Sunday, 29 July 2012 00:00

Without Faith IN CHRIST It Is Impossible to Please God

Hebrews 11:6 (NASB)

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

The Apostle Paul wrote "the just shall live by faith" (10:38) for faith is "the saving of the soul" (10:39). We saw two studies ago how Abel understood that the only way a guilty many could approach God is by blood atonement. Last time we saw how Enoch understood faith brings God's pleasure and acceptance.

This morning I wish to show that THE ONLY way to be pleasing to God is through faith in Jesus Christ. "And without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that seek him" (v.6). You may ask, "But where is Christ even mentioned?"

  1. All have faith, but saving faith is the means through which sinners become accepted by God.
    Saving faith is described in this verse in great detail. Let's examine exactly what it is.
    1. Saving faith possesses a certain knowledge of God.
      Knowledge is not faith. Yet, there is no saving faith without knowledge. "He that comes to God believes that He is..." God revealed himself to Moses as "I Am that I Am" -- the sacred name. YHWH (the sacred name) is used hundreds of time "YHWH Who made the earth, Who formed it and set it firm -- YHWH is His Name -- says this: 'Call to Me and I will answer you...'" (Jeremiah 33:2, 3a).
    2. Saving faith has knowledge that Jesus Christ is God.
      "Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). This is non-negotiable. "God, who at various times and in differing manners spoke in time past... has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son... through whom he also made the universe..." (Hebrews 1:1-2).
  2. Saving faith is a gift of God's grace, produced by the power of God's creative Word.
    If someone is hostile toward the claims of Christ, if a sinner blatantly rejects God's last Word, there is no amount of convincing or persuasion that can change the person who is without saving faith. Only saving faith please God, and saving faith causes a person to reach out to Christ in acceptance. "He that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved, be his sins ever so many; but he that believeth not in the Lord Jesus must be damned, be his sins ever so few" (Thomas Brooks).
    1. God produces the work in the heart, similar to the work of creation.
      "For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bondservants for His sake. For God who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (II Corinthians 4:5-6).
    2. You pray for the gift of saving faith in the heart of the one you love.
      "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened; that you may know..." (Ephesians 1:18). "It is the Spirit who gives life... the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" (John 6:63).
  3. Assurance that God has granted you saving faith is both possible and even expected.
    "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (I John 5:13).
    1. Come to the place of renouncing all trust in your own personal righteousness.
    2. Cling to the person and work of Christ alone for your right-standing before God.
      "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."
    3. Realize that where Christ is your Savior, He is also your Lord, as in "what would Jesus do?"
      These are not steps as much as they are a synergetic process. They go together simultaneously.

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