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By J. M. Pendleton

Walking with God

And Enoch walked with God. - Genesis v:24.

      Among the remarkable men who lived in the patriarchal age, no one was more distinguished for piety than Enoch. He was the seventh from Adam, and prophesied that the Lord would come with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment on the ungodly. He "walked with God," - lived to his glory - served him faithfully - promoted the cause of righteousness shone as a star of the first magnitude in the patriarchal heavens - and instead of falling a victim to death, as did his fellows, was translated that he should not see death. Blessed exemption from the agonies of dissolution! Blessed arrest of the decree, - "to dust shalt thou return!" Hail Enoch and Elijah! favored above all others of the sons of men.

      "And Enoch walked with God and was not, for God took him."

      I. What is Implied in Walking with God?

      In answer to this question, I remark?
      1. That walking with God, implies reconciliation with him. - "How can two walk together," said one of the prophets, "except they be agreed."

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      The question intimates the impossibility of the thing. There must be agreement. Man, however, in his unregenerate state is unreconciled to God and alienated from him. There is no spiritual congeniality. "The carnal mind is enmity against God." The two parties, God and man, are at variance. Before there can be reconciliation, there must be a change in one or both of the parties. But God is immutable, and, therefore, the change, if it takes place at all, must occur in man. Before the sinner can be reconciled to God, he must see that God is in the right, and he in the wrong. He ought not to be reconciled to God unless the divine proceedings are right. But among the things that the Lord does, is included the sinner's condemnation. The sinner must see the justice of this condemnation, or he will murmur and rebel. In the process of repentance, there is a cordial acquiescence in the fact that God is in the right. Hence the repenting sinner justifies God, vindicates the divine government, and condemns himself. He sees that the law which he has violated is "holy, just, and good." And in order to reconciliation with God, there must be, on the part of the repenting soul, a hearty acquiescence in the plan of salvation through Christ. This plan was faintly shadowed forth in patriarchal sacrifices, through which Enoch, no doubt, had cheering glimpses of its glory. It is the essence of reconciliation to God, to accede to the proposal he makes to sinners through the death of his Son. While
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this proposal is rejected, there is, there can be, no reconciliation. It is at the cross alone that God and man can enter into a covenant of sacred and perpetual friendship. Man, so far from "walking with God" before he is brought near to him by the blood of the cross, is an alien from him. lie is estranged in his affections, hut when reconciliation takes place, he begins at once to walk with God.

      2. It implies love to God. - Those who do not love God, instead of walking with him, get at a moral distance from him, and even say to the Almighty, "depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." They depart from God, and wish him to depart from them. Those who love God feel and act very differently. They desire to enjoy spiritual nearness to him - such nearness as will enable them to walk with him. Their love originates this desire, and hencewalking with God implies love for him. Those who walk together are not only agreed, but they ordinarily love one another. Those who, like Enoch, walk with God, love him.

      3. It implies intimacy and communion with him. - Those who walk together are generally on terms of intimacy. There is a delightful spiritual intimacy between God and those who walk with him. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." From the intimacy referred to results the communion. There is fellowship with God. There is such a state of spirituality as keeps the soul in communion with him. How strong and

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how richly significant the language of the beloved disciple - "He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him." What intimacy! What communion! We are taught that Jesus manifests himself to his disciples - not to the world. There is something in experimental piety of which the world knows nothing. There is a joy in it with which no stranger intermeddles. Those who walk with God, hold intercourse with him in meditation, in prayer, in the services of the sanctuary, etc.

      4. It implies a recognition of the fact that God's eye is upon us. - Those who walk with us can see us. God is ever looking ou us. Moses "endured as seeing him who is invisible." He acted just as he would have done if God had been visible. When we walk with God we consider him "a God at hand and not a God afar off." We are conscious of his presence. David says, "I have set the Lord always before me." A practical recognition of the fact that God's eye is upon us, would conduce greatly to our spiritual welfare. To set the Lord before our face would preserve us from many an evil.

      5. It implies that we walk in the pathway of holiiness. - God is holy, and those who walk with him must walk in the paths of righteousness. They must be practical Christians. The line of duty leads us to walk with God. He desires that we, in performing the duties which he prescribes, shall be brought into proximity with himself, so as to walk with him. To walk with God we must be holy; for what fellowship has righteousness

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with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? He who requires us to walk with him says from the highest heavens, "Be ye holy, for I am holy."

      II. The Advantages of Walking With God.

     "What are they?
      1. A growing conformity to the Divine image. - Those who walk together, being on terms of intimacy, become assimilated in views, feelings and habits. Their intimacy induces congeniality. No man can walk with God without becoming in some degree conformed to his image. The Divine character is the standard and the perfection of moral excellence. How desirable to be daily approximating that standard! This is true of those who daily walk with God. They become more and more like him. They are living illustrations of the sublime object Christianity proposes to accomplish to make man like God - to re-impress the divine image on the soul.

      2. Worldly objects sink into their proper insignificance. - When we are morally remote from God, the things of the world assume an importance and magnitude to which they are not entitled. But how little do worldly things appear to those who walk with God! They are crucified to the world. They live above it. They breathe a heavenly atmosphere. Their affections are enshrined in things celestial.

"They tread the world beneath their feet,
And all that earth calls good or great."

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      3. Security in life and death. - "When we walk with God he makes us the objects of his special care. He sustains us by his grace, and protects us by his power through our earthly pilgrimage. He cheers us in prosperity, and makes us joyful in adversity. He causes all things to work together for our good. In death his presence will be with us, and the light of his countenance will dissipate the gloom of the grave. In that solemn hour he will say, "Fear not; I am with you: be not dismayed; I am your God."

      4. Admittance into heaven. - All who walk with God on earth shall surround his throne in heaven. Enoch, who walked with him here, he took to walk with him

"High in salvation and the climes of bliss."

      He will finally imparadise all his people in his immediate presence. They will enter into "fullness of joy," and dwell at his right hand evermore.

      1. It is a great honor to walk with God. There should be a suitable appreciation of this honor.

      2. Aim, Christians, at the elevated piety implied in walking with God.

      3. Those who do not walk with God here will not dwell with him in heaven.


[From J. M. Pendleton, Short Sermons on Important Subjects, 1859. This book is from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Library, Wake Forest, NC via ILL through Boone County Public Library, Burlington, KY. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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