Without faith, it is impossible (not possible in any way)to please God; in fact, we cannot even begin to approach the Lord and establish a personal relationship with Him without it. Please note that this is not the same as saying that it is impossible to please God. Their faith characterizes the milieu in which a believer lives their life. We are referred to as “believers” due to the fact that we consistently place our faith, trust, and confidence in God. The Christian life starts with faith, and it is with faith that it continues all the way to the end.
Old Testament heroes such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Joseph, Gideon, and David lived by faith. Other Old Testament heroes include Rahab and Gideon. They trusted God to carry out His Word as they peered into the future and hoped for a better future (Hebrews 11:13–16). And despite their lack of comprehension, they obeyed God’s Word. The formula for a life that is pleasing to God consists of this walking by faith, which means acknowledging as true the things we cannot yet touch, feel, or see and then acting on them in obedience. It’s possible that we don’t perceive ourselves as God does right now—as holy and made righteous by the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us. But when we accept the proof found in the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and respond to it by reaching out to experience fellowship with Him, we begin to live by faith, and God is pleased by this.
Even though it was written with Christians in mind, a significant portion of the New Testament epistles is misunderstood as directed toward those who do not believe in God. The book of Hebrews is an example of a biblical book that provides mature Christians with direction on how to live by faith and a life that is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. In spite of the fact that accepting Christ as one’s personal Savior and believing in the atoning work he did on the cross is the first, most obvious step in the process of gaining God’s approval, the continual, active faith of a Christian is what wins God’s approval in the day-to-day activities of life.
Only those who have faith in God can earn his approval. We find favor with God when we are declared righteous before him (this is called “initial salvation”), but we also find favor with God when we live sanctified lives (this is called “ongoing salvation”). Because it is impossible to please God without faith, the only way to please God is to have the righteousness of Christ ascribed to us via faith. But after we have been rescued, we are to please God by living our lives according to our faith. After establishing our faith in Him, the next step is to “believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Believers are to persist and continue to trust Him by believing His Word, living by faith, and constantly seeking His face daily to maintain their salvation, which was obtained via justification by faith.
Once we have trusted in God’s saving mercy through faith in Christ, we are also to believe that “He rewards those that seek Him,” as it is taught in Scripture. There is gladness in heaven whenever a sinner puts their trust in Christ, but the only way we can genuinely delight God is by living our lives in accordance with our beliefs. When the challenging events of life do not sway us, we act in a manner that is pleasing to Him. If we want to please our Heavenly Father, we must LIVE by faith, not sight. This is the path that leads to eternal life.
To be continued.