What people and what perfection does the passage from Hebrews 11:40 refer to?
The whole chapter 11 of the Epistle to Hebrews tells us about the heroes of faith whose example we are exhorted to follow. To understand verse 40 it is important to read it in the context of the previous verse:
And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39-40)(NASB)
This passage clearly shows us that people referred to in verse 40 are the same heroes of faith from the old time, the period of the Old Testament, and it is written about them in the whole chapter 11. The perfection which both they and we had to reach is to receive what they had been promised – the gift of eternal life and inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.
God help us to follow their example of faith, so that we may also reach that perfection and accept by faith what God has promised when He said:
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”(John 3:36)(NASB)
Translated by Felicia Rotaru