Meaning of Faith

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Conviction of things not seen

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for

How can we have assurance of things hoped for? In John Wesley’s “Plain Account of Christian Perfection” John received a definition of the full assurance of faith. John asked the question to German, Arvid Gradin and this was his response, “Repose in the blood of Christ; a firm confidence in God, and persuasion of His favor; the highest tranquility, serenity, and peace of mind, with a deliverance from every fleshly desire, and a cessation of all, even inward sins.”
Firstly, we need to figure out what it is we need, what is hoped for. If you consider this definition one would have to say that we are seeking peace of mind. “ the conviction of things not seen.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 11:1.
Conviction-a firmly held opinion or belief
Hebrews: An Introduction and Commentary (i) Its Nature (11:1–3)

things not seen describes generally all that is beyond man’s normal knowledge or powers of comprehension.

2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

What then is commendation? Divine approval

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

Are we now in a time of great need of faith? I believe we are because of the situation of our denomination we are looking to move. We are all struggling to understand the direction we are going. Many here are putting faith in their leaders here. You have trusted them for years and they are quite reliable. Remember what we can see in our humanness is what Sarah could see. Her faith though gave her the power to conceive. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 11:11–12. When Hebrews talks about these great men and women of faith it also concludes that they all died in faith. What do you make of this? 13 These all died in faith,
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 11:13.
It says that they did not receive the things promised, but what was promised? 9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ge 18:9–15.
In the early world and Hebrew people life was found in offspring. People who had children never died. Literally they always had a family existence. Sarah pleaded with God to give her children and yet none were given. Our humanness is the opposite of faith. Sarah tried to work around God to give her husband a future, but it was not God’s plan.

not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

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