is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.” (Heb.11:1-2)
Did you catch that? Evidence? Why are we reading about evidence? Because your faith is on trial and so are you. Why? Because you have “Now Faith.” It is current, in the moment. Not “then faith” or “when faith,” but NOW FAITH. This is why you stand accused and why your faith is on trial.
“Now Faith” is an offense to those who have when faith, then faith, wrong faith or no faith. And your faith is the substance of things hoped for. By substance I mean… it’s SUBSTANTIAL! It is no small thing! So it creates a great offence.
And in this trial your lawyer, Jesus of Nazareth, calls for evidence and witnesses on your behalf. The primary evidence is that your Faith produces things like hope, something that cannot be seen, but neither can it be dismissed.
So your hope, which may not seem reasonable or logical, is quite substantial because it is enduring and has persisted for 1000s of years. And it is something that you now possess.
How do we know of the enduring nature of your Faith? Because by it the elders obtained a good report. What report, what elders?
The Bible is the report. It encompasses the testimony of a multitude of witnesses, called elders. So Jesus calls on not 1 or even 10 witnesses, but hundreds of witnesses whose written testimony spans hundreds of generations.
In fact, God himself takes the witness stand. Check out verse 4 of the same chapter. “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God TESTIFYING of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
So if you are new to this enduring and persistent family of Faith, rest assured you too now have a Good Report. Your accusers have nothing. Your verdict: INNOCENT, because you have the Faith of Jesus, your God, who paid your ransom, your bond, your bail, your sentence of guilt… with His own precious Blood.