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The Heroes of Faith (4)

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The Heroes of Faith (4)

8 minuten leestijd

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Faith is the gift of God. The exercise of faith is also the gift of God, because God's people cannot just believe whenever they want to. Often it is with those people that they whisper in the darkness of the night, “Lord, I believe, but help Thou mine unbelief. Help me to walk near Thee and to trust in Thy ways.” One day, faith will not be needed. One day, the child of God may go home, and then their faith will not be needed because they will know Him as He is. Here below they may live by faith, and what a wonder it is when they may look up, saying, “When the Lord is with me, who can be against me?” To walk by faith means exercising a child-like trust, holding fast to the Lord and holding fast to the Word of God. All that is not Christ in our life must come to nothing; it must be taken away so that we may experience what it is to be poor and needy, clinging to the mercy seat of God.

Why does the Lord say that without faith it is impossible to please Him? One reason is to uncover the religious hypocrite who always lives as a possessor. He must be uncovered to see that he is missing true, saving faith. He misses that true dependency on the Lord. He misses what the Lord Jesus says in His Word, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” The Lord is saying that when we miss true, saving faith, then we cannot please Him. But when we have that faith, then we certainly do please God. He has promised that in His Word.

Throughout history, also in our days, there have been those trying to please God without that soul-saving faith. Think of Cain. He was a religious man before he became a murderer. He was a respected man in his family. He knew the Lord as creator and upholder of His creation. In his heart he had a desire to bring a sacrifice to the Lord. By this sacrifice he sought to draw nigh to the Lord and to please Him. When he came to the Lord, he came with his proud, religious self, walking in the strength of his own righteousness. Bybringing along everything he possessed, he was attempting to please God. He missed the grace of God through Christ in his heart, and he missed the humbling and bowing before Him.


True faith looks unto the Way that has been opened to the heart of the Father.


What is faith? It is knowledge of myself and knowledge of the Lord. It is a bowing before the Lord as a sinner. It is the love of God poured out into the heart of a sinner who is looking on the sacrifice made from heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ. True faith looks unto the Way that has been opened to the heart of the Father. Cain possessed much, but because he missed true, saving faith in his life, he could not be accepted by God, nor rewarded from heaven.

My friends, we need a moment of self-examination. Do we please God? “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” You who walk life's journey unconcerned do not please God. If you are unconverted, you please the devil, because he wants to keep it that way. You who live with much outward religion, having desires and good intentions, can you bring all your good works unto Him and be accepted? Will a holy and just God accept your good works and intentions? No, because the Lord says that the best of our works are polluted by sin and iniquity. Oh, may you come upon your knees in prayer before the throne of mercy before it is too late. Cain was angry with the Lord because he was not accepted. He could not understand it.

What is necessary? That you may bow your knees, saying, “Lord, I have nothing to say anymore, but I am a sinner, and I need to be saved. I need that faith, Lord, that pleases Thee.” Without that faith we cannot please Him, but with it we can. As an example, look at Matthew 15, beginning with verse 22. “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto Him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David.” Why did she come to Jesus? It was because the Lord drew her. On the one hand, He held her back, and on the other hand, He drew her to Himself. He was ignoring her by not speaking unto her. Finally, she said, “Lord, help me.” It was the only prayer that was left. What did He finally say unto her? “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” What was the fruit of her faith? It was her coming unto Jesus. Are you one who is fleeing unto Him? He is pleased with the sinner that comes crying unto Him, saying, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” Without faith you cannot please God.

“He that cometh to God must believe that He is.” Are you a coming one? Are you a returning one such as the prodigal son was? He could not stay in the far country anymore, because the Lord had awakened him, so that he came to an end with everything that was of self. When God gives faith, then He gives strength, hope, and courage to the wretched sinner. Then the sinner prays, “Lord, please keep me upon that way. Speak unto my soul that Thou art my salvation.” There are times that he sits along the wayside, fearful of himself, saying, “Lord, where art Thou? It is so dark upon the way.” Then there are times that he hears the Lord whisper, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” This gives a little faith and encouragement to go onward upon that way.

“A rewarder of them.” If you are a seeker who is returning unto the Lord, like the prodigal son, there is a wonderful promise in the Word of the Lord for you. If you are, by grace, a seeker after that “fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness,” there is a promise from the Lord that “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” There are rewards of being built upon Jesus, being assured and strengthened that He is my Savior. When we look away from all that is of self, we may find rest for our soul in Jesus Christ. We can have much in our lives, but anything that we build upon outside of Christ will come to naught. We can make foundations of our tears, our prayers, and our piety. There can be much in our lives, but if it misses Christ, then it misses everything. When Christ comes, the bowing, the humility, and the love are shed abroad in the heart. One day He will reward. He is a rewarder to strengthen them, to hold them, and one day to bring them home. They are going home to the kingdom that lies above. There they will never fight and complain against the Lord and His doings. There they will love Him and be with Him forever. There will never be any more doubts, because they will be assured forever and forever. It will never be dark for their soul, because they will be standing next to the Light, which is Christ. There they will never weep anymore, but will always rejoice. A rewarder of them? Yes, He is the great Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. One day we may sing, “Through Thee, through Thee alone, because of Thine eternal good pleasure.” One day we may praise and glorify His great and holy Name when all of self may be laid aside and left behind.

My dear friend, I hope that you may be one of those who may rejoice on that day of days. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Without faith there is no reward. Only those with true, saving faith may receive the reward of God. Those who do not have that true faith will receive their own reward, but in a much different way.

— to be continued —

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van zondag 1 juli 2001

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

The Heroes of Faith (4)

Bekijk de hele uitgave van zondag 1 juli 2001

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken