By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him…
The mare and grand distraction between the child of God and the servant of sin is, that the one lives by faith and the other by sight.
1. A man is sometimes dishonest because the object which he sees engrosses his attention beyond the fear of punishment, which is a matter of faith; and he defrauds or steals. Again, in their judgments men of sin act by sight, not by faith, though men who do these things are compelled sometimes to declare them wrong, and to pronounce a judgment against their actions. They settle those things to be sins which appear to do the most immediate harm, and those to be less sins, or none at all, which do not cause so much immediate perceptible harm. Again, in their religion men of sin act on sight, and men of God on faith. See the worldly man in his religion, as he calls it. It is all the sight parts of religion, none of the faith parts.
(1) They come to church, that is something to be felt. There is the doing something that worse people do not do; therefore they hope by the irksomeness of the act to clear away some sins; they can realise the religion of that.
(2) They read the Bible sometimes; there is a little trouble in that, and it is something they can lay hold of.
(3) They give money in aims; this is something seen and felt; they are doing something more than others.
(4) They speak respectfully of the Church of the land and the ministers of the Church, because there is something easy in it, and by doing so they throw a garb of devotion over themselves, which they see many others have not got. So much is their religion, and here it ends. Men of sin act on sight, not on faith; they are only religious when they see and feel the good of it. Now turn to the religious man influenced by faith.
1. He judges sin by the law of God; he knows coveting is as bad as stealing, because it leads to it; and he knows God condemns the evil thought as well as the evil action.
2. In his duties he acts on faith. He foregoes the indulgence of angry passion, remembering the greater happiness and peace of a loving spirit and the favour of the Saviour who has declared the peacemaker blessed.
3. Above all, in his religion behold the man of faith. What he does is not to be seen of men, but of his Father in heaven, who shall reward him openly.
I. The 11th chapter of Hebrews is, as it were, a bright roll, unfolding to us the men who, in days gone by, have lived by faith and not by sight; they shine like fixed stars in the dark expanse of human life. Let us contemplate the character of Enoch, as showing forth a character influenced by faith, and behold in him another fruit of faith.
1. It seems to mean he knew God, had a just knowledge of God.
2. But it seems to mean, too, that he was intimate and familiar with God.
3. And again, "he pleased God." His religion was not only feeling, taken up to-day, put down to-morrow; his religion influenced his practice, altered his conduct, helped him to stand forth the bold supporter of truth in the midst of a wicked generation. Such was his character. Now how was this the result of faith? This character, through a coming Saviour, procured for him translation to glory. He lived above the present world, and apart from the present people, by faith; that is, the tastes, the conversation, the occupation of all around would naturally have made his mind the same with theirs, had it not been for the exercise of the principle of faith. This was Enoch's character, and this is the way it was affected by faith. Now let us apply this to ourselves. The fruit or working of faith, which Enoch's character shows, consists in living separate from the opinions and practices of the day we live in, and protesting against the errors of that day by word or example; and this by faith.But, in matters of practice, there are false opinions about in the world, which are against God's revealed Word, and which consequently are to be rebuked and opposed by the man of faith.
1. Men tell us all devotion is enthusiasm. If a man spend much time in prayer; if a man give up the world's society; if he be cheerful under affliction; if he have his happiness fixed in another world, not this, the world calls him an enthusiast pursuing a phantom, a dreamer, wholly mistaken as to what religion is, not a soberminded man. Now what does the man of faith answer? what does Enoch answer to the false report of an undiscriminating world? Behold the man of faith. He reads such passages as these, "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me."
2. But again, it is a prevailing error of the day that men need not give up the world; that the doing so is gloomy, melancholy. and unnecessary. The man who is directed by faith, whose eye is looking for the unseen hereafter, who is not dazzled by the lamps of present pleasure and excitement, answers the erroneous opinion of the world by an appeal to the Bible.
(1) He may demand, What is the world, and what does the Bible mean by the world, if the utmost excess of gaiety — gaiety dissipating devotion, gaiety and pleasure inviting the support of infamous characters, gaiety ruining the health and wasting the time, company where God is never mentioned, where religion is never introduced, and where its introduction would be misplaced — if this is not the world, what is?
(2) He may show that the Bible plainly declares that "the friendship of the world is enmity with God"; "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."(3) He may show that while such pleasure and such society is given up, we need not be gloomy; far, very far from it. Thus the man influenced by faith may answer and refute, like Enoch, the current opinions of the day, that the world need not be given up, and that those who withdraw from it are morose and gloomy.
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
WEB: By faith, Enoch was taken away, so that he wouldn't see death, and he was not found, because God translated him. For he has had testimony given to him that before his translation he had been well pleasing to God.