Between 10:39 and 12:1 the author inserts examples of people who have taken the encouragement from the end of chapter 10 and ran with it as advised in 12:1
Men and women who have gone before us and handed the faith off to us had nothing but the promises of God. Many times they lived and died waiting. They lived their lives, set their priorities, made decisions and kept the faith with nothing more than a promise. In many cases they never saw the “reward” or the “fulfillment.” They lived their lives with the conviction that these promises (the word of God) were true.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
now is faith of things being hoped reality of things proof not being seen
Faith is now. Faith is in the present.
ὑπόστασις “hupostasis” “reality”
ἔλεγχος “elenchos” means “evidence” “proof” “certain”
“do not see” is used because the promises are:
This is what the ancients were commended for.
“commended for” or “obtained witness” is aorist indicative passive which means someone else testified to their faith. That someone else is God.
“elders” is the list of names that follows in chapter 11.
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.
To understand anything about faith and reality we must understand that it all began when God spoke. Everything that is seen comes from the unseen.
Faith is the doorway into
reality. Faith is not fantasy, but
confidence in the truth.
In this case the truth comes to us in the forms of promises or the word of God.
νοιέω “understand” expresses a mental perception and not a sensuous perception.
καταρτίζω “was formed” or “to have been adjusted” speaks of the creation and its vast variety and its unity. The tense of the word indicates this is still seen in creation.
αἰών “ages” speaks of Time and Space
ῥῆμα “Rhema” or “word” “utterance” is the spoken word and is not logos
Romans 1:20 Paul says we can perceive or understand the invisible through having seen the visible.
By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.