Hebrews 11: 5 By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
The great chapter on faith draws us into history by speaking of those who have lived by faith. With Enoch we learn of a man who walked so closely with God, so pleased God, that he was taken and didn’t experience death. At the conclusion of the affirmation of Enoch’s life we receive this bit of instruction which informs the way in which he lived. Faith lies at the core of pleasing God. We must believe in God and who he is and the result is the reward which Enoch received. Enoch is eternally walking with God and by faith, by believing in God we are also invited into that same eternal reward. Enoch was unafraid to declare that which he believed.
While Enoch was unafraid to declare that which he believed, sometimes I wonder whether we really know what it is that we believe. Could Christians really affirm their beliefs, if they had too, or are we so infused with ideas, thoughts or concepts from the world around us that we don’t really know what we think or believe.
Early in Christian history believers would take time to affirm in the lives of new believers, or of children being raised in the church, our creeds. Those were the “I believe” statements which became critical to faith. The Apostles Creed is one of those and it begins…
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
The great faith chapter challenges us to speak up for God, in whom we believe. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Living the Christian life in a time when the world around us is not all that receptive to putting our faith in things unseen is not easy. It never has been easy, and yet it’s the call of the Christ follower. We are to declare that which we believe and live into that faith. That kind of a life reaps its rewards, both now and eternally. I say now, not because we will have an easy life or we will have great material gain, but because those who have faith lead a different kind of life. This is one which is not encumbered by the long-term effects of sin. That itself, is a great reward.
What are you willing to declare today? Can we join in with the “I believe” statements of historical Christianity? When we build our lives on this foundation of faith then we will live lives pleasing to God.
Lord, I believe in you and want to serve you. Amen.
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