By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him…
I. By WHAT AGENCY THIS STATE OF EXISTENCE IS SECURED. It must always be regarded as of the first consequence to ascertain the sources of human characters and human habits, and to what supports they are indebted for their permanence. For many purposes it is important to ascertain and to acquire information with respect to what we may call the secondary virtues of man — that is, those virtues which do not affect his relation towards God; but infinitely more important respecting those dispositions of mind which tend towards futurity. It is, then, above all things important to know how men are led to please God.
1. And here, it must be observed, that men never attain to the state of existence which is now to be described, whilst they are left to the ordinary operation of their own faculties, and governed by the ordinary impulses of their own passions and desires. While men remain in their original condition, under the government of the primitive tendencies of their nature, they are in fact the uniform and positive objects of Divine disapprobation.
2. This fact having been established, we are prepared to advert to a corresponding fact, which may also be scripturally established, namely, that men are brought into a state of existence that is pleasing to God, they are placed in it, and continued in it, solely and entirely by the exertion of the power of the Spirit of God Himself.
II. BY WHAT CHARACTERISTICS THIS STATE OF EXISTENCE IS DISTINGUISHED.
1. It comprehends faith in the Divine testimony. Faith has a peculiar connection with the approbation of God, in consequence of its being the ordained means of imputing to man the merit of a justifying righteousness, that in itself is sufficient to secure his final acceptance as the Judge of the universe.
2. This state of existence also comprehends obedience to the Divine commandments. It cannot be justly questioned by any one that the pleasure of God in man is connected with the conformity of man in heart and in life to the laws of God. The Being who, by the necessity of His moral nature, abhors iniquity, by the same necessity of His moral nature must delight in holiness. But one thing must be remarked by the way of caution. God is not pleased with men's holiness because there is anything of original or independent merit in it; He is pleased with it because He contemplates in it His own work; just as He was pleased when, after the Creation, He is said to have looked on it, and pronounced that it was all "very good": He is pleased with it, because it sheds His own lustre, and reflects back the beauty of His own perfections: He is pleased with it, because it advances the revenue of His glory, because it secures the happiness of those in whom it dwells.
3. This state of existence comprehends gratitude for the Divine goodness. The offering of praise by believing men to God cannot but be pleasing in His sight; it is so with the gratitude which is offered in heaven, and At cannot but be so with the gratitude offered on earth.
III. BY WHAT ADVANTAGES THIS STATE OF EXISTENCE IS COMMENDED.
1. Those who exist in a state that is pleasing to God are privileged with near and intimate communion with God.
2. Those who exist in this state possess also the consolations and supports of God in all times of difficulty and of danger.
3. Those who exist in the state which is now described have the security of eternal and perfect happiness in heaven. Pleasing God has an especial connection with the joy of God.
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.