Skip to main content

Hebrews 11:3 Comments by a man struggling to grasp the greatness of God.

Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which appeared.(WBS)

Through pistis (faith), we concede that God formed or created the universe. How He did it, is irrelevant. The fact that we now walk upon this earth is evidence enough that it exists, but at some point, it did not.
The Greek says that by persuasion we are able to conclude that God created the universe. What is it that persuaded us?

".. we understand..."
Understand is the Greek word noieo, and means to "to exercise the mind (observe).
You want faith to be simple. I suppose it is if you do not think.

So far we can rewrite the passage to read - by the exercise of the mind, we can observe things that convince us that God made the universe. We must therefore concede that the only logical explanation is that God created the universe. Our application is called faith and demands that we come into conformity with that evidence in which we have believed. God is, and has made the universe, whether we know the definitions of how or not.

For those who want things simple, it is not. Language, a tool created by God, has parameters; understanding what those parameters are helps us to understand what God is trying to say to us. We want to believe that God demands that we merely accept things, disregarding thought, and that is just not the case.
Even though verse three, upon a simple reading gives the impression that a mindless acceptance is demanded, looking at the root of the words makes it clear that understanding is involved in every faith process.

"... that the worlds..." or "... that the universe..."
The term that the writers translated worlds is the Greek word aion. It means an age or perpetuity. The use of the word age implies a time frame, but that time frame is a period of indefinite duration, or time viewed in relation to what takes place in the period.
What we do know from scientific observation, is that time has not been constant, but has slowed down.
Read: Upheaval in Physics: History of the Light-Speed Debate - Helen D. Setterfield

framed or formed
Greek word katartizo.
Meaning: to complete thoroughly.

".. by the word of God, ..."
Word in Greek, here, is rhema. An utterance.

God here is the Greek word theos. Meaning: a deity. It is the same word that was used when the angel told Mary that her son would be the Son of God.

So then, we can comprehend with a sufficient understanding that the ages, and that encompasses what happened within those ages, regardless of the time frames that we want to constrain them to, were completed by the utterance of God. Our understanding of those facts, based upon what we see, are enough for to develop a conviction that God did create everything in the universe. This belief should now guide our lives as we come into conformity with the creator of the universe.

John told us that the nothing was made without Jesus' word.

".. so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."
A potter makes pots from a nondescript mass of clay, but God started with nothing that our eyes could see. Prior to this I am given some form of tangible evidence, that which I can see, but now I must assent to God making a universe out that which seem to be nonexistent.
Therefore in this verse there are two conditions of faith. One based upon evidence, the other based upon taking God at His word, without being able to comprehend the how.

This is not new for early church fathers struggled to understand these same concepts. Thomas Aquinas being one of them.


Popular posts from this blog

A response to a comment, three years late.

I wrote this in response to a comment. I am including it for your benefit as misconceptions and false teachings run rampant. I rarely talk to anyone who has a firm grasp on what happens after the seven years of wrath. I hope you find this beneficial, and yes, it is long.
Well, here it is three years since you wrote your comment and I am finally responding to it. I wish I could tell you why but I cannot remember now. Perhaps I can chalk it up to not having enough time at that point, but as I had only recently been fired from my last job back then, you might think I had nothing but time. Perhaps I did not have a clear answer and needed to develop a concrete response; or, maybe I just forgot. Regardless, another comment, just a few days ago - three years later, has brought your comment to my attention once again.
Let me add, that in the process of learning how to deal with my thoughts on “paper” and then subject myself to potential criticism, was quite challenging. I can tell you that I …

My notes as I prepared to teach on the Discipline of Fasting by Richard Foster.

I had been asked by my pastor to teach a couple of sessions out of one of the books from which he was yet to pick. When he named off the potential authors, I cringed internally as my pastor can turn anything into legalism. He settled on The Discipline of Fasting by Richard Foster. Considering my understanding of discipline and the belt my father used to administer that obedience, my stomach was turning. Add to that a verbal image portrayed by the pastor, in which he told us that the shepherd would snap the leg of the sheep which kept running astray. I can't remember anything about that story that would help to give it a redeeming quality. However, in relating this story to a friend recently, I pointed out how it was the shepherd's purpose and intent to sale unblemished lambs to the surrounding Jewish community, a necessity for sacrifices. Having broken the lamb's leg, it was now a cripple and unable to survive on its own. The shepherd was now responsible for this offending…

An essay from entitled: No Man knows the Day or the Hour.

This is taken, in its entirety, from Hebrew The direct web address is: I happened to find this information mere hours before Rosh Hashana began on Wednesday, 9/20/2017 and it took my breath away for several reasons. I have been trying to convey to believers that Jesus, the Jew, said things that a Jewish audience understood without hesitation. We, on the other hand, really have no clue at all, and part of the reason for that is this false idea that God has replaced Israel with us broken Gentiles. Knowing that Rosh Hashana, the highest of holy days in the Jewish community, was about to take place, and, knowing that it is also called the Feast of Trumpets, I immediately made the correlation with the coming of Jesus in the clouds to gather His church. The time frame closed at sunset on Friday 922/2017. To be honest I was greatly disappointed to wake up on earth Saturday morning. Does the fact that I am still here mean …