Please Take a Seat

“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 diligently seek Him”

Hebrews 11:6

Multitudes of people seek ways they may please God. Religions have been established on this desire. Their adherents are trapped and held captive in futile hopes of pleasing a god or gods so that this life, or the life hereafter, is made more comfortable and pleasant.

Faith always requires an object and, when the object is deemed worthy of that faith, appropriate action will follow (James 2:20). Hebrews chapter eleven reminds us of many people who have acted out of faith in God.

No one is able to have or exercise faith in God unless they first believe He exists and it is naive to expect anyone to place their faith in Jesus Christ without first evaluating the evidence. No one sits on a chair without giving it at least a cursory evaluation so we shouldn’t expect someone to trust their eternal soul to Jesus without an evaluation of whether He is worthy of that trust. This is one of the benefits the Bible brings but there are other witnesses. We who have already trusted Christ are living witnesses of, and evidence for, the ability and worthiness of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). He has made us new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a new and living way of life (Hebrews 10:20) by which we are able to commune with God. We are witnesses that Jesus Christ is worthy and faithful. It is our day by day living faith in Him that pleases Him and witnesses of Him. Service follows faith and is our response to receiving eternal life through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 6:23). Faith in Jesus Christ pleases God because:

  1. It recognises who Jesus is
  2. It recognises what Jesus has done for us on Calvary’s cross
  3. It recognises that we are sinners in need of a Saviour
  4. It is acceptance of God’s remedy for our sin
  5. It is the opposite of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. They distrusted God whereas faith is trust in God

It is as simple to please God as it is to sit in a chair yet many make it a hopeless and useless burden. Paul writes, “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a matter of will. Will you believe?

Not so Common

“Without faith it is impossible to please HimHebrews 11:6

How often do we hear that something is ‘just commonsense’? The fact that we hear it so often shows that it isn’t so common. We often hear the term in relation to the Christian life as well and we find that, with the 57 varieties of ‘Christian,’ what we think should be common Christian thinking isn’t so common either.

The fact is that commonsense is not faith and faith is not commonsense. We read in Numbers 21 that the Israelites, bitten by poisonous snakes, could be cured by simply looking at a pole with a brass serpent attached to one end. That was not commonsense but it was an act of faith. “Commonsense and faith stand in the relation of the natural and the spiritual; of impulse and inspiration” (Oswald Chambers).

We must be careful not to apply what seems to be commonsense in the world to our spiritual life in Jesus Christ without taking God into account. From time to time God will ask us to do that which defies worldly commonsense to test our faith in Him (as He did with Abraham) but also to accomplish His purpose.

The just shall live by faith we are told and faith and commonsense run directly against each other.

Faith puts Jesus Christ and His Word first. Commonsense puts my knowledge and ability to reason first which disregards the first commandment. If we live according to commonsense we do not live by faith in God but by faith in ourselves.

God will bring us into circumstances requiring actions of faith in order to educate our faith and destroy our reliance on worldly commonsense that springs from the fallen nature. In the test He provides will we respond in commonsense or in faith in His Word?

Faith is the whole person rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Faith is taking God at His word and living according to it even when we don’t see the outcome as being beneficial or in accord with so called commonsense.