of acceptance because they were Abraham's children (John 8:33). Even the early church found people depending upon their Jewish ancestry rather than faith (Rom 2:17). Ah, such a tendency has not flown from us. There are still people who boast in their religious heritage, though not a God-ordained one like that of the Jews. They imagine God receives them because of their theological position, or because of their organizational affiliation. Others, sinking even lower, consider their own good works as an adequate foundation for God's acceptance. But "the elders," noted for the most noble works of their time, were not approved by God because of their works, but because of their faith.

This is a perspective that is altogether too uncommon in the contemporary church. Faith must be held in high esteem. Your persuasion of the good things of God, and consequent embrace of them, is what brings the approval of God. This is a source of great joy to the believer, for he is never satisfied with the level of his obedience. Every intention to do good is accompanied by the influence of the presence of "evil" within. As it is written, "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me" (Rom 7:23). If, therefore, I depend upon my own achievement for confidence of Divine approval, I shall forever be tossed on the waves of human emotion. But if I look to my faith, confidence to run the race set before me will follow.

Look Back to the Ancients!

The Scriptural record of mighty men and woman of God has been supplied for our encouragement. In them we find living examples of the power of faith. The Divine record will confirm these individuals were not morally perfect. While they were not noted for disobedience, it would nevertheless erupt in them from time to time. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had to fight to maintain their faith.

They wrestled with temptation, recovered from setbacks, and had to regain ground from time to time. They were men, but they were not merely men! They obtained a "good report" because they gravitated to God, not to sin! Transgression was the exception in their life, not the rule. Faith brought to them the "substance" of the things they "hoped for." They refused to forfeit their faith for this world! They were not morally perfect, but they obtained a good report! They had to confess to sin, but they obtained a good report! They often knew not where God was leading them, but they obtained a good report! They endured hardship, but obtained a good report!


Now, we come to grips with a very sensitive matter--at least in some circles. Even though faith is preeminent in the Kingdom of God, the wisdom of this world has penetrated the nominal church, causing men to rest their confidence upon "evidence" NOT produced by faith. Thus great value is placed upon human sciences in the matter of substantiating the integrity of Scripture and validity of the Gospel of Christ. This is a trend fraught with jeopardy, as we will see.

"By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (NKJV). The Holy Spirit goes to the very foundation of reasoning the origin of all things. There were finally spun philosophies in place at the time of this writing--philosophies that still are the foundation of worldly reasoning. The philosophers of the world who had already shaped thinking for centuries, remain well known. Thales of Miletus lived from 636 to 546 B.C. Zeno of Elea lived from 490 to 436 B.C. The well known Socrates lived from 464 to 399 B.C., and Plato from 428 to 348 B.C. Without profitless elaboration of the world point-of-view, suffice it to say, there were ideas concerning the origin of all things. But the Spirit does not lead us to wade in the shallow stream of philosophy. Rather, He anchors us in Divine affirmation, and points us to the superiority of faith.

Design in Creation

There is intelligent design in the universe. The worlds were "framed," or designed with purpose. The universe is not an accident, but a deliberate creation. Not even a speck of dust came into existence without the Word of the Lord! Whether we speak of things seen or things not seen, they all had their genesis with God. Thus it is written, "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him" (Col 1:16). These "all things" were not the result of reshaping or reconstruction, but of creation.

He Spirit is showing us the superiority of faith to all the world has to offer. It is superior to reason! It is superior to tangible evidence! Reason can be a source of deception, as well as tangible evidence. It was "reason" that brought down our race in the first place. A corrupt view of tangible evidence was also at the root of the fall. There, in the Edenic paradise, both reason and evidence failed as a ground of Divine acceptance! The supposed improvement of both areas of knowledge has not changed the condition.

Faith and Understanding

Here is a superior form of understanding--understanding that cannot be taught in the classrooms of men. This understanding includes persuasion, assurance, conviction, and confidence. It is not merely academic, but spiritual. Thus Scripture refers to "spiritual understanding" (Col 1:9). It is understanding administered by the Spirit, but it is appropriated through your faith--your persuasion of the truth of Divine utterance.

This is a form of spiritual experience that allows the believer to handle eternal things. It is understanding that allows safe and proper navigation through the world, not being distracted by it, nor lured into its vices.

In the case of the "the worlds," we "understand" they were "framed by the Word of God"--spoken into existence. And how is it that we understand this? Is it by some philosophical rule? Has a humanly developed science led us to this conclusion, like geology, biology, astronomy, etc? Has the observation of design in the universe led us to this conclusion? Indeed not! You can study planets and rocks, atoms, protons and neutrons, and you will never come to the conclusion these things were formed by a word! The most elaborate apologetic in the world cannot possibly produce this conclusion! Such things cannot explain the HOW of creation.

But we do not need these sciences to affirm origin, nor support our faith! There is only one way we know this. GOD SAID IT! Remove the Word of God on this subject, and there is no mortal that will arrive at such a conclusion. It is because we believe what has been declared that we "understand" these things! We do not question the origin of creation, but rely upon the Creator to sustain the creation itself, and maintain us while we are within its environs. He had made it also controls it we "understand" this! As the Spirit says elsewhere, "sustaining all things by his powerful word" (Heb 1:3, NIV). And again, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Col 1:17, NIV). An understanding of this enabled Joshua to cry out "in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed" (Josh 10:12-13). Mind you, I am not saying you may command creation at will and find it obeying you. The point to be seen is that understanding what God has said enables you to join in what God is doing!

Remember, "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It is the appointed means to confidence and assurance--the way God convinces people of the reality of the things He declares. Faith brings satisfying understanding, unmixed with doubt and fear. We do not stagger at the origin of the natural order. God has told us how it began, and we confidently understand His Word on the subject. We entertain no doubts on this matter, nor will we allow the world to move our confidence from the Word of God to the wisdom of men.

Things we see were Divinely constructed from things that do NOT appear. He is not referring to atoms, protons, and neutrons! These can all be seen--you just have to magnify them enough, and you can see them. We "understand" this universe was made from nothing! We may not be able to explain it satisfactorily to the scientist, but we understand it! God did not gather together existing materials and shape the universe.

Note the plurality "the worlds." This is a correct rendering of the words touj aiwnaj. We were introduced to this terminology at the beginning of this book. God, "hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (11:2). This is intended to teach us of the vastness of the creation. It extends beyond our vision, regardless of how much we magnify it! There is a multiplicity of bodies, all summoned into existence by the Word of the Lord from nothing!

Salvation Is Greater

The real value of faith is not found in understanding of the source of "the worlds." Its real purpose is to appropriate the salvation of God. It is even more effective to assure us of our acceptance in the Beloved, than of the origin of "the worlds." The Spirit has taken us to the most rudimentary level of faith--believing that God created all things. We do not doubt Him at this point. Here is something which we confidently affirm, and which we will not allow false philosophers to take from us. That is how powerful faith is!

Something From Nothing!

God spoke into primeval chaos and created worlds from nothing. He has now spoken to us "through His Son." This Word is more powerful than His creative word! It is a Word that will "never pass away" (Matt 24:35). The same Word that commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has commanded the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God" to "shine into our hearts" (2 Cor 4:6). That Word was as effective in you as the creative word was in the beginning! Just as surely as you can understand how the worlds were framed, you can understand how you have been cleansed and received by God through Christ Jesus.

None should be surprised that in salvation something was made from nothing. We who were "dead in trespasses and sins" are now "alive to God through Christ Jesus the Lord" (Eph 2:1; Rom 6:11). Something from nothing! We who "were not a people," are now "the people of God." We, who "had not obtained mercy, have now obtained mercy" (1 Pet 2:10). Something from nothing! In us has been fulfilled the word of the prophet Isaiah, "I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me" (Rom 10:20; Isa 65:1-2). Something, praise God, from nothing!

You Can Believe!

You can believe Jesus appeared one time "in the end of the world to put away sin" (Heb 9:26). You can believe He "ever lives to make intercession" for you (Heb 7:25). You can believe He will appear "the second time without sin unto salvation" to all who look for Him (Heb 9:28). When God says, "The just shall live by faith" (Heb 10:38), you can believe it--understand it--launch out upon it!

Who cannot see that infinitely more has been declared about your salvation than about the creation of the world? God has revealed the enemy and his diabolical purpose will be crushed (Gen 3:15). He has made known His intent to bless "all nations" through the Offspring of Abraham (Gen 12:3). The Word of the Lord has revealed the Man through Whom the blessing will come! It has made known the objective to which this salvation is moving--conformity to the Image of the Son (Rom 8:29).

You Can Know More!

You know more about your salvation than you do about the creation! As surely as you can satisfactorily understand how the worlds were formed, so you can comprehend how you are made "accepted in the Beloved!" Gravitating to a system of Law for salvation is as unreasonable to faith as the theory of evolution, or the "big bang" theory. If, "by faith," we can understand how the worlds were formed, even so "by faith" we can "comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God" (Eph 3:18- 19).

Hope, As Aspect of Faith

From this perspective, "hope" is an aspect of the understanding of faith. Just as we do not look to creation to prove its source, so we do not look to ourselves to prove cause of our salvation. It is the Word -- the Word! the Word! That Word brought the worlds into existence, and that Word begat you (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23). That Word upholds, or sustains the worlds, and it sustains you (Rom 10;17; Luke 4:4).

They Must Hear the Word

If the people of God are ever to abound in hope, they must hear what God has said about their salvation! If they are going to be sustained by the Word of the Lord, they must expose themselves to it! That Word is more powerful in redemption than in creation; more potent in your salvation than in than in the creation of the worlds!

There has been enough neglect of the people of the Most High God! They are to be fed, "nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Tim 4:6). They will never make it without faith, and faith apart from the Word of God is not impossible. Faith has always come, and continues to come, by "hearing, and hearing the Word . . . " (Rom 10:17). If understanding is to come, it will come by believing what the Lord has said! That is how we understand the origin of the universe, and it is how we comprehend source of our salvation. Our confidence is no more sure than is our faith. Our understanding of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus is directly proportionate to our faith--to the degree to which we have believed the Word of the Lord. The apprehension of these things has such a powerful effect upon the human spirit that it jars the very citadels of hell itself! Satan knows the effects of faith upon the heart, and therefore seeks to destroy it with great subtlety and aggressiveness.


The power of these things must not be missed. Salvation is wrought out in close proximity to the Living God. While it appears to the human eye as though we are being saved from a distance, we are actually being saved through integration with the Godhead. We are in Christ, and Christ is in us (2 Cor 5:17; 13:5). We are in the Spirit, and the Spirit is in us (Gal 5:17; Rom 8:9). We are in God, and God is in us (Col 3:3; 2 Cor 6:16; 1 John 4:16)! The further we get from God, the greater the liability.

But how does a person stay close to God? How do we "work out of own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12). It is by "drawing near with a true heart, in the full assurance of faith . . . " (Heb 10:22). That will not happen, however, if we are not confident--if we do not understand we are "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph 1:6). Therefore, this book gives us something to believe--something for faith to grasp! The Lord knows that when we believe, understanding will come. When that understanding is appropriated, we will fight a good fight, and finish our course with joy! That is the nature of the Kingdom of God!