Let’s review what we have learned about the definition for faith:
Faith – God is the object of true faith. Faith will always require and even demand a response from the hearer (Heb. 3:15 Rev. 3:20).
Not seen - This is a nautical term. It means not casually observed. The Writer is not saying that we cannot see it; he is saying that there is a way to see it. In Gen. 1:29 We learned very early that God:
• Commands Man to see.
• That there is something to see.
• We are expected to see it.
• There is a cost to not seeing it.
Substance – Is that which is real, factual and can be quantified.
Evidence – means proof and reproof. It means to be validated as being correct. The evidence that God wants to present to the world is threefold:
- His work in creation.
- His work in human history.
- His work in the lives of His people.
Things – this is an accounting term. It means accomplished and is being accomplished. In other words what has already been done and what is even now still being done. We also said that this particular word is the most important word in the entire definition. It also be extension, becomes one of the single most important words in the entire bible. The reason being is that Heb. 11:1
• Summarizes the entirety of scripture. Heb. 11:6
• Summarizes the lifestyle that believers are called to live (Hab. 2:4)
Based on what we have learned so far, Hebrews 11:1 can be understood in this fashion:
"Now faith is the reality of things hoped for. The validation of our faith and our hope being what has already been accomplished and what is even now still being accomplished. And these things are not casually observed".
The word “things” (translated as accomplished or done) raises a threefold question of who, where and what.
- Accomplished by Who?
- Where have these things been accomplished?
- What has been accomplished?
Once we see what has been accomplished, and who did it, we should have a response towards the thing that has been done and especially towards the one who did it.
The “by who” is God. In other words:
“Now faith is the reality of things hoped for. The validation of our faith and our hope being what God has already accomplished and even now is still accomplishing and these things are not casually observed”.
The Writer is not saying that we cannot see what God has already done. He is saying that there is a way in which to see what God has done and is still doing.
Remember we said that the word used for things is a business term. It is an accounting term. It carries with it the connotation of a business transaction. In other words God is at work.
Where is God at Work:
As previously stated, God is at work in creation, human history and in the lives of his people.