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Watch out Noah

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Watch out, Noah!!

Genesis 7:11-24

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I would like to start by reading v23 of the text read to us earlier from Genesis 7:11-24. “Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out,· men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth.” Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”

I wonder if you have ever been in a flood. I remember when as a boy growing up in rural Australia. Sometimes it would be dry for months and then suddenly rain would come, and come and keep on coming for days on end and the entire landscape would be flooded with water. One particular time, we were totally isolated from everyone, and nobody else was to be seen as far as the eyes could see. It was as if my family and I were the only people on earth, just like Noah and his family were.

But how did Noah and his family happen to be in this ark and saved from dying in the flood? So let us put the passage before us into its context. Some time before, God had created the world and humans. Shortly after that man went against God’s commandments and sinned against Him. This sinning process continued down through the generations of people. As Genesis tells us “that every inclination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil all of the time.” So God, in holiness, repented of his decision to make man and decided to wipe all living things from the earth. However one man, Noah, had continued to walk with God and was righteous.

God, then commanded Noah to build an ark so as to keep him, his family and all types of creatures alive during the flood. Noah, whom the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us was a righteous and godly man, obeyed God and built the ark, gathered the animals, and entered the ark of safety with them and his family. So that is the background in which we come to today’s passage. The story of the flood is one of the more well known stories of the Old Testament, and is particularly popular with children. But with it comes a series of messages that we learn from this section of the Bible in the 21st century?

God is a Judge

The first message we see is that God is a judge. The flood demonstrated that God is a righteous and just God, who will not tolerate evil. The flood showed that God means what He says: He gave man 120 years to repent, they did not, so they were judged. This judgment tells us that God is true to His Word. The flood was complete; God’s judgement was complete. The waters “rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered … Every living thing that moved on the earth perished.”

It is hard for us to conceive how such a great amount of water came to cover the earth. How the flood happened is a mystery. However God’s judgement is not a mystery. We have seen here that the basis of God’s judgement is the response of man to the revealed will of God. It is a thoroughly just and convincing thing. No doubt that when the waters of the flood started to appear everyone left outside the ark were panic struck and their mouths gaped open as they stopped in disbelief at the justice of God’s judgement and feeling very sorry that they hadn’t listened to the words of God through Noah.

God is a Deliverer

Our second message that we can refer to is that God is a deliverer. In fact, the ark is typical of our salvation through Christ in many ways. God designed the way of salvation, long before God revealed to Noah the judgment. Noah was saved because he fulfilled the requirements for salvation as given by God; the way of salvation provided a refuge from the judgement of God upon the world; the Lord “shut Noah in” to His salvation, a salvation that nothing or no one could take away. As the rain fell, Noah was safely in the ark. The rest of the world, however, could only watch as “for forty days the flood kept coming on the earth.” Noah, however, as the floodwaters grew, could look back on all the work he did in obedience to God and realize that it was not for nothing. He could look back at all the persecution that he suffered as he built the ark and count it not worth comparing to the glory of his salvation. He must have felt greatly honoured to receive from God deliverance from a judgement that he, as a sinner, deserved also. As the rain fell, he probably pondered God’s mercy to him, asking, “Who am I, that I should be saved?”

New Testament Reflection

So far we have seen that God is both a judge and a deliverer. But what does that have to do with us, living several thousand years after the event? What possible connection is in there for us? Well, lets have a look at what the New Testament has to say about this episode in history? Firstly Jesus quoted it in Mt 24:39, when He talked about the end of the age, when He will come again. In verse 37, He compares the flood with the coming of the Son of Man. There will again be two groups of people. There are those that are like Noah, who are prepared and saved; and those who are unprepared and lost. Secondly, Peter backed this up in his second letter, and added that the next judgement will not be with water, but fire for the destruction of all ungodly people (2 Peter 3:5-7). The godly people, will have a new home of righteousness to look forward to.

So What?

So let us recapitulate and then conclude. Firstly we have seen that God is a righteous judge. God, in His pure holiness, cannot tolerate sin and disobedience, and needs to judge it. He judged the earth with a flood several thousand years ago. Secondly we learnt that God also delivers or saves. All through out history, even in the most ungodly times, God has always kept a remnant or group of people for Himself, and has always had a spokesperson ready to speak for Him. We learn this throughout the Old Testament, in the story of the people of Israel. Then, thirdly we discovered what the New Testament teaches us about it. Jesus and the Apostle Peter, both referred to it. The writer of Hebrews, tells us that Noah was a man of faith, who lived in holy fear and was the heir of righteousness to a new world following the flood.

How then can we conclude? Today, as in the days of Noah we have 2 groups of people. Those of us who are Christians, who are His children safe in the arms of Jesus, and those who don’t know about God’s grace and mercy and are lost in the flood of sin. Some of us here today, have been Christians possibly only a couple of days or perhaps for decades. What are we doing, knowing that the judgement of Christ is coming? Are we like Noah, and obeying God and his commandments? Working out our faith, with fear and trembling. Are we showing people and telling the lost that God loves them, cares for them, and is coming back again to judge the earth with fire and righteousness. That is our work and mission as Christians.

Maybe you belong to the second group of people and you are not a child of God and safe in the ‘ark’ of Jesus. It is God’s will for you to be safe, for He desires that nobody should be lost. You are still lost in the flood of sin, and do not yet know God as your Father? Sin is not obeying what God has revealed to be true. I implore you to turn to Him today! No-one knows when the next judgment day will be, just as in the days of Noah. It could be now, tomorrow or in another hundred years. No one knows when that judgment will be, only the all knowing and all wise God. The time for you to turn to Him is now. All you have to do is believe, accept that Jesus is God, and follow Him trusting that He will save you and then you will be safe in the God’s modern ark. If that is you today, please do see one of the leaders or myself afterwards and we will be very happy to talk with you further!

Thank you

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Sermon – When Judgement Comes

When Judgement Comes!

Genesis 7:11-24

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I would like to start by reading v23 of the text read to us earlier from Genesis 7:11-24. “Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out,· men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth.” Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”

I wonder if you have ever been in a flood. I remember when as a boy growing up in rural Australia. Sometimes it would be dry for months and then suddenly rain would come, and come and keep on coming for days on end and the entire landscape would be flooded with water. One particular time, we were totally isolated from everyone, and nobody else was to be seen as far as the eyes could see. It was as if my family and I were the only people on earth, just like Noah and his family were.

  • How and why?

  • God is a Judge

  • God is a Deliverer

  • New Testament Reflection

So What?

So let us recapitulate and then conclude. Firstly we have seen that God is a righteous judge. God, in His pure holiness, cannot tolerate sin and disobedience, and needs to judge it. He judged the earth with a flood several thousand years ago. Secondly we learnt that God also delivers or saves. All through out history, even in the most ungodly times, God has always kept a remnant or group of people for Himself, and has always had a spokesperson ready to speak for Him. We learn this throughout the Old Testament, in the story of the people of Israel. Then, thirdly we discovered what the New Testament teaches us about it. Jesus and the Apostle Peter, both referred to it. The writer of Hebrews, tells us that Noah was a man of faith, who lived in holy fear and was the heir of righteousness to a new world following the flood.

How then can we conclude? Today, as in the days of Noah we have 2 groups of people. Those of us who are Christians, who are His children safe in the arms of Jesus, and those who don’t know about God’s grace and mercy and are lost in the flood of sin. Some of us here today, have been Christians possibly only a couple of days or perhaps for decades. What are we doing, knowing that the judgement of Christ is coming? Are we like Noah, and obeying God and his commandments? Working out our faith, with fear and trembling. Are we showing people and telling the lost that God loves them, cares for them, and is coming back again to judge the earth with fire and righteousness. That is our work and mission as Christians.

Maybe you belong to the second group of people and you are not a child of God and safe in the ‘ark’ of Jesus. It is God’s will for you to be safe, for He desires that nobody should be lost. You are still lost in the flood of sin, and do not yet know God as your Father? Sin is not obeying what God has revealed to be true. I implore you to turn to Him today! No-one knows when the next judgment day will be, just as in the days of Noah. It could be now, tomorrow or in another hundred years. No one knows when that judgment will be, only the all knowing and all wise God. The time for you to turn to Him is now. All you have to do is believe, accept that Jesus is God, and follow Him trusting that He will save you and then you will be safe in the God’s modern ark. If that is you today, please do see one of the leaders or myself afterwards and we will be very happy to talk with you further!

Thank you

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Covenants 1

59. Partake – The Christian Disciple and Bible Covenants 1

 

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9v14-15

 

If we as Christian Disciples are now under what the writer to Hebrews calls the “New Covenant”, what were the Old Covenants that preceded it? Over the next two Podcasts we shall look briefly at these Old Covenants and also the New Covenant.

Old Testament Covenants

1. The Edenic Covenant (Genesis 2v15-17)

This was the first covenant between God and man. Adam is commanded in the Edenic Covenant to

* Populate the earth (Genesis 1v28)

* Subjugate the earth (Genesis 1v28)

* Exercise dominion over animals (Genesis 1v28)

* Tend and enjoy the garden of Eden (Genesis 1v29; 2v15)

* Refrain from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2v16-17).

When Adam & Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Covenant was terminated and the consequence was their spiritual and physical deaths. This failure required God to make a new covenant with Adam.

 

2. The Adamic Covenant (Genesis 3v14-21)

This second covenant between God and humanity, is also titled the covenant with all of mankind, as it lay down the terms and conditions which hold until sin’s curse is lifted (Isaiah 11v6-10; Romans 8v18-23). Because of Adam’s sin, we are all born under the curse of sin.

The terms and conditions of this covenant include:

* Satan is judged although- he will enjoy limited & temporal success (Genesis 3v15), but ultimately he will be judged (Genesis 3v15).

* The first Messianic prophecy is given (Genesis 3v15)

* Childbirth now involves pain and the woman is made subject to her husband (Genesis 3v16)

* The ground is cursed and weeds will grow amongst man’s food (Genesis 3vv17 – 19)

* Physical changes occur and now people sweat when they work all their life (Genesis 3v19)

* Because of the sin and disobedience, people die spiritually, and inevitably physically. (Genesis 3v19).

 

3. The Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9v1-19)

This is the third covenant between God and man given after the flood had wiped out earth’s population, apart from Noah and his family.

The terms of the Noahic covenant are

* Populate the earth is reaffirmed (Genesis 9v1).

* Subjection of the animals to humans is reaffirmed (Genesis 9v2).

* Humans are allowed to eat animal flesh but are to refrain from drinking/eating the blood (Genesis 9vv3, 4)

* Human life’s sanctity is established. (Genesis 9vv5, 6).

* God promises to never to destroy the earth again by flood (Genesis 9v11). But as 2 Peter 3v10 tells us, God will destroy it by fire!

* The rainbow is given as a symbol of this covenant and its existence (Genesis 9v12-17)

 

4. The Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12v1-3)

Whilst the Edenic, Adamic and Noahic Covenants were universal covenants, the fourth Covenant is the first covenant which is theocratic or relating to the rule of God. It is dependent on God alone, who by means of grace in the “I will,”. to bestow promised blessings.

This Abrahamic Covenant is also the basis for the theocratic covenants which follow and provides blessings in three levels:

* Personal level: “I will make your name great; and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12v2)

* National level: “I will make you into a great nation” (Genesis 12v2)

* Universal level: “all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12v3)

 

Initially this covenant was in broad outline, but God later confirmed it to Abraham in greater depth (Genesis 13v14-7; 15v1-7, 18-21; 17v1-8). The Abrahamic covenant is a link to all of God’s activities and programs until the end of time, when Jesus returns to gather His people to Himself.

 

The personal aspects of the Covenant, particular to Abraham are:

 

* father of a great nation (Genesis 12v1)

* receive personal blessing (Genesis 12v2)

* receive personal honour and reputation (Genesis 12v2)

* He will be a source of blessing to others. (Genesis 12v3)

 

The aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant, pertinent universally are:

 

* blessings on those who bless Abraham and the nation of Israel which comes from him (Genesis 12v3)

* curses on those who curse Abraham and Israel (Genesis 12v3)

* blessings on all the earth through the God’s coming Messiah, who is Abraham’s son and brings universal salvation. (Genesis 12v1-3 and Galatians 3v8)

 

The Adamic, Noahic and Abrahamic Covenants all look forward to the coming of the Messiah, as do the Mosaic and Davidic Covenants. All of history points to His coming. This was all part of Paul’s reasoning from Scripture with the Jews he came in contact with. Of course for Paul, as for us, the Messiah is Jesus Christ.

 

For more to think about please do read 2 Corinthians 3, ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

 

Q1. As a Christian Disciple, how do the Old Testament Covenants fit together and apply to me?

Q2. As a Christian Disciple, how does God make me competent, and for what purpose?

Q3. As a Christian Disciple, what affect does the ministry of the Holy Spirit have on me?

 

As ever, if you have any comments to make on this, please do contact me at partake(at)hotmail.co.uk. Thank you

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