Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: hu-PO-sta-sis
Strong’s Number: 5287
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5712
Key Verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for …” -- Hebrews 11:1

Hupostasis is a compound word, of hupo, “under,” and histemi, “to stand,” therefore, “that which stands under.” The primary definition is “a substructure, what really exists under or out of sight, the essence of a matter in contrast to its appearance.” In the Septuagint, it is used 20 times to translate 12 different Hebrew words, but it primarily meant a “ground of hope,” and thus came to mean “confidence.”

This noun appears 5 times in the New Testament. In 2 Corinthians 9:4 and 11:17, it is typically translated as confidence.

In Hebrews 1:3, “exact representation of His nature (person, being),” according to the definition “substructure,” Christ is the manifestation of Deity, the means by which we recognize the glory of God. The essential being of God is conceived as setting its distinctive stamp upon Christ, coming into definite and characteristic expression in His Person, so that the Son bears the exact impress of the Divine nature and character.

In Hebrews 3:14, the assurance is the believing confidence with which we begin our Christian life. In HEBREWS 11:1, it is the firm grasp of faith on unseen fact. Hupostasis was common in the papyri in business documents as the basis or guarantee of transactions. Moulton & Milligan suggest the translation “faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.” The Holy Spirit-energized act of faith of a believer in Christ is the title deed which God puts in his hand, guaranteeing to him the possession of the thing for which he trusted Him. The act of exercising true faith as one leans on the resources of God is itself the evidence of the sure answer to our prayer or the unfailing source of the divine supply. It is God's guarantee in advance that we already possess the things asked for. Although they may still be in His hands, we may be certain that our God will honor this title deed at the right moment.


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