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11 November 9, 2014, 11;1-7, Faith Defined

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11 November 9, 2014, 11;1-7, Faith Defined

  1. 1. HEBREWS 11:1-7 PLEASING GOD November 9, 2014 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI USA
  2. 2. MemoryVerses Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
  3. 3. A mission project to benefit the Eagle’s Nest Orphanage in Guatemala began in the heart of high school studentTolar Purvis in 2011 as he sought a way to make an impact through his small group in First Baptist Jackson’sYouth Group.
  4. 4. Eagle's Nest provides food, care and spiritual and mental health to the abandoned children and gives them hope and a place to call home.
  5. 5. The adoptions have been stopped by the Guatemalan government. God has now given Eagle's Nest the responsibility of raising 45 children. Register and Learn More at http://ProjectEaglesNest.com
  6. 6. Boomers & Bites | Community Covered Dish Gatherings Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Please RSVP to Patricia Jenkins by November 10. 601.949.1941 or PJenkins@FBCJ.org
  7. 7. Host Homes around the Metro Area: • Stacy & Laurie Davidson 905 Luckney Road, Flowood • David & Leslie Hancock 120 Little Creek Road, Ridgeland • Sam & Susan Mason 1 Chatham Place, Clinton
  8. 8. • Lester & Clara Spell 1Tram Road, Richland • Rick & RobinWise 4265 Quail Run, Jackson
  9. 9. What’s the number one thing?
  10. 10. http://www.nmnewsandviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/glory-of-God.jpg The Glory of God!
  11. 11. 1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
  12. 12. http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4529821671755722&w=282&h=366&c=7&rs=1&qlt=80&pid=1.7 John MacArthur, Jr. (born June 19, 1939)
  13. 13. http://bradwhitt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/photo.jpg
  14. 14. Hebrews Chapter 11 has been called: • The Faith Chapter • The Saints' Hall of Fame, • Heroes of the Faith, • The Honor Roll of the Old Testament Saints
  15. 15. PLEASING GOD HEBREWS 11:1-7
  16. 16. http://theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Moses.jpg Hebrews 11:8-31 speaks of Abraham through Moses
  17. 17. Hebrews 11:32-40 NKJV By FaithThey Overcame 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of (Group A) Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:
  18. 18. 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
  19. 19. 35Women received their dead raised to life again. (Group B) Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
  20. 20. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword.They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—
  21. 21. 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
  22. 22. 39 And all these (groups A & B), having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Hebrews 11:32-40 NKJV
  23. 23. Everyone in group A and everyone in group B – from Enoch through the prophets - had that courageous faith that God would ultimately save them.
  24. 24. Sometimes they had earthly victory; sometimes they did not. Sometimes their faith saved them from death; Sometimes it brought them death.
  25. 25. http://wallpaper.knowing-jesus.com/file/2152/600x338/16:9/hebrews-7-22-a-better-covenant-blue_1273710616.jpg No matter. They knew that God had provided something better.
  26. 26. God has provided this "something better" for us, that is for those under the New Covenant, which is why apart from us they should not be made perfect.
  27. 27. Not until our time, the time of Christianity, could their salvation be completed, made perfect. • Until Jesus' atoning work on the cross was accomplished, no salvation was complete, no matter how great the faith a believer may have had.
  28. 28. Their salvation was based on what Christ would do; ours is based on what Christ has done. Their faith looked forward to promise; ours looks back to historical fact.
  29. 29. They courageously struggled, suffered, and counted on salvation. They believed all of God'sWord that they had, which is what counts with Him.
  30. 30. How much less faith do we often have, in spite of our much greater light? "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed" (John 20:29).
  31. 31. http://georgehawke.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/pleasing-god.jpg?w=200&h=200 Hebrews 11:1-7 Pleasing God
  32. 32. Hebrews 11:1-7 NKJV 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
  33. 33. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
  34. 34. Faith at the Dawn of History 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
  35. 35. 5 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.
  36. 36. 6 But 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.
  37. 37. 7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:1-7 NKJV
  38. 38. (Illustrated by Gerard Hoet) http://thishollowearth.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/enoch.jpg Enoch
  39. 39. Four Scriptural references to Enoch: 1) Genesis 5:21-24 2) Luke 3:37, 3) Jude 1:14–15, 4) Hebrews 11: 5
  40. 40. Enoch is the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah. See Genesis 5:21-24 …
  41. 41. http://ashorts.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/adamtonoah.jpg
  42. 42. http://www.barbdahlgren.com/wp-content/uploads/Methusela2.png
  43. 43. http://lowres.jantoo.com/sport-golfs-shoot-methuselah-biblical-golf-30704086_low.jpg
  44. 44. Genesis 5:21-24 NKJV 21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters.
  45. 45. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:19-24 NKJV
  46. 46. http://principlesforlifeministries.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/enoch1.jpg
  47. 47. Luke 3:36b-38 NKJV The Genealogy of Jesus Christ 36b the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan,
  48. 48. 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Luke 3:36b-38 NKJV
  49. 49. Jude 1:14-15 NKJV 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
  50. 50. 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 1:14-15 NKJV
  51. 51. http://www.thepoachedegg.net/Genealogy%20of%20Genesis%205%20Adam%20to%20Noah.jpg
  52. 52. Hebrews 11:5-6 NKJV 5 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.
  53. 53. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe: 1) that He is, and 2) that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:5-6 NKJV
  54. 54. Here in Hebrews 11, Abel is the first hero of faith and the second is Enoch. Whereas Abel exemplifies worshiping by faith — which must always come first — Enoch exemplifies walking by faith.
  55. 55. God never intended works as a way for men to come to Him. He intended works to be: a result of salvation, not a way of salvation.
  56. 56. At no time has man been able to approach God on the basis of works. Rather, God has always intended that works be a product of the salvation men receive when they approach Him on the basis of faith.
  57. 57. Here we see a new concept in the book of Genesis. Abel knew what it was to worship by faith, but he did not really understand the concept of walking with God.
  58. 58. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hDi8FLSu-fI/UZ-FoHwn4CI/AAAAAAAAAUM/fKtvp2wbtjU/s1600/Enoch.jpg
  59. 59. Revelation in Scripture is progressive. Abel received some revelation, and Enoch received more.
  60. 60. Adam and Eve had walked and talked with God in the Garden, but when they fell and were expelled from the Garden, they ceased to walk with Him.
  61. 61. http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/86WWH3ItWHM/maxresdefault.jpg The ultimate destiny of man is reinstituted with Enoch, who stands as an illustration for all men of what it is to be in fellowship with God.
  62. 62. In Enoch the true destiny of man is again reached, as he experienced the fellowship with God that Adam and Eve had forfeited.
  63. 63. Enoch's faith included everything Abel's included. Enoch had to have offered a sacrifice to God, symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ, because sacrifice is the only way into God's presence.
  64. 64. He could not have walked with God unless he had first come to God, and a person cannot come to God apart from the shedding of blood. • The principle has not changed from the days of Abel and Enoch until today.
  65. 65. http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/3c/97/95/3c9795609b1396bef6d1449949f9783c.jpg
  66. 66. Five features in Enoch's life that were pleasing to God: 1) he believed that God is; 2) he sought God's reward; 3) he walked with God; 4) he preached for God; and 5) he entered into God's presence.
  67. 67. 1) ENOCH BELIEVEDTHAT GOD IS And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is. (Hebrews 11:6a)
  68. 68. Absolutely nothing from men can please God apart from faith. Religion does not please God, because it is essentially a system developed by Satan to counteract the truth.
  69. 69. John 15:5 NASB 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
  70. 70. Nationality and heritage do not please God (Galatians 3:26-29).
  71. 71. Galatians 3:26-29 NKJV Sons and Heirs 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
  72. 72. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29 NKJV
  73. 73. The Jews thought they pleased God just because they were descendants of Abraham.
  74. 74. But most of the time they were displeasing to Him. Good works in themselves do not please God, "because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight" (Romans 3:20).
  75. 75. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6) The first step of faith is simply to believe that He is. This Enoch did.
  76. 76. http://www.soaringfree.ca/photos/Inspiration/Faith%20in%20God.jpg God is pleased with those who believe in Him, even with the first step of believing that He exists.
  77. 77. This belief alone is certainly not enough to save a person, but if it is a sincere conviction and is followed up, it will lead to full faith.
  78. 78. In his book,Your God isToo Small, J. B. Phillips describes some of the common gods that people manufacture.
  79. 79. One is the grand old man god, the grandfatherly, white-haired, indulgent god who smiles down on men and winks at their adultery, stealing, cheating, and lying. • If you take sin lightly, you will take the Savior lightly.
  80. 80. Then there are the resident policeman god, whose primary job is to make life difficult and unenjoyable, and the god in a box, the private and exclusive sectarian (intolerant of any other belief) god.
  81. 81. The managing director god is the god of the deists, the god who designed and created the universe, started it spinning, and now stands by far away watching it run down. • God is not pleased with belief in any of these idolatrous substitutes.
  82. 82. Believing that the true God exists is what is pleasing to Him. • Mere recognition of a deity of some sort — the "ground of being," the "man upstairs," or any of the man-made gods just mentioned — is not the object of belief in mind here.
  83. 83. http://www.truthforlife.org/static/uploads/1280x800-walkbyfaith.png Only belief in the existence of the true God counts because we cannot know God by sight.
  84. 84. Two chapters of the book of Job (38-39) are devoted to God's forceful and colorful illustrations of how man cannot even fathom the operations of nature.
  85. 85. How much less can we understand God Himself by our own observations and reasonings?
  86. 86. God gives much evidence of His existence, but it is not the kind of evidence that men often are looking for. • He cannot be proved by science because He wants the element of faith to always be a factor.
  87. 87. The reason lies in in the limitation of the scientific method. In order for something to be proven by science, it must be repeatable.
  88. 88. One cannot announce a new finding to the world on the basis of a single experiment. Creation is, by its very nature, unrepeatable.
  89. 89. No one can rerun the beginning of the universe or repeat the assassination of Lincoln or the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. • The fact that these events can't be proved by repetition does not disprove their reality.
  90. 90. You cannot apply the scientific method to everything because it does not work. You cannot put love or justice or anger in a test tube either, but no sensible person doubts their existence.
  91. 91. By the same reasoning, God's existence should not be doubted merely because it cannot be scientifically proved. Yet many things learned from science give evidence of His existence.
  92. 92. The law of cause and effect, for example, holds that for every cause there must be an effect. • If you keep pushing further and further back for causes, eventually you will end up with an uncaused cause.
  93. 93. The only uncaused cause is God. This is the argument used previously by the writer of Hebrews: "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God" (Hebrews 3:4).
  94. 94. According to the law of entropy, the universe is running down. If it is running down, then it is not self-sustaining.
  95. 95. If it is not self-sustaining, then it had to have a beginning. If it had a beginning, Someone had to begin it, and we are back to the uncaused cause. There must be a first cause, for which only God qualifies.
  96. 96. http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608030046477092193&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0 The law of design also indicates that God is.
  97. 97. When we look at plants and animals in all their marvelous intricacy, we see thousands of amazingly complex designs that not only function beautifully but reproduce themselves perfectly.
  98. 98. When we look at the stars, the planets, the asteroids, the comets, the meteors, the constellations, we see them kept precisely on their courses by centrifugal, centripetal, and gravitational forces.
  99. 99. Such massive, marvelous, complex, and wonderfully operating design demands the existence of a Designer.
  100. 100. The ocean is the world's thermostat. The oceans are a cushion against the heat of the sun and the freezing blasts of winter.
  101. 101. Unless the temperatures of the earth's surface were modulated by the ocean and kept within certain limits, we would either be cooked to death or frozen to death.
  102. 102. How could such intricate, exacting, and absolutely necessary design come about by accident? It demands a Designer.
  103. 103. Even the size of the earth gives evidence of design because if it were much smaller, there would be no atmosphere to sustain life. Earth would then be like our moon or Mars.
  104. 104. On the other hand, if it were much larger, the atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, as do Jupiter and Saturn, which also prevents life. The earth's distance from the sun is absolutely right.
  105. 105. Even a small change would make it too hot or too cold. The tilt of the earth's axis ensures the seasons. And so it goes.
  106. 106. Science cannot prove God, but it gives overwhelming evidence of a Master Designer and Sustainer, which roles could only be filled by God.
  107. 107. Even with all the many natural, scientific, and rational evidences of God, acknowledging Him is still a matter of faith.
  108. 108. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--vEnay1EGzI/TaD3DY89LaI/AAAAAAAACPU/TlYUgqLKCRI/s1600/HolySpirit.jpg The proof comes after belief. "The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself" (1 John 5:10).
  109. 109. The witness of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers is infinitely greater proof of God's existence than the conclusions of a laboratory experiment for the validity of a scientific theory ever could be.
  110. 110. Five features in Enoch's life that were pleasing to God: 1) he believed that God is; 2) he sought God's reward; 3) he walked with God; 4) he preached for God; and 5) he entered into God's presence.
  111. 111. 2) ENOCH SOUGHT GOD'S REWARD Hebrews 11:6b NASB he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
  112. 112. It is not enough merely to postulate a God. Einstein said, "Certainly there is a God. Any man who doesn't believe in a cosmic force is a fool, but we could never know Him."
  113. 113. As brilliant as he was, Einstein was wrong! We can know God and He desires that we know Him intimately.
  114. 114. In fact, in order to please Him, we must believe that He is personal, knowable, loving, caring, moral, and responds graciously to those who come to Him. • It is not enough even to believe in the right God.
  115. 115. Many Jews to whom the letter of Hebrews was addressed acknowledged the true God, the God of Scripture. But they did not have faith in Him; they did not trust in Him.
  116. 116. Enoch knew the true God and trusted the true God. Both testaments are filled with teachings that God not only can be found but that it is His great desire to be found.
  117. 117. David said to his son Solomon, "If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever" (1 Chronicles 28:9). "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a GodWho judges on earth!" (Psalm 58:11).
  118. 118. "I love those who love Me; and those who diligently seek Me will find me" (Proverbs 8:17). "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
  119. 119. Jesus was very explicit: "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened" (Luke 11:10).
  120. 120. http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/10/d2/5d/10d25d5b7dea50bb40c3ba8c7e4ab155.jpg It is not enough just to believe that He is, we must also believe that He rewards those who seek Him.
  121. 121. One of the rewards that God gives for faith is salvation. "Whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
  122. 122. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). In other words, every good thing that God has, including eternal life, constitutes the reward for belief.
  123. 123. For faith we receive forgiveness, a new heart, eternal life, joy, peace, love, heaven — everything! When we trust in Jesus Christ, we become mutual heirs with Him and all that God's own Son has is ours as well.
  124. 124. Five features in Enoch's life that were pleasing to God: 1) he believed that God is; 2) he sought God's reward; 3) he walked with God; 4) he preached for God; and 5) he entered into God's presence.
  125. 125. 3) ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD Believing that God exists is the first step toward faith. Believing that he rewards those who trust in Him is the first step of faith.
  126. 126. Trusting fully in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is only the beginning of the faithful life in God. To continue pleasing God, we must fellowship with Him, commune with, "walk" with Him — just as Enoch did.
  127. 127. http://static.wixstatic.com/media/5cbfcb_3f7daee8b7dcd68fb09bd7177dee626d.jpg_srz_510_340_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz In the four verses in Genesis (5:21-24) describing Enoch, he is twice spoken of as "walking with God."
  128. 128. This phrase is translated "pleased God," using the Greek word (euaresteo yoo-ar-es-TEH-o), "to be well-pleasing" and it is also used twice here in Hebrews 11:5-6.
  129. 129. Walking with God is pleasing God. The term walk is used many times in the NewTestament to represent faithful living.
  130. 130. "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, ... so we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). "For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).
  131. 131. "Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). "Walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us" (Ephesians 5:2).
  132. 132. Christ even speaks of our fellowship with Him in Heaven as a walk: "They will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy" (Revelation 3:4). • Like Enoch, every believer should walk with God every day he is on earth.
  133. 133. http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/4b/f6/b1/4bf6b1e2a2f700f5fe80e3273ce5e5c4.jpg When we get to heaven, we will walk with Him forever.
  134. 134. RECONCILIATION The first thing implied in Enoch's walk with God is reconciliation. "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (Amos 3:3, NIV)
  135. 135. The point is obvious because two people cannot really walk together in intimate fellowship unless they are agreed. Walking together, then, presupposes harmony.
  136. 136. Since Adam fell, every person born into the world has been in rebellion against God. We do not grow into rebellion or fall into rebellion; we are born into rebellion.
  137. 137. Our very nature, from before birth, is at enmity with God. We are all "by nature children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3). • The purpose of salvation is to reconcile men to God, to restore the relationship broken by sin.
  138. 138. Because of his faith, Enoch was reconciled with God; and because he was reconciled with God, he could walk with God.
  139. 139. A CORRESPONDING NATURE The second truth implied in Enoch's walk with God is that Enoch and God had corresponding natures.
  140. 140. It is impossible for an unbeliever to have fellowship with God (2 Corinthians 6:14-16), their natures are far too different.
  141. 141. 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NKJV 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
  142. 142. 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
  143. 143. “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NKJV
  144. 144. Even though an unbeliever is created in God's image, that image has been so shattered by sin, his nature so corrupted, that fellowship with his Creator is not possible — there is no common sphere in which he and God can be agreed.
  145. 145. When we are saved, we become citizens of a new domain. We are still on earth, but our true life, our real citizenship, is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20).
  146. 146. As Peter says, we "become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
  147. 147. 2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
  148. 148. 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV
  149. 149. In Christ we are given a heavenly nature, His own nature, and we can therefore have fellowship with God. Because Enoch walked with God, he must have had a nature corresponding to God's.
  150. 150. MORAL FITNESS AND A JUDICIAL DEALING WITH SIN Walking with God implies moral fitness as well as a judicial dealing with sin.
  151. 151. We could not have a new nature unless God took away sin. Because a person walks with God means that his sin has been forgiven and that he has been justified, counted righteous by God.
  152. 152. Only when sin has been dealt with can we move into God's presence and begin walking with Him. God will not walk in any way but the way of holiness.
  153. 153. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:6-7).
  154. 154. The only persons God walks with are those who are cleansed of sin. • Since Enoch walked with God, he had to have been forgiven of his sin and declared righteous by God.
  155. 155. A SURRENDERED WILL Walking with God implies a surrendered will. God does not force His company on anyone.
  156. 156. He only offers Himself. God must first will that a person come to Him, but that person must also will to come to God. Faith is impossible without willingness to believe.
  157. 157. Just as walking with God presupposes faith it also presupposes willingness — a surrendered will. A surrendered will is a surrender in love.
  158. 158. It is what might be called a willful willingness, a glad and free surrender. "And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments" (2 John 6).
  159. 159. Enoch walked with God for three hundred years! Small wonder that the Lord went for a walk with him one day and just took him on up to Heaven.
  160. 160. The NewTestament refers to this sort of living as walking in the Spirit. We are to live continually in the atmosphere of the Spirit's presence, power, direction, and teaching.
  161. 161. The fruit of this walk in the Spirit are: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).
  162. 162. Walking in the Spirit is allowing Him to pervade your thoughts. It is saying, when you get up in the morning, "Holy Spirit, it isYour day, not mine. Use it asYou see fit."
  163. 163. It is saying throughout the day, "Holy Spirit, continue to keep me from sin, direct my choices and my decisions, use me to glorify Jesus Christ."
  164. 164. It is putting each decision, each opportunity, each temptation, each desire before Him, and asking for His direction and His power. • Walking in the Spirit is dynamic and practical, it is not passive resignation but active obedience.
  165. 165. The NewTestament describes walking with God in many ways: 3 John 4 says it is a truth walk; Romans 8:4 calls it a spiritual walk; Ephesians 5:2 describes it as a love walk, Ephesians 5:8 as a light walk, and Ephesians 5:15 as a wise walk.
  166. 166. 3 John 4 NKJV 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
  167. 167. Romans 8:4 NKJV 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
  168. 168. Ephesians 5:2 NKJV 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
  169. 169. Ephesians 5:8-10 NKJV 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
  170. 170. Ephesians 5:15-17 NKJV 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
  171. 171. It would have been wonderful just to have had Enoch as an example — or Noah, Abraham, or any of the other faithful heroes of Hebrews 11. But we have an even greater example — our Lord Jesus Himself, the OneWho supremely walked with God.
  172. 172. He did nothing, absolutely nothing, that was not the Father's will.
  173. 173. John 5:19 NKJV 19Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
  174. 174. The beloved apostle reminds us that "the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked" (1 John 2:6).
  175. 175. If we want to know how to walk, we need simply to look at Jesus. From childhood He was continually about His Father's business, and only His Father's business, He constantly walked with God.
  176. 176. Genesis 5:21-24The Living Bible 21-24 Enoch: Enoch was sixty-five years old when his son Methuselah was born. Afterwards he lived another 300 years in fellowship with God, and produced sons and daughters; then, when he was 365, and in constant touch with God, he disappeared, for God took him!
  177. 177. CONTINUING FAITH Finally, a person cannot walk with God unless he has first come to God by faith.
  178. 178. Just so, he cannot continue to walk without continuing to have faith. Walking with God is a walk in faith and a walk by faith.
  179. 179. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
  180. 180. “Just as you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith” (Colossians 2:6-7).
  181. 181. Enoch believed God, and he continued to believe God. He could not have walked with God for three hundred years without trusting in God for three hundred years.
  182. 182. Enoch never saw God. He walked with Him, but he did not see Him. He just believed He was there.
  183. 183. That is how He pleased God.
  184. 184. Five features in Enoch's life that were pleasing to God: 1) he believed that God is; 2) he sought God's reward; 3) he walked with God; 4) he preached for God; and 5) he entered into God's presence.
  185. 185. 4) ENOCH PREACHED FOR GOD And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all,
  186. 186. and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." (Jude 14-15)
  187. 187. That Enoch preached for God we learn only from the book of Jude. Judging from this account, his message on ungodliness was brief and perhaps repetitious, but it was inspired.
  188. 188. We have no hint as to how effective it was, but Enoch's purpose was to be faithful, not effective. He did what God required of him and left the results to Him.
  189. 189. One thing is certain: because of his faithful preaching and faithful living, no one who heard Enoch or lived around him had any excuse for not believing in God. Can that be said of us?
  190. 190. Whether any of these people believed or not, the influence Enoch had on them must have been powerful. Jude's report of Enoch's preaching contradicts any notion that Enoch lived in an easy time for believing.
  191. 191. He was surrounded by false teachers and false teaching. We do not know if he had the fellowship of any fellow believers, but we know that he lived in the midst of a host of unbelievers.
  192. 192. He could not possibly have preached as strongly as he did without considerable opposition. He battled against his own generation in the same way that Noah would later battle against his.
  193. 193. Five features in Enoch's life that were pleasing to God: 1) he believed that God is; 2) he sought God's reward; 3) he walked with God; 4) he preached for God; and 5) he entered into God's presence.
  194. 194. 5) ENOCH ENTERED INTO GOD'S PRESENCE By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained a witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. (Hebrews 11:5)
  195. 195. At last, after three hundred years of believing and walking and preaching, he went to be with the Lord — in a marvelously unique way. God just took him up without his experiencing death.
  196. 196. He pleased God so much that God just reached down and lifted him up to heaven. One moment he was there, and the next moment "he was not, for God took him" (Genesis 5:24).
  197. 197. By faith Enoch was translated. He walked so closely with God for so long that he just walked into heaven, as it were.
  198. 198. We do not know the reason God waited three hundred years before taking Enoch to be with Himself.
  199. 199. Perhaps it was to allow sufficient time for him to preach and witness to the hard and unbelieving generation in which he lived.
  200. 200. Furthermore, we do not know why God took Enoch in that unusual way at all. Perhaps it was to spare him further ridicule and persecution, which he was bound to have experienced.
  201. 201. Enoch is a beautiful picture of believers who will be taken up directly to Heaven when our Lord returns for His bride, the church.
  202. 202. Just as Enoch was translated to Heaven without seeing death, so also will be those of God's people who are alive at the Rapture.
  203. 203. "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1Thessalonians 4:17).
  204. 204. This chapter deals with the primacy and the excellency of faith, and fits perfectly into the flow of the epistle, that the new is better than the old.
  205. 205. First-century Jews saw everything as a matter of works. • Even after being shown the basic truths of the New Covenant, the tendency was for them to try to fit these new principles into the mold of works righteousness.
  206. 206. By the time of Christ, Judaism was no longer the supernatural system God had originally given. It had been twisted into a works system, with all kinds of legalistic requirements.
  207. 207. It was a system of self-effort, self- salvation, and self-glorification. It was far from the faith system that God had given and in many ways it was a religious cult built on ethics.
  208. 208. As all works systems, it was despised by God — particularly because it was a corruption of the true system He had given. God has never redeemed man by works, but always by faith. (See Habakkuk 2:3-4)
  209. 209. Habakkuk 2:3-4 NKJV 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. 4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith
  210. 210. As this chapter makes clear, from the time of Adam on, God has honored faith, not works. Works have always been commanded as a by-product of faith, never as a means of salvation.
  211. 211. God does not tolerate any self-imposed ethical system as a means of reaching Him. Faith is the way to life, and faith is the way to live.
  212. 212. There has never been any other way. The faith principle did not originate with the New Covenant.
  213. 213. It was also active in the Old. In fact, it was active the moment man fell and needed a way back to God. It originated even before the earth began.
  214. 214. Since God chose us in Christ "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4), and since the only way God accepts us in Christ is by our faith, then God obviously established salvation by faith at that time.
  215. 215. The way back to God, as far as man's part is concerned, is by faith — it has always been by faith and only by faith.
  216. 216. Between the statement of the faith principle and the long list of Old Testament men and women who illustrated it, is a brief definition of this faith.
  217. 217. In a form the old Hebrew poets often used, the writer expresses his definition of faith in two parallel and almost identical phrases.
  218. 218. It is not a full theological definition, but an emphasizing of certain basic characteristics of faith that are important in understanding the message the writer is trying to get across.
  219. 219. Faith is living in a hope that is so real it gives absolute assurance. The promises given to the Old Testament saints were so real to them, because they believed God, that they based their lives on them.
  220. 220. All the OldTestament promises related to the future — for many believers, far into the future. But the faithful among God's people acted as if they were in the present tense.
  221. 221. They simply took God at His word and lived on that basis. They were people of faith, and faith gave present assurance and substance to what was yet future.
  222. 222. Faith is not a wistful longing that something may come to pass in an uncertain tomorrow. True faith is an absolute certainty, often of things that the world considers unreal and impossible.
  223. 223. Christian hope is belief in God against the world — not belief in the improbable against chance.
  224. 224. If we follow a God whose audible voice we have never heard and believe in a Christ whose face we have never seen, we do so because our faith has a reality, a substance, an assurance that is unshakable.
  225. 225. In doing so, Jesus said, we are specially blessed (John 20:29).
  226. 226. John 20:29 NKJV 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
  227. 227. Moses considered "the reproach of Christ [Messiah] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward" (Hebrews 11:26).
  228. 228. Moses took a stand on the messianic hope, and forsook all the material things he could touch and see for a Messiah who would not come to earth for more than 1400 years.
  229. 229. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were confronted with the choice of obeying Nebuchadnezzar, whom they could see very well, or God,Whom they had never seen.
  230. 230. Without hesitation, they chose to obey God. Man's natural response is to trust his physical senses, to put his faith in the things he can see, hear, taste, and feel.
  231. 231. But the man of God puts his trust in something more durable and dependable than anything he will ever experience with his senses. Senses may lie; God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
  232. 232. Christians are not masochists. Quite to the contrary, we live for ultimate and permanent pleasure.
  233. 233. We live in the certainty that whatever discomfort or pain we may have to endure for Christ's sake on earth, will more than be compensated for by an eternity of unending bliss, of pleasure we cannot now imagine.
  234. 234. The Greek word hupostasis, translated here as assurance, appears two other times in Hebrews. • In Hebrews 1:3 it is rendered "exact representation," speaking of Christ's likeness to God, and in 3:14 it is rendered "assurance," as in 11:1.
  235. 235. The term refers to the essence, the real content, the reality, as opposed to mere appearance. Faith, then, provides the firm ground on which we stand, waiting for the fulfillment of God's promise.
  236. 236. Far from being nebulous and uncertain, faith is the most solid possible conviction. Faith is the present essence of a future reality.
  237. 237. The OldTestament saints "died in faith, without receiving the promises, but ... welcomed them from a distance" (Hebrews 11:13).
  238. 238. They saw the fulfillment of God's promise with the eye of faith, which, when it is in God, has immeasurably better vision than the best of physical eyes.
  239. 239. They held on to the promise as the ultimate reality of their lives, as the most certain thing of their existence.
  240. 240. The Plan of Hope & Salvation Romans 3:23 NKJV 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 6:23a NKJV 23a For the wages of sin is death,
  241. 241. • Death in this life (the first death) is 100%. • Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to pay the penalty for our sins. • The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in Revelation 21:8.
  242. 242. Revelation 21:8 NKJV 8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
  243. 243. Romans 6:23b NKJV 23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 5:8 NKJV 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  244. 244. Revelation 21:7 NKJV 7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” • Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior.
  245. 245. Romans 10:9-10 NKJV 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  246. 246. Romans 10:13 NKJV 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” •If you have questions or would like to know more, Please, contact First Baptist Church Jackson at 601-979-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/

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