III. The Unique Way of Faith
A. The Definition of Faith
- Now faith is the substantiation of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- For in this the elders have obtained a good testimony.
- By faith we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not come into being out of things which appear.
- By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying to his gifts; and through faith, though he has died, he still speaks.
- By faith Enoch was translated so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For before his translation he obtained the testimony that he had been well pleasing to God.
- But without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to Him, for he who comes forward to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
- By faith Noah, having been divinely instructed concerning things not yet seen and being moved by pious fear, prepared an ark for the salvation of his house, through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
- By faith Abraham, being called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
- By faith he dwelt as a foreigner in the land of promise as in a foreign land, making his home in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the fellow heirs of the same promise;
- For he eagerly waited for the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.
- By faith also Sarah herself received power to conceive seed, even beyond the season of age, since she considered Him faithful who promised.
- Therefore also there were born of one, and that of him who had become dead, as many as even the stars of heaven in multitude and as the sand by the seashore innumerable.
- All these died in faith, not receiving the promises but seeing them from afar and joyfully greeting them and confessing that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth.
- For those who say such things make it manifest that they seek after a country of their own.
- And if indeed they continued to remember that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return;
- But as it is, they long after a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
- By faith Abraham, being tested, offered up Isaac; indeed he who gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten,
- Of whom it was said, In Isaac shall your seed be called;
- Counting that God was able to raise men even from the dead, from which he also received him back in figure.
- By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come.
- By faith Jacob, while he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshipped God, while leaning on the top of his staff.
- By faith Joseph, nearing his end, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel and gave orders concerning his bones.
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