“The Meaning of Faith”
Hebrews 11:1-3 (NRSV)
The Meaning of Faith
11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
Faith can mean many different things to us. First, I want to encourage you to read the entirety of Hebrews 11; it is an eye-opening chapter of Hebrews. It is often referred to as the "saints" chapter. Many saints are mentioned, some of which you may know who they are and some of which you do not know who they are. It is debatable if this is intentional by the writer, but we may never know.
Did you remember Abel, Noah, and Abraham? These are familiar names from the bible that most biblically literate people may know and those who don’t know the bible might know as well. There is also Isaac, Jacob, and Sarah. Do not forget Jacob, Esau, and Joseph! Of course, you remember Moses.
There is also Rehab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets (Hebrews 11:32b). All these names may sound very familiar to you. But there is one you may not know, it is "Enoch." I have been in conversation with one of our church members about this character, mentioned only in Genesis and Hebrews. Yet, we do not know much about this one character. So, I challenge you to see what you can find about this one person in the Bible. I have contacted one of my old seminary professors about this personality to provide some biblically sound research for this church member. So, let me know what you find; you may be surprised!
The important thing is in the final verses of Hebrews 11:
39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.
This is referring to Jesus, our most generous gift of faith from God. The next chapter begins as The Example of Jesus, which is chapter 12. Our individual faith story has a lot to show about us and our journey. Which character could you relate to the most after reading this passage?