Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 11

How to please God

Hebrews 11:6

Most people want God to be pleased with them. But few people know what they must do to achieve that result.

Certainly, God is not pleased with peopleís actions. Romans 3:9-20 makes that clear. Everybody has done wrong and evil things that are against Godís law. Even if someone has done only one evil thing, that person has offended against the whole of Godís law (James 2:10-11). God is the judge of every person. And no judge is ever pleased with someone who has not obeyed the law.

Even if our actions were always right and proper, we would still be guilty because of our words (James 3:6). We might not carry out an evil action, but we still speak evil words (Matthew 5:21-22). God hears our words, even as he sees our actions. He is the judge of our words as well as our actions (Matthew 12:36-37).

If God is not pleased with our words and actions, he is certainly not pleased with our thoughts. Some people can perhaps control their behaviour, but nobody can control their thoughts. But Jesus taught that an evil thought is wrong, too (Matthew 5:28). In fact, it is the evil thought that causes evil behaviour (Mark 7:20-23).

It may seem impossible that we could do anything to make God pleased. But there is something that causes God to be pleased. It is when a person has faith in him. Faith means active belief and trust in God. God is pleased when a person believes his (Godís) word. God is pleased when a person trusts him.

In order to desire a relationship with God, a person must believe two things. First, the person realises that God exists. And next, that God will be kind to someone who really desires a relationship with him. In the beginning, those two ideas may not seem strong enough to be called beliefs. But they are the beginning of faith. And faith is like a seed (Luke 17:6); it grows. It is Godís word that causes faith to grow. And we can read Godís word in the Bible.

Those first two thoughts are just the beginning. So the person will pray, and he will study the Bible. He will learn how his own wrong deeds have offended God. But he will discover that God wants to forgive him. And this is possible because Jesus died to suffer his punishment. So that person invites God into his life. And that is when the personís life of faith begins (Galatians 2:20).

Next part: The faith of Noah (Hebrews 11:7)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.