Tuesday, January 8, 2013

NOW Faith

As you might preen from some of my ramblings, I sometimes take a less than conventional view of the Bible.  I have a slightly off-kilter perspective on what a particular verse or passage is saying.  I have that right.  First, I am no Biblical scholar with alphabet soup behind my name, nor am I conversant in the Biblical languages.  Also, I FIRMLY hold that Scripture talks to the individual.  It will meet you where you are and give you a morsel of bread to sustain you in your trials.

I guess I may not quite be alone in looking at things a bit off.  I have heard an explanation of a fairly popular verse which took a view that I would have likely come to if my situation at the time warranted it.

The verse:

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Generally, when it is read and studied, the word "Now" is seen as a conjunction of sorts to tie it to the previous passages in Chapter 10.  Herews 10:19-39 is giving the recipient of the author's letter the Full Assurance of Faith in Christ.  So, logically, a definition of faith in verse 11:1 and further expounding on the history of faith in later verses brings it all together.

When studying Scripture, we need to look at context of the complete passage or else anyone could randomly pull two verses or parts of verses and put them together, such as Matthew 27:5[b] and Luke 10:37[b] being strung together out of context results in:
"[H]e departed, and he went and hanged himself." "And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise.""
Not a particularly wonderful idea...but I digress.

Back on topic, the explanation of Hebrews 11:1 that I heard (without the accompanying context) has sat with me a long time.

Instead of the word "now" being used in the conjunctive manner, it was taken as an adjective to describe the type of faith: NOW Faith.  Faith for this immediate moment.  And looking at it from that perspective, I can see it fitting.  NOW Faith (faith to get me through this second in my existance) is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  I have a hope for the future, because I know how it all ends.  Maybe not for me in particular, at least the precise manner and time of my passing, but I know the end result of my belief: To be praising God in Heaven.

Therefore (and remember, when you read therefore in the Bible, look previous to it to see what it is there for...), when life gets rough and the appointments and disappointments are weighing on you, remember: NOW Faith.  It will get you through it all. 

A couple other Now Faith verses for you:

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Galatians 3:11 (ESV)
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.
Galatians 3:23 (ESV)
I hope these will assist you in your struggles and allow you to overcome and live more freely.

2013 Goals Check
Read Chronologically through the ESV.
Today's Reading: Gen 28-31
Jacob Sent to Laban
Esau Marries and Ishmaelite
Jacob's Dream
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
Jacob's Children
Jacob's Prosperity
Jacob Flees from Laban

2,013 in 2013 for Hope House Challenge
It is rumored I can possibly expect more Wintery weather here to the tune of 5-6 more inches of snow today or tomorrow.  I hope not, but even so, I WILL RUN. (And I did.)

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