Thursday, February 16, 2012

Owning What We Hope For

Hebrews 11:1 - "NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]."

Christians need a clear and concise understanding of what faith is.

I personally think it is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Bible.

That's scary because it is also one of the essential doctrines, and we will not be everything we should be in Christ without a working definition.

The KJV did its best in trying to get it across, but Heb. 11:1 is one of those passages which need to have the original language opened up for the best understanding.

This is why I like the Amplified Version. It was developed for such a verse as this.

I think too many people miss the fact that the "substance" (as translated in the KJV) is not faith.

Faith is not a physically tangible property, and it's not what Paul is referring to.

Paul is referring to what faith appropriates, which is the manifestation of what we hope for.

Without the application of faith to what we hope for (better jobs, reliable cars, better health, paid up bills, etc.) they will always just remain a hope and never materialize in reality.

In fact, faith is such a spiritual power that when it is applied properly we are believing that we have actually received what we hope for before we have the evidence of it sitting in front of us (BEFORE we get behind the steering wheel, BEFORE we get the medical report, BEFORE we are reporting to the new job)!

The fact that "substance" or "assurance" is translated as "title deed", which is a certificate of OWNERSHIP, it gives us the foundation for a changed life!

This leaves another missing piece.

"Pastor, WHAT should I be putting my faith in?"

Good question. First, here is NOT what to place your faith in:

Do not make the object of your faith the bible, prayer, church going, your pastor, your own ability, or what you are hoping for, etc.

All of those are in important, but they are not worthy of being the object of faith. They are benefits of having faith.

No, there is one thing and one thing only that we place our faith in, and that is the Cross of Jesus Christ and what He accomplished upon it!

100% of the time Jesus is the focus and object of our faith. Paul says, "We preach Christ crucified!"

Matthew 6:33 - "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." The Kingdom of God is established in Jesus Christ and the Cross.

Seek Christ (have faith in) and His Kingdom first and believe that everything you hope for is already fulfilled and added to you!

So a misunderstood and misplaced faith becomes as faulty as no faith at all.

Faith is the power which brings about to fruition the things we are trying to accomplish through our hopes and dreams for a better life.

Nothing worthwhile will happen on purpose until faith is attached to it.

We may stumble upon good fortune on occasion, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile.

That's not God's best for us.

God's best is that we live in confidence in His Word and be receiving regularly His blessings by believing for them and accepting them in faith!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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