Heroes of Faith 11 1Now faith is the reality[D] of what is hoped for, the proof[E] of what is not seen. 2For our ancestors won God’s approval by it. 3By faith we understand that the universe was[F] created by God’s command,[G] so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible. 4By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith. 5By faith Enoch was taken away so he did not experience death, and he was not to be found because God took him away.[H] For prior to his removal he was approved, since he had pleased God. 6Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. 7By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, co-heirs of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she[I] considered that the One who had promised was faithful. 12Therefore from one man—in fact, from one as good as dead—came offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as innumerable as the grains of sand by the seashore. 13These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. 14Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. 16But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. 17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and he was offering his unique son, 18the one it had been said about, Your seed will be traced[J] through Isaac.[K] 19He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead, and as an illustration,[L] he received him back. 20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.[M] 22By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions concerning his bones. 23By faith, after Moses was born, he was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict. 24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter 25and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin. 26For he considered the reproach because of the Messiah to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward. 27By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for Moses persevered as one who sees Him who is invisible. 28By faith he instituted the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch the Israelites. 29By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though they were on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to do this, they were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being encircled by the Israelites for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed. 32And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, 33who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. 35Women received their dead—they were raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, 36and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. 37They were stoned,[N] they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. 38The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.
Holman Christian Standard Bible® / © 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers About