Monday, March 16, 2015

Noah, By Faith


It’s a children’s story and often a children’s toy, as caught in this graphic from Germany. We all know how the animals went two by two into the ark that Noah built.

But that wasn’t Scott Matthew’s sermon Sunday morning. Oh, yes – we don’t just get uplifting gospel music through the Rochester family. We also get biblical preaching. Yesterday we started in Genesis 6. The first verses describe the sinfulness of the earth, but God found righteousness, too, as he did in Noah’s great-grandfather, Enoch:

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:8-9 KJV)

Noah is mentioned in nine books of the Bible, but Scott sent us to one verse in Hebrews for the message:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7 KJV)

That’s the chapter I quote often, the chapter that gives us living examples of faith. Many of those lived in times where it appeared there was more evil than good. There were times when God was forgotten or ignored – expect for a faithful few. Or, one.

Scott pointed out five things about Noah from that one verse in Hebrews. Each thing is something we can do in our own lives and each thing was done for one reason:  the saving of his house. Not the building that shelters, but family. His loved ones, just as we love ours, and should follow his example. Here’s what Noah did to save his loved ones:

1 – He believed the words of God. By faith Noah, being warned of God . . . we can do exactly that same thing. By faith. Take a look at Hebrews 11:6, since you are right there. Faith is rewarded.

2 – Noah was moved by fear. The Preacher understood this and wrote Ecclesiastes 12:13. It’s not the same fear that first comes to mind. Check out Strongs G2125, εὐλαβέομαι, where we first act cautiously, being aware or reverencing standing in awe. That’s the fear that moved Noah, and should move us.

3 – He prepared an ark. He set out to do what God told him to do. Stepped out in faith in response to God’s word telling him what to do. That not only bears repeating, but should be our goal, too. Check that out in James 1:22 or Romans 2:13. If God’s word tells us the same thing twice (and many more along this same theme) it is important to apply in our own lives, don’t you think?

4 – He condemned the world. Not each person individually, not judged a person by his own standards. He did not join in on what the world was doing and accepted the truth of God’s judgment upon the sinfulness of the world’s action. That remains true as shown in John 3:17-18. We each have condemned ourselves, and God has shown each how to be saved.

5 – Noah became an heir, by faith, just as we are able:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)

Scott Matthew’s sermon was much richer with descriptions and examples and many scriptures. This is but a short highlight – yet it carries the same message we've heard from the beginning of time, that through faith in God’s grace we are His heirs. Fearfully awesome, isn’t it?

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