But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is…
I. IT IS THE NATURE OF FAITH TO MAKE A MAN COME TOWARDS GOD, AND TO GET COMMUNION WITH HIM THROUGH CHRIST.
1. "What it is to come to God. Coming to God notes three things, for it is a duty always in progress.
(1) The first address of faith. To come to God is to desire to be in His favour and covenant — to be partakers of His blessings in this life, and of salvation in the life to come (Hebrews 7:25).
(2) Our constant communion with Him in holy duties. In all exercises of religion we renew our access to Christ, and by Christ to God; in hearing, as a teacher; in prayer, as an advocate for necessary help and supply; in the Lord's Supper, as the Master of the feast (Proverbs 9:2).
(3) Our entrance into glory (Matthew 25:34).
2. There is no coming to God but by Christ (John 10:9), "I am the door"; there is no entrance but through Him (John 14:6).
(1) By His merit. As paradise was kept by a flaming sword, so all access to God is closed by His justice; there was no pressing in till Christ opened the way, God became man, drawing near to us by the veil of His flesh (Hebrews 10:19, 20).
(2) By His grace.
II. THAT THE FIRST POINT OF FAITH, IF WE WOULD HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH GOD, IS TO RELIEVE THAT THERE IS A GOD. This is the primitive and supreme truth, therefore let me discuss it a little; the argument is not needless.
1. Partly because the most universal and incurable disease of the world is atheism; it is disguised under several shapes, but it lies at the root, and destroys all practice and good conscience.
2. Because supreme truths should he laid up with the greatest certainty and assurance. Christians are mistaken very much, if they think all the difficulty of religion lies in affiance, and taking out their own comfort, and in clearing up their own particular interest. Oh, no; a great deal of it lies in assent; there is a privy atheism at the root, and therefore doth the work of God go on so untowardly with us — therefore have we such doubtings and so many deformities of life and conversation.
3. I would handle this argument, that there is a God, because it is good to detain the heart a little in the view of this truth, and to revive it in our souls.
(1) That there is a God may be proved by conscience, which is as a thousand witnesses.
(2) As conscience shows it, so the consent of all nations. There are none so barbarous, but they worship some God.
(3) It may be evident also by the book of the creatures. Surely there is a God, because these things are made in such exactness and order.
(4) Providence also discovers a God.
(T. Manton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.