To Please God Our Faith Must Continually Increase

February 6, 2013

Friends,
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), yet many people do not take the steps necessary to achieve faith. Even many of those who say they believe that Jesus is the Messiah (the Redeemer of mankind), do not do their best to grow strong faith in themselves. Besides plain laziness, this is likely due to the influence of Calvinism which feeds their negligence by teaching that all actions, because every detailed event is predestined by God, are really God’s actions. And that God is going to do what He has planned from eternity past, regardless of any effort on the part of humans. If complacent people don’t adhere to this particular convenient excuse, then likely they are relying on their supposed eternal security which, they believe, has been set in stone by a past one-time prayer of confession of sin. For, they reason, if they are already saved no matter what else they do, why should they strive to grow spiritually?

However, God’s goal for people is that we become conformed to Christ-likeness. (Rom. 8:29) In order to do this, we must grow spiritually, and this begins with faith. No wonder, then, that we must have faith in order to please God. Moreover, faith is what we, as God’s righteous people, must live by (Heb. 10:38) and we are required to advance in it (same verse) from one level of righteousness to the next. (Rom. 1:17) God absolutely does not accept stagnant faith. Faith that is not growing and producing fruit (righteous results) is worthless (James 2:14-26) and the person who has such a faith will not be justified (v. 24) but instead cut down (Luke 13:5-9) and thrown into the eternal fire of God’s wrath. (3:7-9)

We must produce fruit pleasing to God, and to do this, we must be growing in faith. Faith is grown by remaining in the Vine (John 15:4,5) which, in turn, is done by obeying Christ’s commands (v. 10), which in turn, is done by meditating on His Word and being continually cleansed by it. (v. 3 // Eph. 5:26 // 1 Peter 1:22,23) Therefore, it is imperative that we understand that faith is grown by reading the Scriptures (John 20:31) –if it is read in humility and under the tutelage of the Spirit. (16:13-15) If we submit to this, we will see, with the eye of faith, the Lord. (v. 16) We will see (enter, serve in, and understand the mysteries of) the Kingdom of God. (3:3-8) But he who continues to sin neither sees nor knows. (1 John 3:6) For he is unspiritual (Rom. 7:14 // 1 Cor. 2:14) and of the devil. (1 John 3:8)

It is only through faith in Christ Jesus that we are given life (John 20:31) –real and eternal life– and this life (His life as our life –Col. 3:4) nourishes us so that as we feed on Him (6:53-58), the Vine, we continually grow in faith and thus into more perfect Christ-likeness. (Matt. 5:48 // John 15:1-11 // 2 Tim. 3:15-17) And where is the main place that we feed on Christ? In the Word of God, for Christ Himself is the Word. (John 1:1,14 // Rev. 19:13)

So since it is impossible to please God when we do not possess continual and increasing faith, and if this kind of faith comes about only by meditating on God’s Word in whole-hearted devotion, then is it not alarming that most “Christians” ignore the study of Scripture? Reading the Word of God is what increases faith! (Rom. 10:17) Yet most people either do not believe this Truth, or they just don’t care. Whichever the case, they obviously then cannot please God. Which means they do not belong to Him and will thus reap eternal death. (Rom. 8:8,9,13 // Heb. 10:38,39)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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