Sunday, August 10, 2014

By Faith, Noah...

It's a about 70 degrees (21C) in the shade of the deck, the birds are singing their summer songs and the bugs are providing the background music. It is going to be another beautiful day interrupted by some scattered thunderstorms later this afternoon!

This is a great way to prep for preaching this morning at Charity Baptist in Springfield.

I'm going back to a variation of one of the first messages I ever preached (I hope it's better this time!) from the Book of Genesis--the story of the Great Flood.

I know that there are many that dismiss this story (along with most of the Bible stories) as a fable, but it is not coincidental that many other cultures also have a story of a great flood in their deeply held convictions. There is historical, archaeological and scientific evidence that validates a cataclysmic flood.

But that's not what the message is about.

In a nutshell, the story of the Great Flood is a wonderful picture of God's love.
Oh it is definitely a picture of God's wrath, too! Make no mistake. Our God is a jealous one. He is a just one. He is intolerant of those that purposely and willfully deny Him His proper place.

But for those that recognize Him and seek Him, He is full of mercy and grace.
Just as God favored Noah for his faith and righteous living, He still favors those that seek Him and desire to follow His ways. Noah was obedient as he and his family constructed the great ark. God shut the door of the ark and secured Noah's family from the destruction of the deadly waters that covered the Earth.

When the writer of Hebrews tells us that it was by faith that Noah believed God and is saved, he is not referring to salvation from the flood. He is referring to salvation from the eternal judgment of sin and death. Our salvation comes in the same manner--by faith.

I know that there are many gods from many beliefs. I know that it is not possible that all beliefs are valid (some of them contradict one another). I also know that it is possible that we are all wrong (even those that say they have no beliefs).

I know that the evidence of the Universe points to a Supreme Creator.
The order, the intricate design, the precision planning; all give evidence of a Creator.
It is far beyond the abilities of my feeble mind to explain a God that desires a relationship with the beings that He created. I don't know why He spared Noah, nor do I know why He has provided me with the atonement for my sin and granted me eternal life through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
But He has...by faith.

Each and every story of the Bible points to the cross. Each Old Testament law, each prophesy, each story is there to tell of of God's promised Redeemer.
The Gospels introduce us to The Redeemer, the One that buys our souls by giving His life in our place. They teach us how to live and how to follow God's ways. They teach us that God really does love us. It is not His desire to punish us, but rather it is His desire to teach us...to discipline us (think disciple) so that we can live with Him forever.

The letters and stories that follow point us back to the cross and at the same time direct us to a future of living with and for Our Lord and Savior.

I can't wait to get to church!

Have a grand week!

John <><

2 comments:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I hope your morning turned out sunny, and your sermon went well. Have a great week, John Hill!

John Hill said...

Thank you, Angel!
You have a great week, too!