Hebrews 11: 39-40 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (NIV)
Read Hebrews 11:1-40 This is a list/summary of many of the main people in the old testament who were righteous before God for their faithful obedience to Him during their lives. These people never saw the promised Messiah during their lifetime, but because God was faithful to them in their everyday life when they prayed for his help, and blessings, these people knew that even if they never saw the Messiah, that God would fulfill his promise to send the Messiah. Their faith was built up over their lifetimes through consistent prayer and God’s consistent answers to their prayers. Essentially these people acted in perfect faith to God, and through Jesus all of us who act in perfect faith will be made perfect. Even these people who were dead before the coming of the Messiah have their salvation through the Messiah, Jesus. Verse 39 and 40 state this, that we will all through faith be made perfect together.
These verses tell us an important thing that is really hard to understand about the difference between the old testament Jews and what God considered to be righteousness, and the new testament Christian. In the old testament God considered the Jews to be justified by faith. We are also justified by our faith in God’s plan for the remission of our sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ due to the repentance and request for forgiveness through prayer. In other words, we are justified by believing God when he says something is true, even when we cannot see for ourselves that it is true. That is the basic definition of faith. God lays out this plan of salvation all through the Old Testament, and it comes to fruition in the New Testament with Jesus’ sacrifice. All we are required to do is to accept that this is true.
I once had a Bible study mentor who told me that the Bible is God’s love letter to all of us. At the time, I had not really studied the Bible that much…my journey of discovery was just beginning. As I have studied much over the years, those words have struck me over and over to be true. The more I study the Bible, the more I find out how much God loves us.
If you have never taken Christ into your heart…I urge you to pray to God for the forgiveness of your sins, and thank him for the sacrifice of his son, and ask for Jesus to come and dwell with you in your heart, and help you to live your life the way that God would have you live it. Sometimes the reason people don’t take Jesus into their hearts and lives is that they simply don’t know how. I don’t want to neglect to tell anyone how to gain salvation. I can testify to you that having God with you (in the form of the Holy Spirit) as you go through your days is well worth it and can offer you a contentment that is surpassed by nothing else.