You are on page 1of 13

“Without Faith, You Cannot Please God” (Hebrews 11:1-6

)

I. Introduction. A. Orientation. What is God looking for in His people? What is He looking for in you? That’s what we’ve been considering Over the past several Lord’s Days.

It’s not hard to figure out If you read His Word.

He wants you to have a heart That is devoted to Him – completely.

He wants you to have a heart That is concerned for those around you – As concerned as you are for yourself.

He wants your heart To be set on the things of heaven And the honors God gives – Not on the honors this world has to give.

And He wants you To love His truth

2

And study it, Not only that you’ll know what to do But that you’ll do it.

Of course, this isn’t all He wants to see in you. There are many other things.

B. Preview. This morning, we’re going to look at one more: He wants you to believe Him – To trust that what He says is true!

The author to the Hebrews tells us Without faith, it is impossible to please Him – He doesn’t says it’s hard, Or unlikely, It’s impossible!

Seeing that the purpose of this study Is to find out what we need In order to please Him – To catch His eye – We should pause and think about this – We need to believe Him!

3 So first, let’s consider what the author to the Hebrews means by the word faith. And second, why it’s impossible to please Him without it. II. Sermon. A. What does the author to the Hebrews mean by the word faith? Faith can mean at least three things, All of which are important to please God.

First, it can refer to what we are to believe. Jude writes, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (1:3). If you want to please God, You need to know the Gospel – Narrowly: what it teaches About the only way of salvation From God’s judgment for your sins; And more broadly: what the Lord calls you to do In every area of life. If you don’t know His truth and believe it – And contend for it – You can’t please God.

Second, it can mean receiving the Gospel – Actually placing your whole hope of heaven on Jesus – Trusting Him, His work: His life, death, resurrection and ascension –

4

And trusting that alone To save you from judgment.

If you don’t know what He has done, And believe that He really lived, died, rose again, and ascended to heaven, And if you don’t trust Him to save you, Far from pleasing God, You’re still His enemy. You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, If you are to please God.

Both of these are very important, But they aren’t really What the author to the Hebrews has in mind.

He’s using faith in a third way: Basically, in the same sense as when we trust Jesus Only applied to everything the Bible says.

To savingly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ You must have three things:

First, you must know what to believe: This is the same as the first meaning of faith: You must know the Gospel.

5

Second, you must believe the Gospel is true. You’re never going to trust Jesus to save you Unless you really believe you are in danger – That you really do need a Savior – And that Jesus is that Savior Who stands ready to save you, If you will only come to Him.

And third, you must actually trust Him – You must act on that belief And receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

Don’t forget, You can have the first two elements of faith – You can know the Gospel, You can believe it’s true – And still not be saved, Just like the devil, Or the demons (James 2:19), Or the damned souls That are now in hell. Do they know the Gospel And believe it’s true? They have no doubts about it.

6

You need something more – Something they don’t have.

You must act on that belief – If you really believe You’re in danger of hell, And you really believe That God will save you If you trust His Son, Then you will trust in Him. That is saving faith.

Now there is one more thing You need to have If you are to act on this belief – Something the demons don’t have: Love. The kind of faith The author to the Hebrews speaks of Works by love Because that is the only kind that saves.

Have there ever been unbelievers Who know they are sinners, That Jesus is the only Savior,

7

And that they would be saved If they would only trust Him, But who still don’t trust Him. Of course! Why don’t they then? Because they don’t want to – Because they don’t want/love Him.

The Spirit must also be at work in your heart If you are to exercise this kind of faith Because He alone is able to put The kind of love in your heart You need to trust Jesus Christ.

This is what the author to the Hebrews has in mind – A faith that works by love – Only here he applies it more broadly: To everything God says in His Word.

The faith he speaks of Goes beyond knowing what the Bible says, And believing it’s true – This kind of faith embraces God’s Word from the heart, And sees it not only to be true

8 But to be a welcome truth.

The author defines this faith in verse one: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This kind of faith will assure us That what God says is true. It will give us a full conviction That these things are real, Even though we can’t see them with our eyes.

But it also goes beyond this: Knowing these things are true, It welcomes and embraces that truth.

This is the kind of faith you need to have If you are to please God: You must not only believe what He says is true, You must also embrace that truth from the heart.

B. Why is it impossible to please God If you don’t have this kind of faith?

The author tells us in verse 6, “For he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” The first reason is, If you don’t have this kind of faith,

9 You will never come to God.

I want you to notice again that faith Is more than just believing that God exists. Paul tells us that everyone on earth already believes this: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:20-21).

This shows us something more about this kind of faith: Faith isn’t believing against the facts – Where everything points against it, And you choose to believe it anyway.

And it’s not believing without any facts – It’s not a leap into an abyss Hoping that there’s something there to catch you.

Faith is seeing the evidence, And believing that it’s true.

But it’s more than this: It’s seeing the evidence, Believing it’s true, And welcoming that truth, So that you actually come to God.

10

Both the believer and the unbeliever know God exists – Because of the evidence – But the unbeliever suppresses that knowledge, While the believer welcomes it.

If you ever hope to please God, You must not only believe that He is, You must also come to Him Because you love Him. That is the only way you can please Him.

Second, if you don’t have this kind faith You will never seek Him for His reward – Something else, we’ve seen that pleases God.

I think it goes without saying That if you refuse to come to God, You’ll also refuse to seek the things He’s promised.

He’s promised so many things That we won’t have time to consider all of them. Suffice it to say, It’s what the author points to throughout the book, And particularly in this chapter:

11 The promise of heaven, instead of hell, Of a better world to come, Of God’s help in this life, And of the honors He is willing to give Both in this world and the next.

God is pleased when you seek these things Rather than the things of this world.

This is why He was pleased with Moses: Moses gave up everything the world has to offer – Money, power, celebrity status – And for what? To suffer with God’s people For forty years. Why did he do that? Because he was looking to the reward God has to give.

If you are to please God, You must not only have the kind of faith That will move you to seek Him, But the kind of faith That will move you to seek Him For the honors He has promised.

12

Application: What kind of faith do you have?

Do you have the same kind as everyone else: That God exists? James says you do well, The demons also believe and shudder (James 2:19).

Many, if not most evangelical churches today would tell you This is all you need to get to heaven. Just pray the prayer. Just believe these things are true.

That’s not enough! The demons believe this – They aren’t saved – And neither will you be, Unless you have the kind of faith That brings you to God through Jesus Christ, And that moves you to seek for the reward He has to give.

How can you have this kind of faith?

You weren’t born with it. The Bible says you were born dead in sin (Eph. 2:1); That on your own you won’t seek God (Rom. 3:11).

13

Jesus says, You must be born again (John 3:7). You need the kind of faith Which only the Spirit can give. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8).

If you know that you don’t have this kind of faith, Then ask God for it – Ask Him to give you the new birth – To give you the saving work of His Spirit – And keep asking until He grants it.

If you already have this faith, Then thank the Lord for His mercy, And continue to seek Him for the honor He has promised to give those who will. That is what will catch His eye, Because these are the kind of people He can use. Amen. This evening, we’ll see This is exactly what He does. http://www.graceopcmodesto.org