Gospel Faith in the Old Testament: Hebrews 11:5-6
Enoch, Walking with God
We have been studying what faith looks like as examples of how we are to live today. Hebrews 11 gives us some amazing examples of Gospel faith.
It’s first vital to understand that from Abel to you and I and to the last person standing at the coming of the Lord it is by faith alone that man is reconciled to Father by Son and sealed as Father’s child by Spirit.
It is by faith alone! Jesus plus anything ruins everything.
But we have seen that faith is not just a mind trick in which we become convinced of the right facts about who Father, Son and Spirit is. The demons believe and tremble James says.
Gospel faith is the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Gospel faith is the internal action of the soul that hopes in the reality of the Gospel because of the work of the Gospel on the soul that works its way out into tangible, practical actions.
Faith without works is dead.
So, in order to live lives today in Rome, GA or Northwest, GA that hopes in the Gospel and works itself out into tangible and practical actions we have undertaken to look at the examples of Gospel faith given to us in Hebrews 11.
We’ve seen the nature of faith, the trust that Father, Son and Spirit have created ex nihilo (not covered in this series but very necessary), and we’ve looked at Abel’s faith in worship.
Today, we take a look at Enoch.
Although there is very little written about Enoch, the little that is written is packed with implications that we won’t have time to sound out today. You will have to go away and “walk” with the Lord yourself and taste those implications yourself and find the Lord better than life.
“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. 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.” (Hebrews 11:5-6 ESV)
When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:21-24 ESV)
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:14-17 ESV)
Here is the one definitive truth that can be said about Enoch: Enoch walked with Father.
Hebrew word for walk – Yithallek – to traverse. to walk about.
The Greek word for walk – “Peripateo” to live or behave in a customary manner, with possible focus upon continuity (steadiness, endurance, permanence, stability) of action—‘to live, to behave, to go about doing.’
Of the 184 times “walk” shows up in Scripture the great majority of them are speaking of not going from point “a” on a map to point “b”. The majority of them speak of the idea of behaving in the manner customary for man and God, living or behaving in manner of man and God, to go about doing in the manner of man and God.
So, here is the great lesson from the life of Enoch exhibiting Gospel faith in the Old Testament:
1. Walk with Father
A. The gospel makes walking with Father a reality to be had
B. Learn to practice the presence of Father, through the Son by the Spirit (Radical Life)
1. Communion with God (the Lord is always near, so speak with him)
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
(1 Kings 19:9-13 ESV)
e. Bible Study
g. Corporate Worship / Life as Worship
2. Community (the Lord is the one bonding people together, so enjoy him in building
a. Community is imitation of the Trinity (interdependence)
1. You need other people / other people need you
2. Sanctification happens in community
3. Geographical kinship
4. Professional kinship
5. Recreation kinship
6. Familial kinship
3. Collision with Culture (the Lord is the one moving the work forward, so join him)
a. Gospel communication with those who need transformation is the most
vital ministry to TRCC and any church
1. Very little is said in the New Testament about the specific methods
of discipleship people used with new Christians. It does, however,
focus on the chief ministry of the church, evangelism.
C. Discover and practice the good works prepared by Father for you to “walk” in
I’m taking this point and the thoughts for this point not from a strict exegesis of a text but from a perspective of creation in which Father made man in his image and each man unique with a purpose to subdue created order, serve each other and glorify God, which I believe, is the basis for understanding “spiritual gifts”. These gifts are created abilities to serve 1. Father’s mission 2. Christians (church) 3. Make the creature happy.
1. Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
2. Works are done through gifts given by Father for
a. What do you do that serves the mission?
b. What do you do that serves the church (other Christians)?
c. What brings you great happiness?
D. Be happy in the Triune God of all creation
1. The gospel transforms
2. We learn, through sanctification, to have fellowship with Father, Son, Spirit
3. We walk in Father’s good works
4. We are happy in the Lord
I believe there is a reason people seek after happiness. People seek after happiness. Think about this for a minute. Everything we do we do because we find some benefit in it to our happiness not our unhappiness, right?
If we are the slightest “down” we look for something to help us get back to a state of “happy”. We do what we perceive to be of greater happiness to us. I believe that is because we were made to glory in the Lord (Isaiah 43:7). We were made to delight ourselves in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) and have him put his desires in our very souls.
The problem is that the fall has redirected our happiness toward the source of Adam and Eve’s happiness at the tree, themselves, the very essence of idolatry. Most idols are cheap projections of a person or group of people’s desires.
Think this through. Most every decision we make is for a greater degree of happiness and every decision we make for our happiness that centers on either an object or another person leaves us feeling empty as if it were a waste of time.
That’s because it is empty and a waste of time. Happiness (or what Scripture calls our delight in the Lord) was never intended to be had apart from the Lord. We were made to be happy in Father, Son and Spirit and to enjoy all of creation in subduing it to the glory of the Lord. So, when we seek happiness in the creation first rather than the creator, then we have reversed the order, which is the essence of idolatry, and also missed the mark of happiness. We then find ourselves unhappy and needing another fix to get us out of the pit, thus people continue to incur debt as though a new “play pretty” will fix the burden.
We can only enjoy and delight in and be happy in creation as we enjoy it through Father for Father and for our happiness.
1. I am to be happy in my wife, but not before I’m happy in Father
a. If I’m happy in another person before I’m happy in Father I have an idol and I destroy
myself and the object of my affection by abusing them and myself because I’m using
them rather than enjoying them to their fulfillment and Father’s glory. So then if they
mess up then I have to seek my own protection because it’s about me first not Father’s
glory in them or their happiness in the Lord, so I can easily kick them to the curb and
move on to my next idol.
1. If I am happy in the Lord, then I seek Father’s glory which is my wife’s good first
2. If she is happy in the Lord, then she seeks Father’s glory in me which is my good first
2. I am to be happy in my job, but not before I’m happy in Father
a. If I’m happy in my job before I’m happy in Father I have an idol and I destroy myself
and the vocation by abusing it, my employer and myself because I’m using them rather
than enjoying them to their fulfillment and Father’s glory (this is why Paul appealed to
slaves to obey their masters in the Lord; there were bigger issues than their freedom; this
does not mean that Father approves of slavery, he does not, but there were bigger issues
than their freedom, namely his glory and their redemption from Satan back to himself)
1. If I’m happy in the Lord, then I seek Father’s glory and my job’s good first
3. I am to be happy in my recreation, but not before I’m happy in Father
4. I am to be happy in my children, but not before I’m happy in Father