Sermon: Case Studies in Faith: Enoch Walked with God (Hebrews 11:5-6)

Case Studies in Faith:

Enoch Walked With God

Hebrews 11:5-6 (ESV)

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.  [6] And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Saving faith, the faith that justifies the ungodly not only saves the sinner but it pleases God.  Last week we learned about the faith of Abel.  We learned that it was his faith in God and what God had said that Abel was counted among the righteous.  He believed God and by faith acted on that belief.  That type of faith pleases God because it looks toward God’s Son.  Saving faith glorifies Jesus Christ and this pleases God the Father.

Genesis 5:21-24 (ESV)

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. [22] Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. [23] Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. [24] Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

We don’t know much about Enoch.  Mostly when he’s mentioned it is in the context of a genealogy list which has his name.  That’s about half the time.  The two other places that really tell us anything are here before us today.

What is before us is extremely important.  Simply put, Enoch walked with God by faith and this greatly please God.  What Scripture means when it uses the phrase Walked with God is that Enoch lived a consistent life of obedience.  He lived in fellowship with God.

The Holy Spirit inspired the apostle to write this because we have a need to walk with God.  Our human tendency is to be hot and then cold.  We will go well for a while and then go back.  From this text in Genesis we are told that for at least 300 years, Enoch walked with God.  For 300 years God was pleased with Enoch’s faith.

Our human need that is addressed in these verses is our need to consistently live by faith.

Truth Taught- Enoch’s consistent walk with God is a model for us to follow.

1. By Faith Enoch was Taken (Hebrews 11:5)

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.

Three times in this verse we have the concept mentioned that Enoch was taken or taken up.  This word literally means translated from one domain to another.  It’s the emphasis of the verse.  Whenever I read this verse I always think of StarTrek when they would beam someone down to a planet or beam them up aboard the Enterprise.  God, in a sense, beamed Enoch up.  He didn’t die but was translated from one domain to another.

The way in which Enoch pleased God was, in that while he was on earth, he lived as if he was in heaven.  He was consistently walking by faith and not by sight.  In many ways, Enoch is not so much different than the Believer.

Because of the work of Jesus Christ, the Christian has been translated from one domain to another a lot like Enoch…

Col. 1:13-14 (ESV)

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  [14] in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We have a new standing before God.  No longer are we considered enemies but beloved children.  Our present standing before God is one of acceptance.  Even though we still live on earth, we should strive to live as if we are in heaven.  Our bodies are stranded on earth but our position is in heaven.  Because of Christ our real home is out there somewhere with Him.

John 5:24 (ESV)

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

It’s important for us to realize the condition of society during this time.  The next section in Genesis will tell us that man’s thoughts were only evil all the time.  When people lived to be very old, 800-900 years, they had many years to invent evil.  This civilization was extremely wicked and depraved.  It was in the midst of this setting that Enoch walked with God for 300 years.  The only reason it was 300 and not more is because God took him home.

I thought about this and it seems that if Enoch did this in his day should we not be walking with God today?  We really have no excuse not to be walking with God.  We can’t blame it on our environment; we can’t say I’m not walking with God because of my home-life or because of my mean boss or teacher.  If Enoch, who was a man just like us, could do it in his day should we not be walking with God today?  Are you walking with God?

Here’s why I’m a Calvinist: In my own power I cannot walk with God.  In my own power I cannot save myself.  In my own power I cannot create within my being saving faith.  I cannot do these things any more than Enoch could translate himself to heaven.  Yet, these very things are required by God.  He alone gives His people what we need to be pleasing to Him.

God had taken him. Contained within this little phrase is the principle by which we can walk with God.  By faith we understand that we do not have the ability to walk with God.  By faith we rely on God to give us the desire and the ability to walk with Him.  If we sincerely seek to live a life of fellowship with God and obedience to God and pray that He would grant to us the power to do so our lives will begin to change.

Enoch was not sinless.  He was however caught up in living a life of faith.

2. By Faith Enoch Pleased God (Hebrews 11:6)

The way in which Enoch pleased God was through the functioning of his faith.  He never once pleased God by his works.  We cannot please God by our works either.

I want to show you a contrast between us and God.  God’s works are glorious.  God’s works show His holiness and His divine power.

1 Chron. 16:24 (ESV)

Declare his glory among the nations,

his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Our problem is that, because of sin and our fallen nature, we think our works do the same thing for us.  We think that when we work, God tells of our marvelous works among the hosts of heaven.  The fact is, when we are at our best, we still fall infinitely short of God’s glory.  Think of the best day you ever had as a Christian and understand your sin on that day far outweighed your goodness.  Just like us, Enoch’s sin on his best day far outweighed his righteousness.  He was a man just like us.  He was conceived in iniquity just like us.  He was dead in trespasses and sins just like us.

God had given Enoch what He required.  Enoch was given faith and when that faith was exercised God was greatly pleased.  It wasn’t Enoch’s works that pleased God, it was his faith.

Last week we learned that Abel was commended in that saving faith prompted him to bring to God a better offering.  He trusted in God and His Word.  He believed God so strongly that it affected how he lived.  Now, the apostle intentionally moves forward with another example.  It’s as if we have moved from Abel’s experience of justification or the beginning of faith to Enoch’s life of faith.  Where Abel was commended for a one-time act of bringing to God an acceptable offering, Enoch is commended for his life-long commitment to God.

God had done a miraculous work in Enoch.  Saving faith did not originate within him.  Before God worked…

Ephes. 2:2 (ESV)

in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

Before God worked…

Isaiah 53:6 (ESV)

All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned every one to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

After God worked…

2 Cor. 5:17-21 (ESV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  [18] All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  [19] that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  [20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  [21] For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

After God Worked…

Amos 3:3 (ESV)

“Do two walk together,

unless they have agreed to meet?

God accomplished a divine work in Enoch.  He had given him saving faith.  He lived his life accordingly.

3. Enoch Points to Christ

As Enoch walked with God by faith and was taken home by God, it points to the fact that all of God’s people will someday be taken home as well.

John 11:25-26 (ESV)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,  [26] and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

As Enoch was translated to glory so we too will someday be translated from this world to the next.

Col. 3:1-4 (ESV)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  [2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  [3] For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  [4] When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

4. By Faith We Too Must Walk With God

Like Enoch, our faith must be a working and persevering faith.  We too must strive to consistently live a life that pleases the Lord.

A. Proper Motivation

First, it’s important that we have the proper motivation to live a godly life.  Our motivation must be to bring glory to Jesus Christ and not to gain something from God.  Who knows what future we will be called to?  If your motive is comfort you may discover that living a godly life brings everything but comfort.  Look at Abel.  He lived a life of faith that pleased God and God called him to martyrdom.  God’s plan for Abel was a death that would bring glory to Christ as it pointed to Jesus and spoke into the future as a type of Christ.  Enoch’s faith led him to not experience death at all but God took him home without dieing.  It’s important going in that we live for God’s glory and not our comfort.  Our motive must point to Jesus and not something we’re trying to get from God.

The health/wealth prophets of today should see that the godly don’t necessarily outlive the ungodly.  Abel died before Cain and Enoch was taken at a relatively young age compared to others in his day.  Walking with God consistently requires a God oriented motivation.  We are created to bring Him glory in whatever situation He places us in.

Isaiah 43:7 (ESV)

everyone who is called by my name,

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed and made.”

God is sovereign.  We are created to bring glory to Him.  So, it stands to reason that our specific circumstances, which God brought about, should lead to the specific way we can glorify Him.  In other words, no one can glorify God like you can or in the specific way you can.

B. Proper Power

We live through the supernatural power the Holy Spirit provides.

Acts 1:8 (ESV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The power to do what God commands is given to us by the Holy Spirit.  We must listen to and obey the Spirit’s promptings.

1 Thes. 5:19 (ESV)

Do not quench the Spirit.

As believers, we are given the Holy Spirit to guide us and to convict us of sin.  When He is leading we must follow.  He will always lead us closer to Jesus.  The power to live by faith is given by God through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

When we approach sin and we have this voice in our being screaming, no don’t do it! Stop and listen.  When we’re going about our daily routines and we sense that we should do this or that, don’t talk yourself out of it, do it.  Those are promptings from God’s Spirit.  If those promptings are things that will bring glory to Christ, we must obey them.  These are ways in which we walk with God.

C. Proper Prayer

If we are to walk with God we must do so by prayer.  Prayer is the way our faith is exercised.  When we pray, we are telling God that we understand our weakness and His strength.  Prayer is trust or faith in God.  When we pray in humble dependence God is glorified.

The second reason we pray is to fellowship with God.  Prayer brings us into a deeper relationship with God.  If we are to walk with God we must trust Him and know Him.

Finally, God wants us to be involved in Kingdom work.  When we pray we are involved in things of eternal consequence.  When we pray, God’s kingdom advances.  That’s why Jesus told us to pray God’s Kingdom come…

As we thing about this text and how Enoch walked with God, we should be about imitating his faith.  We should see that the account of Enoch points to the work of Christ.  Like Enoch who was translated by God to another domain, so we too as believers have been translated from the kingdom or darkness to the kingdom of light.  Finally, we must seek to exercise our faith.  In order to walk with God by faith we must have the motivation of glorifying God no matter our circumstances, utilized the power given to us by the Holy Spirit and in humble submission pray to God.

Next week, we’ll look together at the amazing account of Noah and his faith that built an ark in a place that had no water.

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