THE MEANING OF FAITH 321
has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. Now the crown for right-doing awaits me which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but to all who have loved and longed for his appearing.
THE MEANING OF FAITH
Now faith is the confidence that we shall receive the things for which we hope, the proof of the reality of things we do not see. It was because of their faith that the men of old were approved by God. Through faith we know that the universe was made perfect by God's command and that what is seen was made out of what is not seen.
Through faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain, and so received the assurance that he was an upright man, for God approved of his gifts. Though dead, yet because of his faith he still speaks.
Through faith Noah, having been told by God about things still unseen, in reverent obedience built an ark to save his household; and in doing so he condemned the world and became heir to the righteousness that comes through faith.
Through faith Abraham obeyed, when he was called to go to the place which he was to receive as an inheritance, and he set out, not knowing where he was going. Through faith he made his home in the land that had been promised to him as in a foreign country, living in tents wTith Isaac and Jacob, wTho shared the same promise with him.
Through faith Abraham, when put to the test, sacrificed Isaac, yes, was ready to sacrifice his only son, although he had received the divine promises and had been told, "It is through Isaac that your family name will be carried on," for he beheved that God was able to raise men even from the dead. In a sense, he did receive his son back from the dead.
Through faith, also, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even telling them of things to come. Through faith Joseph, as he was dying, thought of the time when the Israelites would go out of Egypt and gave orders about his own bones.
Through faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after birth because they saw that the child was beautiful, and because they did not fear the King's command.
Through faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to share ill treatment with God's people than to enjoy for a short time the pleasures of sin.