Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sermon Outline: Impossible to Please God

Near to the Heart of God - Part 2

Hebrews 10:38 – 11:40


Genesis 1:26, 27 – “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

  • God has taken a lot of RISK for the sake of LOVE.
  • God took the first big risk when He created man in His Own image. Man would have attributes of independence and free-will
  • THE RISK: Free-will responses CANNOT be controlled by God or they cease to be free will responses.

1 Cor. 13: 13 - And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

  • Relational words. Compare with wealth, health, power, wisdom, etc.
  • Cannot be forced. God cannot force them to happen, otherwise, they are fake. Luke 17:5ff
  • God cannot force genuine relationships. Otherwise, they are no longer genuine
  • God looks at the heart.  It is man’s heart that fascinates God. He created attributes in man that He Himself cannot control without redefining terms.

Faith qualified – 10:38

  • Declares how to live
  • Doubt is the opposite of faith 
  • John 20:29

Faith defined – 11:1

Faith correctly exercised as a result of knowing God personally 11:3-5

  • How did Abel know what would please God?
  • Enoch not just kept his nose clean. He WALKED with God! (Genesis 5:24)

Faith necessary in true relationship with God = 11:6

  • Believe that He is REAL
  • Believe that He RESPONDS with REAL changes

Faith illustrated:

  • 11:7 – Noah’s faith was tested by time. Testimony- long wait for career
  • 11:8-10 – Abraham’s faith was tested by God’s promise but in an unfamiliar place. Testimony – Going to the USA
  • 11:11-12 – Sarah’s faith on God’s promise was tested by Divine Intervention against the natural course of events

Faith recap 11:13-16

  • “died not having received the promises” (complete fulfillment) v.13
  • “were assured of them” v.13
  • They could have “drawn back” v.15
  • They believed that God’s promise was better v.16
  • God was pleased. v.16

More illustrations:

  • 11:17-19 – Not doubting in the dark what God showed in the light. (Many parents react negatively when a son or daughter expresses a desire to be a missionary.  Abraham was going to actually lose his son's life!)
  • 11:24-27 – Faith in God involves making choices for God or for your own pleasures. Faith knows the consequences of these choices.
  • 11:28-30 – Faith in God compels us into immediate and precise obedience. Recall Cain and Abel
  • 11:31 – Faith is a result of true knowledge. (Joshua 2:9-14)
  • 11:32-40 – Summary of other illustrations
    • v.35 – “Be it done to you according to your faith”
    • v.39 – “did not receive the promise…” refers to the end goal of resurrection and relationship.



God is pleased with faith because faith, like love, is essential to a meaningful relationship with Him. It is something which is part of man’s free will to exercise. Like love, God surrendered absolute sovereignty over faith when He created man in His own image. God can only court and encourage faith. He cannot give it like He gives wealth, power, healing, etc.

Like love, God desires a constant unwavering expression of faith in Him. When we are in relationship with God, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)

Faith works when based on the knowledge of God, His word and His heart.

Faith operates on “God said so!” Like the worship song says, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it from me."

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