Performance of Faith: Noah
J.C. Thompson |
How do my faith and my works relate? In this message, you will see how the obedience of Noah was directly connected to His faith in God.
Performance of Faith: Noah
Believing God – Message 4
July 12, 2020
Theme Verse and Focus Passage – Hebrews 11:7
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith. Hebrews 11:7 (NLT)
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. Hebrews 11:7a (NLT)
Message Blurb – How do my faith and my works relate? In this message, you will see how the obedience of Noah was directly connected to His faith in God.
- Introduction (Hebrews 11:7. C/R: James 2:26)
- We are continuing our survey of Hebrews 11 entitled Believing God.
- Today’s message, focused on Noah is titled “Performance of Faith”
- Our theme verse comes from Hebrews 11:7 (NLT), It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.Faith without works is dead according to James 2:26.
- We have seen so far in this series that this is the case. Abel’s presentation of faith, Enoch’s pathway of faith, and today Noah’s Performance of faith.
- The relationship between faith and works is something that the enemy uses to mislead us in trusting our own efforts instead of the finished work of Christ, or to deceive us into believing that obedience doesn’t matter to God. Both of these claims are false.
- Our faith alone saves us and a true saving, faith, results in good works.
- Today we’ll see how Noah’s faith, led to a work that saved mankind.
- By faith we can...
- Respond to God with obedience. (Hebrews 11:7a. C/R: Genesis 6:8,9,11-14a,22)
- Hebrews 11:7a (NLT) It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before.
- By faith, Noah built a boat. Why is this an act of faith?
- We mistakenly believe that the only “acts of faith” are prayer, Bible reading. But the Scriptures are filled with spiritual acts of building things, agricultural innovations, business opportunities, providing meals to those in need, speaking out against injustice, and many more things.
- But what makes something an act of faith? Did God tell you to do it? God spoke to Noah and told him to build a boat.
- Why did God ask Noah to build a boat?
- Genesis 6:11-14a (NLT) 11Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. 12God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. 13So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth! 14“Build a large boat from cypress wood... ”
- The world was corrupt with sin and filled with violence, so God wanted to destroy the earth and start over.
- This issue of humanity being wicked is compounded by the fact that demonic forces had begun to infiltrate humanity as well.
- It grieved God seeing the state that humanity was in. He was searching for someone who was faithful to Him.
- Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth and he walked with God. Genesis 6:9
- One man stood apart from the rest of the world, that man was Noah. Noah – Worshipper Picture
- Noah worshipped God like Abel, he walked with God like Enoch, and he worked for God by building a boat.
- But this was no ordinary boat, in fact the Hebrew word for ark is translated better as box than boat. Think of the “ark” of the covenant.
- The boat would have been large enough to accommodate there was room for all the animals that God asked him to put on the ark and Noah’s 8 family members. 4 stories high and the length of 62 smart cars placed back to back. Noah – Ark Picture
- This was no ordinary boat and this boat was meant to be at sea for about a year.
- It would have taken at most 120 years to build.
- Noah also most likely would have had little “boating” experience. Where he lived was about 100 miles away from the closest body of water.
- Noah not only had the manual labor portion of actually building a boat, but he would have sought out people and God in order to build one excellently. He needed to find “boat people”.
- Many of you think know what that’s like. God has called you to something that you have no idea how to do. And it seems He gave you very little instruction. But we see this in Genesis about Noah.
- Genesis 6:22 (NLT) So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.
- Did God give everything exactly how it was to be done? If He did, it isn’t in the Scriptures. God gave dimensions, material, rooms, doorway, and decks. But how to support such a large structure? Where would the boat land? How would he know it would work? How could Noah, a man over 500 years of age get involved in such a brand-new venture?
- Sometimes we must obey God and not lean on our own understanding.
- We must obey until we see God transform the situation in front of us. God will never call you to something He doesn’t intend you to do.
- God has an ark for every believer to build. It is just as important to build our ark as it was for Noah to build his. Do you believe that?
- APP: What is God calling you to do? Are you obeying Him exactly?
- Rebuke the sin of the world. (Hebrews 11:7b. C/R: Genesis 6:5,9; 1 Peter 3:19-20; 2 Peter 2:5)
- Hebrews 11:7b … By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, …
- In Gen. 6:1-8, we see how wicked and sinful the world had become.
- Genesis 6:5 (ESV) The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
- The evil in the world had corrupted every part of humanity. Their will – “intentions”, their minds, “thoughts”, and their emotions – “heart.”
- We find out in the New Testament that Noah not only built a boat, but he was also a preacher of righteousness.
- 2 Peter 2:5 (NLT) And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when He destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood.
- Noah’s obedience would have been such a stark difference between him and his culture.
- Noah not only would have been obeying God by building a boat, but he also would have been warning others of the impending judgement.
- God was grieved at the wickedness of the world, but He was also patient. He gave the world 120 years to be rescued.
- How many years has God been giving you to be rescued?
- I could imagine this picture of Noah explaining rain, a flood was coming that would destroy the earth because of the wickedness of humanity. People laughing in response to him. Noah – laughing picture
- He never had a convert outside of his family.
- Noah’s obedience did not mean he was without sin as you can see in Genesis 9:20-22, but his faith was real, and his faith led to a century long journey of building a boat.
- His faith was not a one-time act, but a lifelong act of obeying everything that God had commanded him to do. 120 years is a long time.
- More than likely he would have been building the ark by daylight and preaching righteousness in the evening. Noah – God will rescue you picture
- I’m sure that the enemy used that as an opportunity to create doubt in the words of God. 120 years is a long time, Noah. Why don’t you just wait till tomorrow to build.
- But Noah built and he preached.
- Then one day, God said, it’s time. Tony Evans said, “Plop, plop, plop”.
- Is your obedience to God dependent on the responses of those around you?
- Another thing I’ll say. Sometimes I hear of people’s obedience to God. God called me to leave my wife, or God is leading us to a divorce. “Well J.C., I’ve just go to obey God.”
- If you are obeying God, without a promise from God, your obedience is just a publicity stunt for your own pride.
- APP: What effect does your obedience to God have on those around you?
- ILL: Noah’s family and his leadership of them. Fathers, are you leading your family when circumstances are tougher than normal? Are you allowing the world, the media, your job, or the enemy to lead your family?
- Receive the righteousness of Christ. (Hebrews 11:7c. C/R: Genesis 6:14b, Romans 3:22)
- Hebrews 11:7c (NLT) … and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
- How was Noah labeled as righteous? Because of his boat building skills? No. Because of his age? No. Because of his perfect track record? No. It was Because of his faith and his faith alone!
- His faith is validated by God’s proclamation that he is righteous.
- You see Noah’s faith was given to him by God. He found favor. Which literally means, God placed His favor, gave His grace to Noah.
- It is God’s right to save and He saved Noah and his family.
- Genesis 6:14b (ESV) “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.”
- In Genesis 6:14 the word used in the NLT is “tar” that word in the ESV and pretty much every other translation it’s “pitch”. Essentially, it’s a covering that allowed the ark to float. The Hebrew word, Kopher, means to cover.
- The word Kopher, here is the same root word for the word atonement.
- Atonement is a theological word, but if you look at an older English definition of the word, it meant “at one meant”. Or more simply to be reconciled.
- The word pitch meant to cover and protect. God commanded Noah to cover the inside and the outside of the boat with pitch to protect it from the water and to keep it afloat.
- The word atonement is used 102 times in the ESV translation of the Old Testament but is not used at all in the New Testament. Why is that?
- J.C.’s opinion here, I think the New Testament writers wanted us to understand more fully Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus’ sacrifice doesn’t just cover our sins like the pitch did to the ark. It does much more.
- Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross saves us from sin (Matthew 1:21), redeems us from sin (Ephesians 1:7), reconciles us with God (Romans 5:10), purifies us from sin (Hebrews 1:3), and takes away our sin (Hebrews 10:4,11). It gives us a new Spirit, it unites us with Christ, and it supplies the power for obedience to God.
- So, in a similar way that the ark saved mankind by being covered, allowing it to float, Jesus’ sacrifice saves the world by transforming us into the family of God. Making us a new people and changing the way we live and interact with others.
- Noah’s boat saved through the judgement of the waters, Jesus’ sacrifice will save His people from the judgement of fire that will arrive with the second coming of Jesus.
- Christ’s righteousness becomes ours.
- How does this happen? It happens by placing our faith in the love, the obedience, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus and by becoming His disciple.
- Our day is similar to Noah’s. The world rejects the message of Christ. Wickedness, immorality, violence, profanity, lying, racism and murder are all prevalent in our day.
- But God is being patient. He is giving you an opportunity to repent and place your faith in Jesus.
- Jesus is our ark. We trust Him to save us and take us home.
- Jesus’ life, death, resurrection are our opportunity to be reconciled with God.
- Will you quit running and start receiving the righteousness that’s made available to you because of Jesus?
- APP: Are you working for Christ because you’re His child or are you hoping that your work/obedience will earn you righteousness?
- Come to Jesus.