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EPHESIANS 3:8




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May 21, 2016
Passage: Hebrews 11:5-6

A Good Testimony

From a youth I have heard, “We must be careful to maintain a good testimony.” Usually, Enoch is used as the example to enforce the exhortation, because “before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” But the fact is our Lord Jesus Christ tells us plainly, and we are instructed throughout the Word of God, never to do things to be seen of men, approved of men, or applauded by men. The whole religious world promotes Pharisaism; and we all naturally love it; but it is horribly evil.

Blamelessly

Let us ever seek to live blamelessly before men, so that God’s enemies are never given occasion to blaspheme by our behavior. I want to live in a way that honors God. I want to honor my Savior in the words I speak and the things I do, as well as in my heart and mind. I purposefully avoid the use of profane language, seek always to dress with dignity, and behave as a gentleman. I seek to live honestly and behave uprightly. I do so because it is right, because I want to honor my God in all things. I want never to bring shame upon the church of God, bring shame upon the gospel of Christ, or bring shame upon my family. Every child of God ought to do these things. Every man ought to seek to leave a good name and a good example for his family.

My Testimony

Men and women, seeing such things in me, might say “He has a good testimony,” mistaking morality for godliness. But that is not my testimony. My testimony is the testimony of God in my heart, declaring me righteous in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as he did Enoch.

Enoch walked with God by faith. It is faith in Christ that pleases God (JOHN 6:28-29). And it is faith in Christ that receives testimony from God that like Christ himself, because we are in him, the Father says of us – “I am well-pleased.”

Like Enoch, God’s people in this world please him, satisfy him, and are accepted by him, only by faith in Christ. Enoch did not please God by his own works of obedience, but by faith in Christ. — “Without faith it is impossible to please him.” Every true believer pleases God, just like Enoch did.

Like Enoch, all who trust Christ, being partakers of the first resurrection, the new birth (Revelation 20:6), shall “not see death.” Then, on that great Day of Judgment, it shall be declared that we please God, perfectly, completely, without flaw, because we have fully obeyed him and satisfied him in the obedience and death of Christ, our Substitute (REVELATION 21:27; EPHESIANS 5:25-27).

Not Preaching

The papist, Francis of Assisi, once said, “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” Sadly, multitudes think that is good counsel. It is not. We cannot preach the gospel by the way we live, because fallen man thinks good works and righteousness are synonyms. We can only preach the gospel by speaking to others the Word of God.

Enoch’s Testimony

“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.” (HEBREWS 11:5)

Because Enoch walked with God by faith, he pleased God. Nothing pleases God except his Son, the only way you and I can come to God and please him is by faith in his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (JOHN 14:6). It is the merit of Christ that makes our worship of and service to God acceptable and pleasing in his sight (1 PETER 2:4-5).

By Faith

Learn this and you will learn something that will help you immensely. — The highest form of sanctification is exactly the same as the earliest beginnings of salvation. It is believing God. To grow in grace is to grow in faith. The strongest believer lives exactly as the weakest babe in Christ — by faith! We stand before God by faith. We grow strong in grace only as we know ourselves to be weak and lay hold of Christ’s strength. Having begun in the Spirit, we are not then made perfect by the works of the flesh. We do not begin and go a certain distance toward heaven by faith in Christ, and then finish our course, making up the difference by the works of the law. Salvation is by grace alone. Our standing before God is by grace alone. To walk with God and please him is to continue as we began, by faith (Read COLOSSIANS 2:6-7). The believer’s life is a life of faith. The Lord Jesus Christ alone is our acceptance with God. We are “accepted in the beloved.” Apart from Christ there is no acceptance with God!

God’s Testimony

I stress this point because it needs stressing. Enoch walked with God by faith. He pleased God by believing God, by trusting Christ. We are sometimes tempted to strive after some imaginary “higher ground,” or “deeper life,” by looking to our feelings, our experiences, or works. That is all wrong. We are to look to Christ alone. Any religion, any doctrine, any sermon that leaves you looking to yourself, that turns your eyes away from Christ, is not of God. To walk with God is to look away from yourself, your works, your feelings, your church, and look to Christ. Do not even look to the image of Christ created in you by the Holy Spirit in regeneration. Look to Jesus Christ alone!

Enoch’s good testimony was God’s testimony to Enoch. It was the testimony God gives to believing sinners by the application of Christ’s blood to our hearts, purging our consciences of sin, dead works, and guilt (HEBREWS 9:13-14), convincing us of sin put away, righteousness accomplished, and judgment finished (JOHN 16:7-11). It is not a good testimony before men, but a good testimony from God to us, assuring us of our acceptance with him in Christ, a testimony received by faith when “the love of God (is) shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (ROMANS 5:5), causing the saved sinner to “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (ROMANS 5:11).


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