Walking With God
Just in case you were not with us last week, I’m very excited about this new year. In 2019 we are going to journey all the way through the Bible together. Today we will be in Genesis chapters five and six if you want to be turning there in your Bibles to Genesis 5.
We started in Genesis last week and we covered chapters 1 through 3. Now we obviously are not going to be able to cover every chapter of the Scriptures together this year, we are not even going to be able to cover every book, but we will journey from the beginning to the end and cover the major themes and points. Last week we talked about the creation and the fall. God created everything in six days, the pinnacle of his creation was people, men and women, whom are both made in the image of God and therefore have inherent and immense dignity and worth from the moment of conception to the moment of death. All people have equal value as image bearers of God and should be cared for, protected, and cherished, regardless of age, gender, race, socio-economic status, intellectual capacity, perceived quality of life, or whether they are living inside or outside of their mother’s womb. All people are knitted together by God, for God, and in the image of God. (Ps 139:13; Col 1:16; 1Co 8:6; Gn 1:27)
We also talked about the fall and how Satan has always tried to question, distort, and outright oppose God’s word. And that When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus stood up to all of Satan’s temptations by correctly quoting God’s word that Jesus and stored in his heart. If we want to be able to recognize Satan’s schemes and be able to stand against the devil, we too must study, meditate on, memorize, and know God’s word, and the only way to do that is to study it and meditate on it every day for the rest of our lives. No one’s speech is more valuable than God’s. No one words are as important to know and listen to than God’s. I would trade all the wisdom of all of the wisest people in the world for this book right here, the Word of God. If you are not reading God’s word everyday, if you have never read all of God’s word in your life, I am pleading with you to start today. You can get caught up on the F-260 reading plan that my discipleship group is going through this year and you can follow along with us. I will have some reading plans printed off in the foyer if you want one or there are several other ways you can follow the plan that you can ask me about. There are a couple apps, there are bibles, books, and downloads in which you can follow along. There are 5 readings a week so you have two days to catch up and only 1 or 2 chapters a day, very rarely are there three chapters but when there are they are not all long. Your eternity is at stake. Don’t stake your eternal soul on what some preacher said, or what your parents said, or what any human being says. Read what God has said for yourself.
I don’t think people think about their eternities near enough. If you knew your eternal soul was on the line and a Hindu guru came in and started telling you that in order to realize the supreme godhead you must surrender yourself before the guru and become his disciple, and you must affirm all religious beliefs as a person’s own path to God and you must not disagree with anyone’s journey to nirvana. Or if a muslim Imam or Allamah came in and said that in order to go to heaven you must denounce all other religious beliefs and you must denounce your faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and you must revere Muhammed as the holy prophet and the Koran as God’s holy text, would you do it? If I stand up here and say that as long as you believe that Jesus died for your sins and you try to be a good person then you will go to heaven when you die, would you take my word for it? I hope not, I hope you wouldn’t take anyone’s advice that I just gave because none of them are true and none of those paths, if you decided to take them, would end with you walking through the narrow gate into eternal life with Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus said unless you are born again you will not enter the kingdom of God. You must be born again, or from above, it’s a non-negotiable.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
Jesus said most people will end up going to hell and only a few people will stay on the difficult road that ends at the narrow gate that leads to eternal life. So the question is, how can you be sure that you are going to enter through that narrow gate? Can you be sure? Well, first off, the Scriptures say that you should examine yourselves to make sure that you are in the faith and that Christ lives in you.
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test.
And secondly, you can know. John wrote:
13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
So that you may what? So that you may know that you have eternal life. Have is present tense. So that you may know that you currently have and always will have eternal life. Yes you can be sure.
And we are going to come back to this but first we need to get to today’s passage. Today we are obviously talking about Salvation.
Genesis chapter 5. The F-260 plan actually skips chapter 5 because it is just a genealogical list. But on that rare occasion there is something thrown into those genealogies that is really important and this just happens to be one of those cases. In Genesis chapter 5 we are given the genealogy from Adam down to Noah and it reads pretty straight forward.
Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born and he was 930 when he died. Seth was 105 years old when he had Enosh and he was 912 when he died. Enosh was 90 when he had Kenan and he was 905 when he died. Kenan was 70 when he had Mahalalel and he was 910 when he died. Mahalalel was 65 when he had Jared and he was 895 when he died. Jared was 162 when he had Enoch and he was 962 when he died. Enoch was 65 when he had Methuselah and Enoch never died. Methuselah was 187 when he had Lamech and he was 969 when he died. Lamech was 182 when he had Noah and he was 777 when he died.
Did anything stand out to you? Yeah what happened to Enoch? Well, God told us, let’s look at it.
21 Enoch was 65 years old when he fathered Methuselah. 22 And after he fathered Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 23 So Enoch’s life lasted 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was not there because God took him.
But before we stop here for too long let’s look at the very next chapter.
5 When the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, 6 the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. 7 Then the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.” 8 Noah, however, found favor with the Lord. 9 These are the family records of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God.
Here again, just a few sentences later we see that Noah also walked with God. This is no coincidence. If you search the entire Bible for the phrase walked with God, you will come up with very very few verses. Literally the phrase “walked with God” appears three times in the CSB. Gn 5:22; 5:24; and Gn 6:9. So what’s the connection? Enoch walked with God and he was saved from death right? Noah walked with God and he was saved from death. The Scriptures say that Noah found favor with the LORD. So God chose Noah to save of all the people on earth.
There are two things we need to take from this. The first is about being saved from death, which is what we are talking about so I’ll come right back to that, the other is this. The Scripture said that Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries. So of all the people on earth, Noah was as good as it gets. God gave Adam and Eve a chance to live with Him in the garden and not mess things up but they did. God does a do-over with Noah, he wipes out everyone on the earth except Noah and his family and starts over with the most righteous blameless man on the planet. If anybody was going to get it right, it should be the best of the best right? The first thing we read about Noah when he gets off the ark is that he makes sacrifices to God, which is exactly what he should have done. Thank you God that you chose us to save of all the people on earth. The second thing we read about Noah is he gets drunk and exposes himself in his tent. When Noah got off the ark, God tells us that he is making a covenant with us that he will never again destroy the earth again by a flood and he places a rainbow in the sky as a sign, but listen to what he says:
21 When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, he said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of human beings, even though the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth onward. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done.
Do you see that? Have you ever been told to just follow your heart? This is why you don’t do that. Because the human heart is inclined toward evil, which is why your heart will lead you into bad situations with other people whose hearts led them into bad situations because our hearts are deceitful.
9 The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?
So Adam had a clean slate and he messed everything up, then Noah, the most righteous and blameless person on earth had a clean slate and he messed everything up so we need to keep at the forefront of our minds all the time that if we had been given a clean slate we would have messed it up too. We must always remember that our hearts are inclined toward evil so we need God to give us a new heart, a heart of flesh and not of stone.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
We must store God’s word in our hearts so that we will not sin against God and pray that he will keep us humble and always recognize that no matter how sinful I believe anyone is, I am always just one step away from messing it all up myself.
So put yourself in that time. Let’s pretend that you are Noah’s great great great great grandson/daughter. And you are being told about how Enoch walked with God and then was saved from death and so you immediately say, I want that! I want to be saved. How can I be saved from death. And not just death, but God took him, meaning he took him to be with Him, in heaven. So there is an afterlife, and we can go there. So How do I get there? The only description that we were given, the only roadmap God gave was that he walked with God. What does that sound like to you? It sounds like a relationship doesn’t it? And then just a few verses later we are told that Noah, who was also saved by God, walked with God, and we are given a few more clues. God describes Noah’s walk with Him as a righteous and blameless walk. So now we are getting somewhere. This is what their relationship looked like. And this is what it must look like, otherwise what kind of relationship would it be? Now was it the righteous blameless living that earned Noah his place to be saved by God? No, Gn 6:8 said
8 Noah, however, found favor with the Lord.
Noah found favor with God. He didn’t earn it, God chose to save him because he loved him. He loved him because they had such a close relationship. God showed favor to Noah, Noah did not work his way to that place, he walked his way to God’s side. They walked together, in a loving relationship together. So how can we be saved, by walking with God through Faith. So let’s get back to what Jesus said earlier when he told us what we must do to be saved.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. 15 “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’ 24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.”
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
8 But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.