Add a bookmarkAdd and edit notesShare this commentary

Hebrews 11:1-2 meaning

The Pauline Author begins by explaining what faith is. 

Faith is the focus of Hebrews. Faith allows us to be justified before God and it allows us to continue in obedience. We all have the opportunity to continue living in faith and obedience to God. If we do, we will gain an inheritance with Jesus as a reward. Faith assures us and gives us confidence that what we hope for is real. It allows us to believe the promises of God: that obedience is worth it and that there is a greater reward.

It is important to note that faith only applies to things not seen by men. The Pauline Author defines faith as having confidence in something we do not see as though we do see: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (v 1). 

We have faith when we are convicted or convinced of things we cannot see as certainly as if we did see. By faith the men of old [people who have gone before us] have gained approval (v 2) from God and will be rewarded. We cannot see God. But faith allows us to have conviction that what God promises us is true, as though we could see it.

Faith is also the assurance that we have things hoped for as certainly as though we already possessed it. The Greek word translated assurance is "hupostasis" which could also be translated "realized." The sentence here could be stated as "in faith, things hoped for become realized," or "things hoped for become reality."

Everyone seeks what they think is in their best interest. In Hebrews, the Pauline Author admonishes us that God's reward is infinitely greater than anything we can pursue on earth in this life. Believers will receive the reward of the "glory and honor" of co-reigning with Christ in the earth if we live by faith in Him, by putting aside selfishness and walking in obedience to the Spirit (Hebrews 2:9). 

The gift of being justified in God's sight and saved from hell cannot be taken away from any believer (2 Timothy 2:13), but the reward and the approval spoken of here is given to believers who live out their faith in Jesus their entire lives.

This is the path to total fulfillment, this is what Jesus wants to lead "many sons" to, the glory of sharing His rulership over the Messianic Kingdom (Hebrews 2:10, Romans 8:17). 

Faith is the realization of our hopes, as real as though it were already in our hands. By faith we can see what is promised, and by obedience our faith is sustained (James 2:26).

Select Language
AaSelect font sizeDark ModeSet to dark mode
This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalized content. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies as described in our Privacy Policy.