Daily Bread: Hebrews 11:6

Posted by Jeffrey K Radt ("JRed") | Posted in , , , , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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We know that Scripture nourishes human understanding.

The Holy Bible uses an organic metaphor to describe God’s intention. It likens God’s Word to water that nourishes a seed enabling it to sprout and grow. This is a 'living metaphor'. It compares the process of growth in nature with the process of growing in faith and understanding.

It shows us that a mature faith is not static -- it grows!

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


This is going to be a good one mainly because of the way in which these truths can be applied to the holiday many of us will be celebrating with our family and friends later this week on Thanksgiving Day.

How so? Well, because this study has to do with fellowship and relationships. If you're anything like me, then you're probably praying, and praying, and praying that the upcoming holiday can be enjoyed without the usual "family dramas" that Satan tries to use to sabotage a celebration of all that we've been blessed with in the past year.

Today's daily bread is Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) 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.

Notice that Hebrews 11:6 reads, "he that cometh to God", and 1 Peter 2:3-4 uses a similar phrase that we should look at...

1 Peter 2:3-4 (KJV) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious. To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious,

"To whom coming" (0r "coming to God") means that one approaches nearer to God, seeks Him, or he walks with Him. It signifies fellowship with Him.

Let's stick with this for a moment. Here's what "Barnes' Notes On The Bible" says about this verse from Hebrews (emphasis mine)...

But without faith it is impossible to please him - Without "confidence" in God - in his fidelity, his truth, his wisdom, his promises. And this is as true in other things as in religion. It is impossible for a child to please his father unless he has confidence in him. It is impossible for a wife to please her husband, or a husband a wife, unless they have confidence in each other. If there is distrust and jealousy on either part, there is discord and misery. We cannot be pleased with a professed friend unless he has such confidence in us as to believe our declarations and promises. The same thing is true of God. He cannot be pleased with the man who has no confidence in him; who doubts the truth of his declarations and promises; who does not believe that his ways are right, or that he is qualified for universal empire. The requirement of faith or confidence in God is not arbitrary; it is just what we require of our children, and partners in life, and friends, as the indispensable condition of our being pleased with them.

For he that cometh to God - In any way - as a worshipper. This is alike required in public worship, in the family, and in secret devotion.

Think about how important faith is. I know, it seems ridiculous that I would actually have to write that out for us, but just hear me out for a moment.

The key that unlocks the door of salvation is faith. Without faith, we cannot please God. Try establishing any sort of friendship without faith. Walk up to someone and introduce yourself. When they tell you their name say, "I don't believe you!" and watch what happens. Watch their reaction.

When they tell you where they work, say that you don't believe that either. Carry on like that for awhile, and before long, you may be nursing a black eye! Your lack of faith in them is a strong insinuation that they are a liar.

If they, a mere mortal, feels insulted by your lack of faith in their word, how much more do believers/non-believers insult Almighty God by refusing to believe His Word? In doing so, they are saying that God isn't worth trusting and that He is a liar and a deceiver.

The Bible says, "He that believes not God has made him a liar" (1 John 5:10) . It also says, "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief..." (Hebrews 3:12). The command of the Scripture is, "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22). It's all there for us plain as day.

If a meaningful human relationship can't be established without faith, what sort of relationship could we expect to have with God, if by our unbelief we continue to call Him a liar?

Now that we've established the importance of faith, let's focus on this idea of "coming to God" that we opened with. The Bible shows three stages of coming to God...

1. The first is at God's calling when one begins to draw near. It results in justification and the imputing of Christ's righteousness.

2. The second is more continuous, occurring during sanctification, as a person seeks to be like God, conform to His image, and have His laws written, engraved, into his character.

3. The third stage occurs at the resurrection when the individual is glorified.

John 6:44 clarifies our first "coming to God" if we're looking for an appropriate illustration: "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." Nobody comes to God, no one seeks the God of the Bible, until God draws him and he then becomes aware of his need of Him. Nobody comes to God until he realizes he is far from Him and out of His favor. In fact, he is under God's condemnation and separated from the quality of life called in the Bible "eternal life". God reveals a measure of these things through His calling.

The "Parable of the Prodigal Son" illustrates this (Luke 15:14-19). Like the elect who are called and drawn by God, the prodigal son always belonged to his earthly father (as his father's son) whether he acknowledged that reality or not. The son did not return or draw near to his father until he was aware of his need. This sense of need motivates us to seek God and draw near to Him. This sense of need is a gift of God's grace working on a person's mind and is initially given when God summons the individual to approach Him.

Ephesians 4:17-24 covers the second "coming to God"...

Ephesians 4:17-24 (KJV) This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Verse 30 adds an instructive, albeit powerful, thought: "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." The Holy Spirit mentioned here is God Himself, who is hurt, sorrowed, by our sinful neglect of His gift. Once He bestows this sense of need, it is a continuous impulse unless we stifle it by neglecting to follow through, as those in the Book of Hebrews were doing.

Finally, let's wrap things up by reading what Matthew Henry wrote about this verse and prayerfully consider how he ties it together with our regular studies of the end times (emphasis mine)...

11:4-7 Here follow some illustrious examples of faith from the Old Testament. Abel brought a sacrifice of atonement from the firstlings of the flock, acknowledging himself a sinner who deserved to die, and only hoping for mercy through the great Sacrifice. Cain's proud rage and enmity against the accepted worshipper of God, led to the awful effects the same principles have produced in every age; the cruel persecution, and even murder of believers. By faith Abel, being dead, yet speaketh; he left an instructive and speaking example. Enoch was translated, or removed, that he should not see death; God took him into heaven, as Christ will do the saints who shall be alive at his second coming. We cannot come to God, unless we believe that he is what he has revealed himself to be in the Scripture. Those who would find God, must seek him with all their heart. Noah's faith influenced his practice; it moved him to prepare an ark. His faith condemned the unbelief of others; and his obedience condemned their contempt and rebellion. Good examples either convert sinners or condemn them. This shows how believers, being warned of God to flee from the wrath to come, are moved with fear, take refuge in Christ, and become heirs of the righteousness of faith.

Wow! Amen!

On second thought, I don't want to end there. Not yet. Does anyone else find it fascinating how this sole verse from Hebrews, and the resulting Bible study, is coming up at this point in time? I mean, even the passages that we were led to in other parts of the Bible that aren't found in Hebrews 11 are extremely relevant to what's going on in the world today.

Case in point, go back to 1 Peter 2. There we find the "Living Stone", "a chosen people", and clear commands about "submission" to earthly "masters" and "rulers" even! At a time when the federal government is abusing its power via the TSA, I have to tell you that I find such passages (particularly verses 18-24) very, very sobering indeed.

Do yourself a favor and read them right away. Amazingly, they also correlate with the type of testimony I've been reading and contemplating the past few days in Richard Wurmbrand's classic, Tortured For Christ, too.

Lastly, Matthew Henry made a connection between the content of this verse from Hebrews and the Second Coming. He also mentioned the faith and obedience of Noah. Those of us who are quite familiar with eschatology know that one of the key clues that Jesus Christ Himself gave to us so that we could recognize the last days once they were upon us was to describe them as being "as in the days of Noah" throughout the Gospels.

I guess we shouldn't be surprised then to find Hebrews 11:7 -- or the verse right after Hebrews 11:6 (the focus of this entire post today!) -- talking about Noah...

Hebrews 11:7 (KJV) By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Amen! I know that verse 7 is the first in a long list provided to us about the details regarding the lives of various men and women throughout history who exhibited the kind of faith we're talking about here, but what are the odds though? I just thought it was something how Noah comes up in the very next verse like that.

Exhibit faith. Recognize the warning signs about what's coming. Be moved with fear (not ruled by it). Prepare by praying for the Ark to protect you and your family. Rest in Him and on His promises of your future in His Kingdom.

(SOURCE: The Berean with some comments of my own added in)

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Comments Posted (6)

jeff

great piece and I especialy like the fact that you used john 6:44.

John 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

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 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

all 4 of these are very importent passsages, and what I really hope you noticed was the LAST sentence in each paragraph!!!!!!!

you see it is all over the place in GODS WORD the pre trib rapture
is a big LIE!!! as you should be able to understand there is only 1
last day!

those who teach otherwise are LIERS
and are NOT of the HOLY SPIRIT!!!
you need to sereate yourself from them. the luke warm is hated by GOD
and will be spewed out of his mouth
in the LAST DAY!!!

JESUS save those who you will!!! they are destroyed because of lack of knowledge! amen

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

john

Thank you so much for this. I was lead here today and this was an answer to prayer.

I am going through some trouble. We are in the process of selling something so we have the ability to do some things we felt the Lord press on us...but we have been at an impass for over a month with our buyer. To be held up for much longer means we lose out on something we want very much.

When those involved want assurances that God will make it happen, I cannot give it to them. I came out of the whole "prosperity gospel/name it claim it" stuff and so I don't do that anymore. But I have been getting angry because I go in circles with my faith.

I see that this going through is a miracle of God, but I have no idea and the waiting is horrible. When it says in the Bible that you should ask in Jesus name and you will receive. Guess what, I haven't received many times. When it says that those who follow Jesus will be able to raise people from the dead, hold deadly serpents etc. Guess what, never done it and never seen it.

This is slowly eating away at my soul. When I read about the baptisim of the Holy Ghost in the NT...I am not sure that happened.

I am lost. I have told my family over and over...all I have faith in is that God is God. I have too many questions. Is the Bible real or something someone made up. Is Jesus real or is he something someone made up. Is Paul a false prophet (he changes many things). I don't know. I tell them that I cannot promise them anything else but that God is the Lord (I met Him very young)but I cannot tell them He will protect them from things (I can't, there are horrible things happening to believers all the time)...but that leaves me with people saying "well why believe" and me saying "so you don't go to hell" ...and them saying...what if there is not hell.

It is a vicious cycle and I am in horrible torment over it.

I know that things will work out in the END for good for me, but since God has yet to answer many of my questions...I am left hanging and raging at Him.

Sorry, this came out unexpectedly. I have read your blog for some time...sorry, I don't know who else to tell about this. I am the only Christian I know and it is hard to witness to others...when you have yet to understand so much..

And in case you are wondering, I read the Bible nearly daily...it just leaves me with more questions...and how do I know it is real?

Thanks.

Thank you so much for this. I was lead here today and this was an answer to prayer.

I am going through some trouble. We are in the process of selling something so we have the ability to do some things we felt the Lord press on us...but we have been at an impass for over a month with our buyer. To be held up for much longer means we lose out on something we want very much.

When those involved want assurances that God will make it happen, I cannot give it to them. I came out of the whole "prosperity gospel/name it claim it" stuff and so I don't do that anymore. But I have been getting angry because I go in circles with my faith.

I see that this going through is a miracle of God, but I have no idea and the waiting is horrible. When it says in the Bible that you should ask in Jesus name and you will receive. Guess what, I haven't received many times. When it says that those who follow Jesus will be able to raise people from the dead, hold deadly serpents etc. Guess what, never done it and never seen it.

This is slowly eating away at my soul. When I read about the baptisim of the Holy Ghost in the NT...I am not sure that happened.

I am lost. I have told my family over and over...all I have faith in is that God is God. I have too many questions. Is the Bible real or something someone made up. Is Jesus real or is he something someone made up. Is Paul a false prophet (he changes many things). I don't know. I tell them that I cannot promise them anything else but that God is the Lord (I met Him very young)but I cannot tell them He will protect them from things (I can't, there are horrible things happening to believers all the time)...but that leaves me with people saying "well why believe" and me saying "so you don't go to hell" ...and them saying...what if there is not hell.

It is a vicious cycle and I am in horrible torment over it.

I know that things will work out in the END for good for me, but since God has yet to answer many of my questions...I am left hanging and raging at Him.

Sorry, this came out unexpectedly. I have read your blog for some time...sorry, I don't know who else to tell about this. I am the only Christian I know and it is hard to witness to others...when you have yet to understand so much..

And in case you are wondering, I read the Bible nearly daily...it just leaves me with more questions...and how do I know it is real?

Thanks.

Anonymous,

Believe it or not, I can identify with you completely! Actually, it's one of the reasons for the post (b/c it speaks to me the truth I need to be reminded of whenever I'm feeling like you've been feeling).

I thought back to those moments when I've felt the way that you're feeling. The thing that sustained me was the "heart knowledge" -- not merely "head knowledge" -- of all the things He's done for me in my short live. Plus, the evidence of a life completely changed because of Him is all the proof I need to think of.

You might want to check these pages out too:

https://www.iwtbradio.podomatic.com/

https://www.kingdomboundradio.podomatic.com/

All I can offer you at this time my friend is my prayers and an ear to listen. So, if that's what you need please feel free to email me. I won't begin to offer any "advice" or "opinions" unless asked for by you.

Anyway, keep the faith my brother/sister despite the fiery darts being sent your way by Satan. I'll pray that the Lord will bring you further comfort and peace in your mind and soul by additional fellowship with others here.

Keep Looking Up,
Jeff ("JRed")

Dear Anonymous,

Take heart! I teach students who ask for proof of the Bible's truth everyday. In addition to archaeological, historical, moral, and eyewitness accounts (Gospels)that withstand the rigors of a modern court of law, the Bible offers scientific and prophetic evidence that it is true, too. Here's a good resource to begin your investigation into such proof: https://www.eternal-productions.org/

Dear Doc, I feel foolish asking for proof that it is real..but so many say it isn't. I am not doubting God, but I am saying since I believe He is real..then He must have left a way for me to check this book is real. And now that I have children, I must know. Thank you. I will check it out.

Jred, thank you so much for your kind answer. I really appreciate all you do here. I went and read Hebrews 11, all of it, it was amazing today. So many questions answered.

I wondered if you read all of it, especially the the parts about being an alien. That by being an alien it helps us not want to claim this country...otherwise we might return to it and lose the kingdom (paraphrase) pleae look if you would..it really explained ALOT of what is going on in the world right now and the uneasy feelings many of us have that can be summed up by this "I want to go home!"

Keep writing I and others are reading.