What Faith Looks Like | Part 2: Substance and Assurance
April 21, 2021
April 21, 2021
In our last post, we looked at what faith is NOT. Now let’s turn to our text in Hebrews 10 and 11 and learn what faith IS.
What Faith Is
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith this way: Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Let’s emphasize the words REALITY (substance) and PROOF (evidence).
The cool thing about these words is that, combined, they speak about faith objectively and subjectively.
Objectively, it means that faith GIVES SUBSTANCE to the things that are hoped for. Faith is the tangible expression here and now of things not yet present.
Subjectively, it means that faith GIVES ASSURANCE that what is hoped for will come to be.
When I drove off to college from Cleveland, MS in September of 1997, I took my car (duh), but I didn’t take the title. The car title stayed with my dad back in Cleveland. While I had the privilege of driving the vehicle in South Carolina, my father had the privilege of owning it as an asset. And at the start of my freshman year, I promised my parents that I would be back in November for Thanksgiving.
So picture my dad at home in MS, sitting in his chair in the den like he did every day after work, holding the title to my car in his hand. He cannot see my car. There were no smartphones and no video conferencing back then, so he couldn’t see the car in real time with me. But because he owns and holds the title in his hand, he has TANGIBLE, SUBSTANTIVE PROOF that the car is his, AND he has ASSURANCE that the car is his. So the title is the tangible expression of his reality that gives him assurance, even though he cannot see the car in any shape, form, or fashion.
THAT is what faith is. It is the tangible proof of the unseen that simultaneously assures you that what you believe is true and right and real. Faith apprehends as a real fact what is not revealed to the senses.
Now, the previous verses and following verses in Hebrews 10 and 11 are practical illustrations from the personal lives of those reading this letter (chapter 10) and the lives of those mentioned in the Old Testament (chapter 11) of what this kind of faith looks like in real life. And were you to read through these passages, you’d notice at least these 5 things about what faith looks like. We’ll look at these in our next post.
Rob is Teaching Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.