Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for
The conviction of things not seen
What exactly does Hebrews 11:1 mean? Hebrews 11:1 is the definition of faith. But to fully understand the definition, we must examine the three components of the definition ― faith, assurance of things hoped for, and conviction of things not seen.
What is Faith? The definition of faith is reflected in Jeremiah 17:7:
Blessed is the man who trusts in The LORD
And whose trust is The LORD
But blessed are those who trust in The LORD
And have made The LORD their hope and confidence
Faith is more than a mental belief in The LORD GOD. It is trust in HIM that is so complete and reliance upon HIS WORD so absolute, that confidence does not waver with circumstances. The person who holds this level of faith no longer requires proof or evidence to believe, as they have consistently experienced the goodness and faithfulness of GOD. HE has become their hope (Psa 38:15, Psa 39:7, Psa 62:5-8, Psa 71:5-6, Heb 6:13-20), their shield (2 Sam 22:3, 2 Sam 22:31-33, Psa 3:3, Psa 18:2-3, Psa 28:7-9) and their refuge (Psa 5:11, Psa 61:3-4, Psa 91:2-4, Pro 18:10).
How can one have faith at this level? Only through our Precious LORD & SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. HE introduces us to faith, and then develops it through HIS examples of trusting and obeying ABBA FATHER at all times, in every situation (Heb 12:2).
What does introduction to faith look like? One is introduced to faith by literally hearing about HIM (Rom 10:13-17). We see this occurring throughout The BIBLE, but we will look at four New Testament examples:
1. A man filled with a legion of demons received deliverance (Mrk 5:1-19, -Luk 8:26-39), went home to Decapolis and testified about all JESUS had done for him (Mrk 5:20), causing others who heard his testimony to seek JESUS for themselves (Mat 4:23-25, Mrk 7:31-37).
2. The hemorrhaging woman was part of a crowd who heard about JESUS, and was waiting for HIS return (Luk 8:40). By faith she touched the hem of HIS cloak, receiving her healing at once (Luk 8:43-48). Others begin to seek JESUS out, pleading with HIM to touch the hem of HIS cloak (Mrk 6:53-56).
3. The Samaritan woman at the well returned to her city after spending time with JESUS, telling others about her encounter and that she had met The CHRIST (Jhn 4:28-30). Many of the Samaritans believed in JESUS because of the Samaritan woman’s testimony about HIM (Jhn 4:39-42).
4. A lame man in Lystra listening to the apostle Paul preach The Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, received faith to be healed (Act 14:7-10).
How is this faith developed? It happens in five ways. First, there is a response to the message. In the four examples of “introduction to faith” mentioned above, all responded to the message about JESUS CHRIST and received deliverance, healing and salvation. Second, there is a building on that initial response, through a continued response of trusting and obeying all subsequent messages. This continued response, begins to form an intimate relationship with our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST (Mat 12:48-50, Jhn 15:14, Jam 2:21-23). Third, this intimacy deepens as one faithfully seeks to know HIM (Psa 27:8, Psa 105:4), to know HIS will (Exd 33:13, Psa 25:4-5, Psa 119:12, Psa 143:10, Rom 12:2, Eph 5:17, Col 1:9-10, 1 Ths 4:3-7), and consistently seeks HIS guidance and strength to do HIS will (Php 3:9, Rom 9:30-32, Gal 2:16-21). Fourth, by experiencing the truthfulness of HIS WORD (Psa 119:160, Psa 119:142, Psa 119:151, Jhn 17:17) in every situation, HE becomes our trust and refuge. And fifth, by never forgetting WHO HE is and what HE has done (Psa 103:1-5, Psa 78:11-22, Psa 106:9-14), our confidence in and reliance upon HIM grows.
What is Assurance of things hoped for? It is the absolute certainty, total trust, and complete confidence in the expectation of receiving good from our Beloved LORD GOD.
When should one hope/expect to receive good from The LORD? Our expectations should be for both this temporal life, and our eternal life. In this temporal life because we know that our Beloved LORD GOD is good, compassionate, merciful, we expect that HE hears our prayers (Psa 4:3, Psa 116:1-2, Pro 15:29, Jhn 9:31, 1 Jhn 5:14-15), and works every situation out for good (Rom 8:28). Looking to our eternal life, we hope for redemption of our physical bodies (Rom 8:23-25, 1 Cor 15:51-58, 1 Ths 4:13-18); salvation of our souls (1 Ths 1:10, 1 Ths 5:9-10, 1 Pet 1:9); and receive all that HE has promised us if we persevere to the end (Rom 2:7, Heb 9:15, Heb 11:8-16, Jhn 14:2-3, 2 Tim 4:8, Jam 1:12, Rev 2:10-11, Rev 2:17, Rev 2:25-27, Rev 3:5, Rev 3:10-13, Rev 3:21, Rev 21:3-7, Rev 22:1-6).
What is the Conviction of things not seen? It means to be fully convinced, have belief that is not moved by physical circumstances, to be firmly persuaded of things not seen by the physical eye.
How can this happen? It happens with spiritual rebirth. At physical birth, approximately ninety-five percent are born with physical sight. Which means they have been given sight to see what is around them, the temporal things (2 Cor 4:18). At spiritual rebirth our spirit comes alive (Jhn 3:6), and the eyes of our hearts are enlightened (Psa 119:18, Eph 1:18-19, Act 26:18) so that we may see the unseen, the invisible, the eternal, the spiritual (2 Cor 4:18). That is why a man born again walks by faith in the unseen, not the appearance of what is seen (2 Cor 5:7).
Why must one be born again spiritually? Because our Beloved LORD GOD is Spirit (Jhn 4:24) and to become HIS child and a part of HIS spiritual Kingdom, we must undergo a second spiritual birth (Jhn 1:12-13, Jhn 3:3-8). At which HE sends HIS Holy SPIRIT into our hearts (Gal 4:6, Rom 8:-11), opening our spiritual eyes and ears (Isa 29:18). Granting us the ability to know our unseen GOD (1 Pet 1:8, 1 Tim 1:17), be aware of our unseen enemies (Eph 6:12), be instructed by HIS Holy SPIRIT (Psa 32:8, Psa 25:12, Isa 30:20-21, Jhn 14:26, Jhn 16:13) and be led by HIM (Jhn 10:3-5, Jhn 10:24-27, Rom 8:14-17).
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but The SPIRIT WHO is from GOD
So that we may know the things freely given to us by GOD
Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by The SPIRIT
Combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words
But a natural man does not accept the things of The SPIRIT of GOD, for they are foolishness to him
And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised
But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one
For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM?
But we have the mind of CHRIST
1 Corinthians 2:12-16