Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.[i]
We Christians say we posses our salvation that we have passed from death to eternal life, ignoring those many scriptures that talk about our future salvation, our future eternal life, our hope in Christ. How is it we can all quote the above verse which describes hope and certainty of something we do not see yet, and say we got ours already at the altar? Paul says just the opposite:
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.[ii]
The following is an excerpt from my book The Gospel According to the Gospel
When it comes to our gospel we respond by saying I believe I have, when the gospel is asking us to hope in the promises of God. This is so very important to understand. This is where the fundamental difference is between our churched faith and the faith spoken of in scripture. When we say I have faith we say I posses. The gospel is asking us to say I have faith and mean I have a hope to someday posses. This is absolutely crucial for us to understand. Again the gospel according to the gospel is asking us to say, I have faith and mean I believe in the promises God has made concerning my hope of salvation. This is why it is so wonderful that scripture teaches all of God’s promises are still, yes still, yes and amen.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.[iii]
Don’t you just marvel at God’s word?
Faith isn’t I believe a fact therefore I receive the benefit of it. Like we do when we say I have been saved, I am an adopted child of God or I have received eternal life. Nor is it saying I believe in what I can see. Like I can see the historical reality of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection therefore I have faith which we hold synonymous with belief. Scripture isn’t asking us to believe the fact of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Instead It is asking us to hope in what was promised and provided for us through Christ and His obedience to death on the cross. And these things would be relating to all those scripture that talk of our future salvation, our future adoption and our future gift of eternal life that we participate with Abraham in Christ.
Remember faith is being sure of what we do not posses or see.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.[iv]
If what is unseen is eternal how can we profess to have our salvation today? Isn’t our salvation eternal? If we say we posses it wouldn’t that make it seen and temporal? Surly our salvation is not temporal. If our salvation is to be eternal it is unseen and this is why we too should fix our eyes on not what is seen but unseen. This is why we have a hope of salvation in our gospel. This is why our faith is expressed as a hope, a certainty in what is not seen. Not an unanswered prayer request.
We see and believe paper money has a value over the cost to print it therefore the paper that cost twelve cents to print spends like a twenty. We know we possess a twenty dollar bill because it spends like a twenty dollar bill. This faith in the fiat currency is not eternal for it is seen so this in not the faith we are asked to have.
Now if you heard that coke bottles were going to be the new currency this would take faith. Why because it is not seen, it is an unseen future hope. So if some prophet on the internet was prophesying all future currencies would be old coke bottles and you started to save all your coke bottles you would be acting in the kind of faith scripture is asking us to have.. In fact you would walk along the roadside looking for coke bottles because you believed that one day they would replace money. Why would you believe this? Because you believed the promise of the prophet on the internet. But we do not believe some kook on the internet we believe in someone who has a better promise and the ability to deliver. This is our Lord, our God and our king. The one who gives us life, our promises and our hope.
Now imagine you held this hope about the coke bottles faithfully and made sure you lived in such a way as to benefit from it. Then in the latter years abandoned this hope and threw away all those old coke bottles only to see the day that these coke bottles became the new currency. You would have not kept your faith till the end. You would have ship wrecked your own faith. Like men who fall away from faith in Christ, who shipwreck their hope of salvation.
Now I know this is an extreme example of hope and faith but it clearly demonstrates the differences between the guy who has a twenty and says he has faith it will spend like a twenty and the guy who is moved to believe a promise that coke bottles will spend like a twenty. Faith isn’t I hope for what I get to see and use today. No, faith is I hope for what was promised; knowing that someday the promise given will be fulfilled. This faith is hoping for what is still unseen. The still unfulfilled promises of God. It is these things we put our hope in that are eternal. If I do not abandon my hope in the promise, I will receive the promise. This is the faith presented in the gospel starting with Abraham, through the Law and the Prophets up to today.
Christ has done a work but that work is not complete. Let us not forget the verse that has made this clear, so we do not forget it again.
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.[v]
He is coming back to finish what He started and I hope to make this clear as I continue to defend the gospel. If the work of Christ is complete then why would Jesus Himself declare a second time, It is done”? What you didn’t know that Scripture records Jesus declaring it is finished as second time?
[i] Hebrews 11:1-2
[ii] Romans 8:24-25
[iii] II Corinthians 1:20
[iv] II Corinthians 4:18
[v] Hebrews 9:28