Faith Is “the Assurance of Things Hoped For” (Part 1)

The writer of Hebrews defines faith for us. He says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

The Meaning of the Word “Assurance”

The word “assurance” comes from the Greek word HUPOSTASIS. This word is composed of two parts: HUPO (under), and STASIS (a standing or state). If we put the two together, it means “a setting or placing under … foundation … nature of a person or thing … confidence … assurance” (biblestudytools.com). It is something solid or firm that provides support for something else.

Faith as a Foundation

The writer of Hebrews is saying that faith is the foundation of things hoped for. Faith supports hope just as a foundation supports a house. To illustrate this, form a mental picture of a house that is built on solid rock. Let the foundation represent faith (i.e., assurance) and the house itself stand for “things hoped for” (i.e., heaven, Philippians 3:20).

The same word translated “assurance” in this verse is found only five times in the whole New Testament, three of which are in the book of Hebrews. In the New American Standard version of the Bible, 2 Corinthians 9:4 and 2 Corinthians 11:17 translate it as “confidence.”

In Hebrews 1:3 it is used to refer to God’s “nature.” Everything that is fundamental to God the Father, everything that is the foundation of His being is also found in his Son. The Son’s nature is in no way inferior to that of the Father; they are perfectly identical!

We Must Not Doubt Jesus’ Sonship!

Finally, in Hebrews 3:14 and Hebrews 11:1, it is translated “confidence” and “assurance.” There may be times in our lives when we doubt ourselves due to our own imperfection. In contrast, the faith that focuses primarily on the merits of Christ and what the Father has done for us through the gospel must be entirely free of doubt. We cannot doubt the sonship of Jesus Christ as did the Hebrew Christians who were returning to Judaism in order of avoid persecution.

Is your assurance in Christ ROCK-SOLID?

–Jerry Falk