World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
7for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Select a resource above

7. For we walk by faith (Εἰδος) I have here rendered aspectum, (sight,) because few understood the meaning of the word species, (appearance.) 520520     “Espece, ainsi qu’on a accoustumé de traduire en Latin ce mot Grec;” — “Species, as they have been accustomed to render in Latin this Greek word.” Those interpreters who have rendered εἴδος species, (appearance,) employ the word species to mean what is seen, as distinguished from what is invisible — what has a visible form. The term, however, (as Calvin hints,) is ambiguous, being frequently employed to denote appearance, as distinguished from reality. — Ed. He states the reason, why it is that we are now absent from the Lord — because we do not as yet see him face to face. (1 Corinthians 13:12.) The manner of that absence is this — that God is not openly beheld by us. The reason why he is not seen by us is, that we walk by faith Now it is on good grounds that faith is opposed to sight, because it, perceives those things that are hid from the view of men — because it reaches forth to future things, which do not as yet appear. For such is the condition of believers, that they resemble the dead rather than the living — that they often seem as if they were forsaken by God — that they always have the elements of death shut up within them. Hence they must necessarily hope against hope. (Romans 4:18.) Now the things that are hoped for are hid, as we read in Romans 8:24, and faith is the

manifestation of things which do not appear.
(Hebrews 11:1.) 521521     “Concerning the import of the original term ὑπόστασις, translated substance, (Hebrews 11:1,) there has been a good deal of discussion, and it has been understood to signify confidence or subsistence. Faith is the confidence of things hoped for; because it assures us, not only that there are such things, but that, through the power and faithfulness of God, we shall enjoy them. It is the subsistence of things hoped for; because it gives them, although future, a present subsistence in the minds of believers, so that they are influenced by them as if they were actually present. Thus the word was understood by some of the Greek commentators, who were the most competent judges of its meaning. ‘Since things which we hope for,’ says Chrysostom, ‘seem not to subsist, faith gives them subsistence, or rather it does not give it, but is itself their substance. Thus the resurrection of the dead is not past, nor does it subsist, but faith gives it subsistence in our souls.’ ‘Faith,’ says another, ‘gives subsistence to the resurrection of the dead, and places it before our eyes...’ The objects of faith are not only future good, but invisible things, both good and evil, which are made known by divine revelation; and of these it is the evidence, ἔλεγχος the demonstration or conviction... Being past, and future, and invisible on account of their distance from us, or the spirituality of their nature, they cannot be discovered by our senses, but the conviction of their reality is as strong in the mind of a believer, as if they were placed before his eyes.” — Dick’s Theology, volume 3. — Ed.

It is not to be wondered, then, if the apostle says, that we have not as yet the privilege of sight, so long as we walk by faith For we see, indeed, but it is through a glass, darkly; (1 Corinthians 13:12,) that is, in place of the reality we rest upon the word.