How Do We Please God? — Patrick McCafferty

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How Do We Please God? — Patrick McCafferty

Scripture: Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17

October 20, 2019

 

  • Faith is the instrument God uses to bring salvation to His people. God gives faith because of His grace and mercy, because He loves us (Ephesians 4—5). Faith comes from God in the form of a gift (Ephesians 2:8). By knowing our saving faith comes from God alone, it should encourage Christians to “not think of yourself more highly than you ought,” but remember God decides the measure of faith each one receives (Romans 12:3). The apostle Paul gives an example of the godly humility believers should have when they contemplate their own faith: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:13–14). Paul understood faith in Christ was given to him because of God’s grace in spite of his own sinful life (1 Corinthians 4:7).

 

  • Biblically speaking, faith is essential to Christianity; without demonstrating faith and trust in God, we have no place with Him. We believe in God’s existence by faith. Most people have a vague, disjointed notion of who God is but lack the reverence necessary for His exalted position in their lives. These people lack the true faith needed to have an eternal relationship with the God who loves them. Our faith can falter at times, but because it is the gift of God, given to His children, He provides times of trial and testing in order to prove that our faith is real and to sharpen and strengthen it. This is why James tells us to consider it “pure joy” when we fall into trials, because the testing of our faith produces perseverance and matures us, providing the evidence that our faith is real (James 1:2-4).

 

  • James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” James is showcasing the difference between mental agreement and a genuine saving faith. Many people were claiming that, because they believed in the God of Moses and they could chant Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” and be right with God. James shatters that false hope by comparing that kind of belief to the knowledge held by Satan and his demons. If all that is required for salvation is mental agreement with the truth about God, then Satan and the demons can be saved, too. They know it is all true. Satan’s minions are more aware of God’s reality than most people, yet the demons are not right with God. The demons believe many things that are true about God, but they are unchanged by those beliefs and  certainly not saved by their beliefs.

 

  • Romans 10:17 - The Bible specifies the way that God gives faith to people. This is why it is still crucial for believers everywhere to be obedient to the Great Commission and tell people what Christ has done for humanity.

 

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