Let’s start off with a very simple answer. Black and white, no holes barred, mud pie-child-like explanation. Are you ready? Here it is:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him—must believe that he exists–and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that FAITH is all I need to please God?
That is not what I mean, because that is not what it says. The bible says:
FAITH IN GOD.
Faith is nothing without an object.
Let’s look a bit closer to the truth.
FAITH IN GOD. THE KIND OF FAITH THAT BELIEVES HE EXISTS.
Faith in myself does not require a belief in the existence of a god.
Faith in religion does not require a belief in the existence of a god.
Faith in my fellow man does not require a belief in the existence of a god.
Faith in science and nature does not require a belief in the existence of a god.
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” Psalm 14:1
What must I do then?
Acknowledge that God is waiting on you and me. He created us, not as robots, but as free souls. Imagine if your child had no choice but to do everything you commanded. Even his or her thoughts are under your spell. There can be no love in such puppetry. How beautiful it is when a child comes to a parent because the parent loves them wholy for nothing but mutual love. Such a parent and child portray this faith we now speak of.
Remember that there are no substitutes given. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to please God without a faith and belief that includes a movement on our part. Come to Him, believing.
–you will not be rejected
–you will be rewarded
Come as you are. Don’t try to clean yourself up. You cannot pull yourself up by your own bootstraps spiritually.
“Christ died for us at a time when we were helpless and sinful. But God showed how much He loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.” Romans 5:8
You see, God knows that “you have to catch the fish before you can clean it.”
Seek Him earnestly. This means we do not seek Him for immediate gratification of personal favors and wishes as if He is a bottled-up genie. We seek Him for restoration from sin and brokenness.
–Our seeking Him includes confession of sin
–Our seeking Him includes a willingness to turn away from sin and its destruction in our lives.
–Our seeking Him opens the door to an intimate spiritual relationship with the one who created us.
It is out of this relationship that we understand and value His rewards.
His rewards include:
1-Restoring Us to Himself Through His Son
“God our Savior showed us how good and kind he is. He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done.” Titus 3:4-5
2-Helping Us With our Own Desires through the Spirit
“If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you. People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom. God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. God’s Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit. But don’t be conceited or make others jealous by claiming to be better than they are.” Galatians 5:16-26
GOD DOES NOT SEEK APPEASEMENT.
RELIGIONS DO! (and Santa does too)
Religions and religious people do not seek to please God. They all hope to keep him/it at a safe distance, out of their daily lives as much as possible. They use their gods as pleasure centers or shopping malls.
Religions and religious people all endeavor to APPEASE a god. They create a system whereby the gods demand allegiance and good works. Fear of abandonment and rejection are central to imprisoning their followers in fear and ignorance. At the end of life, a person’s good works then are measured against their “bad” deeds.
This mythology has been repeating itself over several millennium.
Early Egyptian practices included weighing the heart on a scale opposite a figure of truth—a feather!.
EMOTIONS, INTELLECT, WILL, MORALITY all were deemed to be centered in the physical human heart.
Interestingly, none of these religions throughout time can tell us with absolute certainty who it is that determines if or when a person has finally become “good enough”. This is intentional as religion must capture its prey by cunning, threat and dominance—not love.
–Allah wants/demands strict allegiance to his laws and governance–or else.
–Buddha taught essentially. “You made your bed now lie in it.” You get what you deserve.
–All “works-based” religions still inexistence today seek to enslave their followers much the same as a car company would threaten the loss of warranty if you have your car cared for anywhere else but in their shop. They need to keep you coming back and they need your loyalty to their brand for their own survival. In saying yes to them, in effect, you are a pawn—a willing subject.
CHRISTIANITY IS WHOLLY DIFFERENT THAN THESE RELIGIONS DESCRIBED ABOVE. THROUGH THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST, AND OUR OBEDIENCE TO HIM ALONE, WE MAY PLEASE GOD.
Just as children want to please their parents, God’s children also want to please Him.
Here is how this works itself out:
“All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve. And because of Christ Jesus, He freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins.” Romans 3:23
“God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son.
And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross,
so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God.
“You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So, God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.” Colossians 1:19-21
“If you love me, you will obey what I command”. —Jesus John 14:15
We love God because He first loved us, not threatened us.
“Money paid to workers isn’t a gift. It is something they earn by working. But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners ONLY because they have faith in him.” Romans 4:4-5
“Dear friends, God is good.
So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing.
That’s the most sensible way to serve God.
Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think.
Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to Him.”
REAL FAITH IN GOD PUTS US TO WORK, NOT TO EARN FAVOR WITH HIM OR TO MAKE HIM LOVE US MORE, OR TO PROMISE TO KEEP US, BUT TO REFLECT HIS PRESENCE IN US. HE DOES HIS WORK THROUGH US.
OUR GOOD WORKS THEN PROVE OUR FAITH, NOT PROVIDE FOR IT.
Therefore, the bible teaches that faith without works is a dead faith.
Faith that is truly in God will result in works that prove this faith to be genuine.
Such a person seeks not to promote himself, but rather to lift-up Christ.
“My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show you really do have faith?
Can this kind of faith save you? If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say,
“I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!” James 2:14-17
If you and I want to please God, then we must jettison the religion act. We must forget relying on ourselves and out efforts at working our way to Him by being good little boys and girls. (Sorry Santa)
“And so, if we have God’s Son, we have this life. But if we don’t have the Son, we don’t have this life.” I John 5:12
“God so loved the people of this world (even though sinful) so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who has faith in Him (not their own attempts at self-righteousness) will have eternal life and never really die.” John 3:16
CHRISTIAN PEOPLE–WE ARE NOT SAVED BY OUR OWN GOOD WORKS.
WE ARE NOT KEPT BY THEM EITHER — BUT WORK WE WILL BECAUSE GOD IS WORKING IN US TOWARD THAT END.
WE ARE NEVER ABANDONED BECAUSE OF OUR BAD DEEDS–WE ARE DISCIPLINED AS CHILDREN OF GOD. (Hebrews 12)
“God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey Him.” Philippians 2:13
AS WE PLEASE GOD THEN, OUR GOOD WORKS PROVE OUR FAITH, NOT PROVIDE FOR IT.