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How Can a Person Please God?

“Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

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, 26).

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 saving faith? 

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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