Without Faith

Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6).

- Hebrews 11:6

A mere profession of faith is not enough if we are to be saved. We must not only profess but actually possess true faith. We must actually trust God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

One evidence that we possess true faith is that we do not shrink back from Christ. Many will claim to know Christ but then later fall away. But true faith is marked by endurance (Heb. 10:36). It preserves our souls and prevents us from finally falling away because it keeps us from shrinking back and thus being destroyed (v. 39).

In Hebrews 11, we find examples of what this true faith looks like. True faith believes that God created the world from things invisible (v. 3). True faith offers the best aspects of our lives to God (v. 4). True faith causes us to walk according to God’s will and believes Him even when He is not actively revealing things to us (v. 5).

Verse 5 tells us that Enoch pleased God by his faith. Today, verse 6 discusses how faith and pleasing God are related: “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

It should be self-evident that we have no hope of pleasing God except by our faith. For it is only true faith as expressed in our confession, trust, and obedience that can justify us and give us hope of being rightly related to our Creator (John 14:15–21; James 2:14–26). And if we are not rightly related to God, we can in no way please Him. We only possess this faith if God has sovereignly given it to us as a gift, and we exercise it only as the grace of God first changes our hearts (Eph. 2:8). Nevertheless, we are responsible to exercise the gift of faith once it has been given to us (Mark 1:15).

Today’s verse also tells us that we must not only believe that God exists but also that He rewards those who seek Him. This is not to say that we come to God demanding a reward, even though one is promised to us. Rather, it reflects the fact that God is concerned about His people with whom, by His grace, He has secured a covenant relationship and that He gladly rewards those who seek Him.

Finally, Verse 6 tells us that this relationship is available to us as we “seek him.” John Owen says that this expression refers to one who diligently seeks God because “a faith that is not diligent is no faith.”

Coram Deo

Do you seek God diligently? Do you make use of prayer, Bible study, worship, and the sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s Supper? Do you awake in the morning resolved to seek God, no matter what comes your way? Take some time today to pursue fellowship with God, and ask Him to help you seek Him with continued diligence.

Passages for Further Study

1 Chron. 28:9
Isa. 55:6–7
Matt. 6:33
Col. 3:1
Rev. 3:20

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