ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 394


Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things
we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a
good reputation.
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s
command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can
be seen.
It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than
Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and
God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still
speaks to us by his example of faith.
It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he
disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was
known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God
without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God
exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the
flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he
received the righteousness that comes by faith.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave
home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance.
He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached
the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same
promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal
foundations, a city designed and built by God.
It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was
barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as
dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the
sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They
did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance
and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here
on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a
country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they
came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better
place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called
their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

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