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Faith and Assurance
(Genesis 1:1–2; John 1:1–5)
1 Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see. 2 This is why the ancients were commended.
3 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.
The Faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah
4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous when God gave approval to his gifts. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 By faith Enoch was taken up a so that he did not see death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” b For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in godly fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
The Faith of Abraham and Sarah
(Genesis 15–22; Romans 4:1–12)
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, without knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the promised land as a stranger in a foreign country. He lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11 By faith Sarah, even though she was barren and beyond the proper age, was enabled to conceive a child, because she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 And so from one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people died in faith, without having received the things they were promised. However, they saw them and welcomed them from afar. And they acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
14 Now those who say such things show that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac on the altar. He who had received the promises was ready to offer his one and only son, c 18 even though God had said to him, “Through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned.” d 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and in a sense, he did receive Isaac back from death.
The Faith of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning the future.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his bones.
The Faith of Moses
(Exodus 2–15;Acts 7:20–22)
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after his birth, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were unafraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he was grown, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to suffer oppression with God’s people rather than to experience the fleeting enjoyment of sin. 26 He valued disgrace for Christ above the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his reward.
27 By faith Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch Israel’s own firstborn.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to follow, e they were drowned.
The Faith of Many
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies in peace, did not perish with those who were disobedient.
32 And what more shall I say? Time will not allow me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the raging fire, and escaped the edge of the sword; who gained strength from weakness, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight.
35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused their release, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Still others endured mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned, they were sawed in two, f they were put to death by the sword. They went around in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, oppressed, and mistreated. 38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and hid in caves and holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. 40 God had planned something better for us, so that together with us they would be made perfect.
5 a Literally transferred or translated
5 b Genesis 5:24 (see also LXX)
17 c Or only begotten son or unique son
18 d Genesis 21:12
29 e Literally made an attempt
37 f NE, WH, BYZ, and TR include they were put to the test,