- Christ, the Creator
- Christ, the Life
- Christ, the Son of God
- Christ, the Bread of Life
- Christ, the Incarnate God
- Christ, the Tree of Life
- Christ, the Saviour
- Christ, the Light
- Christ, the Good Shepherd
- Christ, the Living
- Christ, the True Vine
- Christ, the High Priest
- Christ, the Redeemer
- Christ, the Preached
- Christ, the King
- Christ, the Miraculous
- Christ, the Prophet
- Christ, the Mediator
- Christ, the Word
- Christ, the Faith
- Christ, the Son of Man
- Christ, the Head
- Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice
- Christ, the Immutable
- Christ, the Example
“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)
As Paul wrote to the Hebrews, the Temple was still standing in Jerusalem. The temptation was there to go back to the sacrificial system of offering bulls and goats, ritual purifications, and observing of the Law. At the very least was a tendency to try and incorporate these things into Christianity.
Here we see the natural tendency of the flesh to be drawn into legalism. The flesh finds comfort in the keeping of rules and regulations. We know the rules; we follow the directions; we earn the prize. Sound familiar? The same attitude is prevalent in many churches today.
Perhaps one of the most-recurrent tendencies of carnal-minded churchgoers is to add a work to the grace of God. But this kind of thinking does not take into account the condition of the heart, or the attitude of our works. The proper relation of works to grace is when our actions stem from what we believe. If we serve without Faith, we may please each other; but we will never please God.
Furthermore, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). This is a strong indictment against anyone trying to please God by keeping a set of empty rituals.
Without Faith it is impossible to please God. What then is Faith?
A lot of people think that Faith is a kind of blind optimism that makes our dreams come true, despite what the realities of life may be. Other people think that faith is believing in a thing, in spite of the lack of evidence to substantiate that belief. Still other think Faith is a simple mental assent to things that cannot be proven. And yet none of these definitions give us a true view of Biblical Faith as not a thing, but a Person; that Person is Christ. (See Galatians 2:20; 3:22-26; Ephesians 3:12; Philippians 3:9; etc.)
We note that Paul defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is the “substance,” or reality, of hope. It’s what hope is rooted in. “Christ in you” is “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Hope proceeds from “Christ in you”; so that we can rightly say, our hope is based on Christ.
Also, Faith helps us to understand “that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). The evidential support of these ‘things which do not appear,’ or ‘things not seen’ is Faith. So Faith substantiates our hope, and gives evidence for things not seen. But where does Faith come from?
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
The Word of God is eternal, and it is eternally true. In its essence, Faith is the sure and certain knowledge that the Word of God is Truth, regardless of any other evidence, or any other factor. Faith enables us to believe in God, when everything else in the world tells us that we should not. God does not ask us to believe with ‘blind faith.’ Rather, our God always gives us abundant evidence, or substance, for belief; as Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
Our text verse highlights several key points. The primary focus is on pleasing God. We must remember that the general theme of Hebrews is the superiority of Christ to the Old Testament shadows. At issue here is pleasing God by satisfying His righteous Law. Only the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ could do such. And so we are told that “…Christ is the end (or fulfillment, goal, aim) of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4).
The Law was given to show men that they are sinners and to lead them to Christ (Galatians 3:24) – “that we might be justified by faith.” Without Faith (Christ) it is impossible to satisfy, or please, God. Faith saves us.
Another key point in our text verse comes in its second clause, showing us the effect of Faith. This effect is two-fold: (1) belief in God; and (2) belief in God’s promises. Because of Faith, we are enabled to believe in God and in His promises. In all ages, men have been justified by Faith (Christ) as they believe God, and that belief was counted to them for righteousness.
No one is saved by works (Ephesians 2:9); nor do we obtain a good report from God because of anything we do. Rather, it is because of what we believe. But this Faith that saves us is a belief that results in action. We must believe in God, and then we will act for God, trusting that He is faithful as He has promised to save us.
We see then that Faith (Christ) causes us to believe we are saved. And this belief moves us to behave in such a way that is pleasing to God; as it is God (Jesus Christ, the Faith) working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Our hope is secured by Christ Jesus. We therefore have the assurance of Faith (Christ) in the Word of God; the sure and certain basis for our belief that, in Christ Jesus, we stand justified in the eyes of God; and that He is pleased with the Work of Christ on our behalf. Without Christ, it is impossible to believe in God; and we cannot be rewarded by seeking God, without Christ.