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  • Chad Werkhoven

Hebrews 11:1-3 - Certainty

Want to live with confident assurance? Flex your faith!


Hebrews 11:1-3 (NIV)

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 22 - Our Justification Through Faith in Christ

We believe that

for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery

the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith

that embraces Jesus Christ,

with all his merits,

and makes him its own,

and no longer looks for anything

apart from him.

For it must necessarily follow

that either all that is required for our salvation

is not in Christ or,

if all is in him,

then he who has Christ by faith

has his salvation entirely.


to say that Christ is not enough

but that something else is needed as well

is a most enormous blasphemy against God—

for it then would follow

that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior.

And therefore we justly say with Paul

that we are justified “by faith alone”

or by faith “apart from works.”


we do not mean,

properly speaking,

that it is faith itself that justifies us—

for faith is only the instrument

by which we embrace Christ,

our righteousness.

But Jesus Christ is our righteousness

in making available to us all his merits

and all the holy works he has done

for us and in our place.

And faith is the instrument

that keeps us in communion with him

and with all his benefits.

When those benefits are made ours

they are more than enough to absolve us

of our sins.



You know it's an awesome word when every English translation of the Bible translates it a different way, and even though they're all different, they're all correct. Such is the case with the definition of the word faith given in the opening verse. In the NIV, we read that faith is confidence in what we hoped for and assurance of what we do not see. But look at these other ways to express the very same thing:

  • NIV84 - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

  • ESV - Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

  • LEB - Now faith is the realization of what is hoped for, the proof of things not seen.

  • NET - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.

  • KJV - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Again, all of these are very good translations, and the fact that the idea being expressed here can be accurately stated so many different ways illustrates just how magnificent our faith is. It's just one more example of the benefit of reading the Bible in multiple different translations!

Dig Deeper

Today's short passage doesn't just tell us what our faith is, but also what our faith does, and every single one of the translations above translates this phrase the exact same way (so that tells you something too):

By faith we understand...

The verse goes on to say that by faith we understand that God created all that is out of nothing, but this certainly doesn't mean that this one particular fact is the only thing that you understand through faith. As we noted yesterday, our Confession describes faith as an "instrument by which we embrace Christ;" that is, it's the way that we come to understand who Christ is, what He did for us, and how we ought to now live.

So couple these two ideas to give you confidence throughout your day. You don't need to float through a life of listless uncertainty. Quite the opposite! You've been given faith and are making every effort to strengthen it each day, so live with the assurance that the promises that God has made you in His Word are true, and know that you can understand both this natural world and the Savior who has made you a citizen of the world to come.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who formed the universe at His command;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for the faith He's given you and pray that you will make every effort each day to strengthen it;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Luke 10


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