Posts Tagged ‘Justification’

But 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.

When a person experiences their initial awakening that God exists, it is often accompanied with the realization His presence is indiscernible to them. Therefore, if a person is to truly “come to God,” it would require not only the belief that God “is,” but also a realization that He is somewhere they are not. A true awareness of “God is” comes with mindfulness that there are two distinctly different settings, where they are and that obvious elsewhere wherever God might be, seemingly afar off. The now awakened consciousness recognizes that if any genuine connection is to be established so that a relationship with God might be formed and nurtured, then somehow the expanse between them both must be closed. But not knowing where God is also leaves one with not knowing how to come to God, even if somehow alone he could close the expanse.

And so the author of Hebrews makes it irrefutable through the whole of the verse; without faith one cannot please God, nor can they come to God. The way to God can only be traveled by faith and the purpose of faith is to come, but who will come if they don’t at least believe He is? Therefore the verse clarifies that any progress one experiences in “coming to God” is only the reward for their hearing the Gospel and seeking Him diligently. Just because His presence may not be discernible, God is not lost. However the Gospel must be preached if men are to be made aware of the absence of His presence in order to compel them to seek after Him, if haply they should find Him.

Contrary to the absurdity of God being lost, when one truly begins to awaken spiritually, it is because they’ve realized without God’s presence they are alone and the ones who are lost. It is like the confident child who while playing wandered off from the security and comfort of their parent’s company. When suddenly they notice they’re all alone with no idea where their parents are. Suddenly they recognize they are lost and their parents will not be pleased; because the child knows they’re supposed to be next to their parents.

Accordingly the journey by faith of coming to God must begin with this basic understanding; I am lost and not where I am supposed to be. The creature having wandered off from his Creator can no longer discern where God is or even which direction to run to find their way back to Him. Sadly, there are many who have wandered so far off pursuing their own thing or have been preoccupied with trying to stay up with others, going blindly through life, that now they agonize or are filled with doubt if there even is a Creator. This is a dreadful state to be in, to be dispirited by the knowledge you’re lost, or worse to not even know it. Can you imagine a child looking up and not seeing their parent and begin to rationalize that since they cannot see them that their parent therefore was never real?

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But 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.
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It is my intention to write in my next post what God has been showing me about the above verse, but first I felt it was necessary to address the preceding verses in order to lay a proper foundation. I pray the Lord allows me to not only see the task through, but to walk accordingly to the message and to lose myself in Him.   But in the meantime, remember that tomorrow is no time for doing what needs to be done today. Get the oil for your lamps today. I pray the following stirs your hearts so as to cause you to wake up, get up, and run the race that is set before you . . . since the finish line is so near in sight.

  • Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance [ground/foundation] of things hoped for, [faith is] the evidence [demonstration] of things not seen.

Oh what a grand statement to start off the chapter of faith, declaring faith as the very ground work and foundation for a relationship with God. But note that the verse does not end there, but rather continues to reveal that faith is not just a thing, but a lively thing that continues with demonstrable evidence that such a foundation is real. Surely this is not unlike the Lord Jesus’ analogy of Him being the vine and we the branches that abide in Him,  continuing to bring forth much fruit to perfection.

How can it be shown that a branch is truly in the vine if not by evidence of continual growth? There must be something demonstrating that the very life of the vine continues to flow into the branches that are affixed to it. Here we must start if we are to see the wisdom of God’s gift of faith to men and the amazing grace available when they humble themselves to receive His instructive word and obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What other verse can be more fitting here than that promise given us in the Gospel according to John.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on His name.

It is truly as the song says, “How precious did that Grace appear, the hour I first believed.”

  • Hebrews 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report <martureo>.

This verse speaks of the greatest news to both sinner and saint, justification. What a glorious thing is this?  That even after your heart was pierced to the core by an undisputable revelation of countless crimes and transgressions recorded against you, and captured beneath a burden of accountability infinitely beyond your capacity to correct or to render any measurable degree of restitution, and yet… somehow a “good report” could possibly be uttered on your behalf? That even afterward being  thoroughly convicted of sin and forced to face the terror of inescapable judgment which forces your face downward to the ground with crushing condemnation,  completely silenced of any defense by overwhelming shame and despair . . . yet seemingly from nowhere comes a gracious offer lovingly presented to you whereby all your guilt and disgrace might not only be justified and forever settled, but actually replaced with joyous affirmations of approval and adoration from the very one against whom your crimes were committed. Words that instantly set to flight such a burden heart with ecstasy and eternal joy as you hear that you are not only forgiven, but frees you now to run to the place where you might also hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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