Beautiful Faith (Genesis 7 & 8)

PLAY AUDIO: Beautiful Faith_Genesis 7 and 8_June 12 2011

MOTIVATE

Last week we started Genesis 5-6, introducing the character Noah. I said last week that we were just going to look at God’s warning of the flood and that the following week we would “get into the ark”. In other words meaning, “discuss Noah’s building of and time in the ark”. However, I’m told that there was one young listener who actually thought that this week we would “get into the ark” J.

EXAMINE                             Beautiful Faith        Genesis 7-8

The story of Noah in the Bible is not a simple kid’s story. Honestly, it is shocking. God sends a flood to judge and destroy the world. Villages and towns are demolished, homes are destroyed, animals are extinguished, landscape is changed and most shockingly, people are killed. When this sort of thing happens in modern day it is viewed as a tragedy. People are moved to heartache and grief at the devastation and loss of life. We turn off the news because it brings too much sadness and we wonder what and how much to explain to our children. Simply put, Genesis 6-9 is not heart-warming to read – unless you are a person of faith. Only then can you look back and even forward with hope.

These passages warn us that God views sin seriously. It is atrocious to Him and must be judged. Likewise, our sin pains Him because He seeks our blessing and good (Gen 6:6; 8:21). Therefore, God does provide mercy and salvation by grace through faith.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

Why did God save Noah and family?

Noah’s faith was a real relationship (7:1-4; 6:9).

As you read through the Bible you see individuals whom we often write off as either fictional characters in an old book or as lofty ideals. Yet, reading Genesis reminds us neither is true – this is real history with real people who have a real faith in a real God.

In two weeks, our church is going to have a classic car show.

–          Imagine one of the owners of a really sweet car offered to actually let you sit in the car.

  • At that point would you be the new owner of the car?

–          Imagine they then allowed you to take a test drive in the car.

  • At that point would you be the owner of the car?

–          Imagine they then allowed you to come and look at it anytime you wanted.

  • At that point would you be the owner of the car?

–          Imagine they then allowed you to drive it anytime when you needed to show off to your friends.

  • At that point would you be the owner of the car?

–          Imagine you made an offer to purchase the car and they accepted?

  • At that point would you be the owner of the car?

 

You see, many of you treat your faith relationship with God in a similar way. You look at God and say, “Oh, I could never believe in Him.” Then after some time and circumstance you catch a break and assume it’s from above, so you go to church to say a few prayers, drop a little money in the plate and figure you’re all even. Every now and then some of you return and even a few others even attend every week but you still lack the ownership of a real faith relationship in God.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

ð       Faith implies Following; Are you following God in a relationship and not as a religion?

ð       Faith implies Fellowship; Are you in fellowship not just with God but His Church? [Meaningful Membership]

Noah’s faith was sacrificially obedient (7:5 – 8:19).

God warned of His coming judgment while giving mercy to Noah and his family. God protected Noah by instructing him to make an ark to survive the flood. Noah’s faith in God was put into action by being fully obedient. This phrase is repeated 4x in 6:22; 7:5; 7:9; 7:16. His faith was not partial or delayed but immediate and complete.
Noah had faith that it would rain when it never had done so. So he takes notes, begins to build and after 100 years:

–          Builds an ark that is over 500’ L x 75’ W x 45’ H (over a football field long)

  • Tradition (not scripture) says it took 100 years bc he had to grow trees
  • Took group professionals to build Titanic and sank; only 1 godly family built ark

–          Gathered between 16K – 75K animals (Baltimore& DC zoo have 2K)

–          Led family to worship God in midst of a wicked, evil generation.

  • Likely lost friends and extended family members

Our obedience to God is too often half-hearted. It’s not sacrificial but comfortable. We compare ourselves to others so we feel comfortable in our relationship with God. In reality, God’s standard of obedience is far greater – by faith in His Word. Even more, Noah’s faith was long and enduring through difficult circumstances. Ours is too often short-lived, especially when difficult challenges arise. In short, today’s believers need some tenacity (“not easily pulled apart; persistent in seeking something of value”).

Quote: Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace (116)

“My observation is that most of us who are believers practice what is called a ‘cruise-control’ approach to obedience. …we press the accelerator pedal of obedience until we have brought our behavior up to a certain level or ‘speed.’ The level of obedience is most often determined by the behavior standard of other Christians around us. We don’t want to lag behind them because we want to be as spiritual as they are. At the same time, we’re not eager to forge ahead of them because we wouldn’t want to be different. “

“By contrast consider race-car drivers. They wouldn’t think of using a cruise control. They are not interested in blending in with the speed of those around them. They are not out for a Sunday afternoon drive. They want to win the race.

Race-car drivers are totally focused on their driving. Their foot is always on the accelerator as they try to push their car to the outer limits of its mechanical ability and endurance. Their eye is always on the track as they press to its limit their own skill in negotiating the turns of the track and the hazards of other cars around them. They are driving with all their heart, soul, and mind.

ð       Who is God calling you to warn of a future judgment?

ð       Is your obedience in cruise control or like a race car?

Noah’s faith was thankful worship (8:20 – 22)

After one year and 10 days of the flood and receding waters, Noah and his family exited the ark. And when the door opens the first thing Noah does reveals his faith and priority. He builds an altar to sacrifice and worship the Lord God. Noah is recognizing God’s demand of a sacrifice to cover sin (Gen 3:21). The sacrifice pleased God enough to restore and reconcile creation and creature; so that judgment would be satisfied and mercy extended.

Today, we must realize that we are worse sinners than we ever thought. Our sin demands God’s just punishment. Likewise, because of the perfect, sacrificial obedience of Jesus, we are more love by God than we could have ever hoped, because of the gospel! This should cause us to lead ourselves and family to thankful worship.

SPBC’s mission is to Grow Godly Generations: multi-generational impact of a real faith, sacrificially obedient to God and in humble grace thankfully worshiping Him.

APPLY/THINK                     Trust & Obey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s