The Substance of Faith
The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews, connects substance with faith in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Why would Paul make this connection? Possibly, because in order to assign reality to spiritual things we cannot perceive with our senses, faith provides the solid basis in fact for something we cannot see and allows us to assign reality and confidence in God’s promises that have not yet occurred. Faith is the connection to the substance of God. made possible by our relationship with our Father through Jesus Christ. As we abide in Christ, we can bear much fruit and take on the nature of God, as shown in John 15:5. However, for our faith to be perfected and made substantive, we must exercise and use our faith through our works. The Apostle James makes this very clear in discussing Abraham’s example in James 2:22 “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect”. In fact, James makes the point in James 2:17 that “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”. The responsibility is on our shoulders to complete this process by perfecting our faith through works. This could be likened to our curriculum vitae, a Latin term meaning “the course of one’s life”. Works provide substance to faith and demonstrate to God what we have done with the knowledge He has given us, through His word, over the course of a lifetime. The substance of our faith is the spiritual foundation that cannot be shaken, even as everything around us is. The solid ground of substance provided by faith will endure all things.