Characteristics of Faith from Hebrews 11

Characteristics of Faith from Hebrews 11

While no characteristic that God desires for us is unimportant, one could make a strong case that faith is among the most important. It is fundamental, foundational, and central. Jesus placed it among the “weightier” matters of the law (Matt. 23:23). Its usage in the New Testament bears witness to its preeminence. It sometimes describes the whole of New Testament doctrine (Jude 3; Acts 6:7; 1 Tim. 4:1). It is that which begins and undergirds all of gospel obedience (Rom. 1:16; Heb. 11:6; Acts 16:30-34), and it is at the heart of Christian living (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:7).

The writer of Hebrews, in his tremendous chapter on faith (chapter 11), reveals no less than 14 characteristics of faith. Consider:

  1. It assures us of our future hope (1).
  2. It furnishes us with firm convictions regarding things we do not yet see (1).
  3. It enhances one’s reputation, and rightly so (2, 4, 5, 39).
  4. It goes hand-in-hand with rational thought (3).
  5. It expresses itself in action (4-34).
  6. It is required for one who would approach and please God (6).
  7. It condemns ungodliness (7, 38).
  8. It serves as the foundation of justification (7).
  9. It takes God at his word, regardless of the consequences (8-9, 17, 24-27, 35-38).
  10. It assesses life from an eternal perspective (10, 13-16, 26).
  11. It accepts God’s word, regardless of how unbelievable it might seem (11-12).
  12. It looks beyond this life to the next (10, 13, 16).
  13. It conquers fear (23, 27).
  1. It connects the Christian to saints of the past (39-40).

With so much to gain by having it, and so much to lose without it, our daily prayer should be, “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).

Eddie Parrish