Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings from the Scripture Heb. 1.1 - "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Last time we saw that this verse has both an internal aspect to it, and an external one. Internally, or for the one who possesses saving faith, faith is an inward, settled assurance that what God has promised - and thus what we hope for most - has the firm foundation of: God's promise. That is what makes it sure to us. And why is it not sure and solid to those who do not know Christ? One has little (if any) faith in those we do not know. How can we? Faith (according to Gal. 5.6) works BY love. Knowing the Father's love for us in Christ, we trust Him. The more our understanding of His love for us grows, the more we love Him, and the more we love Him, the more we trust Him. It is the closest thing to perpetual motion we can ever experience. Love produces love which trusts which increases love which increases trust. But faith also has an external application. One which directly relates to our witness of the Gospel. Faith, is both "the assurance of things hoped for" in the Believer, and, it is the "conviction of things not seen." Now we could apply this "conviction" to the Believer, in saying that WE have convictions of things not seen. It is a typical and acceptable way of interpreting the text. But I would like to suggest to you that another way of understanding it is to see it in terms of evidence to unbelievers. In fact, the Greek word here (at least a form of it) is used in Matt. 18.15 where if a brother sins against us, we need to go to them and prove our case - bring out the evidence so as to convince them. I would argue then that the very existence of true faith in the people of God throughout the ages is itself a powerful proof or evidence of the unseen reality we cling to. That others confronted by the faith of the Believer, and presented with this proof, can find no other reasonable explanation for it. Something must really be there. So powerful is this evidence, that self-proclaimed atheists like Richard Dawkins have gone to extreme lengths to try and postulate some other reason for it. His entire theory proposing "memes" as some kind of universal genetic defect - virtually a virus - that deposits the "god idea" in people's brains is the way to explain it. A theory so utterly without scientific basis as to be laughable. See Alistair McGrath's: Genes, Memes and the Meaning of Life. What is evident, is that in spite of his rabid denials - the force of the presence of faith in the Believer is so compelling, he MUST search for an explanation. He cannot let it alone. In terms of evangelism then, I am arguing that God has deposited within the Believer the single most powerful apologetic known: The presence of our very own faith. The reality that we order our lives according to things unseen. Things which nevertheless we do not simply hope are true, but cannot shake off and deny no matter how pressed, stressed or distressed. As Steve Brown puts it, once you see something, you can't unsee it. Faith, is indeed the very foundation of the things we hope for in Christ. And, it is the evidence to all who will observe it - of the things unseen, they try so very hard to deny. It is tough to deny Christ, in face of 2000 years of Christians. Some will say: "Yeah, but just because people believe in the Abominable Snowman doesn't mean he actually exists." Fair enough. But when it comes to the reality of God, this knowledge is so pervasive, that there is no language on earth without a word for God, and no culture without a concept of God. Man is incurably God-oriented. It is part of the very fabric of our being. Romans 1 is right - all men instinctively know God is, and are doing their best to either repress that knowledge entirely, or to make God into something they can reckon with on their own terms. But we ALL know He is here. And when you couple that with the living faith of those who have known Him throughout the ages, you have a universal, undeniable reality: The evidence of things not seen. No less evidence for the unseen force of gravity than its universal effects, is the unseen reality of God by His. Especially in the hearts, minds and lives of His own people.