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#333 SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON #6 GENESIS 7-9
GOD'S SOVERIGN GRACE IN THE SALVATION OF A SOUL
We have spoken about Noah and the contrast between his walk with God and the walk of life of the ungodly men of his generation. In GEN 7:1-9, we see how God by His Spirit moved upon all flesh wherein was the breath of life to come into the ark at His command. The animals and beasts, insects, birds, and everything in nature, male and female, all came into the ark as the Lord drew them.
Now we will consider how this teaches us the sovereign grace of God in the salvation of a soul. Just as God moved upon the beasts and all the other creatures wherein there is the breath of life, in like manner, He moves with the Holy Spirit upon the heart and in the life of every vessel of mercy, whom He has chosen from all eternity. He brings them and works in them by grace, i.e., the divine influence upon the heart to will and do of His good pleasure, Cf. PHI 2:13. Each and every animal, clean or unclean, moved and willed to do His good pleasure. He brought them into the ark to save each species of His creation; He preserved them to replenish the earth after the flood.
Now we want to look at three considerations: first, what the flood teaches us about mans responsibility in the light of Gods long-suffering mercy; second, how Noahs walk of life was not only visible preaching of Christ formed in His church, but also teaching us how Christ is formed in the heart; third, how the ark teaches Gods sovereignty and eternal electing love in His plan of the salvation we have in Christ.
First, we see the teaching of Gods sovereignty and how He drew each creature into the ark. The ark was the place of safety; it was the place that saved them from the destruction that was coming upon the earth. What is mans responsibility in the light of Gods long suffering? Just because we believe in the election of grace does not mean we believe in fatalism. We still have the revealed will of God, and it is so important that we understand the distinction between His secret will and His revealed will. The hidden things are for God, and those that are revealed are for us and our children to the end that we might obey, Cf. DEU 29:29. Therefore, we are looking at how the flood teaches the responsibility of man as well as the long suffering of God.
What does the flood teach us? What can we learn from the flood? We can learn mans responsibility in the light of Gods long-suffering mercy. As God is bringing forth His warning, He is teaching us the destruction that lies before us if we do not repent. Yet, He is long suffering, and He has mercy on those who repent. See what we read in GEN 6:5-6, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
It grieved God that the imaginations and thoughts of the heart were evil continually. We must understand that God wants a heart religion. Not only was there violence in the actions, but there was also violence in the thoughts and intents of the heart. God is very grieved when we have an evil heart of unbelief, departing from the living God.
God might justly have destroyed all mankind from the face of the earth. Even Noah was after the image of fallen Adam. We need to understand that God could have justly destroyed even Noah. The entire human race would have been extinguished, and God could have justly withheld the promised Messiah. Why? The people sinned against knowledge. When man sins willfully, against knowledge (HEB 10:26), we quench the Spirit, and it is a horrible, grievous sin. HEB 10:28-29 says, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
ROM 3:10 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." Not one human being, including Noah, had righteousness that would have merited salvation. Even the righteousness of Enoch, whom God took without a passage through death, was not sufficient to purchase salvation. Only Christs blood could accomplish that, but the Lord is sorely grieved when our hearts are rebellious and we sin against knowledge.
Was there any repentance after God had revealed His decree to destroy the world with a flood? No. They only provoked Gods wrath; they had the knowledge of sin and knowledge of Gods wrath upon sin. When there is knowledge of a Redeemer to redeem us from sin, and yet there is no repentance, this is most provoking unto the Lord. We are told "that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." They not only provoked Gods wrath, but they also tried His long-suffering patience.
They provoked Gods wrath with their sin, but they tried His long-suffering when He sent the preacher of righteousness. He sent Enoch, who was a preacher of righteousness, and He sent Noah. They were sent to preach the way of salvation, calling the people to repentance, but these messengers of the Lord were rejected. A deaf ear was turned to all the callings of the Lord.
1PE 3:20 says, "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." While the ark was being prepared, there was the preaching of destruction. The people were being taught that destruction was coming as a result of their sin, but they continued to sin. They sinned willfully.
The word "long-suffering" implies that God had been very patient and merciful. In Genesis 5, we read about the generations of Enoch and Methuselah. The name "Methuselah" means that God had told Enoch the world would be destroyed when Methuselah died. When Methuselah was born, Enoch didnt know whether Methuselah would live one year, ten years, one hundred years, or a thousand years.
See how this teaches the urgency of repentance as we read in HEB 3:14-15, "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation." However, it also teaches the long-suffering of God. Enoch preached to that generation that the destruction of the world was at hand. When Methuselah died, the world would be destroyed. The world was destroyed the same year Methuselah died.
Yet the Lord allowed Methuselah to live 969 years, becoming the oldest man that ever lived. Do you see how long-suffering God was? When that generation filled the measure of iniquity, the destruction came. The Lord commanded even the beasts and the fowls of the air to come into the ark before the destruction of everything that had the breath of life.
The long-suffering implies that God had been very patient and merciful, but also that His mercy had been slighted. It is so grievous unto the Lord if we slight His warnings and His Word. We see the results in this generation. Look around you and see how bold people are in open sin today. The attitudes and actions reveal open rebellion against God in the face of imminent destruction.
What divine light did the men of Noahs generation have? How did they know the will of God? They had the testimony of their own conscience, just as you and I do today. ROM 2:14-15 says, "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."
The men of Noahs generation had the testimony in their conscience, revealing the will of God to them just as you and I do today. We dont always know exactly what the Word of God says, but if we follow our conscience, we will naturally do those things contained in the Word of God which are written in our hearts. HEB 8:10-11 says, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."
A wrong attitude will cause our conscience to rebuke us if it has not been seared with a hot iron. In the court of conscience, we try every action. Their own thoughts accused or excused them. Who were these people? They were those who had never received the law of God. They had a conscience that testified that what they were doing was wrong. That alone is enough to eternally condemn them. They sinned against their own conscience.
Would such knowledge of God make them responsible to obey God? Would that knowledge alone make them responsible to obey? Yes! We have record that they also had the gospel proclaimed unto them in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve were ever driven out.
GEN 3:15 says, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." This was the promise of the Messiah whom God promised would come to bruise the head of Satan. They had the message of the gospel.
We must bear in mind that only two life spans brought the world from the creation to the flood. We know Adam told his generation the gospel; this is evident from the offering of Abel who offered a lamb of his flock as a type of the offering of Christ. We also know Methuselah told his generation because Enoch, his father, was a preacher of righteousness. It was not as if many generations had passed, and the people did not hear the message.
We have the witness of God to see that there were only two life spans. Adam lived till Methuselahs birth, and Methuselah lived until the year of the flood. It cannot be said that anyone was without knowledge of the way of salvation. Therefore, they were responsible.
Noahs generation had the same undeniable evidence of God that this ungodly generation has. That generation wanted to proclaim there was no God, but they had the same evidence that you and I have in this generation. We find this evidence in ROM 1:19-20. "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." Those who desire to believe in evolution do so against clear evidence of the creation and their own conscience. In Gods handy work of creation alone, there is enough evidence that there is a God to leave them without excuse.
The people of Noahs generation had the pledge of Christs substitutionary death. In GEN 4:4 we read, "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering." The people had the gospel as well as the visible preaching of the gospel, which told them of the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is one other point to consider. God placed a mark upon Cain that remained a visible mark so that the people would not kill him. Those people had that mark to remind them of Gods displeasure upon sin.
That generation had the preaching of Enoch through whom God warned the world of the approaching flood. Enochs ministry spanned the time between the day of Methuselah and the day of the flood. In Jude, we read of another instance where God convinced the people of their sin. JUD 1:14-15 says, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam [even while Adam was yet alive], prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Notice the word "convince"; the Lord Jesus said He would send His Holy Spirit to "convince the world of sin." In the King James version of JOH 16:7-9 we read "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me." When you look the word "reprove" up in the original, it means "convince, or reprove." Now go back and read the verses from Jude to see that the people had the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to convince them of their sin, their ungodliness. They were convinced it was sin.
The long-suffering of God had been provoked, and isnt that what we see in this our day? This generation is provoking God with abortions, teaching sodomy, and even defying the existence of God. They are defying God. Jesus said that in the last days, it would be as in the days of Noah. The earth is filled with violence. Everything the Lord teaches in His Word about government and bringing up children in the fear and nurture of the Lord is defied and obstructed. However, in their own hearts, they know and are convinced they are wrong, but they overrule their own conscience. They do not love the truth. Therefore, Gods Word says in 2TH 2:11-12, " for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Returning to the people of Noahs day, they also had the preaching of Noah as we read in 2PE 2:5, "And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly." What does the word "ungodly" mean? Godliness is to love God with our heart, our soul and our mind, Cf. MAT 22:37. The ungodly are those who do not love the truth, " but [have] pleasure in unrighteousness."
Noah preached with more than words; his walk of life and the preparation of the ark were a visible preaching. The Word teaches us that all of these ministries were accompanied by the ministry of the Holy Spirit as we can see from GEN 6:3. "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." The Holy Spirit strove with their ungodliness; He convinced them of sin. The Holy Spirit strove with the people, but they rebelled. The long-suffering of God lasted until Noah had prepared the ark. Notice also that God shortened the life span of man in His displeasure with their rebellion.
The second thing we want to consider is how Noahs walk of life was a visible preaching of Christ formed in His church. You and I must learn to understand that we need Christ formed in us. If we have salvation for our souls, we have Christ formed in us.
This visible preaching of Christ formed in His church has been a mystery to the natural mind since the time of the fall. Noahs walk of life, walking in obedience to the will of God, was a mystery to the generation of Noah. It is becoming a mystery today. People are now mocking those who walk according to the will of God. It is a mystery unto them, and when they see Christ formed in you, you become the off-scouring of the world. There is no way a person can ride on the fence; either you walk according to the will of God, or you do not. You cannot serve two masters.
COL 1:26-27 says, "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles [What is that mystery?]; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." "Christ in you" as your hope of glory is the mystery. If Christ is not in you, you are not part of His church. You cannot serve the old man of sin, rebelling, being contentious, and living contrary to the will of God, and be a Christian or have salvation. "Christ in you" is the only foundation for our "hope of glory." The Spirit of Christ being formed in you is where you have a good hope and evidence of your salvation. "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his," ROM 8:9.
Can any person claim to be saved without Christ being formed in him? The answer is, "No!" In 2CO 13:5 we read, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" Unless you are reprobate, unregenerate, totally outside of Christ, you will know when Christ is in you. The spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice is the Spirit of Christ, and if it is not in you, you are a reprobate.
Just yesterday, I was reading in our daily paper that water from the River Jordan is now being sold. These little one-gallon jugs of water are being sold all over the world so people can be baptized with holy water from the Jordan. I dont know quite what experience these people are expecting from this jug of water, but it is selling by the thousands of gallons.
Then in another article, just under the one about selling these gallon jugs of water, it told of a clock where Mother Marys image supposedly appeared. The article said that only those who have the right spirit are able to see her picture. Thousands of people come to that place for that experience. It joins the many other things that are "sacred" where people can come to feel good.
Satan doesnt care what he needs to use to make the emotions run high! He cares little where these emotions come from as long as he can get you into an emotional religion outside of looking unto the person of Christ by faith. He even uses drugs or going to one of these so-called sacred items to get this good feeling. It is all intended to distract the soul into feeling satisfied outside the Spirit of Christ!
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you," 2CO 13:5. That is the experience we need; we must experience the work of regeneration, the new man of the heart, the new spirit of the mind. EPH 4:22-24 says, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
The following verses so clearly teach how that is done: "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you," EPH 4:25-32.
We must understand what it is to have Christ in us. Do we really understand what it is to be in the faith? It is to have the Spirit of Christ. We do not need all those things, which are supposed to be sacred or give us an experience or a high, for they do not give rise to Christ being formed in us in the way of walking, and living in the Spirit of Christ.
The name "Noah" comes from the Hebrew word "Noach" which means "give comfort, make to rest, quiet resting place." What does that mean? The name "Noah" means to find rest in Christ. We only find that rest when Christ is formed in us.
Noahs father foresaw the rest and comfort that would be obtained through that Spirit of Christ being formed in His son. He pointed out how this visible preaching would be a comfort to his generation. Noah had the comfort and rest that would be his visible preaching. GEN 5:28-29 says, "And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed." Wherein was the comfort? It was Christ formed in him.
See how this rest is a visible preaching as we see in the prophesy of the coming Messiah; that prophesy centered in that same rest. In ISA 11:10 we find the prophesy, "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign [a beacon or sign, something visible] of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious." The ensign was a visible sign for the people. We see the same thing in the name of Noah. It is something visible.
We see this fulfilled in those who have Christ formed in them in MAT 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." What is the end result of our Christian fruition? It is to find rest for our souls.
The Fathers delight in the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ is seen in PHI 2:8-11, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Noahs obedience delighted God. It is noteworthy that Noah found rest for his soul by delighting in the will of God. In GEN 6:8-9 we read, "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."
The Fathers delight in the obedience of the Lord Jesus is obvious as we see from the Fathers first words spoken about His Son after He began His public ministry in MAT 3:17, "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." How was the Father well pleased? It was in Jesus perfect obedience. Are you and I going to have Christ formed in us? It is not possible if we are walking in rebellion to the revealed will of God. Will we earn salvation by good works? No. Where is our evidence that we have Christ formed in us? Do we have the Spirit of Christ? The spirit of perfect submission to the will of God is our evidence of the outworking of the grace of God, i.e., having Christ formed in us.
How did Noahs walk of life reveal that Spirit of Christ formed in him? We see this in GEN 7:5 where we read, "And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him." He did whatever the Lord commanded; he had a holy reverence for the will of God.
Noahs walk showed that the mystery of Christ formed in him could be seen by the world. We also see this testified by the world about our Saviour in LUK 23:47-48, "Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned." Do you see what the centurion and others saw? They knew; it was a visible preaching.
The Lord said of Noah he was "perfect in his generations," which signifies that he was not contaminated by the sin and ungodliness of the surrounding world. Are you and I living in a generation, as the Lord Jesus Christ said, that are "as in the days of Noah"? Are we walking with Christ formed in us? If we are, we will remain unspotted from this present evil world.
Think of how this points to the perfect humanity of our Saviour who was "made flesh" but was not shaped in iniquity nor conceived in sin. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost. HEB 7:26 says, "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." Now the vital question facing us is: Is Christ in us? Is Christ in you? He is holy, harmless, and separate from sinners. Do we mingle our lives with the things of this life? If we do, Christ is not formed in us. Can we walk in filthiness, in vulgar language, and do the things we know are contrary to the will of God? If we do, we do not have Christ formed in us, because Christ is holy, undefiled, and not contaminated by the generation in which He lived.
The virus of sin did not contaminate our Saviour. He was "perfect in His generation." This is what Jesus refers to when He says in JOH 17:4, "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."
Even though Methuselah lived up to the year of the flood, do we see any mention that he ever lent a hand to build the ark? The answer is no; he was the son of Enoch who was a preacher of righteousness. He lived in the generation of Noah, but we have no record that he ever helped Noah. Why? When the Lord commanded Noah to build the ark, He did not send him any human help. The Scriptures teach that Noah built the ark; Noah was to perform this task at the behest of the Lord, and he was to do it alone. What does that teach us? Sometimes we must stand alone. We cannot walk with the multitude; sometimes we must stand all alone.
What is one of the most blessed fruits of the visible preaching of Noah? Christ being formed in his children is that precious thing the Lord gives to those who truly serve him. One of the most precious things that the Lord will do is to give that Spirit of Christ to our children.
GEN 7:7 says, "And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood." There is much teaching about household faith, but it is misunderstood. Household faith must be understood in the light of the Word of God. Where was household faith? It was in the fact that they heard and saw and were brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In so doing, they were walking with Christ formed in them as the result of their upbringing.
It isnt anything they inherited or just had because their father was a godly man. It is the fruit of a godly father and a godly mother who nurtured them in the admonition of the Lord. It is evident in Noahs sons and their wives because they all came into the ark.
This is the fruit of Christ being formed in you as we can see in GAL 4:19, "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." I know from experience that what this says is true. When you have godly parents, they travail in prayer until Christ is formed in their children. The parents cannot tolerate seeing their children go out to walk in the ways of sin. They cannot rest or give it over. They struggle before the throne of Gods grace that He would let Christ be formed in their children. That is the message of the apostle Paul in the above verse. Every godly parent will travail in birth, in prayer, for his or her children. That is the beginning of household faith.
Our Saviour said in JOH 15:10, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and abide in his love." That is the teaching that must be taught to our children. If we walk in the ways of the Lord, in His ordained ways, then He will come unto us and make His abode with us.
For our third point, lets consider how the ark teaches Gods sovereignty and eternal electing love in His plan of the salvation we have in Christ. Remember how all the animals, insects, and birds came into the ark because the Lord moved them to do so. That was Gods sovereign plan; He moved with His Spirit upon these creatures, and they came into the ark. Not one came without the moving of the Spirit of God. Seven males and seven females of all clean animals came; two males and two females of the unclean came. God ordained the exact number that came. This teaches us the election of grace; everyone that came into the ark was moved upon by the Holy Spirit.
The ark was a divine provision as we see in GEN 6:13-14, "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me...Make thee an ark " God commanded the ark to be prepared; it was a provision that was foreordained of the Lord. It was not an afterthought. It was a decree that God would destroy the earth; it was a command that Noah should build the ark. Neither was the covenant of grace established after the fall of man. The covenant of grace was not an afterthought. It was in place at the time Adam fell. Had it not been, God would have destroyed Adam instantly upon his first sin. God had already chosen whom He loved before the fall.
God had purposed to redeem a people unto Himself from eternity before the creation as is evident from Scripture where it speaks of Christ as "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," REV 13:8. It is speaking of Christ as the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world, before the destruction of the world or the fall of man. This blood of Christ was ever before God before the foundation of the world was ever made. Salvation was not an afterthought. Salvation was not something God contrived after the fall of man. That is where we see Gods eternal, electing love.
Did God invite Noah into the ark, or did God command Noah to go in? There is a very important difference we must recognize here. There is a great difference between a cowboy and a shepherd. One is behind, driving, while the other goes before, leading. This is also revealed in the ark and Noah. See how God invited Noah into the ark, and take notice of the tremendous difference or distinction shown.
GEN 7:1 teaches that "the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark [Notice, this is an invitation, not a command.]; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." The Lord did not say "go" into the ark, but "COME." Go would have been a command, but come was a gracious invitation. If God had said, "Go," it would have meant depart from Me. However, "Come" indicates God was inside the ark bidding Noah to come in. A command to go into the ark would have indicated God was outside, and Noah would have been inside apart from God. Do you see the difference between the invitation and a command? The Lord was inviting Noah and his house to come into the ark with Him; He was in there and would be there with them. Noah was invited to come to God. "The LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark."
It was a gracious invitation. That is also the gospel today. The Lord Jesus says, "Come unto me." Why? It is so we will be where He is.
God has no pleasure in a compulsory service, but only in service from a motive of love. If He had commanded Noah to go in, then Noah would have acted upon compulsion. God beckoned unto Noah by a gracious invitation to come; Noah complied from a motive of love and a holy reverence to please God.
Go would imply that the Lord was bidding Noah to depart from Him, but come indicated the Lord would go before him into the ark. Is it not so also in the gospel? Lets read ISA 55:1-3 to see the invitation to come unto Him in the gospel. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. [Notice the repetition of the word come in one verse; it is the gospel today.] Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."
The invitation is extended to all who hear the gospel. "Come unto me: hear." It is important to understand the meaning of this invitation, "and your soul shall live." We are to hear Gods Word.
God always looks at the attitude of the heart and conscience, but the invitation goes much further. God says, "...Come thou and all thy house into the ark," GEN 7:1. We are commanded to bring our house with us. The invitation includes us and our house.
Again, we find the parallel in the gospel of grace today. ACT 16:31 says, "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." This is a beautiful parallel in the New Testament gospel. "Believe" means submit. In previous sermons, I have explained the meaning of "unbelief." It is to be in rebellion against God, but "believing" is to hear and do.
How does believing effect the salvation of his house? How does your believing effect salvation for your children? How does it happen? Lets continue on to the very next verse in ACT 16:32, "And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house." By believing, it brought the gospel into his home. What happened? His children heard; that is the way salvation is effected in the home. When we believe and we hear, that brings the gospel into the home, and all in the house hear.
It was through the head of the house hearing and doing the words of Jesus that his whole house heard and saw the way of salvation. ROM 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The obedience of faith comes by hearing the gospel proclaimed. It is this hearing that trains the thinking and understanding of the children. They begin to think Scripturally.
Faith and doing are synonymous; it is important that we see and understand this concept. Faith is not some mystic thing which happens that we cant quite explain. Faith is doing the will of God. This is apparent from what Jesus says in LUK 6:46-49. "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."
Do you see the importance of hearing and doing? It is our evidence that Christ is formed in us; we hear the Shepherds voice and follow His footsteps in the way. Notice the man who dug deep. Where did he dig? He dug deep into the Word, searching the Word and studying the Word to search out His will that he might know and do His will. That is Christ formed in him. It is faith founded upon the Rock which is the Word of God. Is that Rock Christ? Certainly. REV 19:13 tells us clearly, "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God." Who is this talking about? It is the Lord Jesus Christ. If our building is upon the Rock, it is building upon the Word of God.
The other side of the same principle is found among those who build without a foundation. So many times we hear about building upon the Rock, but it is seldom connected with doing the will of God. How can we pervert the words of Jesus Christ by proclaiming a gospel of half a truth. Building upon the Rock is hearing and doing the will of God. That is the word of our Saviour.
These things must be continually brought before us lest we forget. You might think youve heard this before, but the apostle Peter first said in 2PE 1:10-11 "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
Next he tells us how important it is to be constantly reminded of these principles, "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance." 2PE 1:12-13. Do you see the importance of hearing the message over and over? The Lord Jesus Christ says, "Verily, verily I say unto you..." Do you know what He means by that? It means He has said it, and He will say it again and again. Why? He is training our thinking!
There is a difference between teaching and training. When a person takes drivers training, he has already learned much from the manual, but to go out and do it is a different story. It requires training by doing the same things over and over until the driver does them automatically. That is what the Lord Jesus means by training our thinking; He wants the information to come through our minds time and again. He wants us to think it many times until it becomes the thought process of our minds. "Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock." Amen.
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