COMING TO GOD
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Impossibility of Coming
This highly religious, but godless age, imagines that one can come to God by his own will, as he pleases. But coming to God is not in the ability of humankind! That ability rests entirely in the control and mercy of the Sovereign Lord! Hosea 5:5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them. 6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them. John 8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
Consider also these verses: John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
It is not only true that no man CAN (a term of ability), come to God by his own power, but it is even true that the sinner, being dead spiritually (Eph. 2:1) does not desire to come! Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. That is, “You are not willing to come!” Spiritual life, with the gifts of faith and repentance, must first be granted by God! A spiritually dead man has no ability to do anything!
1. God is incomprehensible, but knowable! To the majority of men today, God is just a little lap dog over whom they have control. But listen to the Apostle Paul’s spiritual awareness of the Creator!
Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. No one, except God himself, can fully comprehend His boundlessness!
But thanks be to God for his revelation to mankind through the Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, God, though incomprehensible, is knowable! John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
2. Faith is essential in coming to God! In verse four of our Hebrews passage, listed above, we find that it was only by faith that Abel became aware of his pleasing God! There was no Bible, no preacher, or church as we know of today! Therefore it was necessary that God himself give testimony of Abel’s offering! And that awareness came to him “by faith!” For it is “through faith we understand!” (Heb. 11:3). And, dear reader, even with churches, bibles and pastors, one only comes to God by the inner, invisible working of the Holy Spirit! (John 3:8, 1 Cor 12:3).
As listed in verse one of our scripture passage, it is faith alone that evidences things not seen! 2 Corin. 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. The spiritual believer sees far beyond this natural realm! How sad to see so many professing religionists whose mind and conversation is totally consumed with only that which goes on in the natural realm today! How sad to see professors of Jesus Christ’s eyes and mouths filled with only natural matters! Faith is being denied it’s vision! And we have far better things to rest our vision upon than what we can taste, feel, smell and touch!
Rise up, O men of God,
Have done with lesser things;
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings. (William Merrill)
Would it not be of greater edification and blessedness to our soul’s for us to return to meditation of Christ? Are we not in danger of being unprepared to receive him at his coming? Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Let us put down our worldly concerns and return to our faith given us by the King of all kings!
We cannot legislate morality, nor especially righteousness! Righteousness comes by revelation! And Christ came to make individual sinners righteous, not governments! Truly our God has committed to us the ministry and word of reconciliation for sinners! (2 Cor. 5:18,19). The Lord plainly stated that those servants who fight governments are not his servants, and do not represent his spiritual kingdom! Far too many in this age are confusing patriotism with spirituality! John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
3. Faith cannot be separated from creation! In verse three of our passage above, we are clearly instructed that the faith that pleases God is that by which we are given understanding that God, by his Word, framed the worlds!
For the existence of the natural creation, and that of the spiritual, is by the creative work of God! 2 Corin. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The same God, by the same Word, who called the same Light to shine out of darkness in the natural creation, (which was a revelation of His Son, for the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day!), does the very same in the spiritual creation of a new born soul!
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Saving faith is God’s gift! It is never by man’s works! And when spiritual life, along with faith and repentance, is implanted within the darkened heart of the sinner, he is said to be “created in Christ Jesus!”
For as Abel had God for a witness within his soul, so we all have God’s witness without, in the natural creation! Acts 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. Notice that it is said that God’s providing natural things like rain and fruitful seasons fills our “hearts,” not our plates, or our stomaches! For these natural provisions from God are to benefit us spiritually, as well as satisfy our natural hunger!
Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. We must needs have our eyes lifted up by the Spirit to view these things effectually! Truly, the heavens declare his glory, and the firmament shows forth his handy work! (Psa. 19:1).
And listen just how these natural things, created by God render us inexcusable if we fail to recognize the only true God! Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Even God’s “eternal power” and his “Godhead” are said to be “clearly seen” by the things which are made! Their message is so clear, they render us all inexcusable who do not come to submission to Christ!
4. One can only come to God by the faith received with imputed righteousness! Romans. 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
It is not by the works of the law that one becomes righteousness. But it is in sovereignly imputed righteousness wherein one has faith in God. For life always precedes action! It is BECAUSE YE ARE SONS, not in order to become sons, that God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts crying, Abba, Father. For salvation is “not of works,” but it most certainly is “unto good works!” Read Ephesians 2:8-10. There we find that the works are as much ordained as the worker! Just as the tail always follows, and never precedes the dog, so good works never precede true salvation, but do always, without fail, evidence it!
James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Because that redemption is accomplished, the Holy Spirit is now given to teach every believer from within! (John 14:26). Therefore the unction within shall assure that they all shall be taught of God! We do not cast off men teaching us, for teachers are among the gifts Christ gave his Bride for a wedding present when he was lifted up on high! (Ephesians 4:8-9). But our Coming To God is by the Holy Spirit!
Hebrews 10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!
Pastor Gene Breed