Preaching: Troy Martin
Text: Genesis 6:5-22
Title: Noah Found Grace
The Bible creates the vocabulary of salvation. Imagine this scenario: Adam and Eve sin. Immediately afterward Jesus comes into the garden, dies on a tree, stays dead three days, and then resurrects. What would be necessary for Adam and Eve to understand what had just happened?
The long history of the Bible creates the vocabulary to understand the work of Christ. The story of Noah is one of the first such stories. In it we see the truth of divine judgement, the miracle of divine salvation, and the dividing mercy of divine grace. Each is a necessary ingredient to understanding the total work of God in Christ.
v. 5 Like at creation, God appraises the world. But unlike creation he does not see that “it is good.” In fact, it is evil. That evil stems from mind of man.
v. 12-13 Since man is seeking the destruction of the world, God decides to give the world what it's pursuing.
v.8, 13-21 But Noah finds grace in the eyes of the Lord. Consequently, v. 13-22 of the chapter becomes a divine discourse where he receives (1) the pledge of coming judgement, (2) the directions for building the ark, (3) and the assurance of God’s covenant.
v.22 The chapter ends with the report that Noah obeyed every word. Notice, however, that while obedience was necessary, it came subsequent to God’s grace. True faith begins with grace.
This world is broken between holiness and sinfulness. That division is so deep and wide that no human being can cross it by his own wits or power. But the rest of the Bible is about what God did to make that crossing possible. In the history of Noah we have three basic truths that a life-giving understanding of salvation should not misconstrue.
Don’t __________________________ heart. Noah’s world was filled with violence, because men’s hearts and minds were violent. The Bible actually thinks our hearts have a disorder: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” Jer. 17:9. Salvation does not come from trusting ourselves, but our Savior.
Don’t __________________________ grace Grace makes all the difference in the world. When grace has you, you will believe, speak, and live differently. But there is always a temptation to downplay that difference. Yet if judgement is real, if we are really saved from it, by grace, through faith, then that difference is our very life.
Don’t ______________________ faithfulness. The Bible is a record of the divine judgments, but it is also a miraculous display of the supernatural lengths God goes to keep his promises despite the judgements. In Christ that should make us wonder, “For all the promises of God in Christ are Yes,” 2 Cor 1:20.
Questions for Household Growth
Compare Psalm 37:4 and Romans 1:24. How is it good and how is it dangerous that God gives us what we want?
What is the only division between men that matters?
What is grace?