The Hebrews writer ends chapter 10—39 But we are not those who turn back into eternal ruin but of those who have faith for preserving the soul—and now proceeds to write about faith both its definition and examples. Faith, believing God, is of upmost importance.
My translation and notes on Hebrews Chapter 11:1-7
Faith Defined and Examples
1 Now faith is the confidence of the things we hope for, the evidence of the things we cannot see.
[Chapter 10 shows the total inadequacy of Old Testament/Mosaic Law sacrifices to deal with sin and God’s wrath. So, what does take care of that problem? It was revealed that Christ’s sacrifice and ministry as High Priest was accepted. But how does it apply? It is faith—believing and trusting in God. See Hebrews 10:38-39. Abraham believed and was accounted as righteousness (Romans 4:3). See also Romans 5:1 and Philippians 3:9. Abraham had confidence in God. It was a reasonable faith. What God told him in Genesis 15, Abraham believed because of the former dealings with God. We have the same reasonable from the witnesses of Scripture. This reasonable faith is the evidence. ISBE on faith has this statement: But the chapter amply shows that the faith illustrated, e.g. by Abraham, Moses, Rahab, was simply reliance upon a God known to be trustworthy. In Matthew 8:5-13, the Roman officer had heard of Jesus, knew of other healings (Luke 7:3), and thus, believed it was most reasonable that Jesus could heal the servant as well].
2 For by it the elders received a good testimony.
[The elders, ancestors, forefathers, etc. are Old Testament believers. Some are listed in this chapter. Their actions testified that they had faith].
3 It is through faith that we understand that the universe was established into systematic order by the word of God, so that the things that we see did not come into existence from things that are visible.
[The Greek word for “Established into systematic order” is καταρτίζω katartizó (G2675). It means to “mend” and to “made to fit perfectly.” It has several applications. “Established into systematic order” means, “Put together; adjusted; the parts fitted to each other” (Vincent’s Word Studies). Remember ‘faith’ is believing based on a person’s character and past actions. Creation is most reasonable due to God’s character traits as omnipotence, omniscience, and omnisapience. We read of God doing miracles in the Scriptures and that He always tells the truth].
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he gave witness that he was righteous—God testifying about his offering. By it―even though he is dead―he continues to speak.
[Able believed what God taught Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). BIBLE KNOWLEDGE COMMENTARY has this note on Genesis 3:21: All God’s dealings with people as sinners can be traced back to this act of disobedience by Adam and Eve. God is a saving God, however, and the fact that He clothed… Adam and Eve testifies to that. An animal was sacrificed to provide garments of skin, and later all Israel’s animal sacrifices would be part of God’s provision to remedy the curse—a life for a life. The sinner shall die! (Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 6:23) Yet he will live if he places his faith in the Lord, who has provided a Substitute. The skin with which God clothed Adam and Eve perpetually reminded them of God’s provision. Similarly in the fullness of time God accepted the sacrifice of Christ, and on the basis of that atonement He clothes believers in righteousness (Romans 3:21-26)].
5 By faith Enoch was taken away without experiencing death and was not found, because God had taken him away, and before he was taken away, he had the testimony that he pleased God.
[The Greek word for “taken away” is μετατίθημι metatithēmi (G3346). It means to transfer, to transpose two things, and to move one thing to another place. Enoch was taken away from earth and brought to heaven].
6 For without faith, [it is] impossible to please [God], because the one who comes to God must believe that he exists and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
[The Hebrews writer again referring to Hebrews 10:38-39].
7 By faith Noah was warned by God concerning things never seen yet. So, fearing [God] he built an ark for the saving of his family. By this, he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness, which comes by faith.
[What Noah did proved he believed God].