Heaven’s heroes are found throughout the Bible and one specific chapter highlights many of them. It’s Hebrews 11, and it’s appropriately called God’s Hall of Faith.
There are many thematic chapters in the Bible. They are chapters that stand apart because of their momentous subject matter and content. For example:
- Genesis 1 is the Creation chapter
- Psalm 119 is the Word chapter
- 1 Corinthians 13 is the Love chapter
- 1 Corinthians 15 is the Resurrection chapter
Hebrews 11 is the Faith Chapter
In Hebrews 11, we find highlighted some of the Old Testament saints. Every Old Testament and New Testament saint is now occupying Heaven, along with the triune God and His holy angels. There are multiplied millions who make up that Heavenly company we call the saints in glory. (Read: What About the Saints in Glory? and What are the Saints in Glory Doing?) But there is a select number of those saints who are singled out by name or description in the great faith chapter of Hebrews 11.
Man’s Halls of Fame
I’m a sports fan, and every major sport has a national hall of fame:
- Major League Baseball in Cooperstown, NY,
- National Basketball Association in Springfied, MA
- U.S. Hockey in Eveleth, MN
- National Football League in Canton, OH, and many others.
There are also music halls of fame, including the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.
For many of the people whose names and accomplishments are etched on the walls among the other “legends” in their fields, it is considered the greatest achievement of their lives. But their fame and their earthly exploits do not even register a blip on the radar screen of Heaven.
What does the God of Heaven think about baseball, basketball, hockey, football, or even country music? Well, we don’t honestly know because we can’t find those things in the Bible. But we do know what God thinks about faith. We can live, die, and go to heaven without sports, music, or excelling in any other humanly-acclaimed field, but we cannot please God or go to heaven without faith. Heb. 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God), for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Now if faith is so very important, we need to know what it is. So in this introductory article, we will consider the following elements of biblical faith.
God’s Hall of Fame is by Faith
We can live, die, and go to heaven without excelling in sports, music, or any other humanly-acclaimed field, but we cannot please God, or enter into Heaven, without faith.
Heb. 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Now if faith is so very important, we need to know, what is faith? In this introductory article on God’s Hall of Faith, we will consider four elements of biblical faith.
The Definition of Faith
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
That is the biblical definition of faith, the kind of faith that pleases God and is an absolute necessity, spiritually and eternally speaking. So faith is not something that is mysterious, murky, a myth, or unknowable to man. Faith is not “pie in the sky, bye and bye.” Faith has substance.
Verse 1 says…”faith is the substance of things hoped for”… Faith has substance, and it is based on hope, and biblical hope is not a positive attitude or wishful thinking. Biblical hope is a confident expectation of earthly good and eternal glory. It might be helpful to think of hope as an acrostic…His Omnipotent Promises Expected.
Faith also has evidence. Verse 1 continues… “the evidence of things not seen.” Many skeptics expound about not believing in God or anything they can’t see. But in truth, we all believe in a lot of things we can’t see. We can’t see the wind, but we clearly see the evidence of it. We can’t see gravity, but the evidence is undeniable. So biblical faith is not blind faith. To believe in God does not mean you are an intellectual lightweight or a conspiracy theorist.
Biblical faith has substance and evidence. That substance is hope and the evidence is not yet seen. Scripture says…”we walk by faith, not by sight”, 1 Cor. 5:7.
The Foundation of Faith
Hebrews 11:2-3… For by it [faith] the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
The Persob of God
God is the object, the Author, and Finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). God is the beginning of our faith (Gen. 1:1) and He is the end of our faith (Rev. 22:13,21).
The Word of God
Scripture is the spoken word (Gen.1:3,11), the written word (2 Tim. 3:15-17), and the living word (John 1:1-3,14).
The Worlds of God
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…” (Heb 11:3)
The word “worlds” refers to all of God’s creation; the earth, our solar system, all the stars and galaxies, the entire universe, plus all time, space, and matter. Logic demands that creation necessitates a Creator! Design requires a Designer!
The NECESSITY of Faith
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God].
Could it be any more clear? Faith is not an option, it is absolutely essential.
The Demonstration of Faith
Heb 11:6 …for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
Faith is not passively agreeing to a general truth about God. Faith is personally acting on God’s revealed truth and will. So there must be…
A Personal Believing in God
“…must believe that He is…” Must believe that God is real.
A Personal Behaving of God
“and [believe] that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Biblical faith believes God is real, and also a rewarder. So biblical faith is believing in the reality of God, and also behaving in our responsibilities to God. One who truly believes in God will also behave by continuing to seek and serve Him diligently. I have a good pastor-friend who often says that genuine faith means to “keep doing the hard, right thing”.
In this upcoming series of articles, we will be looking at heroes and heroines of the faith, real people who chose to step out in faith and believe in the God of Heaven and behave according to His commands. Their genuine faith led them to be confident obeyers and diligent doers of God’s word and will. It’s been said, “faith honors God, and God honors faith.” We will see the biblical characters who are honored by appearing in God’s Hall of Faith. Please join us on this journey, and make sure you do as Scripture says… “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” (Read: Has Jesus CHANGED Your Life?) Make sure that you will someday join the saints in glory when this life is over.
Read all the articles in our Hebrews 11 series:
- Who are Heaven’s Heroes in God’s Hall of Faith?
- Abel, Enoch, and Noah in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Abraham in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Isaac in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Jacob in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Joseph in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Amram and Jochebed in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Joshua and Rahab in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- The Judges in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Samuel and David in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Daniel and His Friends in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Unnamed Heroines in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Anonymous Heroes in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11)
- Why Were Select People Included in Hebrews 11?
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