THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 6-10-12

LESSON TITLE: “BY FAITH NOAH…”



WELCOME

“For our citizenship is in Heaven!” Good morning and thanks for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. We are excited to have you with us for this time of offering and encouragement, as we participate in the things of God. We are glad that you have joined us for this worship to our Savior.

Our commitment this morning is to give glory to the Creator through the singing of songs of praise and through the study of His Word. I hope and pray that each of us will do our part to make this service acceptable in His sight. Now will you bow with me in prayer.

(Prayer)

This morning we want to begin our songs of praise by singing a hymn which reminds us that we have a very real and true redeemer. So, at this time, won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing together, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

What a beautiful song. We just sang together, “I know, I Know that my redeemer lives. How blessed we are to have a Redeemer like Jesus who loves us enough to offer us such wondrous blessings and promises. On the other hand, how privileged we are to live lives that show God just how much we love Him through our service.

In the Bible we have many writers that teach of our opportunity to obey God. However, of all the Bible writers, Paul gives us some of the clearest thoughts along these lines. Remember what he said in Romans 12:1,2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We are commanded to be a living sacrifice. Not like this world but different - thus striving to be Christ-like!

I also love what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1. There we read, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” You see, we have it right when are doing that which exemplifies Christ.

Now the only problem is, we must realize that no one ever said it would be easy, in the Bible! In fact, we find quite the opposite in God’s Word. James said, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” chapter 1 and verse 2 of his book! Notice here that he doesn’t say, “If you suffer trials,” he said, “when you suffer them!” When we are living for Christ and doing that which is according to His will, it is not a question of “if,” but of “when,” we will suffer!

Notice what Paul further said in 2 Timothy 3:12. There we read, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Again confirming that those who follow God and do it right, will suffer in this life!

Think of all those in the Bible who suffered when doing God’s Will. Often they were beaten, imprisoned, laughed at, spit on, and humiliated! However, they all stood strong and did it for the sake of Christ.

But you might ask, “How can we be happy about this or rejoice in suffering?” That’s a good question! The answer is - when we suffer for the sake of Christ we will be blessed by Him. And ultimately we will receive the crown of life if we have been proven faithful to the end! Read with me 1 Peter 3:14, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed.” Those who are obedient to Christ will be blessed.

Finally, hear God’s Word in James 1:12. There he says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” If you really love God, “keep His commands.” And although we know we will suffer for His sake, remember that all will be worth it when He gives us our final reward.

This morning, we will continue our series on Faith!” Our specific topic today is entitled, “By Faith Noah....” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn is, “I Need Thee Every Hour!”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

Thank you so much for continuing with us this morning as we now go to God’s word and consider another exciting lesson in our series concerning faith. As you know by now we have been covering together the great faith chapter and up to this point have finished six verses in the text looking at not only the idea of what faith is but also at the idea that it is by faith that we believe the worlds have been created. As well so far we have looked at the great faith of men like Abel and also men like Enoch. And so in relationship to all of these things we then also consider verse 6, which is also the theme for our series, that without faith it is impossible to please God. But then in verse 7 we continue today, as we look to the great faith chapter who is yet another man of faith? Someone who proved himself to God and then let’s understand why and how he did that and furthermore what it meant when it said, “By faith Noah…” That’s what verse 7 begins with.

So who is this character Noah? Unlike last week, Enoch who might not be as familiar as some of our other Bible characters here in the great chapter of faith, Noah is a very familiar Bible character. The reason is, is because we always think of Noah being the man certainly who built the ark and who was there on that ark and was saved by God. Why? Because he was a righteous man and was someone who had proven his faith in God. But let’s go back to Genesis 6 and see what it was about Noah that really made him unique. The first things we begin to learn there early on in the chapter is that Noah lived in a wicked generation. In fact the generation was so wicked that men, the sons of God, had begun to marry the sons of men or those of the world. And because of that in verse 5 we learn that, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” But you know what? There is a word there that is important not just some of the intents and thoughts of their hearts but it says every, every intent of the thoughts of their hearts. So that means they were wicked through and through. Who was wicked? Well, according to the story only eight souls were saved so that tells us everyone in existence in the days of Noah except Noah and his sons and their wives, which makes eight, all of humanity was destroyed. Why? They had chosen wickedness; they had chosen to live ungodly. And therefore in verse 6 it says God was grieved in his heart. However, he did not hold it against all of his creation thus faithful men such as Noah and his family and then also those animals, or at least the representation of those animals that would continue to populate the earth after the flood. All of these things were in the mind of God when he actually commands Noah to do something and we will look at that in just a moment.

But the first thing we learn about Noah is that he must have been righteous because verse 8 says that out of all of this situation that, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Well, you and I have talked about grace before. We know that grace is the favor of God, an underserved favor, and so as God looked at the wickedness of the Earth through his eyes he saw that Noah was righteous and therefore he had offered favor towards Noah. He wasn’t going to destroy Noah because Noah was someone who was different. Why did he find Grace in the eyes of God? Why was he different and how was he different? Well, look with me there in verse 9, it says, “This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Wow, what a statement! Imagine if God through the Holy Spirit would say such about you. Imagine if you were said by God to be someone who was just, a just man. Someone who was right in his decisions, who discerned well, whether it be in evil things and staying away from evil things or whether it be in good, wholesome, or even righteous things, and someone who was just in his dealings with God and just in his dealings with the world. But not only that but is says that Noah also was perfect in his generation; it says that he was complete. The concept of perfection there is that he was complete in his relationship again with God and his willingness to obey God as well as complete when he dealt with those of his generation. The final idea that is found there as well in verse 9 is that he walked with God. Now certainly that is an equally beautiful statement. A statement that we talked about in detail there last week as brother Brent led us, you might remember that is was also Enoch who walked with God. It is kind of interesting I believe the great-great grandfather or great-great-great grandfather one or the other of Noah was a man who also walked with God. He was somebody who walked alongside and what that means is that he obeyed, he was complete before God, he was just before God, he was someone who God could walk with. Which means that they were having things in common, they were unified, and they were in fellowship, they had a communion together. Well, if we have a communion with God and a fellowship with God and we are walking with God it is not because God has come over to our side, it’s because we are obedient to God. So he was a just man, he was perfect alone in his generation, and he walked with God.

Then as we continue on into the story, and because of time certainly we can’t cover all of it, but as we are to look on into the story do you remember what it was that he told Noah there in verse 13, “I will destroy them with the earth…”? It was the wickedness of man. But then in verse 14, he says, “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood…” If we go back to the discussion of the things that took place in this day and where these areas were throughout the middle-east most likely Noah began to build this ship in the middle of a desert or at least in a desert near water that would certainly either would not support it or where it was not even sufficiently needed. So Noah begins to build a ship that is going to hold not only his family but animals and people begin to what? They begin to mock him, make fun of him, scoff at him, ridicule him, proclaim that he has lost his mind, and that he is crazy. And so Noah and his sons endure great affliction at the hands of man until the day the flood begins. That’s no doubt the day where they are beginning to call out to open the door of the ark, or to “Let us in!”, or to “Save us as well?” But then, as you and I know, it was too late.

So now as we go back into our main text in Hebrews 11:7, where it says, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen…” It says here that Noah was warned by God of something that was coming, something that was not seen. I believe what he is going on to indicate here, as far as what not is seen, is that fact that there was going to be even sufficient rain or rain at all that would come upon the earth. It seems up to this time according to what we learn in the book of Genesis that God, as was said in the garden, watered the earth with a mist or a dew in the mornings. And really it does not seem the case until it began to rain according to this curse there in the days of Noah that they have ever seen rain at all. So how interesting that it actually says here, “…warned of things not seen…” things that had not yet happened, and perhaps even things that they had never even really known of. So you can imagine the amazement when the large water drops began to come from the sky and to hit the earth. At first it might have been exciting but no doubt as they kept coming, and as well the earth begins to gush up water, and all the other things begin to happen that fear would have come upon the world as they saw the power of God. Not only thought did God warn him because he was faithful, perfect, and just in his generation, a righteous man, one that we know was divinely warned because God had extended favor and grace to him. But then it says he moved with Godly fear, prepared an ark, and he prepared the ark with the saving of his souls by which he condemned the world and became heir. He became an heir, an heir of God, an heir of those things of God such as righteousness.

But we won’t stop there because what he actually is adding here is the idea that Noah by faith what? Well, not by faith he was divinely warned that’s not what Noah did. It says he was divinely warned and then it says he was one who was told by God to prepare an ark but what did he do? By faith, look at your English there, by faith Noah prepared an ark. Well, how do we know that for sure? One of the things that really stand out about Noah being a man that walked with God, if we go back to Genesis 6:22, it says that, “Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” Not leaving a thing out, so he did exactly what God had commanded him. Chapter 7 says it again, Genesis 7:5, “And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.” So Noah was righteous because he was obedient. By faith Noah prepared an ark. Why did he do it? God told him, as we read back there in the text, Noah make an ark. He obeyed his God, he was obedient by faith and unto faith and therefore he was saved by God with his family, his three sons, and their three wives, and Noah and his wife making eight. Ultimately, as we even read here in the text, he became an heir of righteousness. But do you know why? It says an heir of the righteousness which is according too faith, and there is that word again. Faith leads us to the desire to be righteous as God is righteous.

You know what, Noah loved souls though. He loved souls because God had told him to love souls and also had told him to preach. I love the way there that it is described to us in the book of 2Peter. If you turn over there to 2Peter 2:5, do you know what it says about this man Noah? It says, “and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness…” What was Noah? A preacher of righteousness. What a great statement about a man, not only that he was righteous but that he was just enough not only to want to be stingy with that righteousness but to preach and to share it with others. He wanted the world to be saved; God wanted the men to repent in the days of Noah. But guess what? They would not hear him and furthermore they would not repent. Some say, “Well, is the story of Noah even a true story?” Well, Jesus thought so. In the book of Matthew 24:37, he makes the comparison there to his days as in the days of Noah when the waters came upon the earth, the worldwide flood, the flood that came on the earth that destroyed all of the earth and yet Noah was saved there through the ark by water.

The final thing I would like to remind you of this morning that I think ties in well with the story of Noah is found in 1Peter 3:20. And as he is describing to us there how that Noah again, being warned does these things, obediently follows God, it says there, “…Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” But then verse 21 says, “There is also an antitype which now saves us…” and guess what that is? Baptism. One of the beautiful things about the story of Noah is that today we share in an act before God by faith, which is called baptism. That just like Noah was prepared to build the ark and get in it and float in the water, we also are willing to enter the water to obey our God. Have you been baptized to obey your God? Are you like Noah as one who has faith, righteousness, who is just and willing to walk with God every day of your life?

(SONG # 3 - “I Know Whom I Have Believed!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.

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Thanks be to God for His wonderful servant Noah. What an example he is to each of us, as we strive to be perfect in this generation. Are you a faithful servant of God in all things?

(Program closing)