Chapter 11 is the great faith chapter. Faith is described in verses 1-3. True Bible faith is not an emotional "hope-so"; it is a real conviction based upon the Word of God (Romans 10:17). The word "substance" means "assurance," and the word "evidence" means "proof." When the Holy Spirit gives a man faith through the Word, the very presence of that faith in his heart is all the assurance and evidence he needs! A great Bible teacher once said, "Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen." Through faith, men see what others cannot see. When there is true faith in the heart, God bears witness to that heart by His precious Spirit. It was by faith that Noah saw coming judgment; Abraham saw a future city; Joseph saw the exodus from Egypt; and Moses saw God. Dr. Vance Havner has said, "By faith they saw the invisible, chose the imperishable and did the impossible." Faith accomplishes things because there is power in the Word of God, as illustrated by creation in verse 3. God spoke, and it was done! God still speaks to us, and when we believe what He says, the power of God's Word accomplishes things in our lives! The same Word that acted in the old creation acts in the new creation.
Paul closes this great book with practical admonitions for the believers. Their enemies were saying, "If you stay true to Christ, you will lose everything--your friends, your material goods, your religious heritage in the Temple, sacrifices, and priesthood." Today, people are saying the same thing-- that if you get saved you will have to give up everything! Paul points out to the believers that true Christians lose nothing! By faith, the Christian turns his back on the world and material possessions, and fixes his eyes and heart on God. Though material rags may fall off, we are all conquerors in Christ Jesus, and one day we shall see Christ as He really is. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but one day we shall be like Him. Praise His holy name.
Index of Daily Devotions