The writer has just quoted from Habakkuk
"the just shall live by faith" and now he
proceeds to vindicate its truth in a series
of biographical illustrations.
Eyesight! wonder of wonders!
Faith is the eye of the soul - it is the conviction
"of things not seen" - the organ by which we
look upon the invisible and eternal - if faith is
the eye then the Bible is the eye-glass through
which faith looks - the objects of spiritual
faith are all supernaturally revealed truths -
"the things of God" - "the things of the Spirit"
In the world of sense, of which this society
in which we live is obsessed, "SEEING IS
BELIEVING" - but in the domain of faith,
this maxim is reversed, for in spiritual things,
"BELIEVING IS SEEING"
v. 1 - Faith assumes the place of substance.
Faith is the foundation on which hope is built.
Faith is the belief in things, whether past,
present or future, that are not known by
experience and cannot be logically demonstrated.
Faith is the very root and inspiring principle
of all true religion!
It would be irrational to disregard it or to
think it opposed to reason.
Faith is "the substance of things hoped for" -
(forgiveness of sins, peace with God, victory
over indwelling evil (Lord, deliver me from
Satan and deliver me from myself), growing
likeness of Christ, communion of saints,
the blessed prospect of immortality -
The man who hopes in these things will no
longer be dominated by the things which are
"seen and temporal" - he will become
heavenly minded and "the just shall live by
Faith is a personal trust in a personal God
and in a personal Savior - it is God-given
and only the Holy Spirit gives it!
v. 2 - "the elders obtained a good report"
They trusted in a Savior who was yet only
"hoped for" and in a sacrifice for sin that
was "not seen"
v. 3 - The visible universe speaks to the soul
of a Divinity beyond them! of a power
above us to whom we are responsible.
God has two volumes - His Word and His universe.
Genesis 1 - "and God said" - the unseen author of the
universe. Even without a revelation
to declare faith's office is to apprehend
it from observation of the phenomena
themselves - as intimated in Rom. 1:20
Where the invisible things of God from the
Creation of the world are said to be "clearly
seen" being understood by the things that are
made, even His ETERNAL POWER and
Accounting for the seen universe so that
they are "without excuse"!
Unaided reason (philosophy) has never ascended by the
steps of the design-argument up to "nature's
And the candid, sober confession of science still is
there remains the "mystery of the universe" -
the phenomena of matter and of force.
The revelation of God explains this mystery - time and
space were skillfully framed and finished by a simple
direction of the Almighty! That it was created not
out of some pre-existing materials but was created
by God out of nothing!
Genesis 1:1 - either you believe it or you don't.
Accept it and there follows the possibility of miracles,
and that a supernatural revelation is not an
unlikely blessing - if God has made us in His
own image - then surely we are heirs of
Faith is the belief in the Divine Testimony
whatever that testimony be - the bare Word
of God - in the following verses are some
illustrations of men and women of great
character due to the moral power of their faith.
A national picture gallery, if you will, the
soldiers of faith and their battles.
vs. 4,5 & 7 - Three figures stand out prominently
as representing the righteous seed
in the midst of growing evil - Abel,
Enoch and Noah.
Abel - "offered a more excellent sacrifice...
by which he obtained witness that he
was righteous, GOD TESTIFYING of
his gifts....being dead still speaketh"
Enoch - a witness for God in a sensuous and
ungodly world - "was translated....God had
translated him: for before his translation he had
this testimony that he pleased God"
Noah - "warned of God of things NOT SEEN AS
YET (the divinely predicted events of the
Deluge), moved with fear, prepared an ark to
the saving of his house; by the which he
condemned the world and became heir of
the righteousness which is by faith"
The idea running through the whole Old Testament
is that, in the midst of a sinful world, an inheritance
of salvation was transmitted through a chosen seed,
until the Christ should come as the "Heir of all things"
the perfected Head and Representative of all redeemed
Noah is the first called righteous Gen. 7:1 - the idea being
justification through faith.
Abel - a witness against the spirit which denies the
necessity of an expiatory atonement
Enoch - a witness against the spirit of secularism
Noah - a witness against the spirit which stumbles at
ALL OF THE ABOVE MEN AND THOSE WHO
FOLLOW NEED TO BE STUDIED ON AN
INDIVIDUAL BASIS - unfortunately, it is beyond
the scope of this study - in time it can be done - I
thank God that I in my life have had the leisure,
time and opportunity to study each of these,
hopefully to profit for "all scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect,
throughly furnished unto all good works" - II Tim. 3:16-17
v. 6 - "Without faith it is impossible to please God..."
Abraham - "obeyed; and he went out not knowing where
he went" (to an unrevealed "land that I will show
thee" - he followed God blindly knowing only that
it was right to follow Him - the same for us where
the future may be unknown or dim.
He dwelt with his son and grandson "heirs with him of
the SAME PROMISE....he looked for a city which hath
foundations, whose builder and maker is God"
Sarah - "received strength to conceive seed, and was
delivered of a child when she was past age,
because she judged Him faithful who had promised"
v. 12 - Abraham's faith overcame trials and seeming
impossibilities - one was the long delay (20 yrs or so) of the
birth of a legitimate heir through whom the promise of an
innumerable seed might be fulfilled - yet he "staggered
not....." - Rom. 4:19-25
vs. 17-19 - The offering of Isaac stands out as the
crowning instance of Abraham's faith - the
long awaited son, in whose single life was bound
up all hope of the fulfillment of the promise
was to be sacrificed - Abraham did not
hesitate - believed God would fulfill the
promise somehow even if it meant raising
The Giver of all deserves our best and dearest -
it was made clear to Abraham that God does
require atonement for sin and entire submission
to His will - but He does not require violence to
be done to tender human feeling, or any cruel
rites such as "the fruit of one's body for the sin
of the soul" - such a perverted, disgusting and
exceeding sinful practice such as abortion!
vs. 14-16 - They lived in hope of things not seen -
the very fact that they were content to die
without themselves attaining, if so God's
purpose might be accomplished to their
seed, invests them with a peculiar grandeur
v. 20 - Isaac - blessed his sons "concerning things
v. 21 - Jacob also - in each case the human
intention is overruled in that the younger
son obtains the higher blessing.
We need "like precious faith" - II Peter 1:1
vs. 23-28 - Moses - "endured as seeing Him who
is invisible" - his faith of the unseen Heavenly
King was kept alive during the forty years
in the wilderness
v. 29 - he said "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the
salvation of the Lord which He will show
to you today" - Ex. 14:13
"the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned"
See - arkdiscovery.com
v. 30 - "by faith the walls of Jericho fell down"
v. 31 - Rahab - even a heathen, one of the doomed
Canaanite race is adopted into the
commonwealth of Israel, even becoming
an ancestress of the Messiah!
Faith is exhibited as the principle of religion
to all races - "Whosoever will may come"
"them that believed not" - same words of
those Israelites that fell in the wilderness -ch. 3:18
It is also used of the contemporaries of Noah
in I Pet. 3:20
vs. 32-38 - exploits of faith throughout history
The author began in Genesis and as he has been
thumbing through the Old Testament page by
page, he finds everywhere noble deeds of faith -
he is starting to hurry through this exhibit for
he wants to get to the masterpiece of the whole -
the portrait of JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND
PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH - ch. 12:2
v. 35 - "tortured, not accepting deliverance; that
they might obtain a better resurrection" -
a resurrection into eternal life which was
better than a temporary restoration to
"of whom the world was not worthy" - their
persecutors condemned them as unworthy of living
in the world; but, instead, God says the world
was not worthy of them.
Salt being effective - beware of the losing of
vs. 39-40 - the entire fulfillment will not come
till the Second Advent of Christ - waiting
for the redeemed of all ages since the world
began, to be gathered into one through
Christ and God shall be all in all!
Christ has come! He has achieved our redemption!
He has given us His Holy Spirit! He has given us
a completed Bible!
He has opened heaven over the world; and we see
the angels of God ascending and descending upon
the Son of Man!
How shameful then if we do not believe or allow
our faith to decline, turning into apostasy? How
miserable then are we if we allow our faith and hope
in the Lord Jesus to wane or if we be asleep at His Second