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The Power of Bold Faith

11 Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations[a] were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated[b] by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.

Faith moved Abel[c] to choose a more acceptable sacrifice to offer God than his brother Cain, and God declared him righteous because of his offering of faith. By his faith, Abel still speaks instruction to us today, even though he is long dead.

Faith translated Enoch from this life and he was taken up into heaven! He never had to experience death; he just disappeared from this world because God promoted him. For before he was translated to the heavenly realm his life had become a pleasure to God.[d]

And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God.[e] For we come to God in faith[f] knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who passionately seek him.

Faith opened Noah’s heart to receive revelation and warnings from God about what was coming, even things that had never been seen. But he stepped out in reverent obedience to God and built an ark that would save him and his family. By his faith the world was condemned, but Noah received God’s gift of righteousness that comes by believing.

Faith of the Patriarchs

Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith. He lived by faith as an immigrant in his promised land as though it belonged to someone else.[g] He journeyed through the land living in tents with Isaac and Jacob who were persuaded that they were also co-heirs of the same promise.

10 His eyes of faith were set on the city[h] with unshakable foundations, whose architect and builder is God himself. 11 Sarah’s faith embraced God’s miracle power to conceive even though she was barren and was past the age of childbearing, for the authority of her faith[i] rested in the One who made the promise, and she tapped into his faithfulness.

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  1. 11:2 Or “elders.”
  2. 11:3 Or “the ages were completely equipped.”
  3. 11:4 Although Abel is the subject of the Greek sentence, faith is the emphasis and focus of this chapter. Nothing would have been accomplished by the figures mentioned in vv. 4–29 without faith. It is assumed that it is the faith of the person mentioned, not merely an abstraction of faith.
  4. 11:5 Or “he had the reputation of pleasing God.” See Gen. 5:24.
  5. 11:6 Or “we are powerless to please God.” The Greek word adynatos means impotent or powerless.
  6. 11:6 Or “Anyone who approaches God must believe.”
  7. 11:9 Or “a foreign country.”
  8. 11:10 Or “He was continually receiving the city.”
  9. 11:11 As translated from the Aramaic and some Greek manuscripts. Arguably, a difficult passage to translate from the Greek; variations of the text are focused on Abraham’s faith, not Sarah’s. Other manuscripts seem to have the focus on “their faith” (both Sarah’s and Abraham’s).