Noah, Saved By Grace

But Noah found favor in the eyes of God the LORD . . . . Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” – Genesis 6:8, 10

Sin grieves God’s heart. The flood of wickedness in Noah’s day prompted God to cleanse the earth by destroying all mankind, beasts, birds, and creeping things with a worldwide flood. But there was one exception: Noah.

Why did Noah find favor (grace) from the Lord?

(found on Pinterest)

(found on Pinterest)

Noah wasn’t perfect; Genesis 9:20 shows that his sin nature traveled with him on the ark, (along with his family and the animals God designated).

So what set Noah apart from the people around him?

The Bible says that Noah was justified by God through his faith.  Noah is an exemplary model of one who had great faith. Of all the people listed in the “Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11), his description is the only one that both begins and ends with “by faith” (Hebrews 11:7). Noah believed God’s promises and followed God’s will.

Walk describes the closest communion with God. It represents fellowship and obedience. Since Enoch, Noah was the only one left in his long life span who “walked with God” (vs. 10).

Noah was also recorded as a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). Although no one responded to his message except his family.

Noah Declared Righteous By God

With unmerited favor, God looked upon Noah as a righteous man and enabled him to walk closely with Him step by step, day by day. It’s here in Genesis where grace is first mentioned; God giving undeserved favor to sinners (Noah and his family).

God deemed Noah righteous not because he was perfect, but because he believed and wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God (Gen. 6:22; 7:5, 9, 16):

  • Even though it had never rained before—the earth had been watered by underground springs—Noah didn’t question God.
  • When God told him to build this huge boat—the length of one and a half football fields and height of a four-story building—Noah got right to work.
  • Even though he was most likely ridiculed and labeled “crazy”, Noah chose to obey God rather than cave to the expectations and temptations surrounding him (1 Peter 3:20).
  • For 120 long years—longer than our life span—Noah pressed on to build the ark according to God’s detailed specifications.

So What?

Noah is our antediluvian link. Because Noah believed God and obeyed, he is a model of faith of how we too can please God.

As Noah and his family were saved by entering through the ark’s door, we are also saved by entering through the narrow door (gate) of Jesus Christ: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it,” (Matthew 7:13-14).

As in Noah’s day, living God’s way may not be popular, but it is true and right.

Have you entered through the narrow gate by placing your faith in Jesus Christ? Trust in Christ is the only way to heaven because He alone died for our sins so we can be right before our holy God.

A Disobedient People, Romans 10:18-21

God, having placed good and evil in our power, has given us full freedom of choice; He does not keep back the unwilling, but embraces the willing.”  John Chrysostom

As I listened to family speeches at my 94 year-old Grandma’s funeral service last week, we all felt the same: Each of us was Grandma’s favorite. Her decision to follow God resulted in her being a channel of His love. Inside her worn Bible was a list of all her children, their spouses, grandchildren, and great grandchildren whom she prayed for daily. Her decision to trust, love, and faithfully follow God not only has provided a wonderful example to my family and me, but has also been a ripple effect of tremendous blessing upon our families.

Choices

In this last section of chapter 10, Paul talks with an imaginary supporter of Israel. Three questions are presented by this supporter, aimed to prove Israel faultless in their relationship with God. But Paul cites Old Testament passages to prove that Israel’s choice—rejecting Christ as Messiah—is without excuse: But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people” (vs. 21).

Israel’s decision to pursue personal virtue based on works instead of following God’s requirement for righteousness by faith had nothing to do with their inability or chances to understand. For they had been given Old Testament Scripture. Paul clarifies: They were solely responsible for their rejection of God and His Word.

So What?
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."  -  Proverbs 14:12.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” – Proverbs 14:12.

In chapter 10, Paul describes two ways of trying to obtain a right standing before God: 1) Following the Law, 2) placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ.

What is God’s way of salvation? Why did the Law fail?

What if we are busy serving God by doing good things, but we neglect His way of attaining right standing before Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ?

In a land where Bibles are abundant, like Israel, we will not be excused for lack of knowledge and/or opportunity to follow God’s way.