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The Two Parts of Faith

​When reading Hebrews 11:1 the two keywords in this verse are substance and evidence. Looking at them and what they do will give you a clear understanding of what faith is in your life.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

In simplicity, substance is the invisible word of God, while evidence is the visible image of that word of God. So when you receive God’s word into your life, it transforms you into a new man and a new image so you can walk as a believer in the words of God that He gives you. So the two parts of faith show us that the image of God is filled with His Spirit, being one in thoughts and actions. 

Let’s explain a little further. 

Substance is a God-given word of assurance that what He has promised will come to pass. While it is invisible, this assurance is confidence in His word and gives you hope of a promise to come. In substance, you cant see the promise manifested yet, and you only have a belief in His promises, with a hope that you will see it come to pass. Paul’s words on hope clarify the work of substance well. 

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience”. Romans 8:24-25 

Faith can be an invisible word from God that may be in you as hope or assurance from God that it will be finished. The substance is in word only for those who receive it, but while it is invisible to you, it is seen by God. Nonetheless, it’s still true; therefore, God gives you the substance of faith so that you can hope for a fulfillment of what He has seen. This is exactly how God speaks His Word to us many times. And though it is not seen yet, it just means that we do not have a form to it yet. 

Evidence is the fulfillment of the promise that God gave you. It is your proof that your hope was true. Now, that which was hope to you before, not being seen, has been revealed and manifested by the evidence set before you. It is a manifestation or revealing of what was not seen. 

Having evidence is proof that your substance is real. If hope remained just in words and thoughts, it would be, well, just words and thoughts. If it remained in hope, it would just be all talk, and there would be no evidence that it is true. You have proof when God puts form and image to it. When substance takes on a body, your hope becomes evidence, and you now have faith in your life.

One great example given by God is that He is a Spirit and Jesus is His Son. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. In this example, we have the invisible and the visible. The Spirit is the invisible, and the Son is visual. So that which was not seen is now seen by the image of the Son of God. Jesus is the evidence of God and the evidence that the Spirit is real. When you look at Jesus, you see God because they are perfectly joined in one Spirit and one body. (If you are the son of God then you are the evidence of God as well.)

 

Now add works.

James asked this question concerning faith. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?… So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”. You can read the full context in James 2:14-26 

It’s clear that just faith alone is not enough; there must be works to your faith to make it a living faith. This is where faith is made alive by your works. When you act on God’s word that has now become your faith, you have proof that God’s word is true in you. 

James also said that “someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 1:18.

Once again, Jesus is the perfect example of faith with works. He was the image of God who revealed all of the Spirit by the works that He did. His faith was alive because He worked the words of God that He received, and it confirmed that He was the Son of God.

How does faith apply to me?

Now that the basic principle of faith has been established, how does faith work? How does faith apply to your life?

When you look at the commonality of Hebrews 11 and the men and women of old who walked by faith, they all had shared three definite things; substance, evidence, and works. First, they received a word from God. (God talked to them, and they received a substance of hope.) Secondly, they became the vessel of God manifesting the evidence of that hope, of the word from God. (They became the image of their hope.) And thirdly, now having faith, they worked their faith towards God. (Meaning they just did what God said, and it worked for their salvation and the salvation of others.) Their faith pleased God and not themselves.

When defining your faith, you have to ask yourself these three crucial questions.

  • Did I receive a word from God, which is to say, did God tell me something that gave me substance and put hope in me?

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  • After receiving my word from God, did it transform me into the image of God by creating in me a new man, giving me evidence of my hope?

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  • Have I done the works of my faith and become a doer of the word of God that I have received? Is my faith alive?

In the same chapter of Hebrews, it’s made clear that you must believe what God has said to you. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God: for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” A word from God that you believe by faith will come to pass, and the evidence will be your reward. But remember, freely you have received, freely give, so put your faith to work.

 

What is Faith? A word from God that you truly believe is God. It is a word that puts hope in you that you believe in so much that it transforms you into His image and likeness. A word from God that you act on becomes your manifestation on the earth. 

God + Believer = a Doer. 

Result = God’s will done in the earth as it is in heaven. 

Like Noah, Abraham, or Moses, all these became a believer when they received a word from God, and it changed them into men who then walked in the image of God, doing His works. 

Faith with works tells a story. So when it comes to your faith, it’s simple; receive hope from God and act on it. Whatever the promises of God that He has given you, hope in them and work those promises by the evidence that He has put in you by His word.

One final thought. It is essential to believe in God from beginning to end when believing God with what He has given you. God is faithful with His word and will not deny Himself in it. We must walk with God in His word until He brings it to pass. We must not doubt His word in our hearts, and we must not waver in the hope that we have received. 

Having faith is like having a superpower from God. When you are living and walking by faith, you are walking in God’s stead, in His Word, and His image. By faith, all things are possible to him who believes. 

When your faith is finished, your belief in God will be unmovable. Mark 11:20-24; James 1:5-8 

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