How Can a Person Please God?
“Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews
We can state the same truth by answering the question, how
can man please God? The author of the Epistle of Hebrews in chapter eleven gives
a list of people who did please God.
“By faith Able offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain
. . .” (v. 4).
“By faith Enoch was take up so that he should not see
death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness
that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God” (v. 5).
“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet
seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household” (v. 7).
“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out
to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not
knowing where he was going” (v. 8).
“By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise . . .
for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and
builder is God” (vv. 9-10).
“By faith even Sarah . . . considered Him faithful who had
promised” (v. 11).
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac . .
. He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead, from which he
also received him back as a type” (vv. 17, 19).
“By faith Isaac . . . . By faith Jacob . . . . By faith
Joseph . . . . By faith Moses . . . . considering the reproach of Christ greater
riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (vv. 24,
The list goes on and on of men and women who pleased God,
“who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained
promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge
of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign
armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others
were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a
better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also
chains and imprisonment” (vv. 33-36).
And there was a price they paid for their faithfulness.
“They were stoned, they were sawn into, they were tempted, they were put to
death with the sword . . .” (v. 37).
The writer of Hebrews tells us what was common of them was
they, “All died in faith, without receiving the promises . . .” (v. 13). “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 should not be made perfect” (vv. 39-40).
The last two verses are absolutely amazing. They all
obtained a testimony “through their faith,” yet they “did not receive what was
promised (lit. the promise).” The reason they did not receive it was “because
God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not
be made perfect.”
What was “promised”? Jesus Christ the Messiah! That is what
the whole book of Hebrews has been about. They all looked forward by faith to
the coming of Jesus Christ. We look back upon Him by faith. Those who walked by
faith and pleased God received the fulfillment of their promises “in the
fullness of time” when God provided His Son (Galatians 4:4-6).
Faith that pleased God is connected to Christ. It is a
vital union with Christ. Do you have faith in Him? Have you come to Him saying,
“Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling”?
How can a person please God? There is only one way. Faith
alone in Jesus Christ saves. “None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good.”
The very essence of true faith is leaning upon Jesus
Christ. It is a personal trust in His saving death that saves. Just knowing that
Christ died for sinners will not save you. It is not enough just to know Jesus
Christ is a Savior. I shall be saved by believing that Jesus Christ died for my
sins. Jesus is my refuge, my trust; He is my Savior. I cast myself on the
promise of the word of God that all who call upon Him for salvation will be
saved. It will save you to trust, believe, rely upon Jesus Christ to be your
Savior. The way to please God is simply to believe in Jesus Christ. Have you
faith in Him? Do you believe on Jesus Christ with all your heart? Do you have
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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