Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). This passage is considered one of the most concise definitions of faith given in the Bible. Faith is synonymous with belief, and both are translated from the same Greek word in the New Testament.
Many theologians, especially from Reformed backgrounds, argue that true saving faith as described in the Bible must include not only mental knowledge and assent but the vital aspect of trust. This idea is found in the Westminster Confession of Faith in the phrase “But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace,” (WCF 14.2).
Saving faith is treated in several places of the New Testament as a gift of God. This means that apart from God giving faith, no man would ever place their faith in Christ. The reason that they will not place their faith in Christ is not because God is hindering them, but because their sinful, depraved heart rejects Christ (Jer. 17:9). Not only is grace freely received by faith, faith also is a gift itself, given from God so that we cannot take credit for anything. Faith is a product of God’s workmanship.
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” (Philippians 1:29)
“And he said, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.’” (John 6:65)
“And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed,” (Acts 18:27)
Song of the week:
Of Saving Faith
I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word, by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.
II. By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein; and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.
III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory: growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.
Question 41: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
Answer: At death the souls of believers are made perfect in holiness, and immediately pass into glory. Their bodies rest in their graves till the resurrection.
Scripture: Hebrews 12:23; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Luke 23:43; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Isaiah 57:2; Job 19:26.
Question 42: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the Resurrection?
Answer: At the resurrection, believers are raised up in glory; they shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the Day of Judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity.
Scripture: Philippians 3:20, 21; 1 Corinthians 15:42, 43; Matthew 10:32; 1 John 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
Question 43: What shall be done to the wicked at death?
Answer: The souls of the wicked shall at death, be cast into the torments of hell, and their bodies lie in their graves till the resurrection and judgment of the great day.
Scripture: Luke 16:22-4; Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:11- 15.
Boaz lived at the time of Eli. Son of Rachab and Salma, he was a rich landowner who noticed Ruth, the widowed Moabite daughter-in-law of Naomi, a relative of hers, gleaning grain from his fields. He soon learns of the difficult circumstances her family is in and Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi. In response, Boaz invites her to eat with him and his workers regularly as well as deliberately leaving grain for her to claim while keeping a protective eye on her.
Boaz married Ruth and, consequently, preserved the name of Elimelech, Naomi’s deceased husband, a sort of levirate. Their firstborn was considered a son of Elimelech’s lineage. Boaz purchased the family lands that Naomi had sold, and restituted them to Elimelech’s lineage.
Their son was Obed, father of Jesse, and grandfather of David. Boaz is mentioned in both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke as an ancestor of Jesus, “according to the flesh”.
Book of the bible:
Ezra is a book of the Bible. Originally combined with the Book of Nehemiah in a single book of Ezra-Nehemiah, the two became separated in the early centuries of the Christian era. Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from the sin of marriage with non-Jews. Together with the Book of Nehemiah, it represents the final chapter in the historical narrative of the Bible.