Sermon #9 Series: Pictures of Grace in Genesis
Title: Enoch - A Picture of Grace
Text: Genesis 5:24 - “Enoch walked with God.”
Subject: Walking with God by faith, the gift of grace
Date: Tuesday evening - July 2, 1991
My heart is motivated, driven and governed by four great concerns. Here are four thing I want more than anything in this world. I am not an ambitious man. But I am ambitious for these four things. For the attainment of these four things I am prepared, by the grace of God, to sacrifice everything else. I count all other things to be but rubbish by comparison.
1. I want to know Christ (Phil. 3:10).
Yes, I believe that in measure I do know him. God has revealed his grace and glory to me in the Person of his dear Son. But I want a growing, spiritual, experimental knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to know all that he has done for me. I want to know him. I want to know him fully.
2. I want to be totally committed to Christ.
I want to totally lose my life to Christ and in Christ, so that I can truthfully say with the Apostle Paul, “For me to live is Christ.” I want to be committed to Christ as he was to the Father, so that my heart says to him in all things, “Not my will, thy will be done.’ It is my continual prayer that God will give me a heart committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Committed to His will.
· Committed to His gospel.
· Committed to His people.
· Committed to the cause of His glory in this world.
1. I want to be like Christ.
My heart longs to be like him, conformed to him, made into this likeness. I want to be like him in…
· Love, tenderness, and thoughtfulness.
· Zeal, dedication, and devotion.
· Purity, holiness, and righteousness.
These goals, I know, are not attainable in this life. But they are the things for which my soul hungers and my heart thirsts. I cannot be satisfied with less. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). “I shall be satisfied when I awak with thy likeness” (Psa. 17:15), but not until then.
1. And I want to live in communion with Christ.
Let’s read Genesis 5:21-24 together. Like Enoch of old, I want to walk with God. “Enoch walked with God!” What a statement - “Enoch walked with God!” This is astounding to me. “Enoch walked with God!’ The text does not say, “Enoch thought about God,” or “Enoch worshipped God,” or “Enoch served God,” or “Enoch talked with God,” or “Enoch talked about God,” though he certainly did all these things. The Holy Spirit uses these simple words to describe the outstanding feature of this man’s life: “Enoch walked with God!” In his daily life Enoch walked with God, realizing God’s presence as his living Friend, in whom he confided, by whom he was loved, “Enoch walked with God!”
Illustration: Alexander McClaren’s Daughter.
· Some use Enoch as an example of sinless perfection.
· Some use him to teach the deeper life doctrine.
· Others use him to promote self-righteous morality.
But the Spirit of God explains that Enoch’s life was a picture of grace, an example of faith in Christ (Read Heb. 11:5-6). “Enoch walked with God…(and) he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” That is the heart desire of every true believer. We want to walk with God in sweet fellowship and please him in all things. How can this desire be accomplished? How can you and I walk with God and please him?
This is the thing we must see, if we are to understand what it is to walk with God and please him - It was not Enoch’s conduct that pleased God, but his faith (Heb. 11:6). More specifically, it was Christ, the Object of Enoch’s faith, that pleased God.
I want to set before you this man, Enoch, A Picture of Grace. It is my prayer that God the Holy Spirit will teach us, like him, to walk with God and please him. I will raise and answer from the Scriptures three questions:
1. What does the Scripture mean when it says, “Enoch walked with God””
2. What were the circumstances in which “Enoch walked with God”?
3. What was the result of Enoch’s walking with God?
I. WHAT DOES THE SCRIPTURE MEAN WHEN IT SAYS, “ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD”?
How did Enoch walk with God? What does that statement imply? The author of Hebrews gives us some help by telling us that, while Enoch walked with God, “he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” But how, how did this man please God? What was there about him that pleased the Lord?
A. I know this - Enoch did not always please God, nor did he always walk with God.
Enoch was a man like us. He was not born a saint. He did not simply decide one day that he would start walking with God.
1. Enoch was a fallen sinner. He too was a son of Adam.
2. Enoch was, like you and me, a fallen, depraved sinner, with a wicked heart, by nature departing from God.
He was born in spiritual death. He went astray, like all others, as soon as he was born, speaking lies. He was a man who needed pardon, cleansing, redemption, atonement, justification, and regeneration, just like us. Before he could please God, his sin had to be removed and righteousness had to be imputed to him. Otherwise, God could never accept him, much less be pleased with him. In order to have these things, Enoch must believe God. He must have faith in Christ. For righteousness comes by faith in Christ “unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom. 3:22).
B. It was by faith that Enoch pleased God (Heb. 11:6).
Enoch was not pleasing to God by virtue of his conduct, his works, his disposition, or his personal character. There was nothing at all remarkable about the man by nature that caused God to look upon him with pleasure. God was pleased with Enoch because Enoch believed God! He believed that which God had spoken. Enoch’s faith was the same as Abel’s before him and Noah’s after him. The faith by which Enoch walked with God and pleased God was the same faith that the dying thief possessed when he cried, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). And it is the same faith that God’s elect have today.
This is vitally important. If you want to walk with God, you must believe. Walking with God is neither more nor less that believing God. The only way anyone can walk with God and please him is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Enoch had experienced a mighty change by the power and grace of God.
The Lord God had changed his heart. God changed the bent, bias and direction of his will. This fallen sinner had been given life and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:1-10). This was a work of grace, without which Enoch could never have walked with God and pleased him. Long before Enoch was translated into glory, he had been translated in his heart and soul. He was delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. That which the Holy Spirit commends to us is not Enoch’s character and conduct, but Enoch’s faith in Christ, the grace of God upon him.
a. Enoch believed God’s Revelation - The Word of God.
b. Enoch believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer God had promised.
c. Enoch believed God’s promise of immortality and eternal life in Christ (Jude 14-15).
d. Enoch believed that God is and that he is the Rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
2. So, when we are told that “Enoch walked with God” and that “he pleased him”, this is what the Holy Spirit means for us to understand - Enoch believed God!
Understand this - Nothing pleases God except his Son. The onlyway you and I can walk with God and be pleasing to him is by faith in his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; 1 Pet. 2:4-5).
a. The highest form of sanctification is exactly the same as the earliest beginnings of salvation - It is believing God. To grow in grace is to grow in faith.
The strongest believer lives exactly as the weakest babe in Christ - by faith! We stand before God by faith! We grow strong only as we know ourselves to be weak and lay hold on Christ’s strength by faith. Having begun in the Spirit, we are not then made perfect by the works of the flesh! We do not begin and go a certain distance by faith in Christ, and then finish our course, making up the difference by the works of the law. Salvation is by grace alone! Our standing before God is by grace alone! Our acceptance with God is by grace alone! To walk with God is to continue as we begun - by faith (Col. 2:6-7).
b. The believer’s life is a life of faith!
I stress this point because it needs to be stressed. Enoch pleased God because he believed God. He walked with God by faith. We are sometimes tempted to strive after some imaginary “higher ground” or “deeper life”, by looking to our feelings, or our works, instead of looking to Christ alone. That is wrong. Any doctrine, any religion, any sermon that leaves you looking to yourself, that turns your eyes away from Christ is evil. We are not to look to our feelings, but to Christ. We are not to look to our works, but to Christ. We are not even to look to the image of Christ created in us by the Holy Spirit, but to Christ alone! Jesus Christ alone is our acceptance with God. By faith Enoch walked with God. By faith Enoch pleased God. Let us follow his example.
C. Enoch’s walking with God by faith implies many things.
When I read that “Enoch walked with God” and that “he pleased God”, my heart cries out, “That’s what I want as I make my pilgrimage through this world - I want to walk with God and please him in this world!”
What is it to walk with God?
1. To walk with God is to live in the realization of his presence (Phil. 4:4-5).
2. To walk with God is to enjoy familiar communion and fellowship with him (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
This is what Paul means when he says, “Pray without ceasing.” Live in communion with God.
· Seeking His will (Prov. 3:5-6).
· Trusting His grace.
· Submitting to His providence.
3. The term “walked” implies perseverance and continuance.
Enoch persevered in faith. He walked with God for 300 years! His religion was not in spurts. His communion with God was steady and constant. He walked with God, steadily, for 300 years!
4. The phrase “walked with God” also implies progress.
Enoch’s faith was not stagnant, but progressive. At the end of 300 years he stood upon the same ground, was built upon the same foundation and was in the same company as in the beginning. But he was not in the same place. And he was not the same man. Enoch went forward in faith. At the end of his days he knew more, enjoyed more, loved more, did more, believed more, received more, and gave more than in the beginning of his walk with God.
Illustration: A believer walks with God in this world like a
little child walks through the woods with its father.It is a loving walk, a walk of confidence and trust, an instructive walk, a happy walk, and a safe walk.
II. WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH “ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD”?
You might have a tendency to think, “Enoch lived in a different time. The world was different then. It was relatively easy for a man to walk with God in those days.” If you think like that, you are wrong. The details of Enoch’s life are sketchy. We do not know much about them. But you can be sure that the life of faith was not easier then than now. Enoch lived in the most trying, most stressful, most difficult times the world has ever known. He lived in those days just before the flood. And in those dark, dark days, “Enoch walked with God.”
A. Enoch was a public man, with great responsibilities.
1. That patriarch was the head of a large family. As such, he was a prophet, priest, and king in his household.
2. Enoch also had public cares and responsibilities as a public leader.
3. And Enoch had his trials. He bore the brunt of opposition from powerful men who hated the way of faith, who hated God and his truth. Yet, this man walked with God for 300 years.
B. Enoch was also a family man.
Like you and me, he had the responsibilities of providing for, caring for, disciplining and educating a large family. He had a wife and many children. Yet, he walked with God.
C. Enoch lived in a terribly wicked, degenerate society.
In those days, men commonly lived to be more than 800 years old. Their long lives gave them opportunity to invent many forms of evil. Sin covered the earth. The sons of God and the daughters of men were making their unholy alliances.
1. There were few who believed God.
2. Scoffers, mockers, unbelievers and infidels were abundant.
3. And the few who professed to believe God compromised every principle and tried, as much as possible, to make a marriage of righteousness and unrighteousness. Yet, Enoch walked with God!
D. Still there is more - Enoch faithfully bore witness to Christ in the midst of that wicked generation (Jude 14-15).
1. He delievered his testimony in spite of opposition.
2. He stood his ground firmly against the tide of blasphemy.
3. The moe men spoke against God, his Son and his truth, the more Enoch spoke for his Redeemer.
“Enoch walked with God.” He was a man of faith, and therefore a man of conviction, purpose, boldness, and courage. In the midst of greater evil, greater opposition and greater trials than you and I, this man could, by the grace of God, walk with God in his day. Then you and I, who are saved by the same grace, washed in the same precious blood, and sanctified by the same Spirit, can walk with God today.
III. WHAT WAS THE RESULT OF ENOCH’S WALKING WITH GOD?
Enoch left here at a comparatively young age. Compared to others in his day, he was just a young man, in the prime of life, when God took him. He was only 365 years old. He seems to have finished his course early. Since he walked with God, it would appear, that it did not take Enoch long to do all that God had for him to do. Be that as it may, here are three things which are clear results of Enoch’s walking with God.
A. Because he walked with God, Enoch escaped death.
Let us walk with God by faith, with our hearts set upon Christ, and we too shall escape death (John 11:25; Rev. 20:6). Soon we too shall be translated to glory (2 Cor. 5:1-9; Col. 3:1-4).
Illustration: Whitefield’s last sermon.
B. Because he walked with God, Enoch was greatly missed.
When Enoch was gone people began to look for him, but “he was not found.” When men and women like Enoch, people who walk with God are taken from us, they are missed.
C. Because he walked with God, when Bro. Enoch went to glory, he left a testimony behind him.
“Before he was translated he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Everyone who knew Enoch knew about his God, his righteous judgment and his salvation in Christ.
1. Enoch’s translation is a warning to all men and women. Soon you will be swept out of this world, without warning, and ushered into eternity to meet the holy Lord God in judgment.
2. Enoch’s translation to glory is a testimony of comfort to encourage God’s pilgrims in this world. God “is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
I can almost hear Enoch’s voice. He is saying, “Press on, weary pilgrims, press on. Walk with God by faith. There is a kingdom prepared for you, where there is no more sorrow, no more weeping, no more pain and no more death. There is a Redeemer waiting to embrace you. There is a God waiting to crown you. There are saints and angels waiting to welcome you. There is a Fountain to refresh you forever, a Tree to feed you forever, a Light to lighten you forever! Press on. Walk with God. Make your steps lively. And keep on ‘Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.’”
What are we to learn from this man, Enoch who “walked with God”? Learn these four things:
1. The only way any sinner can ever be accepted with God is in Christ. We must be in Christ by faith, or we can never please God. But, being in Christ, all who are in Christ always please God!
“Nearer, so very near to God,
Nearer I cannot be,
For in the Person of His Son
I am as near as He!”
With His spotless garments on
I am as holy as God’s Son!”
2. God sometimes makes great differences in his providence toward his beloved children.
Both Abel and Enoch walked with God and pleased God. Both were loved, chosen of God, redeemed by the blood of Christ and saved by his grace, but Abel was murdered and Enoch was translated. And today both are seated around the throne in the presence of Christ.
3. That which God did for Enoch he will do for all who walk with him by faith in Christ (1 Cor. 15:51-58).
· Some saints must die, in a sense, and be resurrected.
· Some saints will be taken alive into glory.
· But all will be translated into the glorious image of Christ!
4. Only those who walk with God in this world by faith will live with God in that glorious eternal world called “Heaven”. Let us then walk with God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.