Faith should be the way of life for every Christian and hence the church. Faith is a subject that we all so often talk about. Yet, faith is a concept that is often talked about but not practised. The average person is much more apt to go by what he sees, feels, thinks or observes rather than by trusting in God. Faith is quite simply taking God at his word, living life in accordance with His will, and trusting him for the results. The Bible says that “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1 ESV).
Υποστασις (hy-po’sta-sis), translated “assurance” here, commonly appears in ancient papyrus business documents, conveying the idea that a covenant is an exchange of assurances which guarantees the future transfer of possessions described in the contract. In view of this, James Hope Moulton and George Milligan suggest the rendering: “Faith is the title deed of things hoped for” (Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, 1963, p. 660).
The Greek word e´leg-khos, rendered “conviction” in Hebrews 11:1 (ESV), conveys the idea of bringing forth evidence that demonstrates something, particularly something contrary to what appears to be the case. Thereby this evidence makes clear what has not been discerned before and so refutes what has appeared to be the case. This evidence for conviction is so positive or powerful that faith is said to be it.
John Piper writes ‘I wonder how many believers today realize that faith is not merely believing that Christ died for our sins. Faith is also being confident that His way is better than sin. His will is more wise. His help is more sure. His promises more precious. And His reward more satisfying. Faith begins with a backward look at the cross, but it lives with a forward look at the promises.’