Not By Sight
Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him…39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.
(Observation) Faith is the assurance and conviction of things not seen. The faith of “men of old” gained them approval from God. The “men of old” listed in Hebrews 11 are pleasing to God because they “believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” The “men of old” believed God and acted on His word even though the result of their actions was not within their control, but in the hands of God. The author of Hebrews devotes the whole of chapter 11 to examples of men and women who believed God and acted on that faith.
(Interpretation) In Ephesians 2 we see that faith is a gift from God. In Luke 11 we see that we are to ask for faith. In Hebrews 11 we see that faith manifests itself in obedience to God’s word. Now that God has paid for sin by the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross, providing eternal life to all who have believed Him, we, along with the “men of old” look forward to the promised return of Jesus Christ and eternal life with Him in Heaven, “so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.”
(Cross-reference) Ephesians 2: 8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Luke 11: 9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened….13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
2 Corinthians 5: 7 “for we walk by faith not by sight.”
(Application) Faith in God is a gift from God. Obedience to God’s word is assurance for believers (Old Testament and New Testament) that they have received faith. This faith is available to “everyone who asks,” for “He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
What do you think? If God were to allow you to see your name in His book of life, making your entry into heaven a certainty, would it affect your obedience to his will here on earth? If so, would it, in turn, affect the quality of your eternity? Are we better off walking “NOT BY SIGHT?”