We know that without FAITH it is impossible to please God- Heb 11:6 Also that anything that is not from faith is sin. (Rom 14:23) Thus it is established that to please God we must walk in faith. If on the other hand we attempt to be pleasing to God through “doing good” and “not doing bad”(ie,.keeping the Law)then we are NOT PLEASING God.
With that in mind whenever I read Scripture that seems to put the responsibility upon me to be a good Christian as if I have some innate ability and the resources within to be such a one, that I remember it is only by faith that I am pleasing to Father.
When Paul wrote….
2Co 5:9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.NKJV
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
….Paul the Apostle and teacher of faith could not have been putting the heavy upon God’s children. Instead I believe Paul was exhorting like he always did, to stay grounded in the Faith which is in Christ Jesus.
To be well pleasing to the Father is to accept fully Jesus Christ as your only Life and ONLY right standing with Father. That does not mean we do not do good works….of course not! The issue in all of this is have we come to know and acknowledge our own inherent inability to be pleasing to God? Do we know we can do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING of ourselves just as Jesus could do nothing?
The Law was given to bring us to that place. The Law was given so that in attempting to keep it, we would see our need of a Saviour. Once we see our need of Jesus we are no longer under the Law, but have been transferred into His Kingdom of Love and Life.
It’s such a relief to see that we can do nothing to please God! It’s entering into His rest! He wants us to rest inside of Jesus knowing we are pleasing in His sight without having to do anything!
This is the liberty we have in Christ Jesus…which infuriates religious spirits. Those spirits will not allow you to rest in Jesus for long. They badger and push and accuse you constantly…especially if you are planning to take a holiday at the beach…or to go to a sports game….or some other “worldly event”. You must be busy about the Lord’s business!!
This is hogwash of course. You can do nothing….just be yourself and in being yourself you ARE being like Jesus…you are about your Father’s business.
Have you considered that before Jesus did any ministry a voice from heaven was heard saying, “This is My beloved son in whom I am well pleased” ? Mtt 3:17
Have you considered the thief on the other cross who died believing on Jesus, but NOT having done anything good or bad yet?
It is true that God has prepared good works for us to walk in. That does not have to mean “Christian things”, like preaching and teaching etc. Good works to walk in are like the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 and John 15.
God produces the good works in us and as us as we go about being ourselves daily.
Paul said we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling…..FOR or BECAUSE it is God who energeios or works in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. God is you in you by faith in Jesus….and God brought with Him all His ability. You are carrying life giving water, which wells up in you and out-pours through you as you simply believe. That is happening whether you are doing Christian things or not.
You are pleasing to Father as you believe that Jesus is one with you in the same way He is One with Father. To not believe this is to always be falling short of God and incurring his displeasure.
And I might add, that God’s displeasure is not a selfish thing…where God is not happy with you because you make Him look bad….NO!! But God your Father is not pleased because it is you who miss out on resting inside of Him….even as He is resting inside of you despite your unbelief.
2Ti 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
God is patiently waiting for us to come to that place of ceasing our own works and entering His rest.
Heb 4:10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
Heb 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
That fall is also spoken of by Paul in Galatians to those who were trying to be justified in God’s sight by doing good and not doing bad. He said they had FALLEN from Grace.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen(ekpipto) from grace.
Strong’s concordance says ekpipto means: to drop away; specifically be driven out of one’s course.
This is the age old problem whose solution is always faith alone in Jesus Christ.
In the Garden of Eden , when our first parents chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil(the law) they were DRIVEN OUT away from the Tree of Life(Jesus). For the Christian….to have Jesus in their born again heart(Tree of Life)but to eat from doing good and not doing bad(Tree of Knowledge of good and evil)in an effort to be pleasing to God is to effectually NULL and VOID JESUS GRACE in their lives. They have made Him of no effect, by choosing to try to be justified daily by doing and not doing…instead of simply trusting that they ALREADY ARE PLEASING AND DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING!
The two trees cannot co exist in our lives. We need to choose Life ONLY …that means we never choose death. But we know that this is not our experience. We eat from both trees all the time…Life in our spirit and death in our minds.
Finding out what is pleasing to the Lord.
What is pleasing to the Lord is always FAITH…and that FAITH IS INSIDE JESUS INSIDE YOU.
The life we now live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son of God who exchanged His life for our life. Gal 2:20b
The long wilderness journey goes on while we eat from the tree of Law….it only ends when once we admit in all honesty to God and ourselves that we cannot do it. Then we are presented with the opportunity to enter fully into Life as we eat of Jesus and allow Him to grow the fruit on our branches.