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Old and New Testament.
Commentary Updated September 10, 2014
prepared by the
so that what is
seen was not
made out of
things which are
Amplified: By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages]
were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended
purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of
things which are visible.
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word
of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do
NLT: By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's
command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: And it is after all only by faith that our minds accept
as fact that the whole scheme of time and space was created by God's
command - that the world which we can see has come into being through
principles which are invisible. (Phillips:
Wuest: By means of faith we
perceive that the material universe and the God-appointed ages of time
were equipped and fitted by God's word for the purpose for which they
were intended, and it follows therefore that that which we see did not
come into being out of that which is visible. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: by faith we understand the ages to have been prepared by a saying of
God, in regard to the things seen not having come out of things
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
J Ligon Duncan
Explore the Bible
F W Farrar
F B Hole
Jamieson, F, B
S Lewis Johnson
S Lewis Johnson
J Vernon McGee
A W Pink
A T Robertson
C H Spurgeon
Today in the Word
Unto Jesus - go to page 298 in Pdf
Hebrews 13 The New Testament for English
Hebrews Study Guide
Hebrews 11 The Critical
Hebrews:11:1-7 Sermon Notes
Hebrews 11 Commentary
Hebrews 11:1-3 By Faith
Hebrews 11:4 A Dead Man Speaks
Hebrews 11:5-6 Pleasing God
Hebrews 11 Commentary
Hebrews 11:3 The Materialist and
the End of the World
Hebrews 11:3 Through Faith We Understand
Hebrews 11:3 Where Can I Find God?
Hebrews 11:4 They Rule the World
From Their Graves
Hebrews 11:1-6 Is Chapter 11
Right For You?
Expositor's Greek Testament
Hebrews 11:1-7 The
Faith of Abel, Enoch and Noah
How can I get to Heaven?
11:1-3,6-8,13-19,24-26 Exhibit Your Faith
Hebrews 11:1 ,
Hebrews 11:1-7 Faith's Guarantee
Hebrews 11:1-4 The Honor Roll of the Old
Hebrews 11:5-6 A Man Who Walked With God
Hebrews 11:1-7 Commentary
Hebrews 11 The Reality of Supernatural
Hebrews 11 Saving Faith
Hebrews 11:1-3 What Is Faith?
Hebrews 11:4 Abel and the Life of Faith
Hebrews 11:5-6 Enoch and the Walk of Faith
Hebrews 11 Sermons -
by Puritan writer - >1000 page Pdf!
Thru the Bible Commentary
Abel-The Sacrifice of Faith -Enter page 425
Hebrews 11:5: Enoch
- The Walk of Faith - Enter page 429
Hebrews 11:1-3 What Is Faith?
Hebrews 11:4-7 Faith Before the
Hebrews 11:8-16 By Faith, Step
Hebrews 11:17-22 The Test of
Hebrews 11:23-29 The Maturity of
Hebrews 11:30-31 A Harlot
Hebrews 11:32-40 The Triumph of
Hebrews 11:1-3 The Excellency of
Hebrews 11 Word Pictures
Hebrews 11:3 Understanding Through Faith
Hebrews 11:4 OT Examples of Faith
Hebrews 11:5-6 A Walk by Faith
Hebrews 11:3 The Faith Of The Patriarchs
Hebrews 11:4 Abel's Offering Instructive
Hebrews 11:5 Enoch's
Letter to Hebrews -
329 page commentary
Hebrews 11 Exposition
Faith Made Visible
Hebrews 11:1-3 The Nature of
Hebrews 11:1-7 What Faith Is
Hebrews 11: Word
Hebrews Inductive Study Part 2
BY FAITH WE
UNDERSTAND THAT THE WORLDS WERE PREPARED BY THE WORD OF GOD: Pistei
nooumen (1PPAI) kathertisthai (RPN) tous aionas rhemati theou,:
(He 1:2; Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1; Ps 33:6; Isaiah 40:26; Jer 10:11,16; Jn
1:3; Acts 14:15; 17:24; Ro 1:19, 20, 21; 4:17; 2Pe 3:5; Rev 4:11)
By Faith - All uses in NAS
in Heb 11 - Heb 4:2; 10:38; 11:3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 21, 22,
23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33.
Each example of faith in
Heb 11:3-31 is
formally introduced with this specific phrase "by faith" (pistei)
is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth
of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting
man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the
included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with
it. As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction that God
exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider
and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to
Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that
Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and
entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal
salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no
Maclaren writes that
Faith is the hand that
grasps. It is the means of communication, it is the channel through
which the grace which is the life, or, rather, I should say, the life
which is the grace, comes to us. It is the open door by which the
angel of God comes in with his gifts. It is like the petals of the
flowers, opening when the sunshine kisses them, and, by opening,
laying bare the depths of their calyxes to be illuminated and coloured,
and made to grow by the sunshine which itself has opened them, and
without the presence of which, within the cup, there would have been
neither life nor beauty. So faith is the basis of everything; the
first shoot from which all the others ascend...Faith works. It
is the foundation of all true work; even in the lowest sense of the
word we might almost say that. But in the Christian scheme it is
eminently the underlying requisite for all work which God does not
consider as busy idleness...
Your work of faith. There is
the whole of the thorny subject of the relation of faith and works
packed into a nutshell. It is exactly what James said and it is
exactly what a better than James said. When the Jews came to Him with
their externalism, and thought that God was to be pleased by a whole
rabble of separate good actions, and so said, ‘What shall we do that
we might work the works of God?' Jesus said, ‘Never mind about Works.
This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent,'
and out of that will come all the rest. That is the mother tincture;
everything will flow from that. So Paul says, ‘Your work of faith.'
Does your faith work? Perhaps I should ask other people rather than
you. Do men see that your faith works; that its output is different
from the output of men who are not possessors of a ‘like precious
faith'? Ask yourselves the question, and God help you to answer it.
(Read full sermon on
1 Thessalonians 1:3)
great "Hall of Faith" we see example after example of the vital maxim
that true or genuine saving faith equates with obedience to God
(Jas 2:14-26 -
see verse by verse commentary beginning
at James 2:14).
Note that obedience does not save. Only faith in Jesus saves, but a
subsequent new heart (Ezek 36:26, 27) in the new creation (2Co 5:17)
in Christ produces a new "direction" in one's life, albeit not a
direction of perfection (at least not in this mortal life - but yes,
hallelujah, in the glorified life to come, the eternal, everlasting
life in the presence of His glory! Maranatha. Amen)
There are two explanations for the origin of the universe
and one is total speculation, and the other is full revelation. By faith we accept
the latter, the revelation that God created everything out of nothing!
We weren't there when He accomplished this great feat, but He states
it clearly and that is sufficient for the man or woman of faith, for
God is trustworthy and His Word is true.
from nous = mind, the seat
of moral reflection) has the basic meaning of direct one's mind to
something and thus means more than just take a glance at. It means to
perceive with the mind, to apprehend, to ponder (= weigh in one's
mind, think especially quietly, soberly and deeply). It means to
consider well, to reflect on with insight, or to think over a matter
carefully. The idea is to grasp or comprehend something on the basis
of careful thought.
Vincent says noeo in this verse means
the inward perception and
apprehension of the visible creation as the work of God, which follows
the sight of the phenomena of nature.
In short, the writer is saying we
as believers perceive the truth about creation by virtue of thoughts coming into
our consciousness which is distinct from simply perceiving with one's senses.
Yes we see, but even more we understand, Paul alluding
to the irrefutable witness of God's Infinitely Creative Genius...
For since the creation of the world
His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have
been clearly seen, being understood (noieo also from
nous = denotes clear perception, full understanding, and careful
consideration) through what has been made, so that they are without
excuse. (Ro 1:20-note)
Alford writes that the expression worlds...
includes in it all that exists
under the conditions of time and space, together with those conditions
of time and space themselves, conditions which do not bind God, and
did not exist independently of Him, but are themselves the work of His
Prepared (KJV = "framed" like framers of a
from katá = with + artízō
= to adjust, fit, finish, in turn from ártios = fit, complete)
means to fit or join together and so to mend or repair.
Katartízō conveys the
fundamental idea of putting something into its appropriate condition
so it will function well. It conveys the idea of making whole by
fitting together, to order and arrange properly.
The concept involved in this verb ( He 13:21) is that of
equipping so that something might be made ready to fulfill its
The word of God - God’s divine utterance,
as in Genesis 1 = Ge 1:3,Then God said,
"Let there be light"; and there was light. Ge 1:6,9,11,14).
verb rheo = to speak - to say, speak or utter definite words)
refers to the spoken word, especially a word as uttered by a living
voice. Rhema refers to any sound produced by the voice which
has a definite meaning. It focuses upon the content of the
communication. For example in Luke we read...
And they understood none of these
things, and this saying (rhema) was hidden from them, and they
did not comprehend the things that were said. (Luke 18:34)
In sum rhema speaks of
articulate utterance and is never used as a designation of God the Son
as is logos (eg Jn 1:1). In short, the writer of Hebrews is referring
to the uttered Word of God not the Son of God. God spoke the
"utterance", the word, and the universe came into existence.
To be sure, ultimately the Word
is Jesus, the Creator and Sustainer...
For by Him all things were created,
both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether
thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been
created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him
all things hold together. (Col 1:16,17).
John writes that...
And He is clothed with a robe
dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word (Logos) of God. (Rev
The phrase “God said” occurs
10 times in Genesis 1 (Ge 1:3 1:6 1:9 1:11 1:14 1:20 1:24
1:26 1:28 1:29)
The Psalmist echoes the
truth found in Hebrews 11:3 declaring...
For He spoke, and it was done; He
commanded, and it stood fast. (Ps 33:9)
Spurgeon comments: Creation
was the fruit of a word. Jehovah said, "Light be," and light was. The
Lord's acts are sublime in their ease and instantaneousness. "What a
word is this?" This was the wondering enquiry of old, and it may be
ours to this day. He commanded, and it stood fast. Out of nothing
creation stood forth, and was confirmed in existence. The same power
which first uplifted, now makes the universe to abide; although we may
not observe it, there is as great a display of sublime power in
confirming as in creating. Happy is the man who has learned to lean
his all upon the sure word of him who built the skies!
As we say in Latin, Dictum factum,
SAID DONE, no delay having interposed. Hugo Grotius.
He spake, and it was done; so that
the creatures were not emanations from the divine nature, but effects
of the divine will, the fruits of intelligence, and design, and
counsel. William Binnie, D.D.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS -
The irresistible word of Jehovah in creation, in calling his people,
in their comfort and deliverance, in their entrance to glory.
SO THAT WHAT IS SEEN WAS NOT MADE OUT OF THINGS WHICH ARE VISIBLE: eis
to me ek phainomenon (PMPNPG) to blepomenon (PPPNSA) gegonenai (RAN):
So that - Introduces a
conclusion. Since the universe was framed by
the word of God, it follows, the writer argues, that which is
seen was not made out of that which is visible. A spoken word can only
be heard not seen!
Had the visible world been formed
out of materials which were subject to human observation, there would
have been no room for faith. Science could have traced it back to its
origin. Evolution only pushes the statement a stage back. There is
still an unseen force that does not submit itself to experimental
science, and this is the object of faith.
Steven Cole in his sermon on Heb
11:1-3 entitled "By Faith" writes...
Faith is the means of understanding the origin of all that is
“By faith we understand that the ages [lit.] were prepared by the word
of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are
visible.” This is the first of 19 uses of “by faith” in this chapter
(Heb 4:2; 10:38; 11:3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27,
28, 29, 30, 31, 33).
All of the others relate to a parade of characters from the Old
Testament who trusted in God. But this first one goes back to Genesis
1, to the biblical account of creation. “The word of God” here does
not refer to His written word, but to His spoken word. It refers to
the repeated phrase, “then God said” (Ge 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24,
26). As Ps 33:6, 9 affirms, “By the word of the Lord the heavens
were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host…. For He
spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”
“Ages” (“worlds”) is a Hebrew way of referring to the creation from
the standpoint of its successive duration. While the term is roughly
equivalent to “world,” it allows for what modern science has
established, that time is related to matter. The author says that
faith gives us understanding of how the material universe (and time)
came into being, namely, by God’s spoken word. Matter is not eternal.
God, who is Spirit, is eternal. The eternal God brought physical
matter and time into being by His powerful word alone!
You can only understand that by faith, because no one was there to
observe it. The prevailing current worldview, that matter always
existed and that the current universe, including man, happened by
sheer chance over billions of years, is based on blind faith, because
there is no evidence to support it. The biblical view, that the
eternal God spoke it into existence, is based on faith, but not on
blind faith. There is abundant evidence that an incredibly intelligent
Designer created everything, especially human life. You would think
that a discovery such as human DNA, which shows amazing design, would
cause all scientists to fall down in worship before God. But as Paul
explains (Ro 1:18, 19, 20, 21, 22), sinful men sup-press the truth in
unrighteousness. They become futile in their speculations, their
foolish hearts are darkened, and professing to be wise, they become
The fact that the author puts verse 3 at the start of his list of “by
faith” examples, shows that faith in God as Creator is foundational to
knowing God. The first verse of the Bible hits us squarely with a
vital fact: “In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth.” You cannot begin to understand yourself, other people,
world history, or God if you reject the early chapters of Genesis. The
first verse of Genesis presents you with a crucial choice: If God
created everything that is, then He is the sovereign of the universe.
If you do not come to Him in faith as your Savior, you will stand
before Him in terror as your Judge! But when you believe in His Word
about salvation, you gain understanding about the origins of the ages
that makes everything in history fall into place.
The author does not want us to have a temporary, flimsy faith that
shrinks back to destruction. He wants us to have a faith that endures
trials to the preserving of the soul (He 10:39). Such faith takes the
future promises of God and makes them real in the present. It proves
the reality of the unseen world. It gains God’s approval. It
understands the origins of all that is.
Such faith, as we will see in the numerous examples of He-brews 11, is
down to earth and practical. It has sustained the people of God
through thousands of years in every sort of difficulty. It will
sustain you in the trials that you face right now! As Jonathan Edwards
said as his final words, “Trust in God and you need not fear”
(Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography, Iain Murray [Banner of Truth], p.
How does a person who struggles
with doubts get faith and grow strong in faith?
Since God’s promises are given in
specific contexts, how can we know which of them apply to us now?
Why is it important to affirm that
faith is not a work that gains God’s merit? How do rewards fit in with
Why is the doctrine of creation by
God’s word crucial for knowing Him and for the Christian life? (Hebrews 11:1-3 By Faith)
though he is
Amplified: [Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more
acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of
him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing
with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his
gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of
his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
NLT: It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God
than Cain did. God accepted Abel's offering to show that he was a
righteous man. And although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us
because of his faith. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was because of his faith that Abel made a better sacrifice to God
than Cain, and he had evidence that God looked upon him as a righteous
man, whose gifts he could accept. And though Cain killed him, yet by
his faith he still speaks to us today. (Phillips:
Wuest: By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
through which it was testified that he was righteous, God bearing
witness to his gifts, and through it, though he is dead, yet he
Young's Literal: by faith a better sacrifice did Abel offer to God than Cain, through
which he was testified to be righteous, God testifying of his gifts,
and through it, he being dead, doth yet speak.
ABEL OFFERED TO GOD
A BETTER SACRIFICE
THAN CAIN: Pistei
pleiona thusian Abel para Kain prosenegken (3SAAI) to theo: (Genesis
4:3, 4, 5,15,25; 1John 3:11,12) (He 9:22; Proverbs 15:8; 21:27; Titus
1:16; Jude 1:11)
Ge 4:1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Note that Adam and Eve are passed over in this portion regarding creation
because they had seen God, fellowshipped with Him, and talked with
Him. Their children were the first to exercise faith in the unseen God
but also the first to commit murder.
I like the way
the Amplified Version phrases Abel's "motivation"...
[Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel
brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice
Beloved, don't let the story of the
sacrifices of two brothers confuse you -- the issue is not the
type of offering, but the type of offerer! Man looks at the outside,
but God examines the heart (cp 1Sa 16:7, Acts 13:22). One was
righteous (cp Ro 4:2, 3-note)
and the other unrighteous (cp Ro 4:4, 5-note).
The difference? Faith - It makes all the difference in this
world (2Co 5:7) and in the world to come!
is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction which in
Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to
God and generally with the idea of holy fervor born of faith and
joined with it.
Article on Abel - includes pictures) - (Ge 4:2,
4, 8, 9, 25, Mt 23:35, Lk 11:51, He 11:4, He 12:24) His name in Hebrew
is said to mean "breath, vapor, meadow", the first two meanings
suggesting the shortening of his life (cp Jas 4:14, Ps 37:2,
90:5 92:7, Isa 40:6, 7, 8, 1Pe 1:24)
Himself designates Abel as "righteous Abel" (Mt 23:35)
leaving no doubt that Abel was a man of faith in the Coming Messiah.
What Abel understood of the Messiah and the Cross at this time in
Genesis is not clear, but it is clear that he believed what God had
revealed to him about the Messiah, for there is salvation ("righteous
Abel") in no other Name under heaven except Yeshua, Jesus (cp Acts
To bear or bring to a place or person. gifts (Mt 2:11). Used in the
describe Cain's offering in Ge 4:7.
A better sacrifice - Literally, "more sacrifice".
Key Word in
Hebrews = Better = Better - 13x in 12v - Heb 1:4; 6:9; 7:19, 22;
8:6 (2x); He 9:23; 10:34; 11:4, 16, 35, 40; 12:24
(thusia from thuo = to sacrifice
or kill a sacrificial victim)
means that which is offered as
a sacrifice. Webster's defines it as act of offering to a deity
something precious! Here thusia is used metaphorically
to describe their volitional offering of their words.
28x in the NT - Matt. 9:13; 12:7; Mk. 12:33; Lk. 2:24; 13:1; Acts
7:41f; Rom. 12:1; 1 Co. 10:18; Eph. 5:2; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; He 5:1;
7:27; 8:3; 9:9, 23, 26; 10:1, 5, 8, 11, 12, 26; 11:4; 13:15, 16;
- 19x in 18v - Heb 5:1, 3; 7:27; 8:3; 9:9, 23, 26; 10:1, 3, 5, 6, 8
(2x), He 10:11, 12, 26; 11:4; 13:15, 16
Thusia was used for both pagan
animal sacrifices. Here are some of the uses of thusia in the
= Ge 4:3, 5; 31:54; 46:1; Ex 10:25; 12:27; 18:12; 24:5; 29:34, 41f;
30:9; 32:6; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13,
14, 15; 3:1, 3, 6, 9; 4:10, 26, 31, 35; 5:13; 6:14, 15, 20, 21, 23;
7:9-17, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 29, 32, 34, 37; 9:4, 17, 18; 10:12, 14;
14:10, 20f, 31; 17:5, 7, 8; 19:5; 21:6, 21; 22:21, 29; 23:13, 16, 18f,
In the Old Testament there were
two types of sacrifices, the first offered to deal with sin and the
broken fellowship that resulted from the sin. The sacrificial blood
was a picture of the bridging of the gap between the giver and God
(although OT sacrifices for sin only covered over for a time, whereas
Christ's sacrifice effectively and permanently removed all guilt of
sin for those who believe in Him).
The second type of OT sacrifice
was presented to God as an act of worship, the presenter having had
his sins covered over by the blood of the sin offering, which resulted
in his hearts being full of thanksgiving and praise to God which was
reflected in the offering. It is this second type of "sacrifice" for
which Paul is commending the Philippians. The writer of Hebrews has a
parallel passage writing that...
Through Him (Christ, our Great High
Priest) then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to
God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His Name. And do
not neglect doing good and sharing (which is exactly what the
saints at Philippi had done!); for with such sacrifices God is
pleased. (Hebrews 13:15, 16)
Note also that in the Old
Testament sacrificial system, every sacrifice was to provide a
fragrant aroma and be acceptable to God. Only if the
individual offered it up with the correct heart attitude would it be
pleasing to God. And so we read that after the flood and their arrival
on dry land...
Then Noah built an altar to the
LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and
offered burnt offerings on the altar and the LORD smelled the
soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again
curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is
evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living
thing, as I have done."
(Genesis 8:20-21) (cf Lev
In Exodus a parallel
And you shall offer up in smoke the
whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD: it is a
soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD. (cf Ex 29:18).
Defender's Study Bible
We no longer sacrifice the blood of
animals to cover our sins, for Christ has "offered one sacrifice for
sins forever" (He 10:12 -note).
Instead, we offer praises, the "calves of our lips" (Ps 50:23; Ho
14:2). These are not to be offered only once each week, in a so-called
worship service, or praise service, but continually. "In every thing
give thanks" (1Th 5:18-note).
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
Many try to read into the Genesis account
a hidden reason for God’s
acceptance of Abel’s offering and rejection of Cain’s. Various
explanations have been offered, but the writer is silent about
everything except that God “spoke well” of Abel’s offering because it
was “better” (pleiona - the comparative adjective of polus =
many, much), “greater” “more important”.
If Abel’s sacrifice was more important than Cain’s, what made it so?
The reason suggested is that it was offered up from a heart made
righteous by faith. If Abraham’s faith was “credited to him as
righteousness” (Ro 4:9), so too was Abel’s. So Abel performed a
"righteous" work, an acceptable sacrifice pleasing to God in the manner
that pleases God (Heb 11:6) - by faith.
Ge 4:7 indicates that when Cain learned that his offering was not
pleasing to God (Heb 11:6) he became angry and rebellious, thus
confirming the attitude of His heart toward the sovereign will of God.
But even in Ge 4:7 God provided a "way of escape" so to
speak. This reflects God's heart that no man perish but that all might come to
repentance (cp 2Pe 3:9). Cain’s subsequent murder of his brother showed
his hard hearted rejection of the opportunity God gave him to repent.
Cain’s offering was rejected because his heart of pride and
attitude of self-sufficiency. This explanation also fits well with the
context of Hebrews where the writer repeatedly warns against
possessing “an evil heart of unbelief.”
interesting to read ancient writer's like Josephus and Philo who
suggest that Abel was "religious" while Cain was not, so
that the former brought an offering of greater value. From what we
have said Abel was not so much "religious" as he was "righteous". As
we so commonly hear, religion saves no one for it makes no one
acceptable to a God Whose eternal standard is perfection. Only a
relationship by faith in the Son makes one acceptable and one's works
acceptable to the Father!
K G Kuhn
has this note in the TDNT...
Matt. 23:35 and Jude 1:11 reflect
the Jewish view when they contrast righteous Abel and wicked Cain.
Heb. 11:4 finds faith in Abel (as distinct from Cain). Also in Heb.
11:4, on the basis of Ge 4:10, the blood of righteous Abel appeals to
God for full redress in the consummated kingdom (cf. Rev 6:9, 10, 11).
In Heb 12:24 Abel’s blood serves as a type for that of Jesus — the one
demanding expiation, the other making it.
Ge 4:4, 5, 6, 7, 8
James Burns writes about
Gustave Dore's woodcut of Abel's murder by Cain...
The artist Dore has a striking
picture dealing with that first revelation in Scripture of the fruits
of anger—the story of Cain and Abel.
Abel, who was a keeper of sheep,
brought as a sacrifice the firstlings of his flock, while Cain offered
the fruit of the ground.
The artist introduces us to a
gloomy valley, bounded by a bare stony wall of mountains, sprinkled
with rough boulders, and darkened with shaggy wood. In this place the
brothers offer their sacrifice. The oblation of the one was accepted,
we are told, and that of the other rejected. The picture helps us
vividly to imagine the scene. (Click
to see this woodcut)
The brothers have both set fire to
the wood on the rough stone altar, but while the smoke from Abel's
rises up in a straight column to the sky, the wind, whirling round a
boulder, dashes the smoke of Cain's sacrifice downward, and scatters
it in all directions. Cain turns toward his brother, who is kneeling
devoutly, and lifting up his eyes to God in prayer.
Already murder is entering into his
heart. "Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell" (Genesis 4:5).
In another moment wrath will have conquered him, swept him away in a
paroxysm of ungovernable fury and wrought ruin and death upon his
In another picture, entitled, "The
Death of Abel," we see the offended brother lying dead upon the
ground, while his brother gazes upon him with horror stricken and
startled eyes. He has awakened from his passion to realize his sin,
and as he does so a serpent is seen to wriggle away and to disappear
(Ed note: Click the picture above and see if you can identify the
"serpent". Interesting! cp the "serpent's character" in Jn 8:44).
(From Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
Than Cain (19x in 16v -
Gen 4:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 1516, 17, 24, 25; Heb 11:4; 1Jn
3:12; Jude 1:11).
See Dictionary Articles on Cain
For this is the message which you
have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as
Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And
for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil,
and his brother's were righteous. (1Jn 3:11, 12)
Proverbs warns of walking the way of Cain noting that...
The sacrifice of the wicked is an
abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.
(Pr 15:8, cp Pr 21:27)
Titus gives an apt description of all who walk in the
precarious (eternally speaking) path of Cain...
They profess (present
continually = Note
carefully "Profession is
not synonymous with Possession!"... of the Son...of life = 1Jn 5:12,
13) to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable
= literally they emit a foul odor! Woe!) and disobedient (apeithes)
= a - without + peitho - persuade =
literally one who refuses to be
persuaded or is unpersuadable = one who willfully disregards
authority) and worthless (adokimos
= a - without + dokimos - tested and found acceptable = they are
rejected after examination because they fail to meet God's standard of
perfect righteousness) for any
good deed (study) -. (Titus 1:16-note)
THROUGH WHICH HE OBTAINED THE TESTIMONY THAT HE WAS RIGHTEOUS GOD TESTIFYING ABOUT HIS GIFTS
AND THROUGH [IT], THOUGH HE IS DEAD, HE STILL SPEAKS: einai (PAN) dikaios marturountos (PAPMSG) epi
tois dorois autou tou theou marturountos (PAPMSG) epi tois dorois
autou tou theou kai di autes
apothanon eti lalei (3SPAI): (Leviticus 9:24; 1Kings 18:38;
Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51) (He 12:1,24; Genesis 4:10; Matthew 23:35 )
testimony - "martureo" is used 4x in Hebrew 11 (He 11:2, 4, 5, 39)
- 76x in 72v - Matt 23:31; Luke 4:22; John 1:7f, 15, 32, 34; 2:25;
3:11, 26, 28, 32; 4:39, 44; 5:31ff, 36f, 39; 7:7; 8:13f, 18; 10:25;
12:17; 13:21; 15:26f; 18:23, 37; 19:35; 21:24; Acts 6:3; 10:22, 43;
13:22; 14:3; 15:8; 16:2; 22:5, 12; 23:11; 26:5; Rom 3:21; 10:2; 1 Cor
15:15; 2 Cor 8:3; Gal 4:15; Col 4:13; 1 Tim 5:10; 6:13; Heb 7:8, 17;
10:15; 11:2, 4f, 39; 1 John 1:2; 4:14; 5:6f, 9f; 3 John 1:3, 6, 12;
Rev 1:2; 22:16, 18, 20. NAS renders martureo as - add...testimony(1),
attested(1), bear...witness(1), bear witness(1), continued to
testify(1), gained approval(2), given(1), gives(1), good
reputation(1), having a reputation(1), obtained the testimony(1),
obtained the witness(1), received a good testimony(1), speaking
well(1), testified(17), testifies(7), testify(25), testifying(5),
testimony(5), well spoken(3), witness(1), witnessed(2), witnesses(1).
- 8x in the non-apocryphal
- Ge 31:46, 48; Nu
35:30; Dt 19:15, 18; 31:21; 2Chr 28:10; Lam 2:13;
Abel was JUSTIFIED BY FAITH for in this verse God's Word declares him righteous and that righteousness was imputed or credited to
his account just as in the NT...on the basis of his FAITH, not on the basis of his
offering. His "better offering" was the work of faith, his
bringing forth of "fruit" in keeping with repentance. Faith alone
saved Abel but his saving faith was not alone but was an obedient
faith that resulted in a "better sacrifice".
Because of Abel's faith, evidenced in obedience to God’s requirement
for sacrifice, he was accounted righteous by God in the same way as
was Abraham (Ro 4:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). Christ
Himself referred to the righteousness of Abel (Mt 23:35). Cain’s
sacrifice on the other hand was evidence that he was just going through the motions of
ritual in a disobedient manner, not evidencing an authentic saving faith.
Without faith no one can receive imputed righteousness (Ge 15:6).
explanation in Romans 4 is apropos to Cain and Abel...
Now to the one who works (Cain), his (Cain's) wage is not
reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.5 But to the one (Abel) who
does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his (Abel's)
faith is reckoned as righteousness. (Ro 4:4)
So Cain was saying in essence to God...in my own strength & effort, I
can produce a righteousness which will obtain Your approval...WRONG!
In our flesh their DWELLETH NO GOOD THING! We all need to be mindful
of this effect of the fall...we must continue to live this Christ life
just as we were born into it...BY FAITH!!! (Col 2:6) Also see [He 12:24],
in which still another reference is made to the nature of Abel's
Like MOST early Christian exegetes, Augustine treats Cain as symbolic
of the envious
Jews by whom Christ was slain,” while Christ himself,
“the shepherd of the flock of men, [is] prefigured in Abel, the
shepherd of the flock of sheep” (De civ. Dei 15.7; cf. 15.18)
taking considerable liberty with what the text actually says. It is
wrong division (cp 2Ti 2:15) like this which probably underlies much of the
justification for so-called "replacement" theology wherein the church
is tragically and wrongly interpreted as having replaced the literal
nation of Israel (and the literal Jewish race) and now stands as the
heir of God's OT promises to Israel. (If you hold that view, read God's evaluation of
"replacement" theology in Jer 31:35, 36, 37)
Death did not first strike Adam,
the first sinful man; nor Cain, the first murderer: but Abel, the
innocent and righteous.
Dead Man Speaks
by Steven Cole
Since the first
couple in human history fell into sin, the most important question for
every person to answer is, “How can I, as a sinner, be right before
the holy God?” God appointed physical and spiritual death as the
penalty for our sin. Hebrews 9:27-note
plainly states, “it is appointed for men to die once and after this
comes judgment.” Since none will miss that appointment, it is vitally
important to answer the question, “How can I be right before God, who
is absolutely holy?”
Pr 14:12 states, “There is a way that seems right to
a man, but its end is the way of death.”
apply to this matter of spiritual life and death. Since the earliest
times, there has been a way that has seemed spiritually right. In
various forms, it is the way of all of the world’s major religions. It
is even the way of two of the major branches of Christendom. It is the
way of self-righteousness and good works. In one form or another, it
believes that if a person is sincere and does his best, God will
overlook his faults, accept his good works, and let him into heaven.
The Bible calls this “the way of Cain” (Jude 1:11). The Bible is
clear: “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified” (Gal
2:16). Salvation by human goodness or works is impossible (Eph 2:8, 9-note).
In contrast to the way of Cain is the way that his brother, Abel,
approached God. Hebrews 11:4 explains, “By faith Abel offered to God a
better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony
that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts.” Although Abel
was the first man in human history to die, “though he is dead, he
still speaks” to us today. We do not have any of his recorded words,
but his story plainly tells us…
By faith in God’s revelation, we
obtain His witness that we are righteous, so that our lives count for
Why did the
author of Hebrews begin his list of heroes of the faith with Abel?
His concern was that some of his readers might not have a faith that
would endure the looming persecution. He was hoping the best, that
“we are not of those who shrink
back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of
the soul” (He 10:39-note).
But he knew that
there could be some in the Hebrew church that would turn away from
faith in Jesus Christ and go back to the Jewish faith.
Rightly understood, that Jewish faith pointed to and was fulfilled
completely in Christ, as the author argues in the first ten chapters.
But to abandon Christ now that He has come and go back to the religion
that pointed to Him would be to abandon God’s only way of salvation.
The story of Cain and Abel clearly contrasts man’s way of salvation
with God’s way, which is by faith alone in Christ alone. Abel’s faith
teaches us five vital lessons related to the question of how we can be
right with the holy God.
1. Faith is always an obedient response to God’s revelation.
“By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain….”
suggested a number of reasons why Abel’s sacrifice was better than
“it was living, whereas Cain’s was
lifeless; it was stronger, Cain’s weaker; it grew spontaneously,
Cain’s by human ingenuity; it involved blood, Cain’s did not” (Leon
Morris, Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. by Frank Gaebelein
[Zondervan], 12:115, summarizing F. F. Bruce).
account simply says,
“the Lord had regard for Abel and
for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard”
(Ge 4:4, 5).
The only hint of
a reason is when the Lord tells Cain,
“If you do well, will not your
countenance be lifted up?” (Ge 4:7).
indicates that God had previously made clear to these brothers the
type of sacrifice that would please Him. Faith is always an obedient
response to God’s revelation.
“Faith comes from hearing, and
hearing by the word of Christ” (Ro 10:17-note).
never rests on manmade ideas, or on vague speculations. It rests on
the revealed word of God. Abel, by faith, had obeyed God’s command.
Cain refused to submit to it. Abel’s faith pleased God; Cain’s
disobedience displeased God. When the Lord told Cain to “do well,” He
meant, “Bring the kind of sacrifice that you know that I commanded.”
We are not reading too much into the story to infer that God had made
this plain to Adam and Eve after they sinned. Their sin caused them to
be ashamed of their nakedness, and so they sewed together fig leaves
to try to cover that shame. But God did not accept their fig leaves.
Instead, He clothed them with garments made of animal skin (Ge 3:7,
21). Undoubtedly, at that time He explained to them four things.
First, to stand before the holy God, they needed a proper covering.
Second, humanly manufactured coverings were not adequate. Third, God
would provide the necessary covering apart from their efforts. Fourth,
the only acceptable covering for their sin required the death, or
shedding of blood, of an acceptable sacrifice (adapted from A. W.
An Exposition of Hebrews
Surely, Adam had communicated these facts to his sons. They did not
think up on their own the idea of bringing sacrifices to God! No, God
had clearly revealed to Adam and Eve the necessary and proper way to
approach Him through a blood sacrifice. They had made this way plain
to their sons. But Cain disobeyed, while Abel, by faith, obeyed. John
In Abel’s sacrifice, the way of the
cross was first prefigured. The first sacrifice was Abel’s lamb-one
lamb for one person. Later came the Passover-with one lamb for one
family. Then came the Day of Atonement-with one lamb for one nation.
Finally came Good Friday-one Lamb for the whole world (The MacArthur
New Testament Commentary, Hebrews [Moody Press], p. 301).
sacrifice was better than Cain’s because he offered it in obedient
faith to what God had clearly revealed. God rejected Cain’s sacrifice
because he did not offer it by faith, and “without faith, it is
impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6-note).
2. Faith in God’s ordained sacrifice is the only way for sinners to
We would be greatly mistaken to assume that God accepted Abel’s
sacrifice because he was inherently a better man than his brother.
Abel brought an animal from the firstlings of his flock because he
knew that he was a sinner deserving God’s judgment, but he also knew
that God had revealed that He would graciously accept the death of a
substitute. Cain proudly ignored God’s revealed requirement and
brought an offering of his own devising. At the heart of Abel’s
sacrifice was the acknowledgement that he deserved to die for his sin,
and that God’s requirement for the shedding of blood was just. At the
heart of Cain’s sacrifice was the pride of saying, “I don’t need shed
blood to approach God. My way is just as good. In fact, my way is
better! This lovely basket of fruit looks nicer than that bloody, dead
animal!” Cain’s theme song was, “I did it my way.”
For the word of the cross is
foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved
it is the power of God.” A few verses later, he said, “For indeed Jews
ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ
crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but
to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of
God and the wisdom of God (1Co 1:18, 22, 23, 24).
People who think
that they’re basically good do not need a Savior to die in their
place. They may appreciate a good example to follow, but the idea of
Jesus shedding His blood for their sin of-fends them. But those whom
God has convicted of their sin and whose eyes He has opened to see His
absolute holiness and justice, recognize their need for a sacrifice to
pay for their sins. They gladly bow at the foot of the cross,
acknowledging Jesus to be the Lamb of God who bore their sins.
Thus, faith is always an obedient response to God’s revelation. God
has revealed that Jesus is His ordained sacrifice, the only way for
sinners to approach Him.
3. Faith in God’s ordained sacrifice obtains His testimony that the
sinner is righteous.
The text says,
“through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God
testifying about his gifts.” Some say that the antecedent of through
which is Abel’s faith, whereas others say that it was his sacrifice.
But since he offered his sacrifice by faith, it doesn’t matter. We do
not know how God testified that Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable,
whereas Cain’s was not. Many reputable scholars down through the ages
have believed that God sent fire from heaven to consume Abel’s
sacrifice, as He did on subsequent occasions (Lv 9:23, 24; Jdg 6:21;
13:19, 20; 1Ki 18:30-39; 2Chr 7:1; the list is in Philip Hughes, A
Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews [Eerdmans], pp. 455-456). But
all that Genesis states is that God had regard for Abel’s offering,
but not for Cain’s. Also, Jesus referred to Abel as, “righteous Abel”
We know (from 1Jn 3:12) that Abel lived righteously, whereas Cain’s
life was marked by evil deeds. But it would be a huge mistake to
conclude that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice on the basis of his
righteous life, or that He rejected Cain’s sacrifice be-cause of his
evil life. For one thing, our text indicates that Abel offered his
sacrifice by faith, not on the basis of his righteous life.
Also, Scripture teaches that God justifies (= “declares righteous”)
sinners by their faith, not by their works. As early as Ge 15:6,
Scripture states of Abraham, “Then he believed in the Lord; and He
reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Paul cites that text to prove
that Abraham was not justified by works, and then explains, “Now to
the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is
due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who
justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Ro
This is a judicial action, whereby God acquits the guilty sinner on
the basis of Christ’s death, which satisfied the penalty that the
sinner deserves. He imputes the penalty of our sin to Christ and the
righteousness of Christ to us at the instant we believe in Christ. As
Paul declares (2Cor 5:21),
He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew
no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness
of God in Him.
Justification by Faith Alone on Ge
15:6 for a much more detailed explanation of this crucial doctrine.)
Once the sinner has trusted in Jesus Christ as God’s ordained
sacrifice for his sins, his life will become progressively righteous
in behavior as a result. But such a godly life begins at the point
when the sinner trusts in Christ. To reverse this order and say that
God declares us righteous on the basis of our good works is to deny
the gospel (Gal 1:6, 7, 8, 9).
Many Christians naďvely think that if they ever incur persecution, it
will come from wicked atheists who despise religion. While that
sometimes happens, it is much more common for persecution and
opposition to come from the religious crowd.
4. Faith in God’s ordained sacrifice incurs the opposition of the
To understand the story of Cain and Abel, we have to remember that
Cain was not an atheist. He was a religious man who believed in God.
He brought a sacrifice in order to worship God, although in his own
way. An irreligious atheist never would have brought a sacrifice at
all. Such a person probably would have shrugged off his brother’s
sacrifice as a silly, meaningless superstition. But it wouldn’t have
offended him. What offended Cain was that he self-righteously thought
that his sacrifice was good enough, even though it was not what God
had commanded. When God rejected his sacrifice, Cain became angry and
depressed. He refused to listen to God’s corrective rebuke, and his
anger spilled out on his brother, who had obeyed God by faith.
By bringing his own sacrifice as the way to approach God, Cain became
the father of all false religion. False religions reject the cross. It
offends them because it confronts their self-righteousness. Those in
false religions take pride in their own goodness and their own works.
They reject the idea that they are sinners in need of a Savior who
shed His blood. Or, if they accept the cross (as the Roman Catholic
and Orthodox Churches do), they still want to add their good works to
it as a partial means of salvation. But to add human works detracts
from the total sufficiency of Christ’s death on the cross and gives
sinners grounds for boasting in their works.
It was the religious Pharisees who crucified Jesus. It was the
self-righteous Judaizers who went after Paul because he proclaimed
that the pagan Gentiles could be justified by faith alone. The cross
wipes out any room for boasting in your good works. Those who take
pride in the flesh persecute those who boast only in the cross (Gal
4:29; 6:12, 13, 14).
But, the story of Cain and Abel shows that it is far better to gain
God’s approval through faith in His ordained sacrifice and lose your
life, than to have God reject you and lose your soul. By faith in
God’s revelation about Christ, we not only gain His testimony that we
are righteous. Also,
5. Faith in God’s ordained sacrifice results in a life that counts
When you contrast the first three examples of those who lived by
faith, you see that a life of faith results in very different
circumstances, depending on God’s sovereign purpose. The first man on
the list became the first murder victim! If you are following Jesus
for all the benefits that He will give you in this life, you may be in
for a rude awakening! Abel isn’t exactly an example of a long, happy
life. And yet the second man on the list was one of only two men in
all history who never died! Enoch was taken directly into heaven. The
third man, Noah, lived for 950 years, and was delivered from the
flood. Most of us would sign up for the Enoch or Noah track, but we’re
not interested in the Abel track!
But the author of Hebrews wants us to realize that the re-wards of
faith are not necessarily in this life. He will shortly mention those
who “died in faith, without receiving the promises” (Heb 11:13-note).
He gives a long list of those who won impressive victories by faith
(Heb 11:33, 34, 35a-note).
But right in the middle of verse 35, without skipping a beat, he lists
those who were tortured, mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawn in
two, put to death by the sword, who went about destitute, ill-treated,
and homeless because of their faith! If we’re banking on a good life
here and now, faith in God may not be the way to go. But, if we have
God’s eternal perspective, it’s the only way to live.
The author says that though Abel “is dead, he still speaks.” How does
he still speak? In several ways:
First, Abel still speaks to us about the ultimate vindication of God's
elect and the judgment of the wicked. In Ge 4:10, God says to Cain,
“The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.”
God did not let that cry go unheeded! We see a similar thing in Lk
18:7, 8, where Jesus says, “Now will not God bring about justice for
His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over
them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly.”
In Rev 6:9, 10, 11-note,
John sees a vision of the saints in heaven who have been slain because
of their testimony. They are crying out to the Lord,
How long, O Lord, holy and true,
will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who
dwell on the earth?
The Lord gives
them each a white robe and tells them to rest a while longer, until
the number of martyrs yet to be killed is
completed. Then He will bring judgment. Abel’s blood speaks to us
about the fact that although we may be mistreated in this world, God
is the righteous judge who will right all wrongs and bring justice on
behalf of His elect.
Second, Abel still speaks to us by his life, apart from any words. We
have no recorded words that Abel spoke, and yet thousands of years
after his death, he still speaks. This shows us the power of a godly
life, not only in his lifetime, but also on successive generations.
While we should not discount the importance of godly speech, neither
should we disregard the power of a godly example, especially in the
home. If the fruits of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control-are
evident in your life, then your words will connect with power. But if
your life does not demonstrate these qualities, your words will be in
Finally, Abel still speaks to us about the fact that the measure of a
life is not necessarily its impact during the person's lifetime, but
over history. Viewed from his lifetime, Abel’s life was wasted. He
died young, without accomplishing anything. But countless generations
have looked at his faith and learned that even if we suffer and die
for the cause of righteousness, it is not in vain. Cain apparently
lived a long and relatively prosperous life on earth. He built cities
and fathered many children who were successful in worldly terms. But
Cain’s life was the wasted one. Abel was the true success.
that when Abel was alive, he “could not teach even his only brother by
his faith and example,” but “now that he is dead [he] teaches the
whole world.” He concluded, “He is more alive than ever! So great a
thing is faith! It is life in God” (in Hughes, p. 457).
I can still remember the morning in January, 1956, when I went into
the kitchen and my mother was intently listening to the shocking news
on the radio. My parents’ friend, Nate Saint, and four other young
missionaries, including Jim Elliot, had been brutally murdered by the
Auca Indians in the jungle in Ecuador. Nate had taken my parents for a
ride in his plane. I had passed up that opportunity so that I could
spend the night at my grandmother’s house. (I knew she would buy me a
Although they all died in their twenties and thirties, those five men
still speak powerfully. In her account of the martyrdom of her husband
and those other men, Elisabeth Elliot wrote (Through
Gates of Splendor [Spire Books], pp. 201-202),
Off the coast of Italy, an American naval officer was involved in an
accident at sea. As he floated alone on a raft, he recalled Jim
Elliot’s words (which he had read in a news report): “When it comes
time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.” He prayed that
he might be saved, knowing that he had more to do than die. He was not
ready. God answered his prayer, and he was rescued. In Des Moines,
Iowa, an eighteen year-old boy prayed for a week in his room, then
announced to his parents: “I’m turning my life over completely to the
Lord. I want to try to take the place of one of those five.”
She wrote that the prayers of the widows themselves were for the Aucas.
“We look forward to the day when
these savages will join us in Christian praise” (ibid.).
In March, 2003,
I had the privilege of hearing one of the men who murdered Nate Saint
speak through the translation of Nate’s son, Steve, whom this murderer
turned-worshiper by God’s grace had baptized. I heard him sing a
praise song in his native tongue. By faith, those five missionaries
obtained God’s testimony that they are righteous, and by faith, their
lives still speak, counting for eternity. By faith in God’s sacrifice,
you may join their company.
It has been said
that justification by faith alone is the doctrine by which the church
and the individual stands or falls. Why is this so? Why must we defend
it at all costs?
Some say that we
are saved by faith plus good works. How is this different than saying
that saving faith results in good works? Why is it important to affirm
that justification is God’s declaring the sinner righteous, not His
making the sinner righteous?
Why is it
essential to bring in eternity when we present the gospel? (See He
11:35, 36, 37, 38, 39-note;
1Co 15:19.) (Hebrews 11:4 A Dead Man Speaks
- Used by Permission)
taken up so
that he would not
death; AND HE
TOOK HIM UP;
taken up he was
Amplified: Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so
that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because
God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he
received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been
satisfactory to God.
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: 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.
NLT: It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without
dying—"suddenly he disappeared because God took him." But before he
was taken up, he was approved as pleasing to God. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was because of his faith that Enoch was promoted
to the eternal world without experiencing death. He disappeared from
this world because God promoted him, and before that happened his
reputation was that "he pleased God". (Phillips:
Wuest: By faith Enoch was conveyed to another place, with the
result that he did not see death, and he was not found because God had
conveyed him to another place. For before his removal he had witness
borne, that testimony still being on record, to the effect that he
pleased God. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: By faith Enoch was translated--not to see death, and was not found,
because God did translate him; for before his translation he had been
testified to--that he had pleased God well,
BY FAITH ENOCH WAS TAKEN UP
SO THAT HE SHOULD NOT SEE DEATH: Pistei Enoch metetethe (3SAPI) tou me idein (AAN) thanaton:
(Genesis 5:22, 23, 24; Luke 3:37; Jude 1:14)
Ge 5:22, 23, 24
consists in believing and receiving what God has revealed. Faith
according to Scofield "may be defined as that trust in the God of the
Scriptures and in Jesus Christ whom He has sent, which receives Him as
Lord and Savior and impels to loving obedience and good works (John
1:12; James 2:14-26-see
Article) is an example to the readers of Hebrews of what the writer
longed to see happen to them: a steady, daily growth in grace achieved
by the inner resources which God supplies to those who take him at his
word and act in faith on what he has said. Enoch enjoyed the
continuous presence of an unseen Person, and related his life daily to
that Person. The result was a fellowship which death could not
13x in 12v- Ge 4:17, 18; 5:18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24; 1Chr 1:3; Lk 3:37;
He 11:5; Jude 1:14
Genesis 4:17 Cain had relations
with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built
a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his
son. 18 Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father
of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and
Methushael became the father of Lamech.
Genesis 5:18 Jared lived one
hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch.
19 Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of
Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters.
21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah.
22 Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the
father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters.
23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.
24 Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
1 Chronicles 1:3 Enoch, Methuselah,
Luke 3:37 the son of Methuselah,
the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was
taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE
GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being
taken up he was pleasing to God.
Jude 1:14 It was also about these
men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied,
saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
A W Tozer
- Enoch recognized the failure of men
and women trying to live their lives apart from God and His will. By
faith he walked with God on this earth at a time when sin and
corruption were wildly rampant all around him. Enoch's daily walk was a walk of
faith, a walk of fellowship with God. What the Scriptures are trying
to say to us is this: If Enoch could live and walk with God by faith
in the midst of his sinful generation, we likewise should be able to
follow his example because the human race is the same and God is the
same!... There is only one conclusion to be
drawn here. Enoch was translated into the presence of God because of
his faith, and thus he escaped death. It is very evident that there
was no funeral for Enoch. Those who knew him best surely had to answer
many questions. "Where is Enoch?" "What happened to Enoch?" "Why don't
we see Enoch around anymore?" Perhaps members of his own family
did not fully understand his walk with God, but they could answer with
the facts: "He is gone! God has called him home. God has taken him."
(The Tozer Topical Reader)
Phillips has some interesting comments on Enoch - Hebrews 11
presents its heroes of the faith in chronological order as they are
found in the Bible, yet several commentators point out that there is
probably more at work than a historical progression. Specifically, it
appears that there is also a topical progression to the points their
stories make about the life of faith. That is especially true of the
three men who lived before the great flood—Abel, Enoch, and Noah.
Andrew Murray, for example, describes them as Abel, the sacrifice
of faith; Enoch, the walk of faith; and Noah, the work of faith.
Certainly that is a progression supported by the Bible: first we are
brought into a right relationship with God by trusting the sacrifice
he has provided in the blood of Christ; second, having been brought
into relationship with God, we then walk with him by faith; and third,
only then do we perform the works of faith, the practical good deeds
that follow as a result of God's grace. Arthur Pink sees these
three figures combining to provide "an outline of the life of faith":
"Abel is mentioned first not because he was born before Enoch and
Noah, but because what is recorded of him in Genesis 4 illustrated and
demonstrated where the life of faith begins. In like manner, Enoch is
referred to next... because what was found in him... must precede that
which was typified by the builder of the ark." Pink's outline traces
faith's worship in Abel, faith's walk in Enoch, and faith's witness in
Noah. It is hard to say whether the writer of Hebrews had this kind of
explicit outline in mind, since he does not put it that way himself.
It seems that he is mainly following the biblical order, with each
portrait making a particular point about faith. However, it does seem
that the Divine Author has placed them together in such a way as to
build the progression of which Murray and Pink speak. Pink reminds us
of the importance of a biblical ordering of the Christian life:
"Witnessing and working ('service') is what are so much emphasized
today. Yet dear reader, Heb. 11 does not begin with the example of
Noah. No indeed. Noah was preceded by Enoch, and for this reason:
There can be no Divinely-acceptable witness or work unless and until
there is a walking with God!...And this, in turn, must be preceded by
Abel's worship of faith." (Hebrews Commentary)
from meta = change
of place or condition + tithemi = to put or place) literally
means to put in another place, as used here in Heb 11:5, the passive
since meaning to be taken or transferred. We find another literal use
in Acts 7:16 where bodies are transferred to a burial place in
figurative sense metatithemi means to effect a change in state
or condition and so to alter something as when the priesthood is
changed (Heb 7:12).
figurative use is found in Jude 1:4 who were continually "turning" the
grace of God into licentiousness, saying in essence that God's
marvelous grace provided a "license" for immoral behavior! In another
figurative use Paul accuses Peter of "deserting" (turning away from)
the gospel to follow a different gospel (Gal 1:6).
BDAG (summarized) - 1. To
convey from one place to another = put in another place, transfer
(Acts 7:16, Heb 11:5a) 2. To effect a change in state or condition =
change, alter (Jude 1:4, Heb 7:12 - when the priesthood is changed
passed on to another) 3. To have a change of mind in allegiance =
change one’s mind, turn away, desert (middle voice) Gal 1:6. 2Macc
(Ant. 12, 387) uses metatithemi to describe the transfer of the
office of high priest to another person).
In secular Greek metatithemi was
used to describe a severe alteration in condition (collapse).
Friberg - (1) literally, as
causing a change from one place to another transfer, bring to,
transplant (Heb 11.5b); passive = be taken, be transferred (Heb
11.5a); of a body transferred to another burial place be brought back
(Acts 7.16); (2) figuratively; (a) change, alter (Heb 7.12); in a bad
sense pervert (Jude 1:4); (b) middle, as changing one's loyalty as a
follower turn from, desert, become apostate (Gal 1.6)
Liddell- Scott - to place
among, then he would not have caused so much noise among us, Od.
II. to place differently, 1. in local sense, to transpose, Plat. 2. to
change, alter, of a treaty, Thuc., Xen.; to change their names and
call them after swine, Hdt; to put one thing in place of another,
substitute, Dem. 3. Med. to change what is one's own or for oneself,
Xen.; to adopt a new opinion, Hdt.; so, absol., Plat. b. to get rid
of, transfer one's fear, Dem. c. c. dupl. acc., to alter their evil
designs into gain for him, Soph. 4. Pass. to be changed, to alter, Eur.
Metatithemi - 6x in 5v -
Acts 7:16; Gal 1:6; Heb 7:12; 11:5; Jude 1:4. NAS = hanged(1),
deserting*(1), removed(1), taken(1), took(1), turn(1).
Acts 7:16 "From there they were
removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased
for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
Galatians 1:6 I am amazed that you
are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ,
for a different gospel;
Hebrews 7:12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there
takes place a change (metathesis) of law also.
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see
death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained
the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.
Jude 1:4 For certain persons have
crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this
condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into
licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Metatithemi - 9x in the
- Ge 5:24; Dt 27:17;
1Ki 21:25; Est 4:17; Ps 46:2; Pr 23:10; Isa 29:14, 17; Hos 5:10. Here
are some uses...
Deuteronomy 27:17 'Cursed is he
who moves his neighbor's boundary mark.' And all the people
shall say, 'Amen.'
Psalm 46:2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip (removed) into the heart
of the sea;
Proverbs 23:10 Do not move
the ancient boundary Or go into the fields of the fatherless,
Isaiah 29:17 Is it not yet just a little while Before Lebanon will be
turned into a fertile field, And the fertile field will be
considered as a forest?
Hosea 5:10 The princes of Judah have become like those who move
a boundary; On them I will pour out My wrath like water.
And thus we see the same verb is used by the Septuagint translators to
describe Enoch’s translation in Ge 5:24.
Enoch was the 7th from Adam in the line of
Seth. Just as lawlessness
had climaxed in
Lamech, the 7th from Adam in the line of Cain, so
godliness climaxed in Enoch. It is interesting to note that Enoch was
a contemporary of
Adam for a little over 300 years and that he lived
alongside the other patriarchs listed in Genesis 5 all his life. He was
"raptured" (Not the same word as NT "rapture" =
about seventy years before
Noah was born.
AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP
FOR HE OBTAINED THE WITNESS THAT BEFORE HIS BEING TAKEN UP HE WAS
PLEASING TO GOD: kai ouch heurisketo
(3SIPI) dioti metetheken (3SAAI) auton o theos kai ouch heurisketo
(3SIPI) dioti metetheken (3SAAI) auton o theos. pro gar tes
metatheseos memarturetai (3SRPI) euarestekenai (RAN) to theo: (2Kings
2:16,17; Jeremiah 36:26; Revelation 11:9, 10, 11, 12) (Heb 11:6;
Genesis 5:22; Romans 8:8,9; 1Thessalonians 2:4; 1John 3:22)
Two important things mark the character of Enoch’s faith: (1) he
pleased God by turning away from the godlessness of the world in which
he lived and (2) he maintained a daily walk with God which grew so
intimate that he was taken to heaven without experiencing death.
The Genesis account (Ge 5:21, 22, 23, 24) suggests that for the first 65 years of
his life, Enoch did not walk with God. Presumably he went along with
the deteriorating morality of his times, which Genesis 6:5 describes.
As Ge 5:25 suggests, the event which changed Enoch’s outlook was the
birth of a son, whom he named
Methuselah. Some scholars derive the
meaning of Methuselah from the Hebrew root muth, which means “death,”
and translate the name “His death shall bring (it).”
Genesis account states that from the birth of Methuselah throughout
the following 300 years, Enoch “walked with God.” This turn in his
life was a result of faith, and since faith always requires a word
from God to rest upon (cp Ro 10:17-note), it
emphasizes the truth that Enoch was given a
revelation of Christ (we cannot speculate further), and possibly a
revelation of coming judgment which changed his life (cp the name of
His being taken up
(metathesis from metatíthemi =
transfer from meta = implying change + tithemi =
put) is literally, the act of transferring from one place to another
and so the removal or taking up or away. And so it can describe a
transfer from one place to another, as for example the translation of
a person to heaven as in this verse.
uses metathesis with the idea of removal.
And this expression, "Yet once
more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of
created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may
metathesis means to transpose or put one thing in the place of
another. It can mean a change of things instituted or established,
such as a changeover from the Levitical priesthood
For when the priesthood is
changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. (Hebrews
it gives us the English word metathesis which is defined as the
transposition of a letter of a word.
comments on the meaning of metathesis in He 7:12-note
writing that it refers to "A change. A transfer to a new
basis. Only in Hebrews. See He 11:5-note;
The inferiority of the Levitical priesthood is inferred from the fact
that another priesthood was promised. If perfection was possible at
all under the Mosaic economy, it must come through the Levitical
priesthood, since that priesthood was, in a sense, the basis of the
law. The whole legal system centered in it. The fundamental idea of
the law was that of a people united with God. Sin, the obstacle to
this ideal union, was dealt with through the priesthood. If the law
failed to effect complete fellowship with God, the priesthood was
shown to be a failure, and must be abolished; and the change of the
priesthood involved the abolition of the entire legal system."
eu = good, well + arestos = pleasing, desirable, proper, fit,
aresko = to please or be
pleasing/acceptable to) means to please, to behave in a manner that is
pleasing to another. To take pleasure in. To cause someone to be
well-disposed toward another.
See study of related word
Euaresteo is used only 3
times in the NT - all in Hebrews 11:5, 6, 13:16
Hebrews 11:6-note And without faith it
is impossible (Note: He does not say it will be "difficult" but
impossible!) to please Him, for he who comes to God must
believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Hebrews 13:16-note And
do not neglect
with a negative = a command to stop
neglecting implying some were already neglecting it)
doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Euaresteo - 12x in the
- Gen 5:22, 24; 6:9; 17:1; 24:40; 39:4; 48:15; Ex 21:8; Ps 26:3;
35:14; 56:13; 116:9. All the uses except Ge 39:4 and Ex 21:8 refer to
Old Testament saints who were pleasing to God. See the discussion
below for more detail.
For comparison, the related
adjective euarestos is used 9 times in the NT (Ro 12:1,
2; 14:18; 2Co 5:9; Eph 5:10; Php 4:18; Col 3:20; Titus 2:9; Heb 13:21.
NAS = acceptable = 3x, pleasing =3x, well-pleasing =3x).
IS WELL PLEASING
Pleasing to God - In the OT
we read that that Enoch walked
with God (Ge 5:22, 24) and as discussed below the
translates walked using the
Greek verb euaresteo, to be pleasing! Thus Enoch's walk
was a walk that was well pleasing to God! Interesting! In each
of the Scriptures listed above the Hebrew verb for "walk" (halak)
is rendered by the Greek verb
euaresteo, "be pleasing"! Compare the walks of these OT saints
with the ambition of Paul to be pleasing to the Lord (2Cor 5:9-commentary
Genesis 5:22 Then
walked with (Hebrew = halak;
= "well-pleasing to") God 300
years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and
The closer you walk
the less room for anything to come between.
walked with (Hebrew = halak;
= "Enoch was well-pleasing to") God and he was not
for God took him.
translates both uses of the
Hebrew verb halak "walked" with the Greek verb euaresteo =
well pleasing. Brenton's English translation of the Lxx is "And Enoch was
well-pleasing to God....". Halak conveys the basic sense of movement,
and can describe one's literal, physical walk but in each of the uses
discussed in this section is used metaphorically to describe one's general
conduct or behavior. NET Bible has an additional interesting insight
on this Hebrew verb halak noting that...
The rare expression “walked with”
(the Hitpael form of the verb הָלָךְ, halakh, “to walk” collocated with the
preposition אֶת, ’et, “with”) is used in 1Sa 25:15 to describe how David’s
men maintained a cordial and cooperative relationship with Nabal’s men as
they worked and lived side by side in the fields. In Gen 5:22 the phrase
suggests that Enoch and God “got along.” This may imply that Enoch lived in
close fellowship with God, leading a life of devotion and piety. An early
Jewish tradition, preserved in 1Enoch 1:9 and alluded to in Jude 1:14, says
that Enoch preached about the coming judgment.
You are headed in the right direction
when you walk with God!
Below are the other OT (Lxx)
passages where euaresteo is used to translate the Hebrew verb
halak. It is notable that in all these OT uses of euaresteo we find
depictions of men like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and David, whose lives were
characterized not by perfection but by direction. That is to
say that their lives manifested a general tendency toward godliness and
toward their future promised home in heaven. As a corollary, if you believe
you are headed for heaven in the future, your life should
reflect it on earth in the present! If it does not, you might be
deceiving yourself (study 2Cor 13:5-note)
and your life might not be pleasing to God now or then (cp Mt 7:21-note,
Mt 7:22, 23-note).
Genesis 6:9 These are the records
of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time;
Noah walked with God (Hebrew = halak;
= "Noah was well-pleasing to God").
NET Bible note on Ge 6:9: The
construction translated "walked with" is used in Ge 5:22, 24 and in 1Sa
25:15, where it refers to David's and Nabal's men "rubbing shoulders" in the
fields. Based on the use in 1Sa 25:15, the expression ("walked with") seems
to mean "live in close proximity to," which may, by metonymy, mean "maintain
cordial relations with."
Genesis 17:1 Now when
was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am
God Almighty (EL
Shaddai - God Almighty);
Walk (Hebrew = halak ;
= be "well-pleasing to") before Me, and
Genesis 24:40 "And he said to me (Isaac
speaking), 'The LORD, before whom I have walked (Hebrew = halak ;
= "well-pleasing to"), will send His
angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for
my son from my relatives, and from my father's house;
Genesis 48:15 And he (Israel
or Jacob is speaking - Ge
48:14) blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers
walked (Hebrew = halak;
= "well-pleasing to"), the God who has
been my shepherd all my life to this day,
Psalm 26:3 (David
writes) For Thy lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked
(Hebrew = halak;
= "well-pleasing to") in Thy truth.
Psalm 56:13 (David
writes) For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from
stumbling, So that I may walk (Hebrew = halak;
= "well-pleasing to") before God In the
light of the living.
Psalm 116:9 (Author not
stated) I shall walk (Hebrew = halak;
= "well-pleasing") before the
LORD In the land of the living.
Spurgeon comments: This is
the Psalmist's second resolution, to live as in the sight of God in
the midst of the sons of men. By a man's walk is understood his
way of life: some men live only as in the sight of their fellow men,
having regard to human judgment and opinion; but the truly gracious
man considers the presence of God, and acts under the influence of His
all observing eye. "Thou God sees me" is a far better influence than
"My master sees me." The
life of faith, hope, holy fear, and true holiness is produced by a
sense of living and walking before the Lord,
and he who has been favored with divine deliverances in answer to
prayer finds his own experience the best reason for a holy life, and
the best assistance to his endeavors. We know that God in a special
manner is nigh unto His people: what manner of persons ought we to be
in all holy conversation and godliness? (2Pe 3:11-note)
Dr. Campbell Morgan gave the
following illustration of walking with God - A little child gave a most
exquisite explanation of walking with God. She went home from Sunday
School, and the mother said, "Tell me what you learned at school." And
she said: "Don't you know, Mother, one day they went for an extra long
walk, and they walked on and on, until God said to Enoch, 'You are a
long way from home; you had better just come in and stay.' And he
went." (Ge 5:24) (Current Anecdotes— Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
Spurgeon - “Enoch walked
with God.” - He walked with God 400 years. This implies perseverance.
You have received Christ; persevere in receiving him. You have come to
trust him; keep on trusting him. You hang about his neck as a poor,
helpless sinner; remain hanging there. Abide in him.
Spurgeon - GENESIS 5:21–24
OUR reading leads us to think upon that eminent saint of the
antediluvian church, Enoch, the seventh from Adam. "21, 22, 23, 24 And
Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch
walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and
begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred
sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for
God took him." Here it is worthy of notice that the sacred writer says
once that Enoch “lived;” but he changes the word and writes Enoch
“walked with God;” thus teaching us that communion with God was
Enoch’s life, and truly so it ought to be ours. He was not a mere
talker about God, but a walker with God. This holy patriarch lived in
unbroken intercourse with the Lord for three hundred years, not now
and then visiting with God, but habitually walking with him. This is a
point of great difficulty. To draw near to God is comparatively easy;
but to remain in undivided fellowship, “this is the work, this is the
labour.” Yet the Holy Spirit can enable us to accomplish even this.
Continued communion is what we should aim at, and we should not be
content with anything short of it. Some excuse themselves from seeking
after unbroken fellowship with God because of their calling, their
circumstances, and their numerous engagements. Enoch had the cares of
a family upon him, and he was also a public preacher, and yet he kept
up his walk with God: no business or household cares should make us
forget our God. Society with God is the safety of saints, it is their
solace and delight, it is their honour and crown. More to be desired
is it than gold, yea, than much fine gold. Happy was Enoch to enjoy it
so sweetly, and so continuously. The long intercourse of this good man
with his God ended in his being borne away from earth without death to
that place where faith is lost in sight. He did not live like others,
and therefore he did not die like others. Paul tells us a little more
concerning this holy man, and we will gather up the fragments of his
history which remain on record, that nothing may be lost. HEBREWS
11:5, 6 - Faith was the spring from which his communion was derived.
Works do not make us walk with God; but faith brings us into his
presence, and keeps us there. It is very likely that Enoch’s pious
conversation did not please men, but that little mattered since it
Spurgeon - MEDITATION—to be
Practised - THOSE who would be in health do not sit still in their
houses to breathe such air as may come to them, but they walk abroad
and seek out rural and elevated spots that they may inhale the
invigorating breezes; and thus those godly souls who would be in a
vigorous spiritual state, do not merely think upon such holy doctrines
as may come into their minds in the ordinary course of thought, but
they give time to meditation, they walk abroad in the fields of truth,
and endeavour to climb the heights of gospel promises. It is said that
Enoch walked with God: here is not an idle but an active communion.
The road to bodily health is said to be a footpath, and the way to
spiritual health is to exercise one’s self in holy contemplation.
(Feathers for arrows)
David Olford has an
interesting introduction to his famous father Stephen Olford's
devotional notes According to Your Word - Just after the
Second World War, sensing a deep spiritual hunger, my father was
refreshed and revived during a time of personal retreat with the Lord.
Shortly thereafter, he met Billy Graham (1946). Due to young Billy
Graham's similar spiritual hunger, the two arranged to meet in Wales
for a time of retreat together. It is my understanding that one of the
subjects discussed during this time together was the devotional life
or the “quiet time.” According to Your Word reveals that the “quiet
time” was already a discipline in my father's life before this
important meeting in 1946. These devotionals are evidence of a
thoughtful and prayerful reading of the Word of God that was (and
would be) a regular feature of my father's life. My father practiced
the quiet time until his death at age eighty-six. His sudden departure
reminds me of the Scriptural account of Enoch who “walked with God;
and he was not, for God took him” (Ge 5:24). We miss Dad greatly, but
we know that his walk with God continues above. (According to Your
Robert Neighbour-Sermons and
Bible Studies - By faith Enoch walked with God. He walked with God
in the midst of an age that was fast corrupting itself and turning
away from Jehovah; he walked with God in the midst of his own home,
where he begat sons and daughters. Surely we then may walk by faith in
this our day. To be sure sin is much the same as it was in Enoch's
day; but we have added light and increased blessings — should we not
have a greater faith?
Closer, Lord, to Thee I come,
Light of life Divine;
Through the ever Blessed Son,
Joy and peace are mine;
Let me in Thy love abide,
Keep me ever near Thy side,
In the "Rock of Ages" hide, —
Closer, Lord, to Thee.
Would it be that God Almighty would
be able to write on our epitaphs the words He wrote on Enoch's epitaph
-- He walked with God.
The NT frequently uses the metaphor
of one's walk to describe faithful behavior...
Therefore we have been buried with
Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised
from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk
in newness of life. (Ro 6:4-note)
(See the following verse to help understand how to walk in newness of
life, cp Ro 8:2-note)
But I say,
= command to make this your lifestyle) by the Spirit, and you will not
carry out the desire of the flesh. (Gal 5:16-note)
= command to make this your lifestyle - Gal 5:16 tells us how such a
supernatural walk is even possible - it is naturally impossible,
but enabled by the Spirit of Christ is Him-possible!) in
love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an
offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Eph 5:2-note)
But you have a few people in Sardis
who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me
in white; for they are worthy. (Rev 3:4-note)
BELIEVERS SHALL WALK
How interesting that Moses records
God's walk in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8) suggesting that God
Himself walked with Adam and Eve in perfect fellowship and unbroken
communion! And how wonderful and complete is Christ's work of
redemption, which restores us to fellowship and communion so that when
we get to heaven, we will walk with Him forever and ever. What the
first Adam lost, the second Adam restores. Hallelujah! Thank You
Jesus! Maranatha. Amen.
Here is the memorial written for
the great missionary to Burma,
Born August 9, 1788
Died April 12, 1850
Malden, His Birthplace
The Ocean His Sepulchre;
Converted Burmans and the Burman Bible
His Record Is On High
— Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
Enoch "Walked With God"
He "walked with God!"
Could grander words be written?
Not much of what he thought or said is told;
Not where or what he wrought is even mentioned;
He "walked with God"—brief words of fadeless gold!
How many souls were succored on his journey—
Helped by his words, or prayers, we may not know;
Still, this we read—words of excelling grandeur—
He "walked with God," while yet he walked below.
And, after years, long years, of such blest walking,
One day he walked, then was not, God said "Come!
Come from the scene of weary sin-stained sadness!
Come to the fuller fellowship of home!"
Such be the tribute of thy pilgrim journey
When life's last mile thy feet hath bravely trod—
When thou hast gone to all that there awaits thee,
This simple epitaph—"He walked with God!" (Ge 5:24)
—Poems for Sunshine and Shadow
(Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
Pure As Snow - A writer who
visited a coal mine noticed a perfectly white plant growing by the
side of the entrance. He was astonished that there, where coal dust
continually blew and settled, this little plant would be so pure and
white. As the author watched, a miner took some black coal dust and
threw it on the plant, but not a particle stuck. Nothing could stain
the plant's snowy whiteness.
Enoch lived in the days before the flood, a time when "the LORD saw
that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every
intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually"
(Genesis 6:5). Yet the Bible tells us that "Enoch walked with God
three hundred years" (Genesis 5:22).
It is our mission to be pure and unspotted from the ungodly influences
in the world. How is this possible? If the Lord can keep a plant white
as snow amid clouds of black dust, can He not by His grace keep your
heart pure in this world of sin? (See related devotional below) —M. R.
DON'T BE A "SPIRITUAL VAGRANT"
- And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him. Genesis
5:24 - Efficient leaders of organizations and responsible individuals
set specific goals for which they constantly strive. A vagrant, on the
other hand, is an extreme example of one who has no such purposes in
view. He does not hold a steady job, does not obligate himself for the
purchase and maintenance of a home, and often has no loved ones for
whose future he is concerned. The utter aimlessness of such a life was
strikingly demonstrated by the tramp who declined a ride someone
offered him, saying, "No, thank you! I am not going any place, so I am
just as well off here as I would be 10 miles farther on." All who do
not believe in God are in a sense "spiritual vagrants" — living
without an ultimate aim or goal. The Christian, however, knows where
he is going. He also perceives his purpose — "To glorify God, and to
enjoy Him forever." Moreover, Hebrews 11:1 says that a believer's
faith gives him absolute assurance that he will certainly enjoy the
"things hoped for," and that "the things not seen" are definite
realities. For this reason he seeks to please the Lord by worshiping
in an acceptable manner like Abel, by walking in fellowship like
Enoch, and by working faithfully like Noah. These men believed in God
and directed their efforts in doing His will. They did not wander
aimlessly through life without purpose or goal. Neither should you.
Dear reader, what is your highest
ambition? Are you truly seeking to glorify God and do His will, or are
you a "spiritual vagrant"? When you pass from this earthly scene may
it be said of you as it was of Enoch, he "walked with God."
Such be the tribute of thy pilgrim
When life's last mile thy feet have bravely trod—
When thou hast gone to all that there awaits thee,
This simple epitaph—"He walked with God!"
Our lives constantly manifest
what we truly think about God!
A Commitment To Walk - One
thing that impresses me about my wife is her commitment to walk two to
four times a week for at least an hour. Come rain, snow, sleet, or
shine, my wife layers up or down (depending on the weather), puts on
her headphones, and off she goes walking through our community.
My wife’s commitment to walking reminds me of a man named Enoch.
Genesis 5:18-24 is a short paragraph about his life, and it shines
like a diamond amid the earthly record of deaths. In a storyline where
the funeral bells tolled out their mournful drone (“and he died” is
repeated eight times in the chapter), there is a ray of hope—Enoch
walked with God.
What did it mean for Enoch to walk with God? It describes Enoch’s
close communion with God—as if literally walking by His side. Also, it
refers to Enoch’s unswerving obedience to God in a corrupt culture.
God rewarded Enoch’s faithfulness by taking him to heaven while he was
still alive. Death would not have the final word in God’s creation.
Enoch’s walk with God reminds us that it is possible for all of us to
enjoy intimate communion with the Lord. Let’s commit ourselves to
walking faithfully with Him every day. — Marvin Williams
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
He walks with me, and He talks with
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known. —Miles
© Renewal 1940 The Rodeheaver Co.
As we read through the Bible,
Genesis 5 sounds like the records kept down at the county courthouse.
Name, age at death, survivors. But in this terse list, we are suddenly
confronted with a man who stands out from everyone else. "Enoch walked
with God; and he was not, for God took him" (v.24).
We don't know much else about Enoch. He probably took care of the
herds, worked the land, cared for his family. Whatever his duties
were, we know that he had an ongoing conversation with God. Enoch
expressed his joys, his hurts, his confusions, and the responsibility
he felt for his children. He walked with God.
Enoch came to love what God loves and hate what God hates. More
interesting, though, the Lord was pleased with Enoch (Heb. 11:5). One
day He must have said something like: "Enoch, we've come a long way
together. Why don't you just come on home and stay with Me." The
ancient writer simply reports, "And he was not, for God took him"
The Lord still looks for those who will walk with Him. What a
privilege for us! The One who is the Creator of the cosmos, the Ruler
of heaven, and the Redeemer of mankind seeks our friendship. Are we
seeking His? — Haddon W. Robinson
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Savior, let me walk beside Thee,
Let me feel my hand in Thine;
Let me know the joy of walking
In Thy strength and not in mine. --Sidebotham
Keeping Clean - A writer who
visited a coal mine noticed a perfectly white plant growing by the
side of the entrance. The author and the other visitors with him were
astonished that there, where coal dust continually blew and settled,
this little plant would be so pure and white.
As the people watched, a miner took some black coal dust and threw it
on the plant, but not a particle stuck. The visitors repeated the
experiment, but the dust would not cling. Nothing could stain the
plant's snowy whiteness.
This illustrates what every Christian life should be like. We live in
an evil world, surrounded by ungodly influences. It is our mission to
be pure amid all this dirt and remain unspotted from the world. How is
Enoch lived in the days before the flood, a time when "the Lord saw
that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every
intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen.
6:5). Yet the Bible tells us that "Enoch walked with God three hundred
If the Lord can keep a plant white as snow amid clouds of black dust,
can He not by His grace keep your heart pure in this world of sin? —
M. R. De Haan
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Let me walk with You, dear Savior,
Side by side and hand in hand;
Keep me clean and pure and faithful
Till I reach the heavenly land. --Hess
We live in the world, but the world must not live in us.
Every Step Counts - People
who want to feel better, reduce stress, and shed unwanted pounds are
discovering that walking may be the best exercise of all. A fitness
philosophy of 10,000 steps a day, which first took hold in Japan, is
gaining popularity in other countries. Experts advise starting slowly
and working toward a higher goal, realizing each day that every step
It's even more important to stay spiritually fit by "walking with
God," which the Bible describes as an intimate, growing relationship
with the Lord. "Enoch walked with God three hundred years" (Genesis
5:22). "Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked
with God" (Ge 6:9). Both men are mentioned in Hebrews 11, where they are
commended for their faith. "Enoch . . . had this testimony, that he
pleased God" (v.5). "Noah . . . became heir of the righteousness which
is according to faith" (v.7).
To walk with God, we need to keep in step without running ahead or
lagging behind. Along the way, we talk with the Lord, listen to Him,
and enjoy His presence. We trust His guidance when we cannot see what
lies ahead. It is not just the destination that's important, but the
journey we take together.
There's no better time than now to begin walking with God, because
each day every step counts. — David C. McCasland
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Knowing God will take a lifetime,
Walking with Him day by day,
Learning all we can about Him,
Loving Him in every way. —Sper
You are headed in the right direction when you walk with God.
Steady or Erratic - How
would you describe your spiritual life? Is it marked by steady growth
as you walk in fellowship with Jesus and learn from Him each day? Or
is it an up-and-down kind of roller-coaster ride with times of
intensity followed by seasons of indifference?
Too many people are "religious only by fits and starts," remarked the
noted American pastor Jonathan Edwards. Used by God to spearhead a
powerful revival in colonial New England, Edwards said churchgoers are
"like the waters in the time of a shower of rain, which during the
shower, and a little after, run like a brook and flow abundantly, but
they are presently quite dry, and when another shower comes, then they
will flow again. Whereas a true saint is like a stream from a living
spring which, though it may be greatly increased by a shower of rain
and diminished in time of drought, yet constantly runs."
If someone were to monitor our lives, would our discipleship be
characterized as "fits and starts" or like "a stream from a living
spring"? Could we say that we, like Enoch, "walked with God"? (Gen.
If our discipleship has been like a roller coaster, let's prayerfully
begin a steady walk with our Lord. — Vernon C. Grounds
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Dear Jesus, take my heart and hand,
And grant me this, I pray,
That I through Your sweet love may grow
More like You day by day. --Garrison
Discipleship demands discipline