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HE WHO OVERCOMES SHALL INHERIT ALL THINGS,

and I will be his God and he shall be My son

1 Corinthians 10 (part 7) PLEASING TO HIM

 

1 Corinthians Chapter 10
Our Journey

(part 7)
 

PLEASING to HIM

 

 

“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.”
- 1Cor 10:1-5 NKJV


These had been saved from bondage, baptized, received the substance of Christ and had the Spirit of God in the form of the cloud and fire to guide them. (And as we see in Hebrews, they even had the Gospel of the Kingdom preached to them). As we’ve been studying, God had done this by His sovereign grace & mercy. Yet God was not pleased with most of them. Sadly, many whom God delivered did not obtain His promise because of their unfaithfulness and disobedience.

And Paul uses their experience in the wilderness as an example for us who have been delivered from bondage to sin and called to come after Jesus.
 

“Pleased” in the Greek

eudokéō (Strong’s 2106)

‘To approbate (a person or thing), think well of, approve’

“Pleased” being defined here as ‘to be well pleased with, or take pleasure in.’


We who have been saved, baptized, become partakers of Christ and received of His Spirit… are we pleasing to our heavenly Father? Is our desire to have Him think well of us, to approve of us? Of our behavior?

For truly it was the choices and deeds of the many whom He saved that resulted in their missing out on the promise of God to enter into their inheritance. As we’ll see in the upcoming verses here in 1Cor 10, God’s people often engaged in activities that were hedonistic and contrary to His nature.

“So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.” – Rom 8:8 AMPC

God’s pleasure in us correlates with our behavior.

“My righteous people, however, will believe and live; but if any of them turns back, I will not be pleased with them.” 
– Heb 10:38 GNT

I have often heard that “Christ Himself is our righteousness”, that our own “righteousness is filthy rags” and we are made right in God’s sight only by “imputed, or credited, righteousness” based on our “confession of faith.” Laying aside my contention with this view for now, let me say that even if we use “imputed” righteousness here in Hebrews 10; we see that if that does not become actual righteous conduct, God will not be pleased with us. Christ remains our righteousness only if we walk worthy of our calling and of Him. (Recently dug into this a little - Worthy). Do we truly believe this? May our faith not exclude believing anything that He says to us through His Spirit and that is confirmed in the written Word.

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
- Heb 11:6 NKJV

We cannot stop at “faith.” Our faith must be proven by our conduct. For God sees what we do, and judges our faith by our behavior, deeds and choices. Are we denying ourselves fleshly appetites and impulses, or do we entertain them?

Are we remaining on the path God is leading us along and trusting Him, regardless of how hard it may seem, or do we turn aside to seek our own way?

 

 

We looked at this before in our in-depth study of Romans 8 (Pleasing God), but surely, as we diligently seek Him, God is pleased with us. The preceding verse to Heb 11:6 above tells us of one who “pleased God” because he walked not in the flesh. He did not cater to the appetites of his carnal nature, even as many of those around him did.

“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” – Heb 11:5 NKJV

Twice in Genesis 5 we are told that “Enoch walked with God.” (vs 22,24).
The Hebrew word here for walked is hâlak, which means "to go, walk, behave."


hâlak (Strong’s 1980)|

The verb can be used of one’s behavior, or the way one “walks in life.”
So he who “walks” uprightly shall be blessed of God (Is 33:15).
The does not refer to walking upright on one’s feet but to living a righteous life.

 

Noah, as well, “walked with God” (Gen 6:9) – same Hebrew word ‘hâlak’ - and was declared “righteous” by God (Gen 7:1). Therefore, God saved His creation through Noah and his family when He flooded the earth (2Pet 2:5). He is mentioned along with Daniel & Job in the Scripture as three men who pleased God by their righteousness, which He declared would cause such men as them to be spared in time of judgment -

“Son of man, if a country sins against Me by being unfaithful and I stretch out My hand against it…” (bringing harsh judgment against it), 14 even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord.” – Eze 14:13-14 NIV

Truly, the apprehension of many in the modern churches to admit that God does not view our righteous deeds and behavior as “filthy rags” (something He never said) – for it makes us accountable for our behavior in this life (something He did say) - has done great disservice to the people who strive to walk with God as did Enoch, Noah, Daniel, Job & many others. And honestly, it can be disheartening to hear continually told to those who “make every effort” to press in to God’s will that their effort & works cannot earn them favor in God’s eyes. I believe Paul would shudder at such teaching, as he writes to the saints, “dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the Name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you.” (1Thess 4:1 NLT)

The utterance of a ‘sinner’s prayer’, or a raised hand in church is not an assurance of heaven, but rather the opportunity to actually turn away from our wickedness, “deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Jesus.” (Luke 9:23).

As we read in Jesus parable of the Two Sons, what pleased the Father was the deeds of the one son, not the words of the other. It is not what we have professed, but what we actually do that brings us along the road of salvation into the eternal plan of God. To come to abide in the rest of God is not a free gift, but rather it will cost us everything.

“Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].”
- Heb 4:11 AMP

Did Paul simply rest in Christ, now comfortable and at ease because He was “saved”, or did he “press in to lay hold of that which Christ laid hold of him for” and “strive against sin even to the shedding of his own blood”, because he sought to be pleasing in God’s sight and enter into all God’s will for his life?

“I discipline my body and subjugate it, lest somehow after preaching to others, I myself should become disqualified.” – 1Cor 9:27 LEB

“Self-control” is a fruit of the Spirit, yes, but it is a work that we must do. This is how we show that our repentance is real. We recently studied what True Biblical Repentance is.

Saints, let us know that God honors our righteous deeds & actions, and is actually displeased when we turn back from righteous behavior. Again, it is our righteousness that proves our faith.

“But my righteous one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

 – Heb 10:38 NIV
 


“The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love
will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

-Prov 21:21 HCSB

Are we “living” in a way that substantiates our professed faith? Is it “righteousness” that we are pursuing? For truly the counterpart that will stand with Christ and “appear with Him” in that Day will be “without spot or wrinkle”, so let us “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless” (2Pet 3:14)

Oh that the Israelites whom God led out of bondage in Egypt would have pursued the things which were pleasing Him. For the promises could only come to those who walked in faithfulness. Association with Him will not do it, unless we are proven by our walk, by the way we live. Oft-times it seems taught that all the promises of God will come to those who have ‘accepted Christ’; but Truth is, as it was with God’s people then, it is now. We will enter into our inheritance - “if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do—to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him.” (Deut 11:22) (Hold Fast)

There is no other Way.


When God appeared to Abram to prophesy the coming birth of Isaac, He instructed him -
“I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” 
– Gen 17:1-2 NKJV

That command of God to Abram was to “walk” (halak – upright, righteously) before Him and “be blameless” or “perfect.”

This charge here is interesting as well: to be “perfect.” This is how El Shaddai expected this man He chose to walk before Him. And I believe He is asking, commanding, us to do likewise.

In the Hebrew – tamiym – ‘entire’, from a root word which means ‘complete.’
 

tâmîym (Strong’s 8549)

Without blemish, perfect, without spot, whole, full, sound, undefiled
Means perfect, blameless, sincerity, entire, whole, complete, full.

When one is described by tâmîym, there is nothing in his outward activities or internal disposition that is odious (abominable, revolting, unpleasant) to God.
This word describes his entire relationship to God.


This will not be an imputed wholeness or spotlessness, but an actual perfect, complete counterpart for the Lamb. The few that will attain to this will have walked that walk that Jesus taught is expected of them who would “come after Him.” (Luke 9:23)
 

Friends, I know what we’re looking at here is foreign to the church at large today, but it is Bible. It is Truth. There are those who will hear and understand. If you sense there is something beyond and far greater than ‘going to heaven’ when you die, then press in and seek the Lord. For truly the promises and inheritance are to the “few who find and walk that narrow path”, which oft-times can be lonely.
 

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.”

- Isaiah 30:21 NKJV


 

So, Abram chose to believe and walk with God, obey Him as best he could, and so meet the conditions given him, and his name was changed (Gen 17:5). The promise would continue through his seed, God declared, “because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My mandate, My commands, My statutes, and My instructions.” (Gen 26:5) The patriarch pleased his heavenly Father by his faith and obedience, and himself became the father of the nation of Israel. And not only that, but to those who have faith like his, he is the “father of us all.” (Rom 4:16)

Like Enoch, Noah and Abraham, as well as all those we read of in Hebrews 11, our faith is proven in our walk. This is the faith that is pleasing to God. Paul consistently exhorted those who came into the churches to walk faithfully with the Lord.
His prayer for the Colossian disciples was -
“that you may walk (live, deport yourself) worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.” 
- Col 1:10 HCSB

As they began their journey in the wilderness, and Moses taught them the Word and commands of God who had saved them and promised to bring them into the “land flowing with milk & honey”, the words they spoke were pleasing to God -

“All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” 
- Exodus 19:8 ESV

Yet, because of their subsequent behavior, “God was not pleased with most of them, and their dead bodies were scattered around the wilderness.” (1Cor 10:5 TPT)

This because their ensuing deeds did not match their initial confession and promise to obey the Lord. Their deliverance, their baptism, having the Gospel, their confession, and even having partaken of Christ was not enough to bring them into the Promised Land. For they did not remain faithful to the One who loved and saved them.

The New Testament continually warns us who have been saved, baptized, heard the Gospel, confessed Christ, and received the body & blood of Jesus, to not follow the example of God’s chosen people who walked in ways that did not please God, falling short and missing out on the promise of entering into the rest of God.

“Therefore let us fear, while there remains a promise of entering into His rest, that none of you appear to fall short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as those also did, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united with those who heard it in faith. For we who have believed enter into rest, just as He has said,
“As I swore in My anger,
‘They will never enter into My rest.’”

- Heb 4:1-3 LEB

Except for Joshua & Caleb. They were the ones who “heard it (the good news) in faith.”
Their unwavering belief in the promise of God, even when all around them acted in fear, was pleasing to God. Unlike the majority, these men followed God with their whole heart, and were permitted to enter the land and receive their inheritance.

“Because they did not follow Me completely, none of the men 20 years old or more who came up from Egypt will see the land I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob— 12 none except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, because they did follow the Lord completely.”
– Num 32:11-12 HCSB

The type here, which we may study in the future, is akin to the inheritance that those today who will wholeheartedly follow the Lord will receive in that Day. For Caleb was given a mountain that belonged to the Anakim (seed of the fallen elohim), who were ruling there at the time. Their domain being described in the Hebrew as ‘A land of enchantment, associated with the charmer (serpent).’

Is not the inheritance of the overcoming saints to dethrone the principalities and rulers of darkness in the heavenlies (the air) and take their place of rulership?

“Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.”
- Joshua 14:14 NKJV

And Joshua, son of Nun, became the leader of God’s people who would take Israel into Canaan, fight the enemies of God who dwelt there and administer to the tribes their inheritance.
The Lord God never forsook these two men because they did not forsake Him. As our Deliverer Christ Jesus, they did as instructed by the Father and were found pleasing in His sight.

“Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.”
– John 8:28-30 NKJV

And it was on a mountain that God declared Jesus as His Son, of His Seed, and pleasing to Him because of His unwavering obedience and perfect righteousness.

 

“While Peter was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”
– Matt 17:1-8 NKJV


Israel was to be a light to the world and declare the wonders of God and lead by example in walking in the ways of God and serving Him with their whole heart. We know the consequences of the decisions they made. And we’ll be looking a little closer at their experiences as we continue in our study.

“Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.”
– 1Cor 10:11 HCSB

Jesus was faithful in His calling and although most could not see it, He was (and is) “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature,” (Heb 1:3).

Jesus overcame as He remained faithful and obedient, even in the face of the greatest temptations and persecutions ever to be met. And the Word tells us that if we too will remain faithful and obedient and “endure suffering for it, this brings favor with God.”
“For you were called to this,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example,
so that you should follow in His steps.”

- 1Pet 2:20 HCSB


So the choice is ours.
Whose example will we follow?
Which path are we walking on today?

May it be the Light we choose, even knowing the road at times will be hard, compressed and even lonely.

“To as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His Name.” – John 1:12 AMP

Oh, the privileges and promises that await those who truly become Children of God.

Therefore, the Apostle exhorts us -
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God.

Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 discerning what is pleasing (acceptable) to the Lord.”
– Eph 5:1-10 HCSB (KJV)

Joshua & Caleb walked in the Light. They not only knew what was pleasing to God, but they themselves actually walked worthy of a son of God. And they received an inheritance in this life, but I believe a far greater one awaits them in the Eternal Kingdom.
And we know what Jesus received. And friends, He wants to share that with us.
Again, will we walk in such a way to believe it, and receive it?

“Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. 13 Everything exposed by the light is made clear, 14 for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said:
            Get up (Awake), sleeper, and rise up from the dead,
            and the Messiah will shine on you.

15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—16 making the most of (redeeming) the time, because the days are evil. 17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” – Eph 5:11-18 HCSB (KJV)

May we be redeeming the time, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, and pressing in to know the will and Way of God.

God’s wisdom & understanding, peace & blessings to us all,
Michael

“Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.”
- 1John 3:21-22 HCSB

 

Next… What Golden Calf?

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