June 25, 2012
How Much Faith – How Much Pleasure?
Without faith it is impossible to please Him
Hebrews 11 is the chapter of the heroes of faith. As we read it, we anticipate what will ultimately climax and overshadow the men of chapter 11: the Author and Finisher of faith, Who is mentioned in chapter 12.
Yet here in chapter 11, we are introduced to principles which increase our appreciation of that life and what He brought to God. Verses 5 and 6 remind us of the necessity of faith to bring pleasure to God. Notice then:
The Principle: Faith brings pleasure to God. A man, obeying the Word of God, and moving in light of that truth, affords pleasure to the heart of God. In chapter 11, the Spirit of God is highlighting instances of faith in the lives of Old Testament men (and women). In each case, there were failures which could have been mentioned. But this was not the purpose of the Spirit.
The Proportion: The more faith involved in an action, and the greater the cost for that faith to be operative and controlling in that person’s action, the more pleasure God has received. Some of those mentioned in chapter 11 were remarkable for their faith: for example an Abraham or a Moses; others were less so, such as a Samson or Jephthah.
The Perfection: The Lord Jesus was the Author (commencer, original) and Finisher (He brought it to perfection) of the life of Faith. His walk while here was marked by total and undeviating faith in His God. He lived a perfect life of faith. We think of faith as blind leaps in the dark; as such, the Lord Jesus, knowing all things, did not “leap in the dark.” But faith is not a blind leap; it is taking God at His Word and living on it and by it.
If then faith pleases God; and if then the measure of faith determines the measure of pleasure I bring to God; the only conclusion sustainable is that His perfect life of faith brought infinite joy to the heart of God.
1. With an understanding that faith is moving on the Word of God alone when there is nothing else to reassure, consider the birth, life, and death of the Lord Jesus and note how every step was a step of faith. What delight even His condescension into humanity must have brought the heart of God!
2. Is the Lord Jesus still living by faith today while in heaven? What assurance does He have of His foes becoming His footstool?
3. When the Lord Jesus went into death and commended His Spirit to His Father (Luke 23:46), was this an act of faith? What assurance did He have of resurrection?