Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. - Heb. 11:1 Here is the Biblical definition of faith. The writer says "faith IS the substance." What "substance"? The "substance of things hoped for". For example, what is your hope for justification before God? In order to answer that, you must ask another question, what is the "substance" of that hope? Meaning, what do you base that hope upon? Because "faith" is inseparable from that "substance" as much as your hope is inseparable from that "substance." So what is the basis, the substance of your hope for being justified before God? Is it your good looks? Is it based upon doing something (works)? Is it based upon obedience to just any command in scripture? Is it based upon just any promise by God? What is the substance of your hope for justification before God? Whatever it is, that is also the substance of your faith. So we are not talking about empty faith or vain faith, or dead faith or faith in faith. Empty faith has no substance at all but is a BLIND faith, a leap in the dark. Vain faith has the wrong substance and that is why it is vain. Dead faith is what demons have and they are not justified before God and yet they believe there is a God and believe many other things. Faith in faith is to be without faith as Biblical faith has a defined content or "substance" without which faith has not existence. So what does the Bible say the hope of justification is based upon? Just believing God about anything? Does the Bible require a specific content that faith must embrace for there to be any real hope of justification before God? Consider carefully the precise wording found in the following scripture texts that deal with justification before God. Rom. 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Rom. 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. - Acts 10:43 Gal. 3:6 ¶ Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. Righteousness is imputed and sins are remitted (the contents of justification - Rom. 4:5-8) to those who believe in God's promise of redemption through Christ, the promised seed of Genesis 3;15, the promised seed of Abraham, the promised seed of David, Jesus Christ born of Mary. How God would redeem them through Christ was a matter of progressive revelation, but the promise that he would redeem them through Christ was the "substance" of faith. In essence, the "substance" of true Biblical justification before God can be summed up in God's promise as revealed in the "hope of the gospel" of Jesus Christ . So "faith" must have "substance" or there can be no "hope" including hope for justification. With regard to the hope of justification, the Bible restricts that "substance" to Christ and his redemptive work as promised by God to the saints before the cross and declared as completed after the cross. That gospel substance is the hope of salvation and no man, no preacher, no human can produce that substance within the human heart as that is a creative work of God (2 Cor. 4:6; Mt. 16:17; Gal. 1:17) as justifying faith is "the work of God" (Jn. 6:29) in God giving a person to Christ (Jn. 6:37-39) and drawing that person to Christ (Jn. 6:44) without which work "no man can come to me" (Jn. 6:44). In Hebrews 11 the writer continues to speak of faith and repeatedly says "by faith" so and so did this or that and in each case that "faith" had for its "substance" a specific command or promise by God that the individual embraced by faith, and thus that specific command or promise was the "substance" or content of faith by which moved that person to obey God. Hence, "faith" is not faithfulness, but it moves one to faithfulness as it "works by love" as the motivator to faithfulness and it is that faithfulness that "is the evidence" of things not seen. Therefore, good works are the manifest evidence of a true and godly faith.