Vs 1-3 The Nature of Faith
V 1, Faith responds to revelation that God has given of things that are still in the future and not perceived by natural senses. It believes God and it rests in the faithfulness of God to fulfill His promises. It is convinced that unseen things exist, and proves them in present experience.
V 2, The Holy Spirit has recorded how faith worked from the beginning.
V 3, The first revelation that God has given is in regard to creation. Faith accepts the record that creation resulted from the spoken word of God. Its constitution, order and regulation reflect the will of the Creator. The now existing creation was not formed of any pre-existing materials.
Vs 4-7 Faith Operating Before the Flood.
V 4, Abel worshipped by faith. in response to divine revelation. In his offering he acknowledged his sin and his need of the substitutionary sacrifice. God’s acceptance of his sacrifice was the witness that God accepted Abel.
V 5, Enoch walked by faith, Walking with God – pleasing God. His translation shows victory over death, and that pleasing God is rewarding.
V 6, Principles learned from Abel and Enoch: Apart from faith it is impossible to please God, and worshippers of God must believe there is one true God. God becomes the Rewarder of those who seek after Him.
V 7, In Noah, we see faith in action, believing things not seen as yet. His preparing an ark by divine instruction resulted in the salvation of his house, the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. He was assured of a righteous standing before God, not self righteousness. He was a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet 2:5).
Vs 8-19 The Faith of Abraham
Vs 8-10, His Early Years. The Promise of God to Provide a City.
V 8, He was called to receive an inheritance. He received a command with a promise. He obeyed in faith. He was not told when or where it would be.
V 9, He lived in the land as an alien, not an owner.
V 10, He looked for a city whose Designer and Maker is God.
Vs 11-12, His Mid Years. The Power of God to Produce Abundant Life.
V 11, Sarah was linked to Abraham in faith. She was past age.
v 12, God produced life out of death. Abraham was “as good as dead”.
Vs 13-16, Commentary on Faith. Faith is sure of things hoped for, certain of things not seen with the eyes.
V 13, They died, not having received the promises, but persevering in hope. They recognized and confessed that they were strangers.
V 14, In doing so, they indicated that they were looking for a country of their own.
V 15, They abandoned all thought of going back.
V 16, They yearned for the realization of their hope – a heavenly country. God is pleased to be called their God. A city is prepared for them.
Vs 17-19, His Later Years. The Power of God in Resurrection.
V 17, His trial resulted in total obedience. His willing obedience in offering up what God had given.
V 18, The promise of God was “in Isaac”.
V 19, In faith, He accounted that God was able to raise him up.
Vs 20-22 The Patriarchs at the End of their Lives
V 20, Isaac’s blessing of Jacob and Esau was the assurance that God would fulfill His promise “concerning things to come”.
V 21, Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s sons was an act of worship.
V 22, Joseph, with his commandment concerning his bones, expressed his assurance of resurrection and possession of the land of promise.
Vs 23-29 The Faith of Moses
V 23, His Early Life. The faith of his parents in God’s promises They saw God’s purposes in their unique child.
Vs 24-26, His Mid Years. His own faith in the promises of God.
V 24, His refusal of present fulfillment in Egypt.
V 25, His deliberate choice of suffering with the People of God now.
V 26, He accounted the reproach of Christ to be the greatest source of wealth. He believed that God will reward those who seek Him in a coming day.
Vs 27-29, His Later Years. His faith regarding the people of God.
V 27, He rejected Egypt, leaving physically what he had left morally, V 28, The Passover was the deliverance of Israel, and his faith in the Lamb.
V 29, Passing through the Read Sea saved Israel, but destroyed Pharaoh.
Vs 30-31 Two More Examples of Faith in God’s Power
V 30, The simple obedience of faith caused Jericho’s walls to fall.
V 31, Rahab was saved by faith in God’s purposes.
Vs 32-38 Other Examples of Faith
Vs 32-34, Faith makes lowly men great, able to overcome and do exploits for God.
V 35, Through faith some were blessed. Others were enabled to endure great suffering, even to martyrdom because of faith in a better resurrection.
Vs 36-37, More examples of patient suffering of great persecution.
V 38, Such nobility of faith cannot be appreciated by the world.
Vs 39-40 The End of The Lord
V 39, These were all recognized in Scripture as men and women of faith, yet none entered into what God had promised, either in this world or even in resurrection, for Christ had not yet come.
V 40, Greater privileges are available now through the Gospel. Spiritual blessings and access to God through the blood of Christ as an example.
The final blessings and emancipation will be realized together by O.T. and N.T. saints at the coming of Christ in Glory.