What is Faith?

December 5, 2017


Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


One of my favorite books of the Bible is Hebrews. It’s controversial and more than a little convoluted, but I’ve found some of my most treasured gems of truth in its twisted mines. A few months ago as I meditated on the Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 11 began to stand out to me in a new way. Here’s what I found--I hope you’re encouraged!


By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful Who had promised.

Hebrews 11:11


What is faith? We know that we must have it in order to please God (Heb. 11:6), that by it we can reckon Christ’s sacrifice done on our behalf, and that by this reckoning we are crucified, buried, raised, and seated with Him. However, the question remains as to what faith actually consists of--it’s the evidence of things unseen, but what is this evidence, this substance? Hebrews 11:11 gives us the answer.


We know that Sarah conceived Isaac, but how? We see two reasons: “by faith” and “because she judged Him faithful Who had promised.” If we turned this verse into a mathematical equation (not literally, but substituting causes and effects for variables), we see something like,


“Because x, y occurred, because z.”


It’s logical, then, to conclude that x=z. So how did Sarah conceive? By faith. And what is faith? Her confidence that God, Who had promised, is faithful! Faith isn’t some magical feeling we’ve got to muster up. It’s simply the knowledge that our God comes through. It’s the trust that He is, and that He cannot lie.


Scripture enforces this plenty of times. Deuteronomy 7:9 reminds us that “the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Hosea 11:12 calls our Father “the Holy One Who is faithful.” In YHWH, the unchanging I AM, “there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). In this we can stand: that the Rock of our salvation is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Simply to know this, that He is faithful, is the substance of our faith.


Let’s come before the mercy seat grounded in this truth. This is how we please God (Heb. 11:6) and reckon our salvation.


Press on!

In Christ,


Raelen VanDuzer


Raelen VanDuzer  (17) is on staff  at TPS Chapel and Changing Lives Ministry and is a senior at The Potter's School. 

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