"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). The faith that pleases God is the faith that accepts the truth that God created the world by His Word from things which are invisible (11:3). It is the faith that sacrifices according to God's Will; it is the faith that desires to please God. It is the faith that works through godly fear; and it is the faith that obeys God (Heb. 11:4,5,7,8).
The Hebrew writer names specific Old Testament examples of those who lived by the faith that pleases God. Their testimony speaks even today when we read and study the Scriptures. "For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good testimony" (Heb. 11:2); they were Abel (vs. 4; Gen. 4:3-5), Enoch (vs. 5; Gen. 5:21-24), Noah (vs. 7; Gen. 6:8,13-22), Abraham (vss. 8-10,17-19; Gen. 12:1-4,8; 18:1,9; 21:12), Sarah (vss. 11,12; Gen. 17:19; 18:11-14; 21:1, 2), Isaac (vs. 20; Gen. 27: 26-40), Jacob (vs. 21; Gen. 48:1,5,16, 20), Joseph (vs. 22; Gen. 50:24,25), Moses (vss. 24-29; Exo. 2:11-15; 10:28; 12:21; 14:22-29), Joshua (vs. 30; Jos. 6:1-21) and Rahab (vs. 31; Jos. 2:9; 6:23).
"And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel adn the prophets who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection" (Heb. 11:32-35).
In Hebrews chapter eleven we find the faith that pleases God described in the people of Godo of the Old Testament: who "all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (vs. 13). This God pleasing faith of the people of the Old Testament moved them to seek a homeland, for they desire a better that is a heavenly country. For God has prepared a city for them (Heb. 11:3-16). These faithful men and women endured horrible treatment and yet, they did not receive the promise (vss. 13-39).
All faithful believers now have that better country in Christ. The cloud of witnesses in Hebrews chapter eleven assures us that we can have God pleasing faith like they had faith. We are encouraged in that faith to leave our sinful lives, run with endurance the race set before us, and look to Jesus Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:1,2).
One translator of the New Testament
offered this definition of faith form Hebrews chapter one: "Now faith means
that we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see"
(Heb. 11:1, Moffat Translation). Remember that the right-eous will live by faith
(Rom. 1:16,17). May God grant each one of us the faith that pleases Him and
will save us!
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