Man Cannot Exist Without Faith.

by Darrell Griffin

All humans have faith in many things. When you flip on the light switch you have faith that the lights will come on. When you go through an intersection you have guarded faith that the cross traffic will stop because they have a red light. Man cannot exist without faith. 

Hebrews 11:1 is a verse from the New Testament of the Bible, specifically from the book of Hebrews, which is a letter written to Jewish Christians. While the authorship of Hebrews is uncertain, traditionally it has been attributed to the apostle Paul or someone closely associated with him.

Analysis of Hebrews 11:1:

1. Definition of Faith:

  • "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for": Faith is described as having confidence or assurance in the things we hope for. It implies a strong belief and trust in something that is not yet seen or realized. This aspect of faith is foundational to the Christian understanding of belief in God's promises and the unseen spiritual realities.

2. Assurance about what we do not see:

  • "and assurance about what we do not see.": Faith also involves assurance or conviction concerning things that are not visible or tangible to us. This speaks to the belief in spiritual truths, divine promises, and the existence of God Himself, even though these are not physically observable.

Context and Purpose:

1. Audience and Purpose:

  • The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who were facing persecution and were tempted to abandon their faith in Christ and revert to Judaism. The author encourages them to persevere in their faith and trust in Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of God's promises.

2. Importance of Faith:

  • Hebrews 11:1 serves as an introduction to the subsequent discussion in Hebrews 11, often referred to as the "Hall of Faith," where various Old Testament figures are commended for their faith. The verse emphasizes that faith is essential for pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6) and is the foundation of the Christian life.

Meaning and Application:

1. Confidence and Trust:

  • Faith involves a deep-seated confidence and trust in God's promises, even when circumstances might suggest otherwise. It is an active belief that what God has promised will come to pass.

2. Assurance in the Unseen:

  • Faith includes assurance regarding spiritual realities that are not immediately apparent to our senses. This includes believing in God's existence, His character, His promises, and the ultimate fulfillment of His plans.

3. Practical Implications:

  • For believers, Hebrews 11:1 encourages a steadfast trust in God amidst challenges and uncertainties. It calls Christians to live by faith, trusting in God's goodness and sovereignty even when circumstances are difficult.

In summary, Hebrews 11:1 provides a profound definition of faith as confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. It underscores the importance of trusting in God's promises and believing in spiritual realities beyond what is perceptible to our senses. This verse continues to inspire and guide Christians in their journey of faith and relationship with God.

Certainly! Both Islam and Judaism have scriptures that emphasize faith and trust in God, though they may not have an exact equivalent to Hebrews 11:1. Here are some similar concepts from their respective scriptures:

Islamic Faith (Quran):

  1. Belief in the Unseen:

    • The Quran frequently mentions the concept of believing in the unseen (ghayb). For example:
      • Quran 2:3-4: "Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them, and who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith]."
      • Quran 3:18: "Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge - [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise."
  2. Trust and Reliance on God:

    • Quran 3:159: "So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]."

Jewish Faith (Tanakh, particularly Psalms and Proverbs):

  1. Trust in God's Promises:

    • Psalms 37:3: "Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness."
    • Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
  2. Belief in the Unseen:

    • Proverbs 29:25: "The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe."
    • Psalms 115:11: "You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield."

Comparison and Similarities:

  • Concept of Faith: All three traditions emphasize the importance of faith, trust, and belief in the unseen aspects of divine guidance and providence.
  • Confidence and Assurance: While the specific wording may differ, the underlying principles of trusting in God's promises and having confidence in His guidance are central to all three faiths.
  • Practical Implications: Each tradition encourages believers to live out their faith by trusting in God's wisdom and sovereignty, even when facing challenges or uncertainties.

We all worship the same God. There is only one God.

These scriptures serve to guide believers in their relationship with the divine, reinforcing the significance of faith, trust, and reliance on God's guidance and promises.