Last week we looked at the question, “Who are you trying to please?” The thought was that in spiritual matters, we must study and obey his word if we are trying to please God.
Mankind has been greatly blessed by God in that he has given the only sacrifice that can forgive sins – his Son (John 3:16), and he has given us his instructions, the Bible, for us to know what he desires for us to do to be pleasing to him.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
In order to please God, we must do his will. Once again, we turn to the teaching of Jesus as he taught those of his day this same lesson.
“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:21 – 23).
There were those who were teaching things contrary to God’s teaching. They believed that they were pleasing God, but somewhere they had been misled and needed to give up their thoughts and beliefs and follow God according to his will.
Christ was sent from God to Earth for the sins of mankind. Those who refused to believe in and follow Christ did not have God in their life, for mankind needed and still needs justification.
It is through the blood of Christ and the obedience to the gospel that this justification occurs.
Paul wrote, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:12, 13).
When those to whom Paul wrote had not obeyed the gospel, they were without Christ and God in their lives. Henceforth they had no hope, for they could not attain justification without Christ.
This still is true today. Those who say they only need God and that Christ and his church are not important have failed to study the word properly and desperately need to do so.
The plan of God for man to be saved (being pleasing to God) always has included Christ.
The first mention of God’s plan was recorded in the book of Genesis. After man had sinned, God revealed to them and Satan that a Savior would come (Gen. 3:15).
The rest of the Old Testament shows how God would bless mankind through the seed of Abraham (Gen. 12:1 – 3).
To the promise given to Abraham, the Law of Moses was given because of the sins of the people. This law was to guide them until Christ came.
Paul wrote, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:24 – 29).
Following Christ always has been and still is part of “pleasing God.”